Ingredients to Avoid
It is estimated that our skin is comprised of around 70 trillion cells, making it the largest organ of the body.
It gives us our shape by supporting all our internal organs, bones and blood and provides a waterproof covering. Its thickness ranges from the very thin skin found on the eyelids measuring
about 0.5mm to the thickest skin found on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, measuring about 4mm.
Our skin acts as a barrier, protecting infection from entering while also excreting waste products we don’t need such as sweat and sebum. It has the ability to store and synthesise vitamins, store water, maintain a healthy temperature, enable our sense of touch and allow for product absorption.
As you can see, the skin plays a hugely important role in ensuring our bodies run efficiently, however, the skin can come under attack from features such as environmental factors, poor diets and medication to name just a few. These all contribute to what is known as free radical damage, causing skin cells to be destroyed. Unfortunately we cannot escape free radicals as they are everywhere, but just by understanding the skin and the requirements it needs to help defend it, we can ensure we are doing our best to help combat and control these daily assaults.
Whether you work outdoors in varying weather conditions, in a skin-drying air conditioned office, or as a stay-at-home mum, as individuals, each of us require a skin care routine that will fit in with our current lifestyles while accounting for the unique stresses we all face.
When deciding which professional products would be best for you, whether it’s for the face, body or both, there are a few key points to consider and look out for. Always check the ingredients of the products you are purchasing; some skin care companies will use poor ingredients which have no
benefit to the skin but aid in bulking out a product.
For those of us who suffer with skin allergies, sensitive skin, chronic skin conditions or for those who want an "organic lifestyle" by using products that have been naturally formulated with organic extracts we decrease the skin’s toxin burden and increase the skin’s intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which can have a significant, positive impact on skin health. To make healthier choices we need encouragement and education to understand exactly what products can achieve and the ingredients to avoid.
It is important that you know exactly what you are buying, what some key ingredients in many products actually do, and why it’s best to avoid them:
Mineral oil, a by product of Petroleum, is an emollient that sits on the surface of the skin offering no discernable benefit. It gives a ‘slip and slide’ feel to a product and can leave a greasy residue. It also may be comedogenic.
Lanolin, either derived from sheep’s wool or synthetically produced, is a wax used for emollient properties, most notably in lip balms. It causes allergies, may contain carcinogens, and is comedogenic.
P.A.B.A. (para-animo benzoic acid), derived from Vitamin B, is a sun screen agent known to cause allergic eczema in sensitive skin and prickly heat.
S.D Alcohol, specially denatured ethyl alcohol, is used an as astringent and antiseptic but dries sebum from the skin, dehydrates moisture and can be highly irritating.
Fragrances, also known as ‘Parfum’, are used to disguise odors and for ‘signaturing’ products but can cause allergies and are photosensitising.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is a detergent used to create foam in products such as bubble bath, toothpaste and skin cleanser. It dehydrates due to its degreasing ability and irritates the skin, potentially causing eczema.
Artificial Colours, derived from coal tar or cosmetic red dyes, colour a product but are comedogenic and should not be used around the delicate eye area.
Octyl Palmitate from chemical esters is a thickening agent used in creams that has the adverse effect of clogging pores, causing blackheads and irritating the respiratory system.
Isopropyl Myristate comes from fatty alcohol and is used predominantly in mouthwashes, eye make-up remover and to give separability to lotions and creams, however it is highly comedogenic, penetrates the hair follicle and causes blackheads and milia.
Professional products will offer a far more complex blend of ingredients, usually of a better quality and that have often gone through advanced manufacturing processes. An example of this would be a micro-emulsified skin cream, such as Pevonia’s Men’s Caviar Balm, which has gone through a triphased manufacturing process; this means that the ingredients have been broken down into tiny microscopic particles enabling them to penetrate deeper into the skin due to a clever water–oil–water formulation, this in turn means the product can work much more effectively on your skin and give
much better results.
An imperative process in creating a beneficial product is to ensure the active ingredients are chirally correct, which means using ingredients that activate cellular function. Any molecule has two sides or shapes and although they may appear identical do not always feature the same benefits. A chiral molecule’s identical side will have an exact mirror image of itself. To understand this further, if you hold your up your hands you will see they are mirror images of each other; now place one hand on top of the other and you will see the major features do not line up, they are made of the same
structure but are mirror images; therefore your hands are chiral. The term chirally correct is given to whichever side of a molecule is isolated due to its superior benefits and compatibility with the body.
The skin cells are effectively a keyhole with the ingredients being the key. The correct key or chirally correct ingredient must be selected to ensure access to the cells and only the highest quality skin care brands will take this point into consideration when developing their products. Any artificial ingredients are not chirally correct and will not ‘fit’ with the skin; consequently they are no where near as effective.
When purchasing products you can always look out for certain labelling which will show you that a particular product or brand has gone through the correct measures to ensure it is eco-friendly and organic. One example of this is Pevonia’s Organic Trade Association, OTA, seal, which demonstrates a confirmed loyalty to eco-friendly measures within business. To participate in this accolade, members must be part of an organic business alliance that promotes and protects the growth of organic trade thus benefiting farmers, the environment, the public and the economy.
The positive impact a dynamic and considered regime can have extends beyond our own skin and to the environment as a whole. Natural and organic products far exceed any chemically created products as they appear to react better and have a more natural affinity with our skin. Pevonia’s products are natural and organic, and don’t contain any of the harsh chemicals or poor ingredients that can still be found in some products today.
Looking for and converting to organic or natural products is important as we grow to realise the pressure our skin is under, understand what can best address these modern issues and appreciate the benefits we will reap through a well-considered product range that is free from negative and
potentially harmful ingredients.