When I started in the beauty industry 40 years ago, all cosmetic companies included a toner in their regime. The idea was to remove all traces of make-up after cleansing and to ‘close the pores’. Just about all formulations contained alcohol and we were encouraged to use generously, swiping the toner liquid over the face and neck.
I still get requests from customers as to what toner I can recommend. My answer is always the same: none!
There is absolutely no evidence that a toner will close pores. In fact, although advertising regulations for cosmetics are loose, this claim is avoided as it is seen to change the body in a physical way. Only products classified as drugs that actually change the body’s’ physicality are permitted make such claims and they come under an entirely different set of governing rules.
The alcohol is extremely drying, dehydrating the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis. Only proper cleansing with a gentle cleanser will effectively remove make-up, pollution and dirt. Some cosmetic houses promote liquid serums as they are used as a ‘pre-moisturiser’ feeding the skin with essential nutrients. Always read the label to ensure the product you choose does not contain alcohol, which is often used to blend the emulsion.
A Skin Conditioner is a pre-moisturiser, often thought of as a toner as it is used after cleansing and before the creamy moisturiser. A good Skin Conditioner actually feeds the skin with water soluble nutrients and provides a base for the moisturiser to lock into.
Some chemicals in Skin Care are ok.
I really can’t see any redeeming features in a skin care product that is a concoction of synthetic chemicals. 89% of chemicals used in cosmetics and skin care have not been tested for safety. The 11% that have been tested and regarded safe to include in the lotions and creams we us on our bodies have been tested in isolation and not in combination with other substances.
The industry wants us to believe Paraben preservatives are safe even though they have been found in breast cancer tissue. Many companies are removing these chemicals and promoting the fact. Sighting propyl, methyl, butyl or ethyl in the ingredient word can identify Paraben preservatives.
Research has found numerous chemicals tested on lab animals have been found to be hormone disruptor, affect the immune system, risk birth defects, may contribute to sensitivities in the individual and have shown to cause cancer!
There are many choices of skin care and cosmetics products on the market that contain ingredients that will nourish and protect the skin without the risks that using untested chemicals may bring.
Ensure the products you use on your body does not contain chemicals be choosing Certified Organics. These products carry a third party independent guarantee promising no synthetic chemicals are used in the formulations.
Secret Ingredients in Skin Care products must be worthwhile because they are patented.
There are an increasing number of cosmetic companies promoting their skin care products containing a magic, secret ingredient. They patent the name and make a big deal that this wonderful new discovery that will bring exceptional benefits to their customers. The question is: how can the consumer evaluate the claims?
Because they are ‘secret’, the company is not required to divulge the ingredients. They cannot be peer reviewed or investigated by consumers concerned with the type of chemical they expose themselves to.
These products come and they go! Making way for another new discovery that is reported to improve lines and wrinkles or miraculously save us from the dreaded ageing process. And we fall for it every time, only to realize after months of dedicated use, the improvement was fleeting.
Be wary of products that sound too good to be true. They probably are. Consider skin care that informs the customer of the active ingredients and how they will work for them. Without the smoke and mirrors. It is highly unlikely a moisturising cream will deliver remarkable changes to they way a person looks. Only cosmetic surgery can make such a promise, and that is a bit drastic for most of us.
Look for products where the entire list of ingredients is visible. This is the only assurance you have of knowing what you are actually applying to our skin.
Chemicals in Cosmetics can’t absorb into the Body.
Our skin is the largest organ we have and often the most abused. We scrub the exposed skin, usually our face and neck, apply lotions, creams, pastes and ointments and then neglect the skin not seen by others.
Many people think the skin makes us air and water tight and don’t consider that what applied to the skin can, and is absorbed into the blood stream and then into the other organs. But that is how HRT and nicotine patches work. They deliver medication into the blood stream to remedy the ailment. A few years ago, experiments were started with dermal patches to deliver medication to the brain for people suffering dementia.
It is, therefore, reasonable to assume chemicals in cosmetics and skin care products do travel through the skin layers into the blood stream and are carried to the organs.
Scientists have documented an enormous amount of research results indicating the adverse effects of some chemicals that are included ingredients in cosmetics. Consumers are left in the dark about the results of such research unless a lobby group makes an effort to expose a potential problem with a particular chemical.
Phthalates are an example of toxins in skin care products that alter the hormones. Used as a fixer in synthetic fragrance and colour and a plasticizer in nail varnish. Phthalates are present in many consumer products and there is mounting evidence they have detrimental impact on the human body.
Scientific studies from researchers’ worldwide find absorption of some chemicals impact adversely on animals of many species, from mammals, fish and amphibians.
It is possible to find skin care and cosmetics without chemicals. By choosing certified organic products, you can completely avoid the risk of toxic ingredients that can absorb into the blood stream and be carried to the organs.
That Fine, Flaky Scalp is ‘Dandruff’
Like the skin, the scalp is shedding skin cells each day. Our hair makes it more difficult to remove the skin flakes from the scalp and, if left for a length of time, warmth and moisture from the head may cause bacteria to form a crust on the scalp that is known as dandruff.
The result is a yellowish, thick build up of scalp skin cells that take patience and several treatments to remove, sometimes loosening clumps of hair as well.
Fine, powdery flakes from the scalp are actually dry scalp, usually caused by an ingredient in shampoo, sodium lauryl sulphate. This chemical inflames the scalp skin cells causing them to lift and flake.
Clever marketing from shampoo companies promote dry scalp as dandruff, but they invariably contain the same foaming chemical that causes the problem. Shampoos with non-chemical based foaming agent are rare, but worth seeking as they are not as drying. Massage the scalp regularly to promote blood supply to the scalp and hair follicles as well as loosening the dead scalp skin.
By choosing a shampoo that does not contain sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium lauryth sulphate or cocoamideapropyl betaine you can avoid the chances of a flaky scalp. These chemicals can inflame and separate the scalp skin cells which lead to a flaky scalp, often diagnosed as dandruff.
‘Natural’ Skin Care products are Chemical-Free.
Worldwide, it is not illegal to advertise skin care products as ‘natural’ even if they contain chemicals. As an example, Manufacturers will claim that coconut oil, synthesized to produce the foaming agent Cocomide DEA is a natural ingredient. But once the chemical reaction has taken place on the coconut oil it is no longer natural or even safe as the manufacturing process may produce a contaminant called nitrosamines. This will not be listed on the label, as a contaminant it is not an intended ingredient. Nitrosamines have shown to cause cancer in all species of laboratory animal including the primates, the closest relative to the human race.
Inspect the ingredients label closely of most ‘natural’ skin care products and you are likely to find the botanicals, usually marketed as the benefits of the product, are in the middle, if not the end of the list.
By choosing products with a certification logo, you are assured the entire product is certified organic and not just a few of the ingredients.
When you understand that the first 3 to 4 ingredients listed make up 90% to 95% of the entire product, the ‘natural botanical’ ingredients are in such small a proportion they will be of little benefit to the user. Many products are mainly water and chemicals with a few herbals thrown in so they can be promoted as ‘natural’