Is Organic Skin Care Better?

bigstock-Beautiful-smiling-blond-woman--15958400Walk the beauty counter or do a google search for skin care and you’ll see hundreds of products touting the benefits of “Organic, No harmful chemicals, all natural, etc.”  Sounds great, but is it?

  • First the term Organic does not officially apply to skin care, only to food. So no agency will care or verify that their ingredients truly are organic.
  • Natural also has no legal meaning, so again, just advertising like new and improved, just words with no definition behind them.
  • Natural, non chemical, is best.  Is it?  The implication that anything naturally grown is good and anything processed, or with a chemical sounding name is bad.  Poison ivy, hemlock, rattle snake venom, etc are all natural, but you do not want them on or near you.
  • Preservative methods – many skin care lines are advertising that they are paraben free. This is good, but they still must preserve the product otherwise it will have the shelf life of a jar of mayonnaise and must be refrigerated. So how do they preserve the product?
    • Formaldehyde releasing agents. These will have chemical names but their evilness comes from the fact that when the molecule breaks down it releases formaldehyde.
    • Oils – Many will use various oils like grapefruit oil, eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, etc.  These are no unhealthy at all, but they are drying and irritating. So they do safely preserve the product, but you don’t want to put something on your skin which is drying and/or irritating.
    • Refrigeration – Some lines are truly all natural and un preserved, but they have very short shelf lives and you must keep them refrigerated. so not convenient.
    • Self Preserving – One line has a unique patented process where they use several processes to make it difficult for bacterial to get a hold, one property is they encapsulate some of the ingredients in micro capsules so that are released when you apply it to your skin.
  • All chemicals are not bad, like all things natural aren’t always good. Every substance has its common name and its chemical name. So weather it is listed by its common name or its chemical name doesn’t change it.  Chemicals are only bad if they are bad for you.

So if your looking for an organic skin care line, maybe look deeper and look instead for harmful or irritating ingredients instead.

 

FDA Finally Classifies Formaldehyde as a Carcinogen.

Formaldehyde is best known as embalming fluid but it is found in many household products including your hair care, skin care, and body care products!  It is also found in pressed wood products like particle board. When you walk into a new house under construction that new house smell is formaldehyde. 


The FDA just recently added formaldehyde to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer, not that might cause cancer, but does cause cancer. Here is the report from the Department of Health and Human Services  http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/roc12


When you look at products you put on your skin you won’t see formaldehyde listed as an ingredient because nobody would buy a product with that listed, but there are a number of common chemicals which degrade and breakdown fairly readily and when they break down they release formaldehyde. The most popular chemicals are:

  • Quaternium 15
  • 2-bromo-2nitropropane-1,3-dio
  • Diazolidinyl urea
  • Imidazolidinyl urea
  • DMDM Hydantoin
If you see these listed on the label, then you’re exposing formaldehyde directly to your skin daily. 

The skin care product we use and recommend is free from all formaldehyde releasing agents as well as parabens. It also doesn’t use irritating natural oils, like tea tree, grapefruit oil, etc. These aren’t harmful, but they are irritating to the skin.  I won’t mention product names here, but email me at my address below and I’ll give you information where you can find this product.
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Skin care: Five tips for healthy skin

Good skin care — including sun protection and gentle cleansing — can keep your skin healthy and glowing for years to come.

Don’t have time for intensive skin care? Pamper yourself with the basics. Good skin care and healthy lifestyle choices can help delay the natural aging process and prevent many skin problems. Get started with these five no-nonsense tips.

1. Protect yourself from the sun

The most important way to take care of your skin is to protect it from the sun. A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, freckles, age spots and rough, dry skin. Sun exposure can also cause more-serious problems, such as skin cancer. For the most complete sun protection:
  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. This is when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
  • Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with tightly woven long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed hats. You might also opt for special sun-protective clothing, which is specifically designed to block ultraviolet rays while keeping you cool and comfortable.
  • Use sunscreen when you’re in the sun. Apply generous amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours, after heavy sweating or after being in water.

2. Don’t smoke

Smoking makes your skin look older and contributes to wrinkles. Smoking narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow. This depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients, such as vitamin A, that are important to skin health. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin — fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. In addition, the repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking — such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke — may contribute to wrinkles.
If you smoke, the best way to protect your skin is to quit. Ask your doctor for tips or treatments to help you stop smoking.

3. Treat your skin gently

Daily cleansing and shaving can take a toll on your skin, so keep it gentle:
  • Limit bath time. Hot water and long showers or baths remove oils from your skin. Limit your bath or shower time, and use warm — rather than hot — water.
  • Avoid strong soaps. Strong soaps can strip oil from your skin. Instead, choose mild cleansers.
  • Shave carefully. To protect and lubricate your skin, apply shaving cream, lotion or gel before shaving. For the closest shave, use a clean, sharp razor. Shave in the direction the hair grows, not against it. Of course laser hair removal eliminates the need for shaving daily.
  • Pat dry. After washing or bathing, gently pat or blot your skin dry with a towel so that some moisture remains on your skin.
  • Moisturize dry skin. Find a moisturizer that fits your skin type and makes your skin look and feel soft. We recommend a skin health line we carry in our salon. It is free of all chemical preservatives as well as free from “Natural” preservatives which are safe, yet irritating to skin such as tea tree oil, lavender, etc.

4. Eat a healthy diet

A healthy diet can help you look and feel your best. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. The association between diet and acne is clear — research suggests that a diet rich in vitamin C and a broad spectrum of antioxidants and low in fats and carbohydrates may promote younger looking skin.

5. Manage stress

Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems. To encourage healthy skin — and a healthy state of mind — take steps to manage your stress. Set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. The results may be more dramatic than you expect.

What does organic mean for cosmetics?

‘Organic’ doesn’t quite mean the same thing whether you’re in the food or in the cosmetic industry. To consumers it can mean ‘natural’, ‘green’, ‘chemical free’, or ‘found at Whole Foods’. But according to this article, the US organics market is completely confused.

http://www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/Products-Markets/Study-highlights-confusion-in-US-organics-market.

Primarily because there is no industry-agreed meaning for terms like ‘organic’ or ‘natural’. Unlike the farming industry, these terms are not regulated for cosmetics. Companies can pretty much claim anything is natural or organic.

For example, imagine a body wash formula. It contains all kinds of synthetic surfactants, fragrances, preservatives and colors. But it also contains 85-90% water. A company might simply claim “90% organic or natural” and be telling the truth. Certainly, this isn’t in the spirit of what people believe organic to mean, but it is within the law.

Are organic products better?
Incidentally, natural or organic cosmetic products don’t really provide any added benefit for consumers. Most companies are just fooling you when they say their products are natural. What isn’t? And for companies like Burt’s Bees who strive to make ‘organic’ or ‘all-natural’ products, their finished products are mostly functionally inferior to more mainstream products. This is the real trade-off of natural or organic products. That and an incredibly higher cost for an inferior product.

Remember cosmetics are not food. No one has ever proven there is a benefit to ‘organically’ derived cosmetics.

Marie Bertrand 
M.Sc. Microbiology & Immunology, U of Montreal

In the cosmetic industry Consultant to:

  • L’Oreal Canada – Vichy, LaRoche-Posay
  • Bioderma, Europe
  • Uniprix Pharmacies, Quebec
In the biotech industry
  • National Cancer Institute – USA
  • Molecular Biology Specialist
  • BD Biosciences
  • Geneka Biotechnology

As a follow on to what Marie wrote above, Whole Foods just put many of their “Organic Skin Care” vendors on notice to drop bogus Organic claims when their products contain no organic ingredients or contain petro-chemical derived ingredients. As Marie wrote above, there is no organic or natural standard for skin care so companies can put whatever they want on the label – it is just marketing.  Click Here for the link to the Whole Foods press release.

At our salon, Bella Pelle Laser, we use and recommend the Sense line of products which Marie Betrand also recommends to her clients.

What does organic mean for cosmetics?

‘Organic’ doesn’t quite mean the same thing whether you’re in the food or in the cosmetic industry. To consumers it can mean ‘natural’, ‘green’, ‘chemical free’, or ‘found at Whole Foods’. But according to this article, the US organics market is completely confused.

http://www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/Products-Markets/Study-highlights-confusion-in-US-organics-market.

Primarily because there is no industry-agreed meaning for terms like ‘organic’ or ‘natural’. Unlike the farming industry, these terms are not regulated for cosmetics. Companies can pretty much claim anything is natural or organic.

For example, imagine a body wash formula. It contains all kinds of synthetic surfactants, fragrances, preservatives and colors. But it also contains 85-90% water. A company might simply claim “90% organic or natural” and be telling the truth. Certainly, this isn’t in the spirit of what people believe organic to mean, but it is within the law.

Are organic products better?
Incidentally, natural or organic cosmetic products don’t really provide any added benefit for consumers. Most companies are just fooling you when they say their products are natural. What isn’t? And for companies like Burt’s Bees who strive to make ‘organic’ or ‘all-natural’ products, their finished products are mostly functionally inferior to more mainstream products. This is the real trade-off of natural or organic products. That and an incredibly higher cost for an inferior product.

Remember cosmetics are not food. No one has ever proven there is a benefit to ‘organically’ derived cosmetics.

Marie Bertrand
M.Sc. Microbiology & Immunology, U of Montreal

In the cosmetic industry Consultant to:

  • L’Oreal Canada – Vichy, LaRoche-Posay
  • Bioderma, Europe
  • Uniprix Pharmacies, Quebec
In the biotech industry
  • National Cancer Institute – USA
  • Molecular Biology Specialist
  • BD Biosciences
  • Geneka Biotechnology