Glossary Terms beginning with P

P

Peptide

A group of compounds made up of amino acid chains. An ingredient name containing the term peptide is usually synthetic.

Pericarp

The wall of a ripened fruit or seed vessel.

Pesticide

Substances that destroy or repel pests, or that prevent or mitigate the effects of pests. In the United States, pesticides for use in consumer products, including cosmetics, must be registered and approved by the EPA.

pH

A measurement of the acidity or basicity of a substance. pH is the negative logarithm (base 10) of the concentration of hydrogen ions in solution. Water has a concentration of hydrogen ions of 1.0 x 10-7, and thus has a pH of 7. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, a pH lower than 7 is considered acidic, and a pH higher than 7 is considered basic.

pH Adjuster

Ingredients that are used to control the pH of cosmetic products.

Phytoplacenta

The wall of the cavity inside a fruit in which seeds are housed, or the part within the fruit of a flowering plant to which the seeds are attached

Phytosterol

Sterols derived from plants.

Plastic

Synthetic water insoluble polymers that are repeatedly molded, extruded or physically manipulated into various, solid forms which retain their defined shapes in their intended applications during their use and disposal.

Plasticizer

Materials that soften synthetic polymers by reducing brittleness and cracking.

Polymer

A naturally occurring or synthetic molecule made up of repeating units called monomers.

Polysaccharide

A large group of natural complex carbohydrates with the general formula (C6H10O5)n where 'n' is a large number. Polysaccarides are easily hydrolyzed into simple sugars.

Preservative

Ingredients that prevent or retard bacterial growth, and thus protect cosmetic products from spoilage.

Propellant

Compressed gases that are used to expel products from aerosols.

Proposition 65

Proposition 65 is a California citizens initiative that was enacted as "The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986." Proposition 65 requires the State to publish a list of chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer or birth defects or other reproductive harm. Businesses are then required to notify Californians about these chemicals if they are present in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment.

Protein

A naturally occurring complex organic substance present in relatively high amounts in meats, fish, eggs, cheese, legumes. Made of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, and sometimes sulfur and phosphorus.

Protoplasts

The contents of a cell, excluding the cell wall.