If you’ve ever so much as glanced at an ingredients label, then you know that the world of skin-care science can be a little intimidating. Retinoids, enzymes, barely pronounceable terminology, and a name for just about any skin issue under the sun (hello, xerosis) — for the average person just trying to navigate the day-to-day of decent skin, it can feel a little overwhelming. So to give you a leg up, we put together a little vocab lesson to shed some light on the ingredients, conditions, treatments, and products you might come across most often.
To help us understand the finer points of everything from alpha hydroxy acid to zinc oxide, we chatted up two experts in the field: Snehal Amin, MD, of Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery and Flor Mayoral, MD, of Mayoral Dermatology in Miami. Dr. Mayoral, a spokeswoman for L’Oréal, also shared some insight about a couple of new-to-us terms like Pro-Xylane, a key ingredient (and anti-aging superpower) in L’Oréal’s RevitaLift Triple Power line. Click through for the alphabetized 411 on all things skin care — because when it comes to keeping skin happy and healthy, knowing is half the battle.