Galactoarabinan - Gums
Beauty and Cosmetic Glossary - G
(TIP: LIP INK® PRODUCTS ARE ALL NATURAL)
galactoarabinan. Polysaccharide extracted from the western larch tree. See mucopolysaccharide.
galbanum. Fragrant substance that, because of its resin and volatile oil content, can be extremely irritating and sensitizing on abraded skin. There is no research showing it to have any benefit on skin.
gamma linolenic acid. Also known as GLA, a fatty acid used in cosmetics as an emollient, antioxidant, and cell regulator. GLA is considered to promote healthy skin growth and is an anti-inflammatory agent. GLA is found in black currant oil or seeds, evening primrose oil, and borage oil (Source: Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, March 17, 1998, pages 414-420). However, there is no research showing GLA to be effective in the treatment of wrinkles (Sources: British Journal of Dermatology, April 1999, pages 685-688; and Dermatology, 2000, volume 201, number 3, pages 191-195). When taken orally, GLA has been shown to have some anticancer properties, but there is no research showing that effect translates to skin. See fatty acid.
Gan jiang. See ginger.
Ganoderma lucidum extract. Mushroom stem extract. There is a good deal of animal and in vitro studies showing this extract to be effective when taken orally as possibly having antitumor, immune modulating, anticoagulant, cholesterol lowering, antiviral, and antibacterial properties (Source: International Journal of Cancer, November 2002, pages 250-253; Immunology Letters, October 2002, pages 163-169; Life Sciences, June 2002, pages 623-638; Cancer Letters, August 2002, pages 155-161; and Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, April 2002, pages 1057-1062). However, there is no research showing it to be effective when used topically on skin (Source: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, www.naturaldatabase.com) though it does have antioxidant properties (Source: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, October 2002, pages 6072-6077).
Gaultheria shallon. May have antioxidant activity for skin (Source: Phytotherapy Research, February 2002, pages 63-65).
gelatin. Protein obtained from plants or animals and used in cosmetics as a thickening agent.
Gel Eyeliner. Gel eyeliner offers the precision of liquid eyeliner and the ease of a gel-based formula. Gel eyeliners are versatile and can be worn to create subtle to dramatic looks.
Gellidiela acerosa extract. Derived from a type of algae. See algae.
gentian violet extract. Has anti-irritant and antibacterial properties (Source: Dermatology, 2001, volume 203, number 4, pages 325-328; International Journal of Dermatology, December 2000, pages 942-944; and Journal of Hospital Infection, November 1995, pages 225-228).
geranium extract. Can have potent antioxidant properties (Source: Phytomedicine, June 2000, pages 221-229).
geranium oil. Fragrant oil that can has antimicrobial properties but can also be a skin sensitizer or irritant (Sources: Contact Dermatitis, June 2001, pages 344-346; and Journal of Applied Microbiology, February 2000, pages 308-316).
Geranium pretense. Geranium plant. See geranium extract, and geranium oil.
Germaben II. Trade name for diazolidinyl urea. See diazolidinyl urea.
germanium. According to the FDA there is import ban aimed at germanium, a trace element used in the production of computer chips, which sometimes is identified as vitamin O. The FDA noted that consumption of germanium has caused kidney injury and death when used chronically by humans, even at dosages suggested on product labels. It has banned germanium imports intended for human consumption on the grounds that these products are either poisonous and deleterious to health or unapproved new drugs (Source: www.fda.gov). However, there is research showing it to have anti-inflammatory properties when taken as a drug (Source: Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research, June 2001, pages 389-398). There is no research showing it to have any benefit topically on skin.
Gigartina stellata extract. Extracted from algae. There is no research showing this to have special properties for skin, though it may have water-binding benefits. See algae.
ginger. From a plant in the zingiberfamily that has research showing it to have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activity when taken orally (Sources: Carcinogenesis, May 2002, pages 795-802; and Food and Chemical Toxicology, August 2002, pages 1091-1097). However, topically it can be a skin irritant (Source: IFA International Federation of Aromatherapists, www.int-fed-aromatherapy.co.uk).
ginger oil. See ginger.
Ginkgo biloba. Tree with leaves having components that are effective as an anti-inflammatory and an aid in collagen production; ginkgo also has antioxidant properties (Sources: Planta Medica, April 2002, pages 316-321; Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology, July-August 1997, pages 200-205; Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, December 1999, pages 1435-1440; and Methods in Enzymology, 1994, volume 234, pages 462-475).
ginseng. From a family of herbs (Araliaceae) native to Asia. A small number of studies carried out on animals have shown that ginseng may have antitumor and anticancer properties (Sources: Journal of Korean Medical Science, December 2001, Supplemental, pages 38-41; and Cancer Letter, March 2000, pages 41-48), though there is also research showing that it can stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells (Source: Menopause, March-April 2002, pages 145-150). There is no evidence showing any benefit or risk when applied topically.
GLA. See gamma linolenic acid.
glabridin. Main ingredient in licorice extract. It has anti-inflammatory properties and there is research showing it to be effective in reducing skin discolorations (Source: Pigment Cell Research, December 1998, pages 355-361).
gluconolactone. See polyhydroxy acid.
glucosamine hydrochloride. When taken orally, it can have anti-inflammatory properties, but there is no research showing the same effect for skin when it is applied topically.
glucosamine sulfate. Needed by the body to form glycosaminoglycans such as hyaluronic acid, which is major constituent of skin tissue as well as joint cartilage. There is no research demonstrating this to be effective topically on skin in generating hyaluronic acid; most likely it functions as a water-binding agent.
glucose. Monosaccharide that has water-binding properties for skin. See water-binding agent, and mucopolysaccharide.
glucose oxidase. Enzyme that has antibacterial and water-binding properties when used on skin.
glucose tyrosinate. See tyrosine.
glutamic acid. Amino acid derived from wheat gluten. It can have water-binding properties for skin. There is no research showing glutamic acid to have special properties when used in topical cosmetic formulations. See amino acid.
glutamine. Can help improve the barrier function of skin (Source: Journal of Biological Chemistry, July 1998, pages 1763-1770). See amino acid.
glutathione. Potent antioxidant (Source: Free Radical Research, March 2002, pages 329-340). See antioxidant.
glycereth-17 cocoate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glycereth-20 stearate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glycereth-26 phosphate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glycereth-6 laurate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glycerin. Also called glycerol; it is present in all natural lipids (fats), whether animal or vegetable. It can be manufactured by the hydrolysis of fats and by the fermentation of sugars. It can also be synthetically manufactured. For some time it was thought that too much glycerin in a moisturizer could pull water out of the skin instead of drawing it into the skin. That theory now seems to be completely unfounded. What appears to be true is that glycerin shores up the skin's natural protection by filling in the area known as the intercellular matrix and by attracting just the right amount of water to maintain the skin's homeostasis. There is also research indicating that the presence of glycerin in the intercellular layer helps other skin lipids do their jobs better (Sources: American Journal of Contact Dermatitis, September 2000, pages 165-169; and Acta Dermato-Venereologica, November 1999, pages 418-421). See intercellular matrix and natural moisturizing factors.
glycerine. See glycerin.
glycerol. See glycerin.
glycerol monostearate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glycerol triacetate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glycerol trioleate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glyceryl cocoate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glyceryl dipalmitate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glyceryl distearate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glyceryl ester. Large group of ingredients that are composed of fats and oils. At room temperature, the fats are usually solid and the oils are generally liquid. Some tropical oils are liquids in their sites of origin and become solids in cooler or different applications. These multitudinous fats and oils are used in cosmetics as emollients and lubricants as well as water-binding and thickening agents.
glyceryl glycyrrhetinate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester, and glycyrrhetinate.
glyceryl hydroxystearate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glyceryl isopalmitate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glyceryl isostearate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glyceryl myristate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glyceryl oleate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glyceryl palmitate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glyceryl stearate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glyceryl tricapryl-caprate. Used as an emollient and thickening agent in cosmetics. See glyceryl ester.
glycine. See amino acid.
Glycine soja oil. Oil derived from wild soybeans; it has emollient properties. See natural moisturizing factors.
glycogen. Polysaccharide that has water-binding properties for skin. See polysaccharide.
glycolic acid. See AHA.
glycolipid. Type of lipid composed of sugar (monosaccharide) and fat (lipid) that forms an important component of cell membranes and ceramides. Glycolipids coat cell walls, forming a barrier that holds skin and water content in place. See ceramide, lipid, and mucopolysaccharide.
glycoproteins. When combined with saccharides, these form the skin's intercellular matrix, holding skin cells and the skin's structure intact. They are used as water-binding agents. See natural moisturizing factors, protein, and mucopolysaccharide.
glycosaminoglycans. Also known as mucopolysaccharides; these are a fundamental component of skin tissue, and are essentially a group of complex proteins. Chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid are part of this ingredient group. See chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid, and natural moisturizing factors.
glycosphingolipid. See glycolipid, and natural moisturizing factors.
glycyrrhetic acid. Extract from licorice that has anti-inflammatory properties (Sources: American Journal of Respiratory and Cellular Molecular Biology, November 1998, pages 836-841; and Planta Medica, August 1996, pages 326-328). See licorice extract.
Glycyrrhiza glabra. Licorice plant. See glycyrrhetic acid, and licorice extract.
Gnaphalium leontopodium flower extract. Fragrant plant extract; it has no known benefit for skin.
gold. Relatively common allergen that can induce dermatitis about the face and eyelids (Source: Cutis, May 2000, pages 323-326). There is no research showing it to have benefit when applied topically to skin.
goldenseal. RelaA plant that may have antibacterial or antiviral properties when taken orally. There is no evidence that such an effect occurs when applied topically on skin. It can be a skin irritant.
gotu kola. See Centella asiatica.
grape seed extract. There are no published studies indicating that grapes in any form, applied topically, can affect the wrinkling process. However, grape seed extract contains proanthocyanidins, which are considered to be very potent antioxidants, helpful for diminishing the sun's damaging effects and lessening free-radical damage (Sources: Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, June 2001, pages 187-200; and Toxicology, August 2000, pages 187-197). It has also been shown to have wound-healing properties (Source: Free Radical Biology and Medicine, July 2001, pages 38-42). There is no difference in the antioxidant potential between different types of grapes (Source: Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, April 2000, pages 1076-1080).
grape seed oil. Emollient oil that also has good antioxidant properties. See also grape seed extract, and linoleic acid.
grapefruit oil. Emollient oil that also has good antioxidant properties. See also grape seed extract, and linoleic acid.
green tea. Significant amounts of research have established that tea, including black, green, and white tea, delivers many intriguing health benefits. Dozens of studies point to tea's potent antioxidant as well as anticarcinogenic properties. However, a good deal of this research is on animal models that do not directly relate to human skin (Source: Skin Pharmacology and Applied Skin Physiology, 2001, pages 69-76). There is only limited information about its effect on skin. The Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology (December 31, 2001) stated that the polyphenols "are the active ingredients in green tea and possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. Studies conducted by our group on human skin have demonstrated that green tea polyphenols (GTP) prevent ultraviolet (UV)-B-induced immune suppression and skin cancer induction." Green tea and the other teas (such as white tea, which is what green tea begins as) show a good deal of promise for skin, but they are not quite the miracle that cosmetics and health food companies make them out to be. As the Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology (January 2002, pages 25-54) put it, "Tea has received a great deal of attention because tea polyphenols are strong antioxidants, and tea preparations have inhibitory activity against tumorigenesis. The bioavailability and biotransformation of tea polyphenols, however, are key factors limiting these activities in vivo [in humans]. Epidemiological studies have not yielded clear conclusions concerning the protective effects of tea consumption against cancer formation in humans." What is not disputed are the anti-inflammatory properties of tea (black, green, and white). These are also definitely potent antioxidants. All of that is very good for skin, but whether it has any effect on wrinkles or scars is speculation, not fact.
Grindelia Robusta extract. Also known as tar weed or gum weed. It can be a potential skin irritant (Source: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, www.naturaldatabase.com).
gromwell extract. See Lithospermum officinale.
guaiac wood. Used as a fragrant extract in cosmetics; it is a potent skin irritant.
Guaiacum officinale. See guaiac wood.
guanine. Component of DNA that carries genetic information to the cell. See DNA.
guanine. One of the major constituents of nucleic acids. See DNA.
guanosine. Ribonucleoside component of ribonucleic acid (RNA). RNA holds part of the body's genetic material. Guanosine is needed in a vital, complicated chemical process that creates DNA and RNA. However, guanosine topically on skin can not affect the function of RNA or DNA. The production of DNA and RNA is occurs in a complex process that requires a multitude of proteins and enzymes to have an effect on the body's genetic material. It is doubtful you would want to ever put anything on your skin that could impact genetic material, and particularly not via a cosmetic that has no safety or efficacy regulations. From any viewpoint, trying to impact RNA and DNA randomly would create a significant risk of cancer. See DNA, and RNA.
guar gum. Plant-derived thickening agent.
guarana. Herb that contains two and a half times more caffeine than coffee. It can have constricting properties on skin and can therefore be a skin irritant. See caffeine.
guava extract. Fruit extract that can have constricting properties on skin, which makes it a potential skin irritant when used regularly. In the diet, it has been found to have antioxidant properties (Source: Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, November 2001, pages 5489-5493), but there is no research demonstrating it has this effect topically on skin.
gums. Substances that have water-binding properties but that are primarily used as thickening agents in cosmetics. Some gums have a sticky feel and are used as film-forming agents in hairsprays, while others can constrict skin and have irritancy potential. Natural thickeners such as acacia, tragacanth, and locust bean are types of gums.