Skin Care & Cosmetics Ingredient Glossary (S)

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Safflower Seed Oil

Derived from the seed of the safflower plant — a relative of the sunflower, safflower oil is a natural source of linoleic acids (omega-6) and vitamin E that helps enhance skin’s texture, balance the sebum levels, and protect the skin from dryness and harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.

In general, safflower oil has a light and non-greasy consistency which makes it quickly absorbed into the skin and found to be anti-inflammatory and noncomedogenic — which means it doesn’t clog pores. Suitable for all skin types, especially great for dry, acne-prone skin types or those with redness, eczema, or/and psoriasis. 

Here's a product with safflower seed oil: Urang Natural Cleansing Oil.

*Syn: Carthamuus Tinctorius

Salicylic Acid 

Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that naturally occurs in willow bark, fruits, and even vegetables. BHAs are well-known for its pore-clearing and treating properties while preventing blackheads, whiteheads, and acne by exfoliating and decreasing oil secretion. 

Salicylic acid belongs to the same class of drugs as aspirin (salicylates) and it’s a keratolytic that works to increase water in the skin by softening and breaking down the keratin between the cells. This exfoliating ability can help make the skin brighter, more even, and smoother.

Our picks with salicylic acid: Benton Aloe BHA Skin TonerCosrx Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser and Isntree Clear Skin BHA Toner.


Silicone is derived from silica (basic sand) using some chemical processing before being added to beauty and personal products.

Due to their unique liquid properties, silicones are used to improve the feel and provide a luxurious texture that applies seamlessly on the skin. In addition, they create a barrier on the skin that help lock in moisture and improves the adhering of color pigments.

Many people fall for common skincare myth that silicones are not safe for skin; however, topically applied silicones are considered safe and they’re hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic — which means they don’t clog your pores (as long as you cleanse them well).

Common silicone-based products includes makeup primers, BB creams, and foundations — as they help the make-up last longer and fill in fine lines, wrinkles and pores while balancing your skin tone and reducing redness of the skin.

*Syn: Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Cyclohexasiloxane, Cetearyl Methicone, Cyclopentasiloxane

Sodium Hyaluronate

Sodium hyaluronate is the sodium salt of hyaluronic acid (HA)— which is one of common ways to turn HA into a useful topical “extract” form. Sodium hyaluronate is prized for its moisturizing and anti-aging benefits that help reduce the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles by keeping the skin hydrated and plump.

When it comes to the beauty and cosmetics market, hyaluronic acid and sodium hyaluronate are often considered as same and the two names are used interchangeably. However, sodium hyaluronate has a lower/smaller molecular than HA which makes it easier to absorb into the skin as well as it’s more stable and less likely to oxidize. 

Here's products you must try: The Plant Base Waterfall Moist Balanced Hyaluronic Acid 100Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner, and Olivarrier PH 5.5 Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence.


Sulfates are cleansing agents that emulsify and create a lather to remove oil and dirt for a deep cleanse. They’re found in face and body washes, shampoos, detergents, and even household cleaners.

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are commonly found in cosmetics and personal care products and they’re derived from coconut oil, palm kernel oil, or petroleum.

In general, sulfates are safe to use for most of skin types, but if you have sensitive skin or allergies, please note that sodium lauryl sulfate has higher chance to be more sensitizing and irritating, so it can be better to avoid them.

*Syn: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate 

Squalane vs Squalene

Squalene is naturally found in shark liver, olives, rice bran, sugar care, wheat germ oil as well as our skin. Rich in natural antioxidants, squalene helps neutralize free radicals and environmental damage, and maintain hydration and the skin’s moisture barrier. 

Squalane is derived from squalene via hydrogenation— which is a process of converting it from unsaturated fats or oils to more saturated and solid which have a higher melting point as well as a longer shelf-life. 

They both are equally effective; however, squalane is much lighter than squalene. It’s noncomedogenic and has anti-inflammatory properties, making it great for oily and acne-prone skin. 

You may want to check out — Olivarrier Fluid Oil Squalane,

Sunflower Seed Oil

Rich in vitamin A, C, D, E and antioxidants, sunflower oil helps protect skin from free radicals that can cause premature aging and regenerate damaged skin cells.

It also has anti-inflammatory and natural moisturizing properties, making it beneficial for dry, dehydrated, sensitive skin and skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, redness skin.

Sunflower seed oil contains high amounts of linoleic acid that aids to replenish the skin, strengthen the skin’s barrier, supporting its ability to retain moisture. It’s a non-comedogenic carrier oil and works as an emollient to soften skin and can be used for all types of skin, including oily and acne-prone skin.

*Syn: Helianthus Annuus 

Sea Buckthorn Fruit Oil

Sea buckthorn oil is renowned for its anti-aging and skin healing benefits. This skin boosting oil contains various vitamins, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, minerals and carotenoids that help the skin replenish its barrier function, repair oxidative damage, promote skin hydration, elasticity and collagen. 

Sea buckthorn is also excellent for reducing acne breakouts, inflammation, and swelling while fading scars, making the skin more clear and smoother.

Check out skin brightening treatment, Isntree C-Niacin Toning Ampoule.

*Syn: Hippophae Rhamnoides 

Snail Mucin

Snail mucin is a kind of mucus produced by snails which helps them protect their bodies from dryness, cuts, and harmful bacteria. Also known as snail secretion filtrate on ingredient lists, snail slime has powerful anti-aging, hydrating, and healing properties that aid in skin regeneration, acne scar treatment, and smoothing fine lines.

Here are must-try snail-based products: Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence and Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin Toner.

*Syn: Snail Secretion Filtrate, Snail Slime 


Sucrose is a natural sugar that works as a humectant, moisturizer and an exfoliating agent in skin care and hair products. This non-toxic component is a hygroscopic which means it has ability to attract and retain moisture.

Sucrose also gently gets rid of dead skin cells that build up on the surface of skin and protects the skin from pollutants and toxins. Sugar is a prebiotic, meaning it nourishes the microbes/bacteria on the skin that help to create a healthy environment for the skin microbiome.  

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