As a Dermal Clinician I’m not wanting to wage a one women crusade targeting cosmetic companies, preferring instead to provide information for consumers allowing them to make informed choices when purchasing skin care.
Recently on Facebook a friend posted her new range of recently purchased, beautifully wrapped ,psuedo medically labeled skin care with the caption #illgiveitago, which got me thinking……..do consumers really have an understanding of ingredients in skin care and what they can expect to achieve from using them,and /or their limitations……….or just throwing the dice with every purchase ?
“If it’s wet dry it…….if it’s dry wet it’! is the ‘catch cry’ for those of us who deal in skin.
Skin defines who we are and how other people perceive us so little wonder Aussies hand over in excess of 60 million of hard earned $$$$$ a year in cold hard cash in order to present the best possible us – but are these $$$$$ well invested ?
In our society beauty and youth reign supreme, so no surprises when we’re seduced by clever marketing campains and find ourselves clamouring for products claiming to be the elixir of youth, hoping to find our spent youth in the next jar!
Skin’s demands are simple. It doesn’t like to be stressed and it loves to be cared for.
Skin wears it’s badge of irritation, showing it’s displeasure by getting all rashy and cloaking you in red. Apply something it loves and be rewarded with glowing ,dewy skin free of irritation and imperfection. However, if – like many of us, you are part of the unfortunate collective who suffer from chronic skin disorders then management isn’t always so simple.
“She works hard for her money” ….thanks Donna Summer.
Skin works tirelessly 24 hrs a day functioning as a barrier to the environment and infection. If compromised by excessive cleaning or injury it is unable to perform its job as a gatekeeper. In order for the skin to perform optimally it must maintain an acid mantle of 4.5-5.5 and maintain lubrication by secreting sweat and oil through our skin glands This oil also acts as a waterproofing agent on the surface of the skin.
There is no quick fix!
The science of skin care is ever evolving and has led to the rebranding of skin care as ‘cosmeceuticals’ with names such as Medik8, Cosmedix, Skin Physics, MD Formulations, DNA Reset and Photon to name a few. Such medicalised name branding is a deliberate strategy to insinuate confidence in their brand, subtly leading consumers to believe their product is medically endorsed.
Truth in aging published a review describing the the term Cosmeceutical as being misleading and stating under US law to have no meaning. Further in the article it describes there is a record number of warning letters to Cosmeceutical companies for making misleading claims.
Even with my background, at times I find it hard not to be seduced by all this colour & movement and “freegift with purchase” marketing, but can they deliver on their claims, or will it only end in empty wallets and dissappointment for the consumer?
Skin functioning as a barrier frequently means that absorption of many of these ‘super duper and innovative’ ingredients is prevented – they are unable to be absorbed due to their large molecular size so will stay exactly where you applied them.
Tis not all acne & age spots doom and gloom……….
What does work? What should we be looking for?
Retinoids and Retinoic acids
- Vitamin A derivative known to increase epithelial turnover
- Used in the treatment of fine lines, acne and pigmetation changes
- Retinoids are available by prescipton only and are available in greater strengths
- Retinols may be purchased over the counter in skin care formulations
- Degraded by light so best used at night
- May increase photosensitivity so sunscreen is vital
- Introduce slowly as may cause irritation
- Not to be used by lactating or pregnant women
Vitamin C or L-Ascorbic acid
- Anitoxidant and essential part of skin health
- Essential for collagen formation
- When used in conjunction with Vitamin E and Zinc plays an important role in wound healing
- Antioxidant and found naturally occuring in sebum which lubricates the skin
- Absorption is limited to the epidermis
- Synthesised in the skin and benefits those suffering from psoriasis
- Assists in the wound healing process
- May be used topically in the treatment of bruising,spider veins ,stretch marks,burns and inflammation
- Used in the treatment of Rosacea
Vitamin B complex
- Helps maintain skin hydration
- Assists with pigmentary changes
- Reduces inflammation
Alpha Lipoic Acid
- fatty acid and powerful antioxidant
- Facilitates the properties of Vit C and E
- Naturally occurring in the skin
- Attracts water and able to absorb 1000 x it body weight
- Used in fillers due to it’s water loving properties
Gold in them thar hills……
Minerals for the skin
- works together with Vit C to form elastin,a supporting structure of the skin improving elasticity and thickness
- Healing properties
- Regulates oil production
- Benefits an Acne skin
If you want a shared loving relationship with your skin, include some of these ingredients in your skin care and remember ‘if it’s wet dry it, if it’s dry wet it!
Rome wasn’t built in a day, so allow 6-8 weeks for visible signs of improvement and to include these Vitamins in an healthy diet whilst maintaining good hydration with lots of water…..your skin will love you for it!
ASkinSolutions is happy to answer any skin care questions you might have.