beauty jargon: skincare

Buying skincare when you have acne or spot prone skin can be an absolute minefield. Even more so when it comes to picking out skincare from the drugstore. Ingredients often catch my eye and I find myself questioning - Are they safe? Do they work? Which one is best? All these words like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and sulphur can be majorly confusing. Knowing why and when your skin needs these things is enough to send even a seasoned beauty junkie into a tizz. I've pulled a little cheat sheet of skincare buzzwords to look out for when skincare shopping…

Benzoyl Peroxide

This is a super effective ingredient in skincare as it is a proven bacteria killer. BP comes in varying strengths, but with this one you need to watch the dosage. A high dose is not always a good thing when it comes to this. Too much benzoyl peroxide can dry out the skin leading to irritation and causing more discomfort and skin problems. Something around the 2.5% benzoyl peroxide mark is pretty standard. But be careful with anything more than the 2.5% mark.

Salicylic Acid

Often used in spot treatments as it helps the skin shed dead skin cells and lessen irritation. This acid dissolves the bits of skin that causes clogged pores. It also has anti inflammatory properties which are great for soothing and calming active breakouts. It penetrates the skin follicle and clears out all the nasties stuck under the skin by encouraging skin turnover. Acid's seem to scare the life out of some people, but when you are using the right acids they can actually do a world of good.

Alpha-Hydroxy Acid

AKA AHA's. Glycolic Acid and Lactic Acid are the most common AHA's to look out for within the skincare isles. AHA’s are typically used in anti-aging products, but they are great for spot fighting. Like Salicylic Acid, an AHA also aids the healing process and clear the skin of any under the skin spots.


Sulphur is another a known bacteria killer and probably the best spot fighting treatment around. It works best used on individual spots as it can be a little abrasive used all over the face. Dot it on your pimple and watch it shrink down within a few hours. It doesn't smell the nicest (think rotten eggs), but it sure packs a punch in the zit zapping stakes.

Tea Tree Oil

This is a great natural spot fighting treatment as it also has a ton of antibacterial properties. Unlike other spot fighting treatments like Benzoyl Peroxide it doesn't contain any chemicals, so its an ingredient to keep an eye out for if you are into natural products.
Are there any other beauty jargon you want me to explain?