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You are here: Skin Care Ingredient Guide > Skin Care Ingredient Glossary >

Common skin care ingredients -- S

Salicylic Acid: the most common BHA (beta hydroxy acid); medically used as an exfolliant and debriding agent. Cosmetically used in some chemical peels and to reduce oiliness and acne.

Silica: highly oil absorbant.

Silcone: protects the skin and creates a sheen. Thought to be helpful in reducing the appearnce of hypertrophic scars.

Silk Powder: incorporated into cosmetic powders to help absorb skin moisture and oils.

Silk Proteins: prevents dehydration; commonly found in eye rejuvenation creams.

Sodium Bicarbonate: neutralizes acid (raises pH), making products less irritating; commonly known as baking soda.

Sodium Borate: preservative; related to boric acid; potential irritant.

Sodium Hyaluronate: effective humectant related to Hyaluronic acid (salt form), works to moisturize the skin.

Sodium Laurel Sulfate: used in most cleansers and soaps; acts as a surfactant, offers good foaming qualities; a known skin irritant, but contrary to popular misconceptions, does not cause cancer.

Sorbic Acid: preservative; primarily protects products from yeast overgrowth.

Sorbitol: sugar-based ingredient; pulls water by osmosis from the largest source. Typically this is the air, so it helps hydrate skin. In arid conditions, however, water will be pulled out of the skin, resulting in dehydration.

Stearic Acid: fatty acid used in soap manufacturing; may cause irritation.

Sulfur: helps kill some species of bacteria on the skin improving acne, seborrhea and psoriasis. Typically found in soaps, shampoos and some topical acne medications.


To view the ingredient listings starting with a particular letter, click below:

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

If you cannot find something in our glossary or if you require more detailed information on individual ingredients, we recommend an in-depth reference Milady's Skin Care and Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary.

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