What to look for in skin care.
I get tired of all the negative press skin care products get and hearing about what should not be in there. Lets look at the beneficial ingredients of skin care and what you should be looking for on your label. Here are a few.
Natural Vegetable oils. I think it’s better to have natural vegetable oils in a skin care product because they offer the skin a variety of necessary fatty acids that the skin needs to maintain its barrier function. Good vegetable oils include olive oil, meadowfoam oil, rice bran oil, avocado oil and more.
Water. Water is an important part of a moisturizer because only water can moisturize. An all oil product helps hold in water and softens the skin but it of course cannot add water or moisture to the skin.
Preservative. Preservative free is a big trend now but just like food, anything you keep for more than a day or so requires preserving. You can make a nice bowl of soup using fresh ingredients from your garden and it tastes great when you make it. But you would never leave it on your dresser and take a bite each night for the next few months. A non-preserved skin care product that you might make at home such as a mask is great to use immediately, but it needs to be preserved if you are not planning to use it up within a few days. It is just not safe to use an unpreserved product and you are putting yourself at risk for an infection.
Something extra. There are many extras for skin care products from humectants to herb extracts and higher end ingredients such as peptides. Depending on what you want from your product you might want to look for these.
Humectants. Does your product contain a humectant? Something that binds water? This could be glycerin, hyaluronic acid, honey or caprylyl glycol.
Vitamins. Vitamins are popular in cosmetics and might include vitamin E, vitamin B, vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin C is unstable and so is often found as vitamin C ester. Vitamin A is often masked in another oil that is high in vitamin A such as parsley, pumpkin or calendula flower extracts. These vegetable sources of vitamin A are actually a provitamin A called carotenoids. Vitamin B has several family members seen in skin care products including Vitamin B3 (niacin) often seen as niacinamide and Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid. Vitamin B deficiency can result in redness, irritation, dermatitis and hyperpigmentation.
Peptides. Peptides are made in a lab but made by green chemistry meaning they it does not use or produce hazardous substances.
Read your labels and look for something extra in your skin care. Natural skin care products can and should contain actives. And if you can’t pronounce it, just ask – its not an indicator of toxicity.