Organic Cosmetics

you were thinking all-natural was the answer to your skin care woes, “organic” has now taken over and has become the new cosmetics buzzword. Consumers are inundated with organic claims on all manner of products, and with frequent media stories surrounding the potential health risks and unknowns of anything remotely synthetic, it’s no wonder that curiosity about organic products is at an all-time high and that product sales are skyrocketing. Celebrities and cosmetics companies are launching skin-care products labeled organic faster then you can say “But is this really good for my skin?”!
Organically speaking, what does the term “organic” mean in the world of cosmetics, and principally for skin care? Shockingly, it doesn’t really mean anything because there isno comprehensive definition, and so different organizations and businesses have sprung up, each trying to become the authoritative source giving the stamp of approval—for a fee of course. Then there’s the battle the organic lines ha…

Prop ylene Glycol

Propylene glycol (along with other glycols and glycerol) is a humectant or humidifying and delivery ingredient used in cosmetics, meaning it helps other ingredients absorb better into the skin. Despite research to the contrary, you can find Web sites and spam e-mails stating that propylene glycol is really industrial antifreeze and the major ingredient in brake and hydraulic fluids. These sites also state that tests show it to be a strong skin irritant. They further point out that the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on propylene glycol warns users to avoid skin contact because systemically (in the body) it can cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage.
As ominous as that sounds, it is so far from the reality of cosmetic formulations that almost none of it holds any water or poses real concern. It is important to realize that the MSDS sheets are talking about 100% concentrations of a substance. Even water and salt have frightening comments regarding their safety according to their M…

What Influences Skin Type?

Almost everything can influence skin type, which is why it can be so tricky to attribute a single skin type to what you see on your face. Both external and internal elements can and do impact the way your skin looks and feels. To effectively evaluate your skin and determine the correct skin-care routine, here are some of the factors that need to be considered:

Internal Influences: • Hormonal changes (pregnancy, menopause, menstrual cycle, and more all cause skin conditions to fluctuate from oily to breakouts, skin discolorations, and dryness) • Skin disorders (rosacea, psoriasis, dermatitis, with each one posing its specific concerns) • Genetic predisposition of skin type (oily versus dry, prone to breakouts, sensitive skin) • Smoking (cause of necrotic skin that cannot be corrected by skin-care products) • Medications you may be taking (some birth-control pills can increase oily skin and breakouts while other types can actually improve the appearance of acne) • Diet (there is research showi…


Getting to the truth about the use of nanoparticles in cosmetics, like many issues in the cosmetics industry—with its confusing screen of distorted information—isn’t easy. But getting it right is important, particularly because the sunscreen ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, so essential to the health of skin, are involved. Nanotechnology is about changing any material from its original size and making it much, much smaller.
This technology is used in a wide variety of industries, from medicine to agriculture to cosmetics. In the case of cosmetic products and over-the-counter drugs such as sunscreens, making particles nano-sized has two chief advantages: it can make the product more aesthetically pleasing (this is often the case with mineral sunscreens—making the particles of the active mineral smaller allows them to be applied without leaving a noticeable white cast), and it can enhance penetration of certain ingredients, such as vitamins and other antioxidants.

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There are many ways to take beautiful care of your skin, but the first step is to acquire a clear understanding of how the so-called “beauty” industry works so you don’t repeatedly get waylaid by bad or ineffective products and misleading, absurd claims. Let’s start at the beginning with some basic guidelines that can help you get through most of this information. Get to know these commandments before you go shopping at another cosmetics counter, see another infomercial, have a friend introduce you to a new multilevel cosmetics line, talk to your dermatologist, have a facial, or read another fashion magazine. Once you’ve taken these basics to heart, you will have a better perspective on what you are really buying at the cosmetics counters, what these products can and can’t do, whether what you are using is worth the money, and, most important, whether any of this can hurt your skin.
One confession: This is just a partial list. There are many more “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots,” an…