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D&C - Durvillea Antartica

Beauty and Cosmetic Glossary - D


D&C. According to the FDA, D&C is an identification that indicates a coloring agent has been approved as safe in drug and cosmetics products, but not in food.

Daily Moisture. Nourishes and helps reduce the appearance of pore size. Prime your skin before you apply foundation or powder. Moisturizer can even out the texture by filling in any lines and provides a nice base that helps your makeup glide on.

daisy flower extract. There is no research showing this extract to be beneficial for skin (Source: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database,

dandelion extract. Can be a potent allergen (Source: Archives of Dermatology, January 1999, pages 67-70).

Daucus carota. Also known as wild carrot. It can have antioxidant properties, but topically it can cause dermatitis (Source: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database,

DEA. See diethanolamine.

dead nettle extract. See white nettle.

Dead Sea minerals. Several studies demonstrate that Dead Sea minerals can have a positive effect on psoriatic skin (Sources: srael Journal of Medical Sciences, November 2001, pages 828-832; British Journal of Dermatology, June 2001, pages 1154-1160; International Journal of Dermatology, February 2001, pages 158-159; and Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, August 2000, pages 325-326). Psoriasis is a skin condition characterized by rapidly dividing, overactive skin cells. No one is quite sure how the Dead Sea minerals and salts affect psoriasis. One of the more popular theories regarding their benefit is that the mineral content of the water slows down the out-of-control cell division. Some of the research indicates that the benefit is cumulative and that the results can last for up to five months. However there is no research showing that these minerals have any effect on wrinkles, dry skin, or acne.

dead sea cosmetic.  Natural products made from the rejuvenating minerals of the Dead Sea, combined with plant extracts and aromatic oils. They increase the moisture level and permeability of the skin, allowing dead sea minerals to penetrate into the deepest layers of the epidermis. No oiliness on the surface of the skin.

dead sea skin product.  Products for the skin made with essential minerals, in order to be able to naturally hydrate itself. This kind of products thoroughly cleanse your skin, to get rid of any environmental particles in the pores. The minerals also work to tighten the skin, replentish its natural moisture levels, and keep it healthy and glowing, and its not oily.

decyl glucoside. Used as a gentle detergent cleansing agent. See surfactant.

deer antler velvet. The soft epidermis that covers the hard inner structure of the growing bone and cartilage that will become deer antlers. Deer antler velvet is marketed as a remedy for a wide range of disorders and health benefits. However, there is a lack of information in the scientific literature to support these claims, and there is also a lack of information on potential toxicity. Areas of potential concern include drug residues, possible deleterious androgenic effects on fetuses and neonates, and allergic reactions (Source: Veterinary and Human Toxicology, February 1999, pages 39-41). Further, there is concern about the humane treatment of the animals when the substance is collected.

dehydroepiandrosterone. Male hormone produced in the adrenal glands that contributes to bone density, muscle mass, and skin tone. DHEA production peaks when we are in our 20s and, like all male and female hormones, declines shortly thereafter. Its popularity as an oral supplement comes from its reputation for increasing strength, boosting the immune system, enhancing memory and concentration, reducing depression, preventing weight gain, and heightening libido function. The research on DHEA is interesting, albeit controversial. Libido function improvement was shown in research published in the New England Journal of Medicine (September 30, 1999) and brain function improvement was discussed in Brain Research Reviews (November 2001, pages 287-293). However, Dr. Andrew Weil (at warns that DHEA "can increase the risk of breast and prostate cancer, and may elevate the risk of a heart attack." What does any of this have to do with skin? Aside from the suggested association between DHEA and male hormone levels, and hormone levels having an effect on skin, there is no research showing DHEA has any impact on skin in regard to wrinkling or aging (Source: Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, November 2001, pages 661-672). Besides, it isn't the male hormones that improve the texture and appearance of female skin. The feel and suppleness of a woman's skin are affected by the levels of her estrogen and progesterone production.

deionized/demineralized water. Filtered water used in cosmetics. All water used in cosmetic formulations goes through this process to remove components that could interfere with a product's stability and performance.

Delesseria sanguinea extract. See algae.

denatured alcohol. See alcohol.

deodorant soap. Soap that contains ingredients to reduce the bacteria that cause body odor. The ingredients are too harsh for the delicate skin of the face and they don't stay on the skin long enough to have any real disinfecting effect.

deoxyribonucleic acid. See DNA.

dermal tone.  Facial exercise treatment: by improving facial muscle tone, you can lift years off your face, without cosmetics or plastic surgery.
Dermal Tone is an electronic device which sends out tiny amounts of electricity to designated areas of your face, which causes muscles to flex and relax, exercising them for you.

detergent cleansing agent. See surfactant.

deuterium oxide. See heavy water.

dextran. A polysaccharide that has water-binding properties for skin. See also mucopolysaccharide.

dextrin. A carbohydrate that is classified as a polysaccharide. It is used as an adhesive when mixed with water. For skin it can have water-binding properties.

DHA. See dihydroxyacetone.

DHEA. See dehydroepiandrosterone.

diatomaceous earth. Light-colored porous rock composed of skeletons of minute sea creatures called diatoms, used typically as an abrasive material in scrub products.

diazolidinyl urea. Formaldehyde-releasing preservative (Source: Contact Dermatitis, December 2000, pages 339-343). See formaldehyde-releasing preservative.

dibutyl phthalate. Very common ingredient in almost every nail polish and synthetic fragrance being sold. It is used as a plasticizer and is a key component in giving nail polish its unique properties. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, published the National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental ChemicalsResults for Mono-butyl phthalate [which is] (metabolized from Dibutyl phthalate). The report noted measurable levels of phthalate were found in the urine of the participants in the study. However, the CDC also stated that "Finding a measurable amount of one or more phthalate metabolites in urine does not mean that the level of one or more phthalates causes an adverse health effect. Whether phthalates at the levels of metabolites reported here are a cause for health concern is not yet known; more research is needed" (Sources: CDC,; and Environmental Health Perspectives, December 2000, volume 108, issue 12). In animal tests, dibutyl phthalate has been shown to produce detrimental effects. The Environmental Working Group (EWG,, a nonprofit environmental research organization, found that "DBP is a developmental and reproductive toxin that in lab animals causes a broad range of birth defects and lifelong reproductive impairment in males [when] exposed in utero and shortly after birth. DBP damages the testes, prostate gland, epididymus, penis, and seminal vesicles. These effects persist throughout the animal's life." At this time, there is no conslusive or agreed-upon research pointing to phthalates being a problem for humans.

diethanolamine. In 1999 the National Toxicology Program (NTP) completed a study that found an association between cancer in laboratory animals and the application of diethanolamine (DEA) and certain DEA-related ingredients to their skin (Source: Study #TR-478, Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of Diethanolamine (CAS No. 111-42-2) in F344/N Rats and B6C3F1 Mice (Dermal Studies), July 1999 For the DEA-related ingredients, the NTP study suggested that the carcinogenic response is linked to possible residual levels of DEA. However, the NTP study did not establish a link between DEA and the risk of cancer in humans. According to the FDA (Source: Office of Cosmetics and Colors Fact Sheet, December 9, 1999), "Although DEA itself is used in very few cosmetics, DEA-related ingredients (e.g., oleamide DEA, lauramide DEA, cocamide DEA) are widely used in a variety of cosmetic products. These ingredients function as emulsifiers or foaming agents and are generally used at levels of 1% to 5%. The FDA takes these NTP findings very seriously and is in the process of carefully evaluating the studies and test data to determine the real risk, if any, to consumers. The Agency believes that at the present time there is no reason for consumers to be alarmed based on the usage of these ingredients in cosmetics. Consumers wishing to avoid cosmetics containing DEA or its conjugates may do so by reviewing the ingredient statement required to appear on the outer container label of cosmetics offered for retail sale to consumers."

Digenea simplex extract. See algae.

dihydroxyacetone. Ingredient present in all self-tanners that affects the color of skin. It reacts with amino acids found in the top layers of skin to create a shade of brown; the effect takes place within two to six hours and it can build color depth with every reapplication.

dimethicone. See silicone.

dimethicone copolyol. See silicone.

dimethyl sulfoxide. See DMSO.

dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE). What little research there is about DMAE relates to its effect as an oral supplement, and the findings are mixed. DMAE, known chemically as 2-dimethyl-amino-ethanol, has been available in Europe under the product name Deanol for over 30 years. As an oral supplement it is popularly known for improving mental alertness, much like Ginkgo biloba and coenzyme Q10. However, the research about DMAE does not show the same positive results found with the other two supplements. Because DMAE is chemically similar to choline, DMAE is thought to stimulate production of acetylcholine. And because acetylcholine is a brain neurotransmitter, it's easy to see how it could be associated with brain function. However, only a handful of studies have looked at DMAE for that purpose and they have not been conclusive in the least, while some have shown that DMAE may be problematic or not very effective (Sources: Mechanisms of Aging and Development, February 1988, pages 129-138; Neuropharmacology, June 1989, pages, 557-561; and European Neurology, 1991, pages 423-425). Despite the lack of evidence supporting DMAE as having any effect on skin, there are hundreds of Web sites claiming that it does. It is possible that DMAE can help protect the cell membrane, and keeping cells intact can have benefit, but so far that appears to be only conjecture and not fact.

Dioscorea villosa extract. See wild yam extract.

Dipotassium glycyrrhizinate. See anti-irritant, and licorice extract.

Dipsacus sylvestris extract. There is no research showing this to have benefit for skin (Source: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database,

dismutin. Trade name for superoxide dismutase. See superoxide dismutase.

disodium ascorbyl sulfate. Form of vitamin C, although there is no research showing it to have any benefit on skin.

disodium diglyceryl phosphate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.

disodium EDTA. See EDTA.

disodium glyceryl phosphate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.

disodium lauraminopropionate. Mild surfactant. See surfactant.

disodium lauraminopropionate. Mild surfactant. See surfactant.

DMAE. See dimethylaminoethanol.

DMDM hydantoin. Formaldehyde-releasing preservative (Source: Household and Personal Products Industry, May 2001, "Preserving Personal Care and Household Products"). See formaldehyde-releasing preservative.

DMSO. Dimethyl sulfoxide; it's an intriguing substance because of its contradictory benefits and problems. Topically, it is a potent skin irritant and sensitizer and it can cause burning, blistering, drying, and scaling skin. Yet it easily penetrates the skin and facilitates topical penetration of other ingredients. DMSO also has some evidence of having antioxidant properties and can prevent skin from freezing. Given these divergent properties and the well-established risk of skin irritation, it is not recommended to have this as a primary ingredient in skin-care products (Sources: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database,; Skin Research and Technology, May 2001, pages 73-77; and Contact Dermatitis, February 1998, pages 90-95, and April 2000, pages 216-221).

DNA. Abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA is found in all cells. It is the primary component of genes and genes are the way cells transmit hereditary characteristics. DNA is the basis for all genetic structure; its components include adenine (A), guanine (G), thymine (T), and cytosine (C). It is the mapping of these substances that makes up the genetic code of all human traits and cellular functions. DNA is the genetic material that is required for all cellular division and growth. DNA in a skin-care product is useless, as it cannot in and of itself affect a cell's genetic elements. The production of DNA is a complex system within the cell that requires a multitude of proteins and enzymes in order to have an effect on the body's genetic material. It is also doubtful you would want to ever put anything on your skin that could impact genetic material, particularly not via a cosmetic that has no safety or efficacy regulations. Beyond that, any successful attempt to affect what DNA does would potentially create a significant risk of cancer.

docosahexaenoic acid. Fatty acid. See fatty acid.

dog rose. See rose hip.

dogwood. There is a small amount of research showing dogwood to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (Source: Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, April 2002, pages 2519-2523).

dong quai. Herb that has been shown in a some studies to have estrogenic activity and a positive effect in mitigating menopausal and pre-menopausal symptoms (Source: Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2001, pages 2472-2479), although several other studies disprove this (Sources: Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association, March-April 2000, pages 327-329; and Fertility and Sterility, December 1997, pages 981-986). There is also research showing that it can stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells (Source: Menopause, March-April 2002, pages 145-150). There are no studies showing dong quai to have any effect topically on skin.

Duboisia leichardtii leaf extract. Due to its alkaloid content can be a potent skin irritant (Source: Phytochemistry, April 2002, pages 697-702).

dulcamara extract. Can have anti-inflammatory properties for skin (Source: The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines, American Botanical Council, 1998, Integrative Medicine Communications).

dulse. See algae.

Durvillaea antarctica extract. Derived from a form of algae. See algae.

Durvillea antarctica. See algae.