Your A to Z guide to decipher aesthetic ingredients, products and treatments
The term used to describe medical procedures and specialities that help to improve physical appearance, using non invasive to minimally invasive procedures.
A hyaluronic acid dermal filler that includes four formulas for different areas of the face, and is used on lips, wrinkles and folds, for facial reshaping and skin texture improvement. Results last from 6 to 12 months.
A class of chemical compound that works like an exfoliator, dissolving the bonds between skin cells and encouraging dead cells to shed, revealing smoother, fresher skin. Often derived from organic sugars, popular AHA’s include glycolic and lactic acid. Chemical peels containing higher strength AHA’s (up to 70%) are available in clinic; home use products usually contain lower concentrations.
Anti-wrinkle injections use neurotoxins (botulinum toxin type-A) to smooth lines and wrinkles, frown lines, forehead lines and crows feet for a more youthful, fresher look. Quick and non-invasive, when injected in small does into targeted areas, they block the signals between the nerves and the muscles, causing the muscles to relax. The injections can also treat non-cosmetic problems including migraines and excessive sweating. Brand names for botulinum toxin type A include Botox, Vistabel, Dysport, Azzalure, Xeomin and Bocouture. Effects can be seen after a few days and last between three and six months.
A local muscle relaxant adapted from botulinum toxin type-A and used for the temporary improvement of moderate to severe glabellar lines (frown lines) and crow’s feet.
Baby ‘Botox’ is a generic term for using smaller doses of botulinium toxin A to smooth fine lines and wrinkles. It’s designed for those who wish to try out the procedure and/or who want more subtle, natural results. Results last around three months.
Cosmetic dermal fillers with a hyaluronic acid base and lower density. The range includes fillers of different consistences which can be used on fine lines, lip contouring, volume restoration and moderate to severe folds. Results last approximately 6 to 12 months depending on the product used.
Also known as salicylic acid, beta hydroxy acid is a derivative of aspirin. With anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, pore clearing and exfoliating properties – deep and surface – it is often used to treat acne and blemishes. Other uses include skin thickening, improved barrier function and collagen production. Home use products normally contain between 0.5 to 2% beta hydroxy acid.
Bocouture is a botulinum toxin type-A formulation that is licensed in the UK for cosmetic use, in particular to treat moderate to severe glabellar (frown) lines, upper facial lines and crow’s feet.
Bone resorption is the process of our bone structure wearing away as we age. This results in a softer jawline, larger eye sockets and hollow temples. Missing teeth or having teeth extracted can be a common cause of jawbone shrinking and resorption.
Botox (botulinium toxin A) is the best known brand of neurotoxin used in anti-wrinkle injections to smooth lines and wrinkles, frown lines, forehead lines and crows feet for a more youthful, fresher look. When injected in small does into targeted areas, it blocks the signals between the nerves and the muscles, causing the muscles to relax. The injections can also treat medical problems including migraines and excessive sweating.
Botulinium toxin type A is commonly and inaccurately abbreviated to “Botox”, however this is in fact a brand name for a well-known botulinum toxin type A product. Botulinum toxins are neurotoxins used in anti-wrinkle injections to smooth lines and wrinkles, frown lines, forehead lines and crows feet. When injected in small does into targeted areas, it blocks the signals between the nerves and the muscles, causing the muscles to relax. The injections can also treat medical problems including migraines and excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis). Brand names for botulinum toxin type A include Botox, Vistabel, Dysport, Azzalure, Xeomin and Bocouture. Botulinum toxins are prescription only medicines and can only be administered by a registered medical professional.
Ceramides are a form of lipids (fats) found naturally in the uppermost layer of the skin, which can become depleted with age. In topical skincare products, they help skin hold onto moisture, help protect against environmental aggressors and are beneficial for skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
Ideal for ageing skin, sun damage or age spots on the face, neck and hands, chemical peels use a chemical solution to remove the outer layer of skin. The new skin that emerges is normally smoother, fresher and less wrinkled.
The process of boosting your collagen production with cosmetic procedures, in order to future-proof your skin and delaying the ageing process.
An approved, non surgical fat freezing/reduction treatment that targets stubborn pockets of fat through controlled freezing down to -11. This instigates a natural inflammatory process called apoptosis which helps to dispose of the dead cells.
Cosmeceuticals are cosmetic products with bioactive ingredients that have medical benefits, although, due to their composition, they are not legally required to prove their claims. In a cosmeceutical product, the active ingredients are able to penetrate the epidermis and act deep within the dermis.
A hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler designed to correct wrinkles and folds, restore volume loss, increase lip volume and definition, sculpt and shape the face and improve the skin’s tone and elasticity. The results can last for several months up to a year depending on the product used.
This non-surgical treatment involves the removal of skin lesions using a liquid nitrogen spray to freeze the skin cells until they die. Quick and effective, it can be used to treat skin tags, viral warts, actinic keratosis, seborrheic keratosis and basal cell carcinomas.
Deoxycholic acid is a manmade form of a substance your body makes that helps to absorb fats. It helps to improve the appearance of moderate to severe fat below the chin, and works by destroying fat cells where it is injected into the body, and causing them to die. The brand name for deoxycholic acid is Kybella.
Also known as dermaplaning, this procedure refines the top layers of skin through controlled surgical scraping using a special brush. This reveals healthy, refreshed new skin underneath. Ideal for pigmentation, wrinkles, liver spots and sun damaged skin.
Dermal fillers are gel substances that are injected through the skin to add structure, volume, fullness and balance while supporting the body’s remaining collagen and elastin. Most dermal fillers are made from hyaluronic acid, however some are made with calcium hydroxylapatite, polyalkylimide, polylactic acid, polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (PMMA). Popular brand names include Belotero, Ellanse, Restylane, Juvederm, Teosyal, Perfectha, Radiesse, Profhilo, Stylage, Aliaxin, Uma Jeunesse, Croma, Desirial and Silhouette. Dermal fillers are not categorised as medicines in the UK, so anyone can obtain and use them. Results are immediate and last between three months and four years, depending on the density of the product used.
An exfoliating treatment performed by a doctor or aesthetician that uses a surgical scalpel to gently remove dull dead skin cells along with fine hair (peach fuzz). It’s also used for treating dull skin, wrinkles and skin breakouts.
A hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler designed to offer relief to woman suffering from vulvo-vaginal disorders, helping to promote efficient hydration by providing indirectly mechanical pressure on the cells that form the vulvo-vaginal mucosa, thus increasing their activity.
The time it takes to recover from a procedure or treatment and return to a normal lifestyle.
A local muscle relaxant adapted from the botulinum toxin type-A and used to treat moderate to severe glabellar lines (frown lines).
A collagen stimulating dermal filler that is made from polycaprolactone, not hyaluronic acid – this bioabsorbable substance is also used in surgical stitches. Ellanse provides immediate aesthetic correction and long-lasting results (up to two years) as it also stimulates the body’s own natural collagen production.
Small injections of substances called deoxycholic acid or phosphatidylcholine into fatty tissue to dissolve and break down small pockets of fat and submental fat (under the chin), with long-lasting results. Brands include Belkyra, Kybella and Aqualyx.
Another name for cryolipolysis, this cosmetic body contouring treatment is used to reduce localised fat deposits by freezing fat cells to reduce their volume. The most popular fat freezing brand is CoolSculpting.
In fractional laser skin resurfacing, a fractional laser breaks up the laser’s energy into precise microbeams, which reach the skin’s lower layers. This procedure is used to treat age-related blemishes such as pigmentation by stimulating the growth of healthy new tissue.
A firm dermal filler gel will have a high g’ (g prime) – this means it has the ability to resist strain and is therefore a good option for jawline filler, as it will help to successfully re-sculpt and sharpen the jaw.
Glycolic acid is the smallest alpha hydroxy acid, offering mild exfoliation by removing the outermost dead layer of skin (the stratum corneum) for a brighter, more radiant complexion. It is also used to treat scarring, pigmentation and signs of ageing including fine lines and wrinkles.
High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound – this treatment delivers ultrasound energy below the surface of the skin using a handheld device to encourage collagen production, which results in rejuvenated, firmer and tighter skin.
A molecule composed partly of sugars that is found naturally in the body and as a component of skin. Renowned for its ability to retain moisture – it can absorb up to a thousand times its own weight in water – it helps to plump skin, boost moisture and smooth out lines and wrinkles. Light and gel-like, hyaluronic acid is also found in many dermal fillers due to its compatibility with the human body and skin.
Hyaluronidases are a family of enzymes that catalyse the degradation of hyaluronic acid. It is used to dissolve hyaluronic acid fillers that have been placed incorrectly, excessively or unevenly.
The Hydrafacial multi-step machine cleanses, exfoliates, extracts and intensely hydrates the skin, and delivers antioxidants to help protect skin against free radicals. LED light is also used to stimulate collagen and help reduce redness. It is suitable for all skin types.
Injectable moisturisers deliver small amounts of hyaluronic acid into the skin – this deeply hydrates from the inside out, stimulates collagen, diminishes lines and wrinkles and improves the appearance of skin on the face, neck and hands. This procedure does not change the face’s shape or muscle movement. Popular brands include Profilho and Juvederm Volite.
A type of light therapy that releases light of many different wavelengths – pigment cells in the skin absorb the light energy, which is converted into heat. IPL is used to reduce unwanted hair growth on the face and body and treat age spots, broken blood vessels, thread veins and rosacea.
A popular brand of dermal filler made from hyaluronic acid. The product line includes different formulations and densities that can be used to treat several areas, including lip augmentation and more severe wrinkles and folds. Results last between one and two years.
A facial that includes some use of a laser to boost the results. Lasers can be used to treat pigmentation, pores, wrinkles, tone and texture. Clinicians use various types of laser including the Nd:YAG which can deep cleanse skin by diminishing oil, bacteria and grime on the surface and in the pores; erbium which is used for skin resurfacing, lines and wrinkles; and CO2 (carbon dioxide) which works to minimise scars and wrinkles and improve skin texture.
Home and in-clinic masks using LED light technology to treat various skin concerns. The masks use small bulbs which emit coloured wavelengths of visible light that penetrate the skin at cellular level. Home-use masks tend to deliver less energy than professional devices.
Light emitting diode (LED) light therapy is mainly used to treat acne, increase collagen production and reduce inflammation and age spots. The treatment mainly uses two wavelengths: anti-ageing red/near infrared light which stimulates collagen and reduces inflammation and redness, and blue light which regulates the sebaceous glands and kills bacteria to help combat acne and oily skin and decrease scarring. Amber and white light is also used.
A local anaesthetic incorporated in some dermal filler formulations to ease discomfort and pain that some patients feel when receiving filler injections.
Dermal filler used to increase the lips’ volume and fullness. The procedure is also called lip augmentation. Lip fillers are made of hyaluronic acid (HA), a substance that’s found naturally in the body.
Pioneered in France, this minimally invasive technique uses small, quick injections to deliver vitamins, minerals, plant extracts, peptides, enzymes and amino acids into the middle layer of the skin. Used to treat the face or body, mesotherapy rejuvenates, nourishes, tightens and stimulates collagen and elastin.
This anti-ageing procedure involves blasting tiny rough particles onto the face, hands or chest to slough off the top layer of dead skin, revealing fresh, new skin underneath.
A dermatological procedure that uses fine, short needles to make tiny punctures in the skin’s top layer – this triggers the body’s healing process, rejuvenates and stimulates collagen and elastin. It is also used to fade acne scarring and pigmentation, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and plump skin.
Part of the vitamin B3 compound, niacinamide naturally occurs in fish, beans and meat and has powerful antioxidant properties. Applied topically it encourages healthy, new skin cells and can help protect against environmental and sun damage, reduce signs of ageing, reduce inflammation, improve uneven skin and boost hydration.
Temporary nose remodelling and shaping using injectable fillers - the same hyaluronic acid gels that are used for the face and lips. The quick and non invasive procedure can correct curves, lumps and bumps, with the effects lasting up to two years.
Peptides are made from different combinations of amino acids, and are the building blocks of proteins including collagen, elastin and keratin. There are hundreds of different types of peptide which can be used and combined in skincare products to help reinforce the skins’ essential proteins and rejuvenate. Mostly used to target ageing, they can help smooth wrinkles and increase hydration and firmness.
A hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler comprised of five different product variants and designed for wrinkle correction, facial contouring and volume restoration. Results last between six and 18 months.
An injection-free hydrating lip procedure using roller-flex technology to loosen surface dead skin cells. The lips are then soaked in a revitalising serum containing ingredients such as peppermint oil that lightly and temporarily provides a plumping effect.
This procedure uses tiny blasts of energy to vaporise the skin causing it to burn, contract and stimulate fibroblasts – the cells responsible for the production of collagen. This micro-trauma is key to the results of the treatment. The most popular plasma skin tightening brand is Plexr.
Also called the Dracula Facial or Vampire Face Lift, this procedure improves the skin’s texture and promotes regeneration. The process involves injecting plasma extracted from the patient’s blood back into their face. The plasma contains platelets which are able to generate growth factors, which in turn can help to repair the skin.
The brand name of the most popular plasma skin tightening brand, a procedure that uses tiny blasts of energy to vaporise the skin causing it to burn, contract and stimulate fibroblasts – the cells responsible for the production of collagen.
The brand name of the most popular injectable anti-ageing/injectable moisturiser treatment. The procedure delivers small amounts of hyaluronic acid solution into the skin – this hydrates from the inside out, stimulates collagen formation, diminishes lines and wrinkles and improves the appearance of skin on the face, neck and hands.
A semi-permanent dermal filler for immediate lifting and contouring with long-term collagen stimulation. It is composed of calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres suspended in an aqueous gel carrier. It’s used on the chin and jaw (pre-jowl folds).
A non-invasive skin tightening treatment using low levels of radio frequency energy to heat the dermis, thus stimulating collagen and toning and firming the face. Radiofrequency treatments can also be used on the body and there is no downtime. Popular brands include Venus Freeze, Accent and Thermage.
A popular brand of dermal filler, a gel substance which is injected through the skin to add structure, volume, fullness and balance while supporting the body’s remaining collagen and elastin. Most dermal fillers are made from hyaluronic acid and are not categorised as medicines in the UK, so anyone can obtain and use them.
Retinol is a form of vitamin A – it is used in skincare for its rejuvenating and collagen boosting properties. Found in varying percentages, it is renowned for its anti-ageing benefits including stimulating collagen and elastin, fading pigmentation, smoothing wrinkles and fine lines and improving skin texture. However, tolerance needs to be built up gradually to minimise reactions such as redness and peeling. Retinol should be stored in dark packaging to ensure its stability and therefore efficacy.
A type of longer-lasting dermal filler that is not made from hyaluronic acid. Sculptra is made from poly-l-lactic acid, which stimulates the formation of new collagen over a period of three months. This type of filler is often called a ‘collagen stimulating dermal filler.’
A popular brand of thread lift, a regulated procedure which uses dissolvable surgical threads to physically and subtly lift sagging skin. The threads are inserted into the face, then pulled tight to lift the tissues.
Another name for injectable anti-ageing/injectable moisturiser treatments. The procedure delivers small amounts of hyaluronic acid solution into the skin – this hydrates from the inside out, stimulates collagen formation, diminishes lines and wrinkles and improves the appearance of skin.
Also called a chemical peel, this procedure involves using a chemical solution on the skin, which causes it to exfoliate and eventually peel off revealing clearer, smoother, regenerated skin.
A dermal filler containing hyaluronic acid and the antioxidants mannitol or sorbitol. It is designed to fill and smooth wrinkles, lip correction and enhancement, facial remodelling and volume restoration, and skin hydration and elasticity improvement. Results last from six to 18 months depending on which of the four product variants is used.
Also called under-eye filler, this procedure uses dermal filler to treat and revive the area between the lower eyelid and cheek, restoring volume loss and reducing dark circles and fine lines.
A range of hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers with differing gel densities to treat different areas of the face and improve skin quality. Results last up to 22 months.
A procedure which uses dissolvable surgical threads to physically and subtly lift sagging skin. The threads are inserted into the face, then pulled tight to lift the tissues. Different kinds of threads may be used to lift any part of the face, including cheeks, jowls, jawline, and neck. The threads take two-three months to dissolve, during which time they stimulate the growth of new collagen. Thread lifts are a regulated procedure.
Also known as spider veins and broken veins, thread veins are tiny blood veins that are visible through the surface of the skin, caused by a backup of blood. They can be treated with laser or IPL.
This signifies the desired face shape of youth and is defined by drawing a triangle on the youthful face – the wider points are across the cheeks, tapering down to the chin. In an older face, the triangle is reversed, with the apex at the nose and the two lower points on the corners of the jowls as the face loses volume. The aim of most procedures is to restore the face back to the original, youthful triangle shape.
A new word for a non surgical cosmetic procedure designed for and used to enhance the patient’s appearance. Tweakments include anti-wrinkle injections, fillers, thread lifts and radiofrequency.
This cosmetic procedure is used to lift and tighten skin on the jawline, face, neck and décolletage and, in the case of the jowls, reduce sagging. Focused, high intensity ultrasound waves pass deep into the skin, targeting and stimulating the production of collagen up to 4.5mm below the surface. It is the only ultrasound-based treatment device that has FDA clearance, meaning it is safe and effective.
A cross linked hyaluronic acid-based filler. It is used to optimise volume and contouring in the face, lips and nose for facial rejuvenation, treat lines and wrinkles, nasolabial lines, marionette lines, sagging cheeks and hand rejuvenation. Results last between nine-12 months.
A brand of botulinum toxin type-A licensed for cosmetic use in the UK. It is often used to temporarily improve the appearance of moderate to severe forehead lines and vertical frown lines between the eyebrows.
A brand of injectable anti-ageing moisturiser treatment by Juvederm. The procedure delivers small amounts of hyaluronic acid solution into the skin – this hydrates from the inside out, stimulates collagen formation, diminishes lines and wrinkles and improves the appearance of skin.
A brand of botulinum toxin type-A neurotoxin that’s used for the treatment of moderate to severe frown lines (glabellar lines) between the eyebrows. The results last from three to six months.