Are your skincare products anti-aging enough?

canstockphoto8795735We have plenty to worry about.  Are our mammograms frequent enough, are we flossing enough, have we reduced our sugar in-take enough, did we get enough exercise… the last thing we need to add to the list is the worry if our skincare products are anti-aging enough.

Relax.  Here are some logical guidelines to help you resolve your concerns.

To make informed purchases you need to understand several points; how your skin changes, what you can realistically expect and what products can accomplish your expectations.

DI skin chartUNDERSTAND HOW SKIN CHANGES.  Think of our skin as an ever-changing ebbing and flowing micro-organism.  It is, in fact, that.  It takes in information from the world around it and from within the body acting as a filter, showing as a barometer for you to read.  Every injury, every sunburn, every illness, every food or drug transgression gets recorded there deep in the layers eventually showing in the surface as a mark, a sag or a bag.  Those negative events change the way the skin renews itself resulting in mutant cell formation.  It happens to everyone more or less.  Its called life.

UNDERSTAND HOW TO AFFECT THOSE SKIN CHANGES.  Short of finding the fountain of youth, modern science has given us some tools that allows us to target the mutant skin cell formation at its root.  High tech anti-aging ingredients, micro-exfoliants, stimulants, suppressants all work to retrain the skin as long as a delivery system is in place to get them to find and regenerate cells deep where they are formed.  It all about getting the tools to where they can help.  Scientifically speaking, it is matching chirally correct ingredient keys to cells that have the correct key-holes to receive them.  If an ingredient is in the wrong form it won’t do didily squat. (Did you know, for example, there are a dozen or so forms of vitamin C; some harm, some help?)

UNDERSTAND YOUR EXPECTATIONS.  How much change do you want in your skin?  Do you simply want to maintain what you have to keep it from aging too quickly or do you want to dramatically change or soften the effects of the past?

 LEVELS OF CARE:

1.  Maintain skin as it is with a few simple anti-aging products.

2.  Push the skin into change with an anti-aging product routine and at-home processes.

3.  Add to the anti-aging home routine with facial treatments that create visible change.

UNDERSTAND YOUR SOURCE.

  • Self-service store products (drugs stores, grocery stores) are formulated with inexpensive ingredients, use very low-level doses of active ingredients and are aimed at creating a feel-good result.  They sound nice, they smell nice, they look pretty and you feel good using them because they appeal to all your senses.  If you have not been using anything, then your skin will feel better because it is moisturized.  But by virtue of the many synthetic ingredients they contain, the skin cannot accept what they are offering therefore cannot thwart off aging as described above.  Allergic reaction is a high possibility with these types of products.
  • Natural food store products focus on important things like being organic or non-toxic but like all self-service stores do not contain enough active ingredients to make change.  In addition, many “natural” ingredients can be congesting to the skin.
  • Department store products are a step above, use more actives but not in a vehicle that allows them to react with your skin.  Synthetic fragrance, for example, sets up an immune response in the skin so it that it rejects the product.  Because the counter clerks are sales people with quotas to meet who are not certified in skincare, the manufacturers raise the price of each product by 20% to factor in the many returns that aren’t matched well to the client’s skin.
  • On-line store products run the gambit.  If you are not a trained master esthetician, how will you know how to choose?  Additionally, some of the known active product lines that are sold through this market place have altered their formulas rendering them less-active so their will be less liability in this forum.  Think outlet stores; those name brand clothes are cheap knock-offs of the originals.
  • Mega beauty store products are usually the products that did not sell well in a professional setting or are made specifically for the store.  Not a lot of activity here but instead a lot of perfume.
  • Destination spa products.  You are more likely to find active product lines in a destination spa because only licensed skincare professionals can provide the services there. However, if the spa is in a vacation setting it is likely that the products will be less active so the establishment will not have the liability if someone who visits only once uses the product incorrectly.
  • Medical spas are where you will find the most active products.  The licensed skincare professionals there – estheticians – can often have paramedical training and the doctors practicing there can prescribe products not available anywhere else.  You will not find many holistic products in this setting, however, as there is a high emphasis on changing the skin through artificial means.
  • Solo estheticians, like myself, are more apt to have the most highly active products that are on the market.  Because of their licensing, they have access to these products that are not available anywhere else.  Active products need to be administered and followed up on to assure of their proper use and will create visible change within a couple of weeks.  Look for a practice that specializes in what you want to accomplish in your skin.

I am a master-level paramedical esthetician with over 30 years of experience.  I choose to work outside of a medical setting in solo practice so I can employ holistic processes to my work.  The products that I sell are hand formulated by me to act as a continuation of my skin rejuvenation services, to be used in your home and monitored by me.  Please contact me if you would like more information on how you can maximize your anti-aging skincare routine.  Jane   jbalshaw@comcast.net  603-491-7305

This post was for you Margie.  You ask the best questions.  🙂

 

 

 

 

Natural vs. holistic ingredients; a formulators perspective

natural-vs-chemical-ingredients

The designation of “organic” or “natural” may not be the complete measure of what makes a great skincare product.

Consumer awareness; it’s a wonderful thing!  Joining our interest in food purity is the resurgence of awareness in personal-care product purity.  We need to take charge of own health so this is a great consciousness to have, especially considering how really unhealthy many personal healthcare products can be.  THUMBS UP!!

It’s this very consciousness that got me interested in making my own skin care and cosmetics products some 35 years ago [Yes, I am that old].  I independently studied ingredient toxicity, ingredient purity and the benefits of any natural ingredients that I could personally locate. I started making products myself, I tried out the European “clean” skin care products, I tried multi-level marketed simple products and I tried out & demonstrated the health food store brands.

Despite the healthy natural ingredients of all of these products I tried, my skin did not do well.  You see, like many people reading this, my skin has come deficits in the way it functions so many whole ingredients clogged it or created allergic reaction.  Darn.

It was at this point that I began informally studying cosmetic chemistry.  I was able to consult with chemists and I read everything I could get my hands on including the timely studies of dermatologists.  Turns out that often times what is helpful for our bodies to take internally may not helpful applied to the surface of the skin.  So it seems that the designation of “organic” or “natural” may not be the most complete measure of what makes a great skincare/cosmetic product especially where a needed therapy is concerned.

The designation of “organic” or “natural” may not be the complete measure of what makes a great skincare product.canstockphoto1069623

I prefer a more holistic approach to formulating skincare and cosmetics.  This means that the ingredients and ultimately the finished product is designed to work with the natural functions of the skin and each individual body [at a deficit or not] rather than work against it or causing the skin to fight back with an allergic reaction.  In the same way that sustainable agriculture is even more inclusive than simply a designation of “organic”, holistic formulations incorporate ALL the important elements of skin health; organic/ natural, non-toxic, skin-accessible and change-creating.

Holistic formulations incorporate ALL the important elements of skin health; organic/natural, non-toxic, skin-accessible and change-creating.

Consider these measures to see if a face care or cosmetic product really works to address your skin’s needs and your over all body health.

  1. Are the ingredients hazardous in some way?  The list is endless but here are the top few to avoid.  Paraben preservatives (they mimic estrogen when absorbed into the body so are linked to causing breast cancer), many sunscreen chemicals such oxybenzone (linked to causing cancer), coal-tar (causes cancer), ingredients with “DEA” at the end of the word (reacts with other ingredients to create a carcinogen), hydroquinone (a skin bleaching agent that is banned in other countries because of reproductive toxicity and is a potential carcinogen), formaldehyde or Imidazolidinyl Urea and DMDM Hydantoin (which convert to formalehyde in the skin – causes cancer)… Click here to link to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website to search cosmetic ingredients.
  2. Are the ingredients potentially irritating to the skin?   Irritants can cause the immune functions of the skin to engage creating allergic reactions OR can cause the skin to reject the product disallowing any benefits it may contain.  Anybody can be sensitive to any ingredient but here are a few of the most unsuspecting irritants; propylene glycol, sulfates, seaweed/kelp extracts, sunscreen chemicals, artificial fragrance, raw forms of vitamin C, TEA preservatives.
  3. Are the ingredients potentially acne-causing/congesting to the skin?  Avoid any ingredient with the spelling “myristate” or “myristyl” or any with the spelling “lanolin/lanolate” or waxes or sticky vegetable oils such as peach kernel, olive, sesame, avocado or coconut or natural vitamin E or dyesClick here to read and/or down load the complete list.  Also click here to read about skin types that are more prone to clogging.
  4. Are the ingredients “active” and “bio-available”?  Will they work with the skin to stimulate it to do what it does when it is most healthy & youthful? These are some of the currently available most active ingredients produced with modern technology; peptides (proteins that link with the skins existing proteins to enable healthy tissue regeneration), plant stem cells (bio-active cells that stimulate the growth of human skin stem cells), vitamin fractions (vitamins refined in the laboratory to be most active, available and non-irritating – L versions when possible), refined organic plant extracts (purified and refined ancient traditional medicines), minerals (the same that are present in our own body are helpful in a formula to maintain the integrity of the skin).
  5. Does the product have a good delivery system to get the ingredients into the skin to be utilized? Are they active just touching the surface of the skin or do they need to be penetrated to lower levels?  These are things that only your aesthetician or formulator can tell you because this is where chemistry and the secrets of the trade come in to play.  Things we consider:
  • Is the pH correct to allow the skin to receive the treatment; higher pH to clean the skin, lower pH to penetrate, lower still to exfoliate?
  • Are the ingredient particles small enough to penetrate the skin to activate the under lying functions?
  • Are the ingredients large enough to coat the skin for protection?
  • Do the base ingredients act as a “solvent” to soften the pathways into the skin to carry the actives deeply?

All of the above is simplistically stated because…. there is another aspect to consider in a product.  The sales of skincare and cosmetic products is a billion dollar industry trying to capture each of our attentions from an aesthetic point of view.  The color, the packaging, the smell, the texture are all part of what makes our senses engage to use a product.  Even more than if it works, to many of us the sensation and the ease of use is of utmost importance.

Next time you considering purchasing a product check yourself; are you buying because you think it will create a lasting change of health in your skin or is it a purchase that fills some need of comfort and promise.  Either way, it is wise to be informed.

Jane  see Euchlora products here