Archive for October, 2009

Are your skincare products doing more harm than good?

Why should you pay attention to the ingredients on the label? As we’ve become more health conscious, we have trained ourselves to attempt to read and understand the labels on the food we eat. Unfortunately we don’t typically pay the same close attention to the labels of the products we use on our skin. You may not realize it, but it is just as important to your health and safety to know the basic functions of the ingredients that go on your body as well as those that go in it.

What are some common ingredients that can cause harm?

Parabens are very controversial. Although they have been linked to cancer and premature aging of the skin, there is still no conclusive evidence because many study results differ. I, personally, choose not to use parabens in SKIN1 because the risk isn’t worth it especially since there are much better ingredients available. Similar to smoking, if you know there is a risk why do it?

Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) in a 2007 report from the British Journal of Dermatology was linked to skin damage and premature aging. The study showed it damages the fibroblast, a cell in the body that contributes to the formation of collagen and elastin, which leads to aging of skin.  Many skincare products use DMAE as their key anti-aging ingredient but at what cost?

Sulfates and Synthetic Fragrances have both been proven to cause skin irritation. The only function of sulfates is to create bubbles in the cleansers we use. The only function of bubbles is to, well, bubble: they have nothing to do with cleansing. Obviously, synthetic fragrance enhances a product’s smell but serves no other purpose. SKIN1 is sulfate and synthetic-fragrance free because there is no reason to use ingredients that cause irritation and only serve a cosmetic purpose.

Vitamin C on the flip side, one of the greatest ingredients, can actually cause harm if not used properly by the manufacturer or improperly used by the consumer. Vitamin C in high concentrations can be lethal to the fibroblast, again, the cell that helps build new skin. Yet at a balanced pH and proper concentration it is not only protective, but can also stimulate collagen synthesis. Be aware though, there is another way you can have too much Vitamin C – the accumulation factor. This happens when you use several products with Vitamin C (i.e. cleanser, moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner and serum) which results in vitamin C accumulating in the skin and causing more harm than good.

What is the importance of understanding the different quality grades of ingredients?

There are different quality and grades of ingredients. SKIN1 products use natural, organic, and pharmaceutical grade ingredients. I’m sure you have a general understanding of the difference between natural and organic, but what is pharmaceutical grade?  It’s easier to explain if I describe the basic grades of ingredients, which applies to both what we put in and on our bodies. The FDA has designated three grades. From lowest to highest quality and purity they are food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical. Food grade is surprisingly the lowest quality, while pharmaceutical is the highest grade at 97% purity. All ingredients in SKIN1 products are pharmaceutical grade. When I am creating the formulas for SKIN1 I want to make sure that the ingredients are at the highest quality available and that they are safe and effective.