Skin & Hair Glossary of ingredients & terms. Defining the hair and skin ingredients with meaningful results. Updated regularly.
- Maca is often used in face creams. It reduces the effects of aging and gives skin strength.
- Macadamia Oil
- Macadamia oil is very rich and contains many natural lipids and fatty acids. It’s a high oleic acid oil (50-67% oleic acid and only 0-5% linoleic acid) that makes it very emollient and helpful for dry skin types (but not ideal for acne-prone skin). Macadamia uniquely contains high amounts of the rare palmitoleic acid (12-25%) that give Macadamia oil a “cushiony” feel. It’s also easily absorbed and makes the skin soft and supple.
- Malic Acid
- Malic acid is an alpha-hydroxy acid for sensitive skin. Gentler than Glycolic acid, it improves the appearance of fine lines, large pores, and skin texture.
- Mallow, Malva Sylvestris Mallow Extract
- Mallow is a natural floral extract containing Vitamins A, C, and E. It softens while being gentle enough for the most sensitive of skin. It nourishes dry and even damaged skin, restoring elasticity.
- Malus Domestica, Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract
- Malus Domestica Fruit Cell Culture Extract is Apple Stem Cells. Malus Domestica is a Swiss Apple particularly suited for creating vegan-based stem cells. The stem cells build new tissue, delay aging, and fight wrinkles.
- Mandelic acid
- Mandelic acid is a very gentle aHA (alpha hydroxy acid). It derived from almonds. It penetrates the skin slowly, making it suitable for even sensitive skin. It gently removes bacteria-trapping dead skin that enables acne formation. Dead skin also dulls the complexion and makes fine lines look worse. Mandelic acid gently treats both acne and signs of skin aging.  It is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory. 
- Manuka Honey
- Manuka Honey has healing, protective and hydrating properties. It fights free radicals and is an anti-aging, boosting collagen production and cellular regeneration. Manuka Honey works best when combined with hydration. Manuka Honey has natural antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties to heal skin conditions. It is especially helpful for acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, wounds, burns, insect bites, rosacea, stretch marks, and sunburn.
- A thick, creamy, intensely nourishing conditioning treatment intended to penetrate the cuticle and repair the inside of the hair. An extended conditioning treatment session for color-treated, damaged, and long hair. Avocado or other intensively hydrating oils are common ingredients in hair masques. Masques are generally left on for several minutes to hours before rinsing.
- Matcha Leaf Extract
- Matcha Leaf Extract is a moisturizing acne treatment that has concentrated Green Tea properties to reduce inflammation and heal.
- Matrixyl-3000 jumpstarts collagen production and pairs well with Vitamin C. Matrixyl-3000 is a combination of two peptides that signal the skin to go into “repair mode.” The skin goes into repair mode when there is skin injury that requires the formation of new collagen and elastin; it does not go into repair mode for age-related collagen loss. Matrixyl 3000 “tricks” the skin into thinking the missing collagen is due to an injury and requires replacement.
- Matrixyl Synthe’ 6
- A polypeptide concoction that adds a new palmitoyl tripeptide to Matrixyl 3000. Said tripeptide regulates cell activity, wound repair and collagen tissue remodeling. Matrixyl Synthe’6 stimulates important skin constituents: It stimulates the production of six key skin components: Collagen I (dermis), Collagen III (wound healing), Collagen IV (wound healing stimulation), Fibronectin (skin tissue repair), Hyaluronic Acid, and Laminin-5 (heals injured epidermis)
- Meadowfoam Seed Oil
- Meadowfoam Seed Oil is a very stable oil that lubricates and can stay on the skin without leaving a residue after it is rinsed off.
Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract
- Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract is lemon balm leaf. It contains caffeine & ferulic acid. It counteracts sun damage when applied topically within a skin formulation.
- Micellar water
- A cleansing product to remove oil-based makeup, dirt, mascara or sunscreen without scrubbing. Its’ chemical composition attracts and removes makeup and dirt from the skin without disrupting the skin barrier. A combination of water and surfactants attract and remove oil. It often contains a moisturizing oil, like Grapeseed. Some Micellar waters leave a residue and should be washed off to not clog pores. It is not strictly a nightly cleanser but can remove makeup from the face in a pinch when too exhausted to properly cleanse.
- Milk Thistle
- Milk Thistle is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
- Mineral Oil
- Mineral Oil is Paraffin oil. A highly purified liquid petrolatum that cuts through grease, dirt, and makeup. Common in skincare products because it cleans while locking in moisture by creating a barrier. This barrier can block pores, however, so the acne-prone should limit mineral oil usage when possible.
- An ingredient that inhibits matrix metalloproteinase (or “MMPs”) enzymes from breaking down collagen.
- Moringa Oleifera Leaf Extract
- Moringa Oleifera Leaf Extract contains Vitamin C to boost collagen. It contains high levels of behenic acid. The topical application promotes cellular growth. It also reduces fine lines, sagging skin, fades scars, reduces and inflammation.
- Moringa Oil repairs hair damage and nourishes follicles. Rich in both protein and moisturizers to keep hair balanced, strong, glossy and hydrated. Moringa Oil contains behenic acid to smooth and condition hair. Omegas revitalize hair while minimizing future split ends. Moringa Oil uniquely contains copper, which revitalizes follicles to stop hair thinning and premature graying. For skin, the copper promotes collagen and elastin.
- MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)
- MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) applied topically brightens the skin while moisturizing. MSM is excellent with Vitamin C because it enhances the production of “collagen bundles” that prevent skin sagging. For hair, it is taken in supplement form. MSM is a sulfur compound trace and trace mineral found naturally in the body. It’s vital to make and bind both keratin and collagen and keeps hair from becoming brittle and thin. An MSM deficiency shortens the hair growth phase. MSM is commonly used to treat alopecia.
- Mulberry berries contain the highest concentration of resveratrol of all the fruits and berries, ten times that of grapes. In skincare, Mulberry extract is a powerful anti-aging and cell regeneration ingredient. It brightens skin and is a gentle, natural alternative to Hydroquinone. Mulberries contain the potent antioxidant anthocyanin to fight skin-damaging free radicals. It also blocks tyrosinase, a melanin production enzyme. Mulberry Extract is almost as powerful as Konjac but gentler and well-tolerated. Research also supports Mulberry Extract within select health-related applications.
- Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17
- Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17 is in some lash growth serums. It delivers Keratin proteins to sparse eyelashes and eyebrows. This makes them look thicker and fuller.
- Michael Lea. Bioremediation of Turbid Surface Water Using Seed Extract from Moringa oleifera Lam. (Drumstick) Tree. Current Protocols in Microbiology, 2010; DOI: 10.1002/9780471729259.mc01g02s16
- Renata & Kaszuba, Aleksandra & Michalak, Iwona & Dzwigałowska, Agata & Cieścińska, Czanita & Jakimiuk, Elżbieta & Zielińska, Joanna & Kaszuba, Andrzej. (2015). Evaluation of the efficacy and tolerability of mandelic acid-containing cosmetic formulations for acne skin care. Dermatology Review. 4. 316-321. 10.5114/dr.2015.53419.
- Taylor MB. Summary of mandelic acid for the improvement of skin conditions. Cosmet Dermatol 1999;12:26-8