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NV skin Glossary

Acacia gum - A natural thickener and stabilizer, acacia gum soothes irritations.

Acetic acid - A natural acid formed from the fermentation of fruit, it helps to correct pH in formulas.

Acid mantle - The layer of lipids (fats) and sweat secretions on top of the skin that helps to kill bacteria and protect the skin. This is essential for proper skin health; the acid mantle can be destroyed by harsh cleansers or an improper pH in skin care formulas.

Active ingredients - Also called "performance" ingredients, these are the ingredients that cause physical changes in the skin, and can alter the appearance of the skin.

AHAs and BHAs - Alphahydroxy and betahydroxy acids are a family of natural acids derived from fruits, milk, and other plants which, in small quantities, act as hydrators. In higher concentrations, they are exfoliants and work to reduce the effects of aging and sun damage by lessening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Allantion - This naturally derived ingredient speeds up cell regeneration, and has a keratolytic (skin-softening) effect.

Aloe barbadensis gel (aloe vera gel) - An extract from the Aloe Barbadensis Miller (South African lily-like plant), it is combined with other ingredients in personal care products and utilized for its healing effects and skin-softening benefits. It has hydrating, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and soothing properties.

Amla (Amlica embilicus) seed oil - Amla is the name given to the edible fruit of a small leafy tree which grows throughout India. This fruit is highly prized both for its high vitamin C content and for the precious oil is extracted from its seeds and pulp and used as a treatment for hair and scalp problems. Amla oil, one of the world's oldest natural hair conditioners, is prepared from dried amla berries which have been soaked in coconut oil for several days in order to extract the oil soluble vitamins from the fruit. It not only brings forth a rich, natural shine and soft texture, but also helps rejuvenate hair that is dull and damaged.

Amodimethicone - A form of silicone oil, it is an emollient and moisturizer, and provides silkiness. It is well tolerated by even the most sensitive skins.

Antioxidants - Applied topically, antioxidants neutralize free radicals before they attach themselves to the cell membrane and destroy the cell. They are also added to cosmetic formulations to prevent oxidation.

Apple cider/apple juice - A natural source of acetic acid, it acts to maintain a proper pH for the skin, and has mild antiseptic properties.

Apricot (Prunus armeniaca) kernel oil - Extracted from the kernels of apricots, it is used as an emollient and moisturizer.

Astringent - A substance that has a tightening effect on the skin.

Avocado (Persea gratissima) oil - Containing protein, vitamins A, D, and E, and some amino acids, the oil from the seed and the pulp of an avocado has nourishing and conditioning effects on dry skin.

Barrier function - The protective barrier within the epidermis, consisting of the outer skin cells (the corneum) and the lipoid (fat based) intercellular fluid, serves to protect the skin (and body) against dehydration and exposure to irritating substances.

Beta glucan - See "WGP Beta Glucan."

Binder - A binder acts to hold the constituents together in a formulation. Alternatively, it is a substance that holds water to the skin.

Blue-green algae (Aph. flos-aquae) - Super Blue Green Algae provides essential fatty acids, proteins, complex sugars, vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) - This plant extract from marigolds is a freshener and skin tonic that is also an anti-inflammatory.

Cetearyl alcohol and ceteareth-20 - An emollient, thickener, and emulsion stabilizer, this blend is derived from naturally occurring fatty acids from coconut oil.

Cetyl alcohol - An emollient and secondary emulsifier, cetyl alcohol is derived from naturally occurring fatty acids from coconut oil.

Chamomile - An emollient, this plant extract has soothing and calming properties for tender skin.

Citric acid - A natural extract derived from citrus fruits, it is a widely accepted organic acid used in the cosmetics and food industries as a preservative and a pH control agent. It has antioxidant properties and is used as a stabilizer.

Cocoamide DEA - Derived from coconut, this ingredient lathers readily and is an excellent and extremely mild skin cleanser. In addition, because the DEA molecule is "bound" in this formulation, it is not free to combine with other compounds to produce nitrosamines.

Cocoamide MEA - Derived from coconut, this ingredient lathers readily and is an excellent and extremely mild skin cleanser. In addition, because the MEA molecule is "bound" in this formulation, it is not free to combine with other compounds to produce nitrosamines.

Cocoa butter (Theobroma cacao seed butter) - Obtained from cocoa beans, this emollient and thickening agent easily absorbs into the skin and imparts sheen.

Cocoamidopropyl hydroxysultaine - Derived from coconut, it is a mild and effective surfactant (a substance which helps to loosen dirt and other particles from hair and skin and therefore aids cleansing) that works in combination with Cocoamide DEA.

Coenzyme Q10 - Research indicates the importance of the antioxidant properties of coenzyme Q10 in reducing age-related skin issues, with results such as decreased wrinkle depths and increased oxidation levels.

Collagen - A protein fiber which makes up 70% of the dermis, collagen gives skin its shape and support.

Collagenase - An enzyme formed when the skin is irritated or inflamed, collagenase breaks down the collagen fibers in the dermis, resulting in aging of the skin.

Colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) - Finely ground oatmeal obtained from the cereal crop Avena sativa, it adds texture for gentle exfoliation.

Cosmeceuticals - Products formulated to improve the skin's health and appearance, they may also have positive physiological effects on the skin on a cellular level (antioxidants, for example).

Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) extract - Known for its astringent and soothing effects, cucumber extract has anti-inflammatory actions and skin tightening properties.

Decylpolyglucose - Found naturally in grape and corn sugar, it is a skin soother that gives body to a product.

Deionized water - See "Purified water."

Dermis - Also called the "live skin," the dermis lies beneath and supports the epidermis.

Diazolidinyl urea - A complex natural preservative, it helps control the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms.

Dimethicone - Derived from silica, this white powder occurs abundantly in nature and is used as a skin protectant, emollient, and moisturizer. It provides silkiness, and is well tolerated by even the most sensitive skins.

Elastase - An enzyme produced during the inflammation process, elastase breaks down the elastin fibrils in the skin.

Elastin - Along with collagen fibrils, these are the protein fibers that support the skin and give it elasticity. When these break down, the result is 'aging' of skin.

Emollient - Emollients in skin care products lie on the surface of the skin and help to prevent water loss in the skin. They are necessary for all skin types.

Emulsifier - An emulsifier is an agent that allows oil and water to blend in a lotion or cream. Cell Tech products use only natural emulsifiers.

Emulsifying wax - See "Vegetable emulsifying wax."

Epidermis - The outer layer of the skin, it protects the body from the sun, from bacterial invasion, and from dehydration. The epidermis forms the first immune defense for outside invaders, so skin health is essential to support this defense.

Essential oil blend - A proprietary blend of completely natural essential oils.

Exfoliant - An agent that helps to remove dead skin cells on the skin's surface, thereby improving skin tone. An exfoliant may be a physical scrub to remove the cells, or an agent that dissolves the protein within the dead cells, such as an enzyme or alphahydroxy acid.

Fatty acids - Fatty acids are non-irritating lubricants that are essential for skin health.

Fatty alcohols - Formed when fatty acids are exposed to hydrogen, they are non-drying, and act as emollients.

Freshener - A product that mildly removes residue from the skin after cleansing, a freshener also serves to lower the pH to protect the skin's acid mantle.

Glyceryl stearate - Derived from natural stearic acid and glycerin, this is a popular emulsifier and emollient used in cosmetic preparations such as creams and lotions, providing stability as well as excellent texture.

Glycerin - See "Vegetable glycerin."

Grape seed and grape skin extracts - These extracts are powerful antioxidants that counteract the destructive effects of free radicals in our bodies, particularly in our skin. High in polyphenols, these water-soluble bioflavonoids prevent skin cell damage caused by sun exposure and pollution. Grape skin extract also contains resveratrol (another powerful antioxidant that may help retard the aging process in our skin) and anthocyanins. The beneficial properties of grape seed and grape skin extracts are synergistically boosted when they are combined.

Green tea - A powerful antioxidant and soothing agent, green tea helps prevent free radical damage caused by sun exposure and pollution.

Guar powder/guar gum - This natural ingredient is used as a thickener, binder, and stabilizer.

Hamamelis extract - Also known as witch hazel, hamamelis extract is a natural skin toner and soothing agent.

Honey - Used as a thickening agent, honey not only gives body to products, but also serves as a gentle cleanser.

Humectant - Also called a hydrator, a humectant is an ingredient that attracts water to the skin.

Hydrophilic - This term refers to an agent that attracts and binds water to the skin surface.

Inflammation cascade - This term refers to a series of chemical reactions that take place when the skin is irritated, resulting in the short-term loss of immune function in the skin and the formation of free radicals. It is a main reason for the aging process.

Interstitial fluid - This is the fatty fluid between cells in the epidermis that is the basis for the barrier function of the skin.

Jojoba oil - An extremely fine, non-greasy, expensive oil derived from the desert shrub Simondsia chinesis, it creates a protective layer over the hair shaft that helps keep moisture in.

Lactic acid - One of the alphahydroxy acids, this is a natural chemical exfoliant that also promotes accelerated skin cell production to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Laurethsulfosuccinate - A gentle surfactant (a substance that helps to loosen dirt and other particles from hair and skin and therefore aids cleansing) derived from coconut oil, it is used as a foaming and mild cleansing agent. It is commonly used in baby shampoos and is much milder than sodium lauryl sulfate.

Lemon juice - A natural substance which acts as an astringent and also lowers the pH of a product to protect the acid mantle of the skin.

Methylparaben (also Methyl/propyl paraben) - A very effective antimicrobial, anti-irritant, and preservative, it has been found to be extremely useful in various types of cosmetics and food products. It is a food-grade preservative, derived from the palm leaf, which is used to ensure shelf life and hygienic stability. It is non-irritating and non-toxic and is effective against a wide range of bacteria and fungi.

Moisturizer - A product that adds water, and often some emollients, to the skin. A variety of types of moisturizers are available (for various skin types), and are necessary for all skin types to prevent dehydration.

Natural fragrance - This ingredient, a blend of plant-based essential oils and essential oil compounds, imparts a sweet or pleasant aroma to a cosmetic product.

Olefin sulfonate - A mild, coconut-derived cleansing agent and surfactant (a substance that helps to loosen dirt and other particles from hair and skin and therefore aids cleansing), it has excellent viscosity and foaming characteristics.

Orange blossom - This natural extract tones and tightens pores.

Panthenol - A non-toxic, non-irritating vitamin B5, this plant-derived ingredient is added to skin care preparations where improved absorption of various nutrients is desirable. Research has shown that panthenol, a natural hydrator, penetrates into the lower skin layers where it is absorbed by skin cells and becomes pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5). As it penetrates to the deep layers of the skin, it helps diminish wrinkles by adding moisture under the skin. It is also a hair thickener and strengthener (plumping and moisturizing the hair shaft) that nourishes the scalp.

Pectin - From the cell walls of plants, citrus peels, and apple pulp, this natural substance is used as an emulsifier and thickening agent.

pH - Technically the "potential for Hydrogen," this refers to the relative acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Our skin surface is naturally slightly acidic, and needs to remain so for skin health and protection.

Preservatives - Chemical agents that inhibit the growth of microorganisms in creams and cosmetic products, preservatives are necessary for a product to be safe to use.

Purified water - Water that has been filtered and purified to remove contaminants.

Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) seed oil - A very fine oil expressed from the seed of safflower, it is used in creams to moisturize, soften, and smooth the skin.

Salt - A purified common table salt, it is used for its natural cleansing, toning, astringent, antiseptic, and moisture absorption properties.

Shea butter - An excellent emollient, this substance, extracted from the pit of a sweet, pulpy fruit that grows in Central Africa, is high in triglycerides and fatty acids, and has wonderful healing properties.

Shikakai extract (Acacia concinna) - Used in place of soaps and harsh detergents, this water soluble extract, which serves as the primary cleansing and sudsing agent, is made from shikakai powder from India.

Silicones - Mineral based, these are a family of ingredients that are emollient and leave a protective film on the surface of the skin that helps to protect the skin from dehydration. They also allow a product to spread easily.

Soap bark/soapwort - These plant extracts are gentle and natural cleansers.

Sodium myreth sulfate - A highly foaming, viscous surfactant (a substance that helps to loosen dirt and other particles from hair and skin and therefore aids cleansing), it is an excellent cleansing agent and is milder to the skin than sodium lauryl sulfate.

Stearalkonium chloride - A plant-derived ingredient, it reduces static electricity by neutralizing electrical charges on hair, and is a good conditioning agent.

Stearic acid - A natural emolient, emulsifier and thickener.

St. John's wort - This plant has strong antioxidant properties and works as an emollient and skin softener, soothing dry or sun-exposed skin.

Sugar - Sugar serves as a gentle exfoliant to remove damaged, dead, and dry skin cells.

Sweet almond oil - Almond oil serves as a skin softener as well as having antiseptic properties. It contains a complex array of vitamins and minerals.

TEA lauryl sulfate - A gentle and mild foaming cleansing agent, it is much milder than sodium lauryl sulfate. In addition, because the TEA molecule is "bound" in this formulation, it is not free to combine with other compounds to produce nitrosamines.

Thyme - This herb provides antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiseptic, astringent, and fungicidal properties.

Toner - Also referred to as a freshener or astringent (depending on its strength), it is a product that removes residue from the skin after cleansing, and also serves to lower the pH to protect the skin's acid mantle.

Vegetable emulsifying wax - Vegetable based and without any petroleum products, this emulsifying wax allows the cream or lotion to stay smooth and creamy in texture, without separating.

Vegetable glycerin - An extremely effective humectant (drawing moisture from the air to moisturize the skin or hair), it also has emollient properties. Derived from naturally occurring fatty acids, usually coconut, it is also used as a lubricant (to help prevent moisture loss).

Vitamin A - This antioxidant vitamin energizes cells and is a potent free radical scavenger. It is vital for maintaining a youthful, supple, smooth complexion and in helping to slow the appearance of aging.

Vitamin C - Necessary for collagen formation, vitamin C is also an antioxidant.

Vitamin E - Found in vegetable oils, it is known for its emollient benefits to the skin, including helping to maintain skin elasticity. Vitamin E is a well-known antioxidant that assists in countering premature aging. It also acts as a natural preservative.

WGP Beta Glucan - Found in the cell walls of baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), this patented form of the complex carbohydrate beta glucan enhances immune properties. It is used in anti-aging skin care products to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and has been shown in studies to stimulate the formation of collagen. Scientists theorize that beta glucan works by stimulating the macrophages in the skin, which, in turn, stimulate the structures within the dermis that make collagen.

Wheat germ (Triticum vulgare) oil - This ingredient is an excellent emollient with the known health advantages of wheat germ. It nourishes the skin and acts as a natural preservative because of the high vitamin E content. It also contains vitamins A and D and is known for its antioxidant effects on free radicals in the skin. It supports the skin's natural process of regeneration and is particularly valuable for treating dry, aging skin.

White peach concentrate - This emollient and moisturizing concentrate helps keep dryness out and moisture in, giving the skin a much softer texture..

White willow bark - This plant contains natural salicins, the base for salicylic acid, which is a multifunctional ingredient that addresses many of the systemic causes of blemishes as well as serving as an anti-inflammatory agent. White willow bark also has a soothing effect on sun-exposed skin.

Xanthan gum - A natural thickener.

Yucca extract - This botanical extract is a wetting agent which contributes to skin soothing and healing.

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"During more than 20 years of a busy holistic family practice, I have looked at many ways to enhance innate immunity for my patients and my family. Every year there are new viruses and new drug-resistant bacteria that we need to fight. Our innate immunity is designed to protect us from these and other, more familiar perils. It was not until I began recommending Defend that I found what I was looking for. Scientists at many top private and govermental research institutions have studied WGP Beta Glucan. This yeast-derived complex carbohydrate has been clinically demonstrated to support innate immunity and stimulate appropriate activity of white blood cells central to immune defense. I´m absolutely convinced that this is one of the most powerful and safe tools I have ever encountered. I now encourage all my patients to take one per day. Defend may be safely taken together with an antibiotic; the capsule and all contents are suitable for vegans".
- Christopher H. Hassell,MD, CCFP
Toronto, Canada

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