Your Ultimate Beauty Guide, From A-Z: The Letter A

With so many products and treatments available in today’s world, it is difficult to know what each of them mean, and what they do.  The A-Z Guide of Beauty is a new segment on Trends & Tribulations that will explain everything related to beauty, starting from the beginning of the alphabet.  Without further ado, I bring to you the A’s of beauty.

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ACTIVATED CHARCOAL

Activated charcoal is carbon that’s been treated to increase its absorbency.  It’s the same stuff that’s been used in emergency rooms to treat alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses for years.  It works by attaching to toxins in the stomach and absorbing them before the bloodstream can.  Similarly, it acts like a magnet in beauty products to attract and absorb dirt, oil, and impurities.

ALKYL BENZOATE

Used as an emollient in beauty products, from cosmetics to skin and hair products.  It provides a conditioning and silky touch to skin.

ALOE VERA

Thayers Alcohol-free Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera, $10.90, via Amazon

Aloe Vera gel comes from the plant, which stores water in its leaves.  It has many benefits, including anti-aging and moisturizing properties for skin, and is beneficial for hair, as it balances the pH of hair, encourages hair growth, and is conditioning.  Additionally, drinking a few ounces of aloe vera juice daily has great benefits for your health by eliminating toxins in your body.

ALPHA HYDROXY ACID (AHA)

via Priori

These are acids used to exfoliate the outer layer of dead skin cells that naturally occur in sugar cane, fruits, and milk products.  Helps to clear up sun damage, hyper pigmentation, acne, and fine lines.  There are multiple AHA’s out there, but the most popular and most potent one is Glycolic Acid.  Some products that contain AHA’s are Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment, $45, via Sephora, or in Pond’s Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle Cream, $9, via Target.

Tip: Avoid using Glycolic Acid if you’re using a retinol, and instead opt for gentler forms of AHA, like Lactic Acid, which is still effective but less drying.

ANTIOXIDANTS

Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist, 1 Fluid Ounce, $10, via Amazon

Antioxidants are nutrients and enzymes that neutralize free radicals to help prevent damage and to repair skin cells.

ARGAN OIL
ACURE 100% USDA Organic Moroccan Argan Oil, $13.49, via Amazon

ACURE 100% USDA Organic Moroccan Argan Oil, $13.49, via Amazon

This oil is pressed from kernels of Argan trees, and contains nutrients and Vitamin E to nourish skin and hair.

ASCORBIC ACID
Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Petal Peel, $64

Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Petal Peel, $64, contains one of the largest amounts of Vitamin C compared to most beauty products

The most researched form of Vitamin C, and the most commonly form of Vitamin C found in skincare products.  Helps create younger, firmer skin while fading sun damage and acne scars.  Can be used alone or with other antioxidants.

Did any other ingredients beginning with A miss the list that you are curious about?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Stay lovely,

xo