Skin Care


Skin - the largest organ in our bodies and the one we show to the world.  Caring for our skin is essential - both inside and out.   That's why we have created this special section - to help you find the information you need.

What type of product formulation is best for your skin type.

Formulation Skin Type
Milk & Lotion  Sensitive skin which is easily irritated, can become red and itchy.
Balm Extremely dry or dehydrated skin that is flaky or cracked and feels tight.
Micellar Water Normal and sensitive skin which has minimal irritation.
Gel Oil & acneic skin that breaks out easily and/or is inflamed and congested.
Powder Normal skin that usually has minimal oiliness or dryness.
Foam Extremely oily Skin that is greasy to the touch and shiny all day long.
Thick Cream Dry, dehydrated and mature skin that shows signs of aging and a loss of elasticity.

BEST SKIN CARE TIPS

  • Pour on the Protection to ensure you layer on enough sunscreen. It's the best way to keep skin youthful. Fill the hollow of your palm (about ½ teaspoon) with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to coat your face, neck, and ears. You may have to apply two coats to finish what you've squeezed out, but that's how you make sure you're covered.
  • Look Sun-Kissed! A little tint takes years off your face by evening out your skin tone, which a recent study found is a key marker of youthfulness.
  • Eat a Skin-Saving Breakfast. The first meal of the day - include almonds. They contain essential fatty acids, which help put the brakes on inflammation that accelerates fine lines, sagging, and blotchiness. Not feeling like a nut or can't eat them? Salmon, tuna, and halibut are good lunch/dinner sources.
  • Zen Your Skin. Stress is so damaging to skin. High levels of tension can spike hormone production that leads to breakouts or aggravates conditions like psoriasis. Controlling stress keeps your skin calm—but that's easier said than done! But you will be glad you took the time. Taking a 10-minute time-out to apply a face mask and relax. Unplug and turn off!
  • Protect with Powder! Sunscreen stops working in less than 3 hours, so reapplication is key. For easy touch-ups, use powder sunscreen. It's light, so skincare stays intact.
  • Pair Your Potions! A 'cross-training' regimen is the key to rapid rejuvenation. Some ingredients—like sunscreen and antioxidants in the morning and retinoids and peptides at night—work better as a team.

The Basics of Skin Care Ingredients

Skin care products need to contain the trifecta of ingredients in order to get the most benefit. If you have questions or concerns about a specific ingredient, use our Beauty Science page.


OCCLUSIVES
Occlusives are one of the three pillars of moisturizers. They work alongside humectants and emollients to keep skin feeling soft, hydrated, and glowing. Occlusive substances work by helping to form a physical barrier or seal on the outer layer of the skin, to prevent trans-epidermal water loss; keep moisture locked in. Although they don’t increase the moisture levels of the skin, they can help prevent water reserves from being drained by external sources like wind, a dry environment, or injury.

Occlusives can come from plant sources, like candelilla wax, carnauba wax, palm kernel and heavy oils like macadamia, castor, and cocoa butter. Others, like mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin come from refining crude oil. Some are nature-identical like allantoin, a compound found in many natural sources, but is often produced in a lab to cost and sustainability reasons.

Natural occlusives: 
  • Beeswax is composed of monoesters, diesters, and triesters, as well as hydrocarbons, hydroxypolyesters, and free fatty acids. Because of the nature of beeswax, including the moisturizing and soothing qualities, it is very frequently used in moisturizers.
  • Vegetable waxes - for those that don’t like using animal products, there are some great vegetable waxes that are a great substitute for beeswax. Carnauba wax, also called Brazil wax and palm wax, and Candelilla wax, and Palm kernel oil are great choices. 
  • Plant oils and butters high in Oleic Acid. In general, most plant oils are considered emollients, but some oils, particularly those high in oleic acid, also work also have occlusive properties. These oils often have a thicker, greasier feel and include olive, avocado, rice bran, macadamia, castor, and soybean oil and shea and cocoa butter. 
  • Lecithin is a fat that is essential in the cells of the body. It can be found in many foods, including soybeans, chickpeas, and egg yolks. It is a multi-purpose ingredient that helps pump up the skin’s barrier function and also be used as an emulsifier for oil in water emulsions. It can also help with serious dryness and eczema. It can be derived from many plant sources including sunflower and soy.  
  • Cocoa Butter is an amazing occlusive. It has properties of all the moisturizing components and is a go-to for the skin. One of the benefits of cocoa butter is the high tocopherol content. This is a cluster of compounds that together contain a lot of Vitamin E, and is sometimes referred to as a form of that key vitamin. Tocopherol is a friend of the skin due to its antioxidant properties. These protect the skin from UV rays, and ultimately make it look firm and healthy. By boosting collagen, Vitamin E also keeps your face free of nagging little spots and lines and wrinkles that may come from age.
  • Allantoin - While allantoin occurs naturally in botanical extracts of the comfrey plant, it is generally chemically synthesized to be nature-identical for sustainability reasons. When formulating, allantoin will come in the form of a white powder that is dissolved in the water phase. Allantoin helps to create a barrier over the skin while healing and promoting cellular regeneration.  
Non-Natural/Synthetic/Petroleum-based Occlusive agents
There are many great plant-based or natural occlusives, but some of the occlusives ingredients most popular with dermatologists and professional formulators are derived from petroleum products or made with some synthetic ingredients. Regardless of whether you use choose to use all-natural ingredients or synthetics, it’s important to understand the what options are available.
  • Petrolatum, or petroleum jelly and mineral oil. These are the two most popular occlusive ingredients because they are both inexpensive to produce and are effective occlusive ingredients. It’s generally believed, when properly refined, petrolatum has no known health concerns and is safe to use. Another concern is regarding the impact to the environment because both are derived from crude oil, a renewable resource. 
  • Dimethicone is one of the best and most popular synthetic occlusive ingredients because it is inexpensive and easy to produce and it excels at forming a nice moisture barrier over the skin. Another reason for dimethicone’s popularity is that is it is the only ingredient listed that has a greasy feeling when applied to the skin. 
EMOLLIENTS
An emollient softens dry, rough, flakey skin, making it look and feel better. When the top layer of your skin doesn’t contain enough water, it dries out. This causes skin to crack and flake off, leaving open spaces between the cells in your skin. Emollients fill those spaces with fatty substances, called lipids, which make your skin smoother and softer.

Emollients help soothe dry skin and work well on individuals with skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Oil-based emollients are heavier in texture and leave a slightly greasy sheen on skin, which makes them ideal for very dry skin. Water-based emollients don’t leave a greasy residue, making them more suitable for normal to oily skin types.

Examples of emollients:
  • Aloe vera
  • Shea butter
  • Lauric acid
  • Linoleic acid
  • Oleic acid
  • Stearic acid
  • Cetyl alcohol
  • Triethylhexanoin
  • Ceramides.
HUMECTANTS
Humectants are substances that have the ability to draw in moisture from their surrounding environment as opposed to a desiccant which dries things out. Your skin naturally contains humectants such as hyaluronic acid, which is responsible for giving your complexion its plump, youthful appearance. For this same reason, hyaluronic acid is a popular ingredient in many dermal fillers used to plump your skin and lips and to temporarily smooth away lines and wrinkles. Humectants are frequently used in cosmetics as a way of increasing and maintaining moisture in the skin and hair, in products including shampoo, conditioner, frizz serum, lotions, creams, lip treatments, cleansers, after-sun lotion, and some soaps or body lotions.

Humectants are also essential for healthy skin hydration, but you do have to be careful about which ones you choose and how you use them in your daily skin care regimen. Humectants attract moisture from their environment, which can be the outside air or the underlying layers of your skin. If you are in a humid environment, humectant ingredients will pull in moisture from the air and therefore help your skin to stay hydrated. If you are in a dry climate, on the other hand, humectants can cause your skin to become dehydrated by pulling moisture up from deeper layers and onto the surface, where they can evaporate into the air. For this reason, it is best to combine humectant ingredients with an occlusive.

There are many different ingredients that have humectant properties, and some act as both a humectant and an occlusive. Some of the most common humectants are:
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Heparan sulfate analog
  • Aloe
  • Honey
  • Glycerin
  • Urea
  • Propylene glycol
  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
  • Glycolic acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Phytic acid
  • Gluconolactone 
Both humectants and occlusives can provide nearly instant results in terms of increasing skin hydration and providing a temporary plumping and smoothing effect, but neither addresses the underlying cause of dry skin. If your skin is very dry or if you struggle to control eczema or other similar conditions, try a barrier repair moisturizer that treats the underlying cause of skin dryness rather than just treating the symptoms. Look for these terms near the beginning of the ingredient list on the bottle:
  • Fatty acids
  • Ceramides
  • Cholesterol
  • Myristoyl/palmitoyl oxostearamide/arachamide mea
  • MLE technology 
These ingredients help to repair your skin’s damaged protective barrier, which is the underlying reason why excess water is able to escape into the air and irritants and pathogens are easily able to enter.



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