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Echinacea - Eyebright

Beauty and Cosmetic Glossary -  E


echinacea. There are several types of echinacea plants but only Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea pallida have been shown to have effectiveness. These may have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties on skin (Source: Phytomedicine, April 2002, pages 249-253).

Echium lycopsis extract. Has a small amount of research showing it to have antibacterial properties (Source: Planta Medica, April 1982, pages 234-236).

Echium lycopsis oil. Emollient oil that also has potent antioxidant properties (Source: Phytochemistry, February 2000, pages 451-456).

eczema treatment.  Helps to fight a skin condition characterized by itchy, irritated, inflamed skin. Eczema comes in many forms and can be triggered by a variety of factors, including allergies, environmental factors or family history. The raised, inflamed skin can appear anywhere on your body, including your face, legs, arms or neck.

EDTA. Abbreviation for ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. It is a stabilizer used in cosmetics to prevent ingredients in a given formula from binding with trace elements (particularly minerals) that can exist in water and other ingredients to cause unwanted product changes such as texture, odor, and consistency problems. The technical term for this function is a chelating agent.

egg yolk. Egg yolk is mostly water and lipids (fats), especially cholesterol, which makes it a good emollient and water-binding agent for skin.

eicosapentaenioc acid. A fatty acid derived from salmon oil; it is a good emollient for skin. See fatty acid.

Elaeis guineensis. See palm oil.

elastin. Major component of skin that gives it flexibility. Sun damage causes elastin in skin to deteriorate. Elastin can be derived from both plant and animal sources and is used in cosmetics as a good water-binding agent. Elastin in cosmetics has never been shown to affect the elastin in skin or have any other benefit, though it most likely functions as a water-binding agent.

elderberry. Has potent antioxidant properties (Source: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, July 2000, pages 51-60).

Elder. 1) an older person 2) an aged person 3) a forefather; ancestor 4) an older person with some authority in a tribe or community.

elecampane. Can be very irritating to the skin and can trigger allergic reactions (Source: Contact Dermatitis, October 2001, pages 197-204).

Emblica officinalis. See Indian gooseberry.

emollient. Supple, waxlike, lubricating, thickening agents that prevent water loss and have a softening and soothing effect on the skin. They can be natural, like plant oils; manufactured, like silicones; or processed from a natural substance, like mineral oil. The assortment of technical-sounding names for all these ingredients is nothing less than astounding. There are more of them than you can imagine. They range from cetearyl alcohol to isopropyl myristate, triglycerides, myristic acid, palmitic acid, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, glyceryl linoleate, cyclomethicone, dimethicone, hexyl laurate, isohexadecane, methyl glucose sesquioleate, decyl oleate, stearic acid, octyldodecanol, and thousands more. There are also more understandable or at least familiar "natural" versions of emollients, such as lanolin, hydrogenated plant oils, shea butter, and cocoa butter.

emu oil. The emu is a large, flightless bird indigenous to Australia, and emu oil has become an important component of the Australian economy. As a result there is research from that part of the world showing it to be a good emollient that can help heal skin. But there is no research showing it to have antiaging or antiwrinkling effects. A study published in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology (August 1996, pages 159-161) looked at the "Cosmetic and moisturizing properties of Emu oil assessed in a double-blind clinical study. Emu oil in comparison to mineral oil was found overall to be more cosmetically acceptable and had better skin penetration/permeability. Furthermore it appears that Emu oil in comparison to mineral oil has better moisturizing properties, superior texture, and lower incidence of comedogenicity, but probably because of the small sample size [number of people tested] these differences were not found to be statistically significant. Neither of the oils were found to be irritating to the skin." That's good, but it's hardly a reason to run out and by a product containing emu oil. Further, another study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (December 1998, pages 2404-2407) concluded that applying emu oil on a fresh wound actually delayed wound healing. Emu oil's reputation is driven mostly by cosmetics company claims and not by any real proof that emu oil is an essential requirement for skin.

English ivy extract. Can be a skin irritant due to its stimulant and astringent (skin-constricting) properties (Source: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database,

Enteromorpha compressa extract. Extract from a form of green algae. See algae.

enzymes. Whether in the form of papaya fruit or in a substance such as papain (a proteinase derived from unripe papaya) or bromelain (derived from pineapple), enzymes (proteases) have long been used in their pure form as exfoliants (Source: Burns, November 1999, pages 636-639). However, there is limited (if any) research showing that enzymes perform as well or are as stable as alpha hydroxy acids or beta hydroxy acid. There is one study showing forms of enzymes such as papain or bromelain to be effective in pure form for exfoliation (Source: Archives of Dermatological Research, November 2001, pages 500-507). New enzymes are now being put in skin-care products that are claimed to stimulate your skin's own biological processes that have slowed down because of age or sun damage. However, all enzymes are proteins that function as biological catalysts. They accelerate chemical reactions in a cell, reactions that would proceed minimally or not at all if enzymes weren't there. Most enzymesand a lot of different enzymes affect skin cells are finicky about how they interact. Sometimes it takes several enzymes to produce one chemical reaction. Some enzymes depend on the presence of smaller enzymes, called coenzymes, in order to function. It would take an exceptionally complicated process to stimulate enzyme activity in the skin. One tiny amount of an enzyme in a skin-care product won't turn on your skin's ability to make collagen or elastin. See AHA, and salicylic acid.

Ephedra sinica extract. Extract from a Chinese herb also known as Ma huang; it has a high tannin and volatile oil content and toxic properties (Source: Toxicological Sciences, August 2000, pages 424-430).

epidermal growth factor (EGF). Stimulates cell division of many different cell types. Though there is research showing it to be helpful for wound and burn healing (Source: Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation, March-April 2002, pages 116-125 and Journal of Dermatologic Surgery and Oncology, July 1992, pages 604-606). There is also research showing that its effect is no different then placebo and may not be effective (Source: Wounds, 2001, volume 13, number 2, pages 53-58 and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, August 1995, pages 251-254). It can have anti-inflammatory properties when applied to skin (Source: Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology, January-April 1999, pages 79-84), though it can also promote tumor growth (Source: Journal of Surgical Research, April 2002, pages 175-182). See human growth factor.

Epilobium angustifolium extract. Derived from a plant commonly known as fireweed or willow herb. Can have antimicrobial (Source: Il Farmaco, May-July 2001, pages 345-348) and anti-irritant properties for skin (Source: Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, October 1999, pages 3954-3962).

Equisetum arvense. See horsetail extract.

Equisetum hiemale extract. See horsetail extract.

ergocalciferol. Technical name for vitamin D. See vitamin D.

ergothioneine. Component of animal tissue that has potent antioxidant properties (Source: Food and Chemical Toxicology, November 1999, pages 1043-1053).

Eriobotrya japonica. See loquat extract.

erucic acid. Fatty acid. See fatty acid.

erythritol. Naturally occurring sugar found in plants and animals. Like all sugars, it has water-binding properties.

erythropoietin (Epo). Stimulates the growth of cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. See human growth factor.

erythrulose. Substance chemically similar to the self-tanning agent dihydroxyacetone. Depending on your skin color, there can be a difference in the color effect with erythrulose. However, dihydroxyacetone completely changes the color of skin within two to six hours, while erythrulose needs about two to three days for the skin to show a color change.

escin. Component of horse chestnut. It is considered therapeutically useful in the treatment of leg veins by protecting the elastic tissue of the vein (Sources: Lancet, 1996, volume 347, pages 292-294; and Archives of Dermatology, 1998, volume 134, pages 1356-1360). However, the amount needed for this potential benefit is far greater than what is used in cosmetic formulations.

esculin. Component of horse chestnut, it is considered a toxin and not recommended for skin (Source: Clinical Pharmacology, 2002,

. Used for fragrance, as an antiseptic, germicide and a natural preservative. Derived from natural plant oil. Used by aromatherapists in a variety of ways to try heal, boost the immune system and rebalance the body's energy. Also See volatile oil.

essential oils of Rosemary.  Potent, highly aromatic oils extracted from rosemary, then used topically in pure form or diluted in a carrier oil.
Their therapeutic effects are calming, energizing, cleansing, working by skin absorption and smell.

Ester-C. Trade name for a combination form of vitamin C that contains mainly calcium ascorbate, but in addition contains small amounts of the vitamin C metabolites dehydroascorbic acid (oxidized ascorbic acid), calcium threonate, and trace levels of xylonate and lyxonate. In their literature, the manufacturers state that the metabolites, especially threonate, increase the bioavailability of the vitamin C in this product, and that they have performed a study in humans demonstrating the increased bioavailability of vitamin C in Ester-C. This study has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal. A small published study of vitamin C bioavailability in eight women and one man found no difference between Ester-C and commercially available ascorbic acid tablets with respect to the absorption and excretion of vitamin C (Source: The Bioavailability of Different Forms of Vitamin C, The Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, There are studies showing Ester-C to have no differences when compared to ascorbic acid (Biochemical Pharmacology, June 1996, pages 1719-1725).

estradiol. One of the three main forms of estrogen produced by the body; the other two are estrone and estriol. Estradiol is the most physiologically active form of estrogen. Many hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and birth control prescription drugs contain estradiol. Decreased production of estrogen by the ovaries can lead to symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, urinary tract infections, depression, and irritability. With a physician's prescription, licensed pharmacists may compound a combination of natural estrogens. Whether or not natural estrogens are safe has not been well-researched.

Even though HRT can prevent associated problems with loss of estrogen in perimenopausal and menopausal women, it is no longer being prescribed without caution because of studies showing there to be an increased the risk of breast cancer, heart attacks, strokes, gallbladder disease and blood clots (source: Annals of Internal Medicine, /annals/hrt.htm).

Topically, according to the FDA (, "The estrogen content of an OTC product, be it a drug or a drug as well as cosmetic, may not exceed 10,000 IU per ounce, and users must be directed to limit the amount of product applied daily so that no more than 20,000 IU of estrogen or equivalent be used per month. Some estrogen-containing products have been claiming to prevent or reduce wrinkles, treat seborrhea, or stimulate hair growth. The Advisory Review Panel on OTC Miscellaneous External Drug Products has concluded that there are inadequate data to establish the safety of these products and that they are ineffective and may therefore be misbranded, even if marketed as cosmetics without making medicinal claims In a Final Rule, published in the Federal Register of September 9, 1993, 58 FR 47608, the FDA accepted this panel's recommendation and determined that all topically-applied hormone containing drug products for OTC human use are not generally recognized as safe and effective and are misbranded."

ethanol. See alcohol.

ethyl acetate. Compound made from acetic acid and ethyl alcohol, used as a solvent in nail polish and nail-polish removers. May irritate skin.

ethyl alcohol. See alcohol.

ethylene glycol. See propylene glycol.

ethylparaben. See parabens.

etidronic acid. See alcohol.

eucalyptus extract. Can have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties on the skin (Source: Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology, January-February 2000, pages 60-64). It can also be a skin irritant, particularly on abraded skin (Sources: Clinical Experimental Dermatology, March 1995, pages 143-145; and See counter-irritant.

eucalyptus oil. See eucalyptus extract.

Eugenia aromatica. See clove oil.

Eugenia caryophyllus. See clove oil.

eugenol. See clove oil, and methyleugenol.

Euglena gracilis. See algae.

Eupatorium ayapana extract. May have antibacterial and antifungal properties (Source: Fitoterapia, April 2002, pages 168-170).

Euphrasia officinalis. See eyebright.

evening primrose oil. Can have anti-inflammatory and emollient benefits for skin (Sources: Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology, January-February 2002, pages 20-25; and Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, September 2001, pages 4502-4507). However, whether or not evening primrose oil can mitigate certain symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is unknown. "Trials of evening primrose oil have also had conflicting results; the two most rigorous studies showed no evidence of benefit" (Source: Journal of the American College of Nutrition, February 2000, pages 3-12). See gamma linolenic acid.

exfoliants.  Every 3 weeks, skin cells are replenished, meaning new skin cells make their way up from the lowest level of the epidermis. The secret to exfoliating is to make way for new skin cells by getting rid of dead skin cells. Removing dead skin cells helps give your skin a youthful, fresh appearance not only because new skin cells are fresh & plump, but because getting rid of the dead skin allows your skin to absorb moisturizer more readily. Exfoliation is the step most people skip in their daily skincare routine.

exfoliators.  Any ingredient which promotes the removal of dead skin cells. Natural exfoliators include oatmeal, cornmeal and almond meal. All skin types can benefit from exfoliation from dry to oily to acne-prone and scarred. Make sure you find a scrub appropriate for your skin type.

exfoliating cleanser. A process of removing the top dead skin layers to reveal healthier, newer skin underneath.

ex vivo. Describes a biological process or reaction taking place outside of a person or animal; it involves the extraction of cells from an animal or person and then testing these in a laboratory setting.

ext. D&C. A type of coloring agent. According to the FDA (, when Ext. D&C is followed by a color, it means the color is certified as safe for use only in drugs and cosmetics to be used externally, but not around the eyes or mouth. It is not safe for foods.

Eye Cosmetics.  Cosmetics applied to the eyes to improve or change your appearance.

eyebright. A plant; however, while the name sounds like it would be beneficial for the eye area, there are no studies demonstrating it to have any benefit for the eye area or skin. The information about this plant's effect on the skin or the eye is strictly anecdotal.

eye liner.  Makeup applied to emphasize the shape of the eyes.

eyeliner.  Makeup applied to emphasize the shape of the eyes.

Eyeliner Pen. The eyeliner pen gives the same dramatic finish as liquid eyeliners, yet gives you more control and is much simpler to use. They work like thin felt-tip pens and are therefore easier to manipulate. With eyeliner pens, steady and accurate linings are produced with ease.

Eyeliner Pencil. The easiest way to line your eyes is to use the kohl liner pencil. With kohl pencils, the sought-after effect is a soft and natural finish.  Some eyeliner pencils come in powder formula which helps make the smudging gentler on the eyes.

eye pencil  Eye pencils are used to add a hint of color to the area under the lower lashes. This is to be done subtly so that there is no hard and thick line.

eyebrow dye  Enables you to colour your eyebrows and eyelashes to your own individual requirements in your own home - at a fraction of the cost of a salon treatment. The colour lasts for approximately 4 - 6 weeks.

eyebrow pencil  Makeup provided by a cosmetic pencil that is used to darken the eyebrows.

eyebrow shaper  The purpose of making up your eyebrows is to add definition and to create a beautiful frame to the face. In order to groom your brows to look dramatic or for a softer look, the rule of thumb is to follow the natural line of your own eyebrow. To achieve the best framing results, you'll need three tools:  A good set of tweezers ~ Brow brush or a soft toothbrush ~ A Brow Pencil.

eyebrow stencil  A solution to styling, shaping and maintaining your eyebrows. With self-adhesive stencils you can fill in, define and extend sparse brows. You can get the perfect brows you always wanted.

eyebrow waxing.  Waxing is a temporary method of hair removal which removes the hair at the root. New hairs do not grow back in the waxed area for three to eight weeks. Almost any area of the body can be waxed, including eyebrows. When you do that look closely at the shape, be careful not to take off too much at the ends.

eyebrows  The eyebrow is a bony ridge above the eye, found in humans and other primates. In humans, it bears a tuft of facial hair. The function of the eyebrows is to prevent debris such as dandruff and other small objects from falling into the eyes, as well as providing sense of something near the eye, such as an insect and prevent water or sweat from dripping into the eye. Eyebrows should be shaped to suit your face. They can be shaped to emphasize your eyes. They frame the eye and give the face a polished look.

eyelash curler  It allows you to get perfectly-curled lashes, achieving the look of full, feminine eyelash. Curling eyelashes make your eyes look wider & brighter. Metal eyelash curlers are better than plastic.

eye shadow.  Eye shadow is meant to highlight and define the eyes. Eye shadow is used to create depth to bring out the beauty of the eyes. A dark color used on the lid will make the eye appear smaller, while a lighter color will make it appear larger. Use eye shadow to give your eyes the smoldering look or the funky party look.  Eye shadows can come as creams, pressed powders or sticks.

Eyeshadow Brush. Brushes will help you do the one thing that is very important to applying eye shadow and that is blend especially when you are using more than one color. These brushes are made of synthetic materials like Taklon and are good because they don't soak up a lot of product.
Echinacea - Eyebright