Find the complete definition of certain words used on the site.

  • Acne

    Acne is a skin condition caused by infection of hair follicles and sebaceous glands (pilosebaceous follicles). Hyperseborrhea causes pore blockages, then bacteria (usually Propionbacterium acnes) provokes an infection and transformation into a papule or vesicle. It affects around 80% of adolescents (from age 9-10 in girls, around age 12 in boys) and 10 to 15% of these develop a severe form of acne. (
  • Acne lesion

    There are retentional lesions (comedones or black heads, microcysts or white heads) and inflammatory lesions (papule, pustule, nodule).(

  • Aerosol

    An aerosol is a collection of solid or liquid particles in suspension in a gas medium. (
  • Aesthetic dermatology

    Improves the appearance of a person who is not ill but who wishes to correct or delay skin aging, or reduce other physical flaws.

  • AHAs

    AHA: Alpha Hydroxy Acids, derivatives of fruits or other natural substances.
    The 5 types of Alpha Hydroxy Acids most often used in the cosmetic industry are:
    * Glycolic acid – sugar cane extract
    * Lactic acid – milk extract
    * Malic acid – apple extract
    * Citric acid – lemon extract
    * Tartaric acid – grape extract
  • Allergen

    A substance which causes allergies and their associated symptoms. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Anti-wrinkle

    Intended to reduce or fight wrinkles. (

  • Antioxidant

    Slows down or prevents the oxidization process. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Astringent

    Tightens living tissue. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Atopic Dermatitis

    Atopic eczema (or atopic dermatitis) is defined as recurring inflammatory skin symptoms associated with atopy. Atopic eczema is a chronic pruritic and inflammatory dermatosis which progresses in flare-ups. (Source: Fondation pour la dermatite atopique)
  • Atopic eczema

    Constitutional or atopic eczema is not caused by an allergen but instead by predisposing factors. Sufferers are sensitive to several causes and flare-ups often have no single obvious cause. (
  • Atopy

    A hereditary predisposition to various forms of allergy (hay fever, eczema, asthmatiform bronchitis, asthma, etc) when in contact with everyday allergens which are inoffensive to normal subjects.
  • Basal epidermal layer

    The deepest layer of the epidermis, made up of a single layer of cubo-cylindrical keratinocytes oriented perpendicularly to the basal membrane, which carry out epidermal renewal. (Dictionnaire de Dermatologie Jean Civatte Editions CILF)
  • Benign summer light eruption

    The commonest form of idiopathic photo-dermatosis, affecting young women in particular during the summer, two to three days after significant sun exposure. (Dictionnaire de Dermatologie Jean Civatte Editions CILF)
  • BHAs

    Beta Hydroxy Acids are organic compounds, similar to AHAs, which are essentially represented by Salicylic Acid.. (
  • Biphasic

    Has two phases.
  • Blackhead

    A comedon is an excessive accumulation of sebum secreted by the sebaceous gland which fills the skin’s pores.
    There are three types of comedons, including the open comedon or blackhead: The part in contact with the air oxidizes and becomes black. (
  • Blush

    Make-up for cheeks.(

  • Brown Spot

    Brown spots or “skin marks” are generally linked to sun exposure. They are therefore an after-effect of the sun and are not in themselves related to age (this definition does not include “age spots”). They can appear on people from the age of 25 -30.
    As they are caused by the sun, they appear on exposed areas - face, neck, décolleté, forearm and the backs of the hands. (
  • Cell renewal

    Cell renewal maintains homeostatis (stabilization) through a balance between cellular division and cellular death.
    Renewal rate varies based on cell type. Some tissues have quick cell renewal and others have slow renewal. (

  • Ceramides

    Lipid molecule that plays a fundamental role in skin water retention. Used in cosmetics, they prevent skin aging. (

  • Chemical filter

    An organic chemical compound which absorbs ultraviolet light. There are many chemical filters.
    Each chemical filter protects against a specific range of wavelengths. A combination of several different filters is needed for protection against all ultraviolet. (
  • Chromatic circle

    A chromatic circle is a circular representation of colors. They are ordered in rainbow sequence, the circle often being closed by a transition from red to purple via magenta. (
  • Collagen

    A fibrous protein of intercellular substance of connective tissue. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Comedogenic

    Likely to provoke comedons. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Comedon

    A small buildup of sebaceous material, black at the top, which plugs a skin pore. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Compact powder

    Also called pressed powder is a cosmetic product formulated to conceal flaws and reduce shine. It is applied to the face with a large brush. (

  • Concealer pen

    Usually used to conceal localized skin flaws.
  • Crack

    A small fissure in the epidermis (superficial skin layer) and part of the dermis (middle skin layer). Usually seen on the hands, lips and nipples. (

  • Cradle cap

    A form of yellowish seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp in infants. It is characterized by flaking or scaling of the skin. (

  • Crow's feet

    Skin wrinkles in the outer corner of the eye. Its shape in 3 furrows looks like a crow's foot. (

  • Cucurbita pepo

    Extract of squash seed which reduces sebaceous secretion. Its sebum-regulating properties help to refine and purify the skin.
  • Dermabrasion

    A technique based on rotational grinding which smoothes wrinkles and irregularities of the skin. Healing is relatively quick compared to that after laser treatment, which is more aggressive. (
  • Dermis

    The innermost layer of the skin. The dermis lies under the epidermis and contains nerve endings and blood vessels. Hair follicles are also located in the dermis. (

  • Dermo-corticosteroid

    A pharmaceutical specialty containing a steroid derivative with an anti-inflammatory action, formulated in an emulsion, ointment, cream, gel or lotion; this medicine is designed to be applied to the skin or possible mucosa. (Dictionnaire de Dermatologie Jean Civatte Editions CILF)
  • Dermo-cosmetic

    There is no legal definition for dermo-cosmetic products.
    The technical and quality aspects of dermo-cosmetics address particular issues in skin and hair.
    Most of them fall into the «pharmacist's advice » category and are sometimes recommended by physicians (Dermatologists) to their patients. (

  • Desquamation

    Removal of upper layers of the epidermis in small lamellas. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Dry patches

    Epidermal desquamation (scurf), accompanied with redness and itching. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Efectiose

    Exclusive and patented innovation from Pierre Fabre research in partnership with the CNRS
    Efectiose controls mediators responsible for skin overreactivity. Anti-irritating effect targeted to skin flaws.
  • Emollient

    Softens and relaxes inflamed tissue. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Emulsion

    Milky looking liquid made of two liquids that do not mix. One of them takes the shape of microscopic droplets suspended in the other. (Le Petit Robert)

  • Epidermis

    The upper layer of the skin, covering the dermis. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Erythema of the buttocks or diaper rash

    Red skin caused by irritation of infants' buttocks.(

  • Erythrosis

    A diffuse erythematic condition, varying in color from pink to purplish-red, affecting mostly, if not exclusively, the face. It develops in congestive flare-ups, but can become permanent, resulting in rosacea. (Dictionnaire de Dermatologie Jean Civatte Editions CILF)
  • Exfoliation

    Removal of dead skin in the form of lamellas. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Eye-liner

    Eyeliner is a type of cosmetic used along the rim of the eye. (

  • Eyeshadow

    Powder make-up applied to the upper eyelid using a brush, results in a layer look. (

  • Firmness

    The state of being firm. (

  • Foundation

    Skin make-up used to even out complexion, hide flaws and make the skin look powdered and even.(

  • Free radicals

    Atoms or molecules with a free unpaired electron on their outer shell; as they are unstable, they are generally very reactive. (Dictionnaire de Dermatologie Jean Civatte Editions CILF)
  • Glycoléol

    Can boost lipid synthesis by the skin cells. Through its "reservoir" effect, it releases linoleic acid based on the skin's needs and fights skin dryness while strengthening the protection of the epidermis.
    Glycoleol offers intense and ongoing nutrition while also protecting and maintaining the skin barrier function.

  • Hair or pilo-sebaceous follicle

    A small anatomical formation shaped like a pouch. The hair follicle contains a hair (internal source). The pilosebaceous follicle comprises the hair and its sheaths, the erector muscle and the sebaceous gland. (
  • Hyaluronic Acid

    A viscoelastic transparent gel of animal or synthetic origin, used to fill wrinkles, furrows and scars on the face. Its effect is temporary, lasting 6 to 12 months. (Dictionnaire de Dermatologie Jean Civatte Editions CILF)
  • Hyaluronic Acid Fragment (HAF)

    Obtained from native Hyaluronic Acid, these fragments of specific medium and controlled molecular size, topically stimulate the natural HA synthesis in the skin (epidermis + dermis).
  • Hydrolipidic film

    Surface hydrolipidic film = a thin layer of a complex formed from sweat and sebaceous substances as well as cell aggregates, created from desquamation of the stratum corneum, which spreads over the skin’s surface and acts as a protective film. (Dictionnaire de Dermatologie Jean Civatte Editions CILF)
  • Hydrotherapy treatment

    A medical treatment prescribed by a physician
    (GP or specialist) Takes place at a Hydrotherapy Center where patients are treated with the natural spring water from the Center. (

  • Hyperpigmentation

    An exaggeration in the color of a tissue, particularly the skin, due to an accumulation of normal pigment, whether melanotic, hematic, biliary or carotenoid, abnormal due to endogenic or exogenic factors. (Dictionnaire de Dermatologie Jean Civatte Editions CILF)
  • Hyperseborrhea

    A symptom linked to excessive production of sebum by sebaceous glands, making skin shiny. It particularly affects the scalp and face, especially the center of the face, but also the upper back and chest. (Dictionnaire de Dermatologie Jean Civatte Editions CILF)
  • Hypoallergenic

    Minimizes the risk of allergic reaction.
  • Ichthyosis

    A hereditary skin condition, typified by dryness of thickened, rough teguments covered in large scales. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Immune system

    The body's defence system against disease; one of the properties of the immune system is that it can identify foreign substances and trigger defense measures such as antibodies.(

  • Inflammation

    Inflammation describes a number of reactional phenomena which appear after an irritation or development of a pathogenic agent. The four “classic” symptoms of local inflammation are: Heat, redness, pain, swelling or tumefaction. (
  • Ingrown hair (Hair)

    Hair = a long, thin keratinized formation created in the hair follicle, made of 3 layers: The cuticle, the cortex and the medulla.
    Ingrown hair (of beard) = intradermal penetration and growth of a hair that is too short, causing inflammation and infection. Clinical signs include the appearance of closed erythematous papules and pustules on the shaved area. (Dictionnaire de Dermatologie Jean Civatte Editions CILF)
  • Keratin

    A fibrous protein, rich in sulfurated amino acids.
  • Laser

    A beam of intense light, emitted as infrared or long-wave visible light.
    Depending on the type of laser used, they can be employed to cut, coagulate, polymerize, vaporize, etc.
  • Matifying

    Which mattifies, gives the skin a non-shiny appearance. (

  • Melanin

    A dark brown pigment which gives the skin, hair and eyes their normal color (pigmentation). (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Melanocyte

    Cell containing melanin. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Melanoma

    A tumor made up of generally pigmented cells, which can produce melanin. There is a distinction between benign melanoma (nevus) and malign melanoma. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Middle area

    The center of the face (or T-zone): forehead, nose, chin.
  • Mineral screens

    They are natural and insoluble. They reflect sun rays, preventing them from penetrating the skin, resulting in no toxicity.
  • Nasogenian furrow

    This wrinkle gets deeper with time. It goes from the wing of the nose down to the corner of the lip.
  • Oil-free

    Without oil.
  • Oxidization

    Bonding of a substance with oxygen. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Papule

    An elementary skin lesion characterized by a small, closed bump, red, pink or brown in color, which does not leave a scar. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Paraben

    Chemical family exhibiting antibacterial and antifungal properties. Widely used as preservative in the food, drink and cosmetic industries. (

  • Peel

    An esthetic operation which consists of encouraging desquamation of the epidermis on the face to reduce imperfections. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Photodermatosis

    Photo-dermatoses (or photo-allergic dermatoses, or photo-allergic problems) are a group of skin conditions which appear after sun exposure due to an abnormally high sensitivity to light. The causes are many and varied; diagnosis is made through questioning the patient and rigorous clinical examination, and will often require further additional investigations such as photo-biological exploration, skin histology or specific biological examinations. Treatment depends on etiology, but consists essentially in photo-protection.
  • Photoprotection

    A method using artificial or natural physical or chemical means to obtain protection for the skin against the damaging effects of sun radiation. (Dictionnaire de Dermatologie Jean Civatte Editions CILF)
  • Photosensibilisation

    Abnormal sensitivity of the skin, which reacts to sunlight, resulting in allergic symptoms. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Phototherapy

    Treatment by light or radiation on the sun spectrum – including ultra-violet rays. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Phototype

    Skin type characterized by its color and sensitivity to the sun. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Pigment

    Colored substance found in various plant and animal tissues and organs to which they impart a specific color. (Le Petit Robert)

  • Pore

    Tiny holes in the skin for sweat glands or sebaceous oil glands (related to hair). (Le Petit Robert)

  • Pre-tocopheryl

    Vtamin E precursor (powerful antioxidant), protects cells from free radicals.
  • Pregnancy mask

    Chloasma, melasma: Pigmentation of the face in irregular blotches, in a fairly symmetrical pattern on the areas around the eyes, temples, forehead (away from the hairline) apples of the cheeks and sometimes the upper lip. This dyschromia, related to pregnancy or use of estro-progestins, is aggravated by sun exposure; its regression, which is often very gradual, can be encouraged by using depigmenting products. In some cases it disappears a long time after the end of the pregnancy. (Dictionnaire de Dermatologie Jean Civatte Editions CILF)
  • Psoriasis

    A chronic skin disease with an unknown cause, characterized by red marks heavily covered with dry white, flaky squamae, generally localized on the elbows, knees, and scalp. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Pustule

    A small inflammatory purulent tumor on the skin’s surface. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Reactional seborrhea

    Seborrhea is an increase in secretion by the sebaceous glands. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Retentional and inflammatory acne

    In acne, we distinguish between retentional lesions (comedon or blackhead, microcyst or white head) and inflammatory lesions (papules, pustules, nodules). (
  • Retinaldehyde

    Retinaldehyde has a double effect: Physiologically, it converts into vitamin A based on the skin's needs. It boosts cellular activity and illuminates complexion while offering optimum tolerance.
  • Rosacea

    Chronic inflammation of the skin glands, typically provoking redness caused by dilation of blood vessels. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Rosacea

    Dermatosis of the face, characterized by redness, dilation of skin capillaries and eruption of papules and pustules. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Sebum

    Product secreted by sebaceous glands, essentially made up of cell debris. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Selectiose

    Reduces skin reactivity and restores the skin barrier.
  • Serum

    Originally the word used to describe the transparent part of blood. It has also gained a medical sense related to preparations created in the XVI century, based on animal serum ( The term is generally used for the sensory qualities, packaging and claims of a particularly effective care product. (
  • Skin ageing

    Skin ageing is clinically defined as a loss of elasticity in skin tissues (loss of the ability to regain its shape after stretching) a change in skin texture (thickening or thinning) and the appearance of visible anomalies on the surface (small veins, brown spots, etc).
    Intrinsic ageing – a natural phenomenon which affects all the organs of the body - is traditionally distinguished from extrinsic ageing, which is caused by a number of factors which speed up the natural ageing process: Exposure to UV, smoking, hormonal deficiencies, etc. (
  • Skin barrier

    The skin is the interface between the body and the environment. It acts a barrier against dehydration and unwanted elements (germs, allergens, toxic chemical products...).(

  • Skin elasticity

    Reversible deformability of the skin, generally linked to dermal elastic fibers. This biomechanical property is influenced by the condition of other dermal components: it reduces with age. (Dictionnaire de Dermatologie Jean Civatte Editions CILF)
  • Solar erythema

    Skin redness caused by the sun.
  • Solar herpes

    Caused by sun exposure. Solar herpes is a skin lesion occurring in a bunch of transparent vesicles the size of a pin head surrounded by a red area around the lip .
  • SPF

    SPF : Sunburn Protection Factor. (
  • Squames (or scales)

    Thin flakes that shed from the skin during certain dermatosis (skin disorders). (Le Petit Robert)

  • Sterol

    Molecule found in animals (cholesterol, etc.) and plants (ergosterol, etc.). (

  • Stratum corneum

    The uppermost layers of the epidermis, made up of dry, flattened, enucleated keratinocytes which are entirely keratinized. They lose their cohesion and are exfoliated. (Dictionnaire de Dermatologie Jean Civatte Editions CILF)
  • Sucralfate

    First used in the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers, it is also recommended for skin irritations as it facilitates epidermis regeneration. (Brian K Yeh and al. Structural Basis for Activation of Fibroblast Growth Factor Signaling by Sucrose Octasulfate. Molecular and Cellular Biology, October 2002, p7184-7192, Vol 22, N° 20.)

  • Sun asset

    The skin's defenses against the sun's harmful effects. It is set at birth, non renewable and based on phototype. Each skin type has its own characteristics and its own reactions to aggressions, including to the sun.(

  • Sun filter

    An ultraviolet filter is a substance which can filter certain radiations to protect the skin against their damaging effects . Ultraviolet filters are the active ingredients in sun creams. There are two types of ultraviolet filters: Chemical filters and mineral screens. (
  • Sun-induced lentigo

    Actinic or sun-induced lentigo should not be confused with senile lentigo, as it can appear at any age.
    It is a result of sun exposure, whether the subject has caught a tan or not. Actinic lentigo is more likely to develop on certain skin types, particularly on exposed areas: The face, décolleté, forearms and backs of the hands. (
  • Surfactant

    A natural or synthetic molecule with a double polarity (hydrophilic – lipophilic).
    Properties: Wetting, emulsifying, detergent, dispersing, antiseptic, foaming.
  • Thermal spring water

    Natural spring water with a mineral content that makes it appropriate for therapeutic uses. Its characteristics determine its health promoting properties, recognized by the National Academy of Medecine.
  • Trace element

    A mineral element (iron, zinc, copper, etc) present in low quantities in the body, whose presence is essential to growth and life.
  • Triclosan

    Triclosan is an antibacterial (germs) and antifungal (mycosis) agent. It is used in a variety of consumer products: soaps, deodorants, toothpastes... (

  • Ultra-rich bar

    Soap-free, cleanses gently without irritating the skin. Can be used on face and body for cleansing the sensitive skin of babies, children and adults.

  • UV

    Ultraviolet rays (UVs) have a wavelength between visible light and x-rays. (

  • UV (including A and B)

    UV is the abbreviation of ultraviolet.
    Ultraviolet radiation is an electromagnetic ray whose wavelength falls between that of visible light and x-rays.
    Ultraviolet light can be divided into close UV (380-200nm wavelength) and extreme ultraviolet (200-100nm). The range of UV rays is often divided into UV-A (400-315nm) UV-B (315-280) and UV-C (280-100nm).
    In low quantities, UV radiation is beneficial and essential to Vitamin D synthesis. UVs also help to treat several diseases, such as rickets, psoriasis, eczema and jaundice. In higher quantities (during prolonged sun exposure), it can cause skin cancer, premature skin ageing and cataracts. (
  • Vitamin A or retinoic acid

    Generally, we divide vitamins into two groups: Hydrosoluble (soluble in water) and liposoluble (soluble in fats).
    Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin.
    It encourages growth and improves eyesight. In the skin, it stimulates the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for the skin's color. (
  • Vitamin B6

    Generally, we divide vitamins into two groups: Hydrosoluble (soluble in water) and liposoluble (soluble in fats).
    La vitamine B6 est une vitamine hydrosoluble.
    Elle participe au métabolisme des lipides et des acides aminés et à la synthèse de la vitamine B3. Les conséquences de la carence en vitamine B6 sont, entre autres, les lésions cutanées. (
  • Vitamin E

    Generally, we divide vitamins into two groups: Hydrosoluble (soluble in water) and liposoluble (soluble in fats).
    Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin.
    It is known for being essentially an antioxidant; it stops skin ageing and ensures the stability of cell structures. (
  • Wrinkle

    A small skin groove (most often on the forehead, face and neck) due to frowning, age or weight loss. (Dictionnaire Larousse)
  • Xerosis

    Skin dryness.
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