Think of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. When you pour the vinegar into the oil they remain separated, however when you vigorously mix them they become one; otherwise known as emulsifying.
In terms of skincare, an emulsion allows oil-based ingredients to be delivered to the skin in a water-based preparation or vice versa. Don’t think about it too much. Essentially it’s the word to describe the format of skincare just like gel, lotion and cream.
Enzymes are like the movie producer; they speed up the process of things happening. If we go back to the fruit example, the natural ripening of fruit is due to the enzymes within. In saying that, papain from papaya and bromelain from pineapple are common enzymatic ingredients contained in skincare.
One of their main uses is to gently exfoliate away the top layer of flaky skin, so they are a great alternative to those who find hydroxy acids too harsh.
Hyaluronan, also known as hyaluronic acid is like a sponge. It is naturally present in the skin and body and can hold as much as 1000 times its own weight in H20. This water-loving quality and its ability help repair damaged cells makes it the superstar of quality moisturisers and serums.
You know when you have been sunbaking and after the initial thrill of having a little colour your skin just looks thirsty? This is because your naturally occurring hyaluronan degrades when it’s exposed to UV rays. Eek!