Skin & Hair Glossary of ingredients & terms. Defining the hair and skin ingredients with meaningful results. Updated regularly.
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- Maca is Peruvian ginseng. It 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.
- Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate
- Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is ideal for sensitive skin. It is less exfoliating but produces collagen and suppresses discoloration.
- The malachite gemstone, when used in makeup and skincare preparations, detoxes and protects the skin from oxidative stress. It increases collagen and elastin production
- 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. 
- Mangifera Indic, Mango
- Mangifera Indica is mango. Mango is high in copper. Copper builds Collagen, Elastin and increases Hyaluronic Acid production within the skin. Copper is rare within skincare products because extraction is costly.
- Mango Seed Butter
- Mango Seed Butter is derived from mango seeds and has many of the properties of the mango fruit.
It provides a long-lasting emollient. Rich in fatty acids, it is perfect to keep skin hydrated and dewy overnight.
Mango Seed Butter also contains Vitamins C, A, E, K and B6. These refine the skin and fade discoloration.
- 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.
- Maracuja Oil
- Maracuja Oil, also known as Passion fruit extract, is a Brazilian beauty mainstay. It improves how the hair looks and feels. It also benefits the health of the scalp. Passion fruit extract contains 72% linoleic acid, one of the richest sources of this hair-friendly essential acid.  This gives hair a glossy, healthy shine. It is rich in vitamin A, potassium, antioxidants, and minerals that benefit both hair and scalp. Vitamin C, riboflavin, carotene improves moisture retention. These antioxidants counteract the oxidative stress signs of hair aging  Vitamin E improves dry hair and a dry scalp. It infuses moisture and retains it. This helps alleviate dandruff and restore dry, damaged hair. Vitamins B6 and B2 aid scalp circulation. This benefits follicles and helps build stronger hair. Passion fruit extract also has anti-inflammatory benefits. The vitamins in Passion fruit extract are amazing at locking in moisture without leaving the hair greasy or limp.
- Also is known as Calendula Officinalis Flower. Marigold is used in skincare to promote the regeneration of new tissue and soothe damaged skin.
- 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.
- Matcha Green Tea
- Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract is better known as matcha green tea.
Matcha contains concentrated green tea benefits including the reduction of inflammation or irritation.
Green tea contains polyphenols that soothe the skin while providing antioxidants. Polyphenols may improve sun-damaged skin. 
Matcha is loaded with Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which promotes skin health and appearance. It protects against environmental damage and neutralizes free radicals that prematurely age skin. Research shows EGCG reactivates dying skin cells. This shows promise for repairing sun damage and scar healing. 
Matcha also contains chlorophyll, a natural anti-bacterial that removes excess oil.
- 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. Pretty sneaky, that Matrixyl-3000.
- Matrixyl Synthe ‘6
- A polypeptide concoction that adds a new palmitoyl tripeptide, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38, 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). Palmitoyl tripeptide-38 is a vegan ingredient. It improves fine lines and wrinkles, most notably forehead lines and crow’s feet.
- Mauritia flexuosa
- Maurita Flexuosa is Buriti Fruit Oil. It comes from the moriche palm tree, found in the Amazon Rainforest.
It is rich in vitamin E, C and pro-vitamin A. It sinks into deeper skin layers to treat wrinkles and fine lines.
Buriti Fruit Oil is amazing for healing burns and scars. It also supports collagen snd elastin production.
- Maqui Berry
- Rich in antioxidants, maqui berry is an excellent anti-aging ingredient. This vibrant purple berry reduces inflammation 
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.
- Melaleuca Oil
- See tea tree oil.
- 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
- Silybum marianum, also known as milk thistle seed oil. Milk Thistle is a non-comedogenic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Milk thistle is about 80% silymarin. Silymarin is an antioxidant and free radical scavenger. It protects skin and fights signs of aging due to sun damage. It is used by dermatologists for all kinds of inflammatory skin conditions including acne , rosacea, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis. 
- 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.
- Commonly known as noni. A fruit extract is an antioxidant, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, which is rich in Vitamin C. It contains a polyphenol that filters UV light into a wavelength that falls into the red light spectrum, making it very useful for use during red light therapy treatments.
- 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.
- Mulberry Silk
- A variety of silk fabric made by silkworms that eat only mulberry leaves. Mulberry silk is considered the best silk for hair bonnets and pillowcases because:
- Mulberry silk is 100% natural and contains no artificial fibers.
- It is smooth without friction or abrasive surfaces, so it is the most gentle to the hair. It will not catch, rub, or damage the hair shaft.
- It will not wick moisture out of the hair like cotton
- A mulberry silk fiber is stronger than a piece of steel of the same length and diameter.
- Mulberry silk provides the longest silk strands, which allows for higher-quality weaving and fewer”bumps” to catch a hair strand
- It holds moisture very well. It can hold 1/3 of its weight in water without feeling damp. It also will not mildew or require airing out.
- Murumuru Fruit Butter
- Astrocaryum murumuru fruit butter is derived from the fruit fat found in murumuru nuts of a Brazilian tree. This fruit fat is marvelously moisturizing even for skin conditions like eczema.
Murumuru is a natural anti-inflammatory to soothe sensitive or irritated skin, it also seals in moisture. These properties help heal damaged skin.
Murumuru is high in Vitamin A to refine skin while healing it.
- Musa Sapientum (Banana) Pulp Extract
- Banana extract is anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and anti-oxidant.
- Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17
- Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17 is is a combination peptide in some lash growth serums. It delivers Keratin proteins to sparse eyelashes and eyebrows. This makes them look thicker and fuller. It delivers Keratin proteins to eyelashes and eyebrows. Keratin, a building block of hair, makes lashes thicker and healthier. When lashes are healthy, they can grow longer. When nourished, lashes also look softer. Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17 guides cell growth and growth factor secretion to thicken and enhance the appearance of lashes and eyebrows.
- Renata & Kaszuba, Aleksandra & Michalak, Iwona & Dzwigaowska, Agata & CieciÅ„ska, Czanita & Jakimiuk, ElÅ¼bieta & ZieliÅ„ska, 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
- Watson RR, Schnlau F. Nutraceutical and antioxidant effects of a delphinidin-rich maqui berry extract Delphinol®: a review. Minerva Cardioangiol. 2015;63(2 Suppl 1):1-12.
- 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
- Gianeti MD, Mercurio DG, Campos PM. The use of green tea extract in cosmetic formulations: not only an antioxidant active ingredient. Dermatol Ther. 2013;26(3):267â€“271.
- Food and Chemical Toxicology, January 2000, issue 1, pages 79-96
- Mamalis A, Nguyen DH, Brody N, Jagdeo J. The active natural anti-oxidant properties of chamomile, milk thistle, and halophilic bacterial components in human skin in vitro. J Drugs Dermatol. 2013;12(7):780-784.
- Kumar M, Gautam MK, Singh A, Goel RK. Healing effects of Musa sapientum var. paradisiaca in diabetic rats with co-occurring gastric ulcer: cytokines and growth factor by PCR amplification. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2013;13:305. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-305.
- Phuaklee, Pathompong et al. “Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities of extracts from Musa sapientum peel.” Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand = Chotmaihet thangphaet vol. 95 Suppl 1 (2012): S142-6.