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The process of shopping for skin care and makeup might seem fun and simple at first, but what can start as an innocent trip to Duane Reade can easily snowball into an overwhelming experience pretty quickly. Besides the sheer number of beauty products on the market today, it seems like each and every one is stamped with a laundry list of adjectives, from seemingly simple words like smoothing and brightening to more hot-button phrases like cruelty-free and organic.
It's language that's come about because buying beauty is not just about moisturizing dry skin anymore. Now, it’s about moisturizing dry skin and zapping wrinkles and fading dark spots and boosting collagen production. And, even while you’re doing all of those things, you might want to think about where the ingredients actually came from and if said ingredients were tested on animals. So, when you're juggling all those aforementioned terms, deciding what's right for you gets way too confusing. Cue the anxiety.
Luckily, there are some super-helpful beauty marketers and formulators out there happy to spell out even some of the most perplexing terms for us. Read on to learn the terms brands and marketers use on their products, which words are regulated, and what it all actually means. Yes, you can take a deep breath now.