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Starlight Skincare Glossary: The Terms You NEED To GLOW

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Non-comedogenic, chemical exfoliant vs. physical exfoliant, retinoids. When it comes to skin care terminology, these terms can be overwhelming. From newbies to beauty gurus, the terminology used to market skin care products may leave you wondering: what can and should I use on my skin? Don't worry, you're not alone.

One of our main goals at Starlight Skin is to educate our clients on the products and services they use on their skin. We are passionate about sharing our knowledge and want our clients to feel empowered so they can make informed decisions about their skincare regime and treatments. Before we dive in, the truth is that each skincare routine should be unique - just like you! As GRWMs and GURWMs continue to hit your For You Page on TikTok or flood your Instagram Explore feed, it may be tempting to take recommendations from your favourite influencer instead of a professional. Whether you are just building your skincare routine or are switching things up, we always recommend working with your Starlight Glow Master or a board-certified dermatologist who can work with you toward your skin goals.

You may have discovered that finding a straightforward guide on skincare terms isn't as clear as your glowing skin, but Starlight Glow Masters are here to help. So, let's dive in!

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The Comedogenic Scale

If you've followed Starlight for a while or are a self-claimed skincare guru, you may have come across the comedogenic scale. If you need a refresher, the comedogenic scale is a rating system 0-5 of an ingredient's ability to clog a pore. Products rated 0 contain no pore-clogging ingredients, while those rated 1-5 have different pore-clogging elements that vary based on their rating. We make Starlight Skin products exclusively from ingredients that register as a 0 on the comedogenic scale.

What are Comedogenic Skincare Products?

Comedogenic products are skincare and beauty products likely to clog pores and cause acne. They may include moisturizers, foundations, sunscreens, and other skincare products or cosmetics. Many products labelled "non-comedogenic" are generally preferred as they are less likely to clog pores and cause breakouts.


Ah, the dreaded word: acne. The cause behind all acne is clogged pores with dirt, dead skin cells, or sebum. While the cause of acne is unique to each individual, acne can manifest itself as whiteheads, blackheads, and cystic acne. If acne becomes inflamed, leading to painful, swollen, and red breakouts, bacteria is likely the culprit. Before starting new products, specifically those designed to eradicate acne, speak with your Starlight Glow Master or board-certified dermatologist. We will ensure that the products you use will not cause further harm and work toward your skin goals: clear, glowing skin!

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)

AHAs, or Alpha Hydroxy Acids, are a type of chemical exfoliant designed to, you guessed it, exfoliate or shed the surface of the skin. AHAs promote healthy cell turnover and effectively remove dead skin cell blockages. The exfoliation from these safe-to-use acids resurfaces your skin and assists in treating acne, removing scars, or reducing pigmentation to reveal bright, glowing, and smooth skin.

Starlight's AHA: Liquid Glow

Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs)

Like AHAs, BHAs or Beta Hydroxy Acids are chemical exfoliants that break down the bonds holding skin cells together. The difference between AHAs and BHAs is that BHAs work on the surface area as well as within the pores of the skin. Salicylic acid is a well-known BHA used to balance breakouts and congestion by penetrating pores.


Emollients are moisturizing ingredients that hydrate, soothe and soften the skin. Those with dry skin or who experience skin irritating conditions such as dermatitis or eczema may find relief using an emollient.

Starlight's Emollients: Argan Glow Oil, Starlux Moisturizer

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Hyaluronic Acid (HA)

If you've ever browsed the shelves of Sephora or have dry or dehydrated skin, chances are you've come across the term hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant - meaning it's a substance that contains moisture. The human body naturally produces hyaluronic acid, and HA can bind over 1,000 times its weight in water. It penetrates the layers of the skin to deliver moisture without weighing the skin down by making it feel greasy.

Micellar Water

The first step in a dual cleansing routine, micellar water is made of micelles (clusters of surfactants) and water. Unlike a traditional cleanser that requires rinsing, you can apply Micellar water with a cotton pad to wipe off makeup, dirt, and oil - without the need to rinse it off your face. This cleansing water leaves skin hydrated, revitalized, and pH balanced.

Starlight's Micellar Water: Prepping Potion

Found this guide helpful? Get glowing skin by sharing it with a friend on Facebook or Instagram.

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Questions about your current skin care routine or have concerns you'd like to discuss? Schedule a complimentary Skin Consultation with one of Starlight's Glow Masters.

We will continue to update this guide with more terminology and questions.

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