Although natural and organic home remedies are becoming more and more popular among internet users worldwide, both men and women still turn to over the counter and prescribed skin care products to fulfill their needs. While a skin aesthetician or a dermatologist can help lead you in the right direction when choosing the best skin care products, you can still gather information beforehand so you can have a general idea about the pros and cons of items for oily, dry or sensitive skin, no matter if you are you are Caucasian, Japanese, African American or Korean.
Hyaluronic acid, hydroquinone, beta-hydroxy acid (salicylic acid), dimethylaminoethanol, kojic acid and alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are just a few key ingredients that skin care products contain in order to have an impact on your skin. While most medical specialists are familiar with these terms, the average consumer really is not. These ingredients are used for various objectives, such as obtaining a healthy glow for your skin or an anti-aging effect.
However, not all elements in skin care products are completely healthy; others can prove to be potentially dangerous and harm the skin if the consumer is not careful. In the make-up products category, products such as lipsticks and mascaras can prove to contain harmful chemicals of their own as well. Our aim is to help you better understand the contents of skin care products, while discovering their health benefits and dangers as well. For this, we have the gathered the best positive and negative reviews of skin care products, so you can benefit from an unbiased overview of their complete features. Here is all you need to know about the skin care products available today.
Skin Care Products Statistics
In the cosmetic industry, skin care products play a critical role. Studies show that no less than 30% of all cosmetic categories are occupied by skin care (see fig. 1), which means that these products really are indispensable for both manufacturers and consumers. Surprisingly enough, another chart points out that France supplies a whopping 40% of the cosmetic imports to the United States, making French skin care products the most popular (fig. 2). Another startling fact is that the demand for skin products is continuously on the rise.
Research points out that more than 30% of women are willing to spend over $200 every year solely on body and skin care products (fig. 3).
The statistics portal Statista shows almost unbelievable numbers when it comes to skin care product revenue. Although the numbers are slowly decreasing each year, their chart proves that in the 2011-2012-2013-2014-2015 period Americans have spent a total of over 2 billion dollars each year on anti-aging skin care products (fig. 4).
We can clearly tell that this is more than a profitable market, manufacturers are literally making billions each and every year based on the demand for anti-aging solutions. That makes us wonder a little bit though, actually how many of these creams, scrubs, masks and lotions are indeed efficient? Or better yet, what exactly are the greatest myths regarding skin care products? Find them out below.
Skin Care Myths
We are all well-aware that not everything that glitters is gold and that not all statements regarding skin care are indeed true. For example, you probably didn’t know that scrubbing your face with soap is the best way to stay away from acne, whether you are prone to it or not. How about spending ridiculous amounts on skin care products thinking that you well get the value for your money? Wrong again. The market is packed with myths about skin care and various products; a few of them are:
Wrinkle Creams Eliminate Wrinkles
We really hope that everybody is well-aware by now that there is no wrinkle cream out there that can completely eliminate wrinkles. The majority of commercial wrinkle creams only hydrate the skin, allowing it to look younger and fresher for a temporary period of time. Nevertheless, there is a product out there that is known to reduce and even reverse fine lines, according to doctors: topical retinoids. They can be found marketed as Tretinoin or Retinol and improve the skin by increasing cell turnover. Reports show that they are also pretty good if you want to treat acne or rosacea, as well as reverse the effects of sun damage.
Don’t Wear Sunscreen if it’s Cloudy
No matter how cloudy it gets outside, don’t think that UV radiation won’t reach the surface of the earth. Even if the sun does not directly shine on your face or body, your skin is still exposed to radiation and damage. Almost every health care professional recommends that sunscreen is applied every day, especially during the summer, and once again every 2 hours if you’re sweating or swimming. The moisture on your skin will reduce the protection factor of sun screen so it’s best if you pay extra attention.
The More Expensive, the More Efficient
This is truly one of the biggest myths regarding skin care products. Countless manufacturers try to trick consumers into purchasing highly priced products with the thought that they will be more efficient in taking care of your skin. Experts widely agree that the price is not the significant feature of a product, but rather the formula the product is based on. This is where advertising and branding budgets kick in: not all beautifully wrapped and marketed products are as competent as they claim they are. There are numerous products out there made with fantastic formulas that really help you maintain a healthy complexion, but aren’t as appealing to the eye. Make sure you gather information about any skincare product before purchasing it.
You can Scrub Blackheads Away
Even though people tend to associate blackheads with a lack of cleanliness, this does not mean you can thoroughly scrub the area and make them disappear. Scientifically speaking, black heads are a result of excess sebum caused by hormones. Pores are impaired by dead skin cells interfering and not allowing the sebum to escape from the skin. Clogs are thus created and when it comes close to the surface, the dead skin cells and sebum mix and acquire a black appearance. Although a reliable topical scrub may help you eliminate the top of blackheads, it does not treat the cause from inside out. For getting rid of blackheads, dermatologists recommend products based on salicylic acid.
Only Use “Night Cream” at Night
This is one of the most efficient marketing strategies that cosmetic companies base their sales on. Representatives claim that the skin is in repair-mode more during the night so you will need a product with added ingredients that “nourish”, “revive” or “heal” your skin. New skin cells are being produced absolutely every second of every day, both during the night and during the day. A review shows that there is one single difference between night and day cream: the day cream should offer SPF 25+ protection from the sun. If you usually apply cream before going to bed at night, you can easily use any type of lotion that you would normally use during the day as well.
Skin Care Products Health Benefits
Although consumers find themselves battling off numerous myths when it comes to skin care and products, you should know that they also present an excellent range of health benefits. You should know that these health benefits are strongly connected to the formula we spoke about earlier and namely the ingredients used.
Coconut oil is truly one of the most beloved ingredients for taking care of skin. Coconut oil contains saturated fats (triglycerides or medium chain fatty acids), lauric acid, vitamin E, and loads of proteins. It is also very appreciated for its anti-aging properties and is used for creating various types of wrinkle creams. Coconut oil is also widely used in massage therapy, as it moisturizes and makes the skin be as smooth as the bottom of a baby. You will also be surprised to find out that coconut oil also helps your skin avoid infection by pores or open wounds.
Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E oil can be miraculous for your skin. Many products contain vitamin E oil, as it offers skin that healthy glow we are all so crazy about. Vitamin E oil contains either synthetic or organic vitamin E and other ingredients that make it less sticky. In the skin care industry, vitamin E is used in products such as: anti-aging cream, night cream, makeup removers, moisturizers, scar healers, and psoriasis treatments. There are also plenty of alternatives for classic vitamin E oil, as the vitamin can be found in oils such as wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil or almond oil.
Skin care companies all around the world use aloe vera in their products. This is due to the multitude of vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C & E) included in aloe vera leaves, as well as folic acid. Aloe vera is also a fantastic source of essential minerals, like chromium, copper, calcium, iron, sodium, zinc, magnesium and potassium. Just by checking out all of the health benefits of each vitamin and mineral listed above you will realize how wonderful aloe vera-based products can really be. These facts allow products based on aloe vera extract to benefit from healing and curing powers. Aloe vera is known to enhance the health of the skin and treat inflammations, as well as helping you overcome a nasty sun burn or various insect bites.
Rosehip Seed Oil
Not only does rosehip seed oil work wonders for damaged hair or brittle nails, but it does so especially for skin care. The oil is extracted from the Chile-grown rosehip fruit and contains an abundance of essential fatty acids, as more than 70% of the seed is made of them. It has been a popular healing agent even since ancient times, with Mayans and Egyptians frequently using it to heal various conditions. Rosehip seed oil is loaded with antioxidants, linoleic acids and vitamins A and C, all which have exceptional benefits for the skin. Among the many health benefits of rosehip seed oil, we find: wrinkle treatment, hydration, reduction of burns and scars and UV damage correction.
Shea butter is one of the most popular and healthy solutions for skin care. By using products that contain shea butter, your skin will enjoy reduction of inflammation, moisturizing and smoothing. Moreover, shea butter has antioxidant and healing properties, owing to its high levels of vitamins E and A. As far as skin care is concerned, shea butter can protect you from sun damage, make your skin appear younger and healthier and it even can be used on babies for moisturizing.
Dangers of Skin Care Products – Toxic Ingredients
Not all skin care products are healthy for your skin. Many contain toxic ingredients that are potentially dangerous to your skin and body. These ingredients range from fragrances to even formaldehyde, which is connected to several forms of cancer. In fact, many skin care products can be harmful for women during pregnancy. Before purchasing a skin care product, make sure you check the formula and composition and stay away from these ingredients:
Remember when you were younger and fascinated with all of the super cute lotions in all the colors of the rainbow? Well, you should know that many of them can actually be irritating to your skin and even lead to the developing ADHD if you are a child. FD&C or D&C mentions on labels stand for F – food, D – drugs, C – cosmetics, with a color and a number after, such as FD&C Blue 25. These are all synthetic colors obtained from coal tar or petroleum (!). Many specialists consider synthetic colors to be a human carcinogen and a cause for the symptoms listed above. These are so dangerous that the European Union have actually banned them.
We all love creams and lotions that make us smell like a beautiful spring day filled with flowers, but few of us know how much we are harming our skins with them. Scented skin care products actually contain a cocktail of dangerous chemicals that can lead to dermatitis, allergies or respiratory problems. A wide range of moisturizers come scented, so you should be careful when picking one to purchase.
Skin care manufacturers use parabens in order to preserve their products, as they protect them from growing yeast, bacteria or mold. Yuck! But even more so, parabens have been proven to increase the risk of developing breast cancer, due to their properties that attempt to copy estrogen. Many facial cleansers contain parabens, so always check the label and make sure that your product is parabens-free.
You know that eerie liquid that is used on dead bodies in order to preserve them? Well, be prepared to be shocked: it is probably included in some of your skin care products. Like parabens, formaldehyde acts as a preservative for products, preventing them from the growth of bacteria. If parabens are linked with breast cancer, then formaldehyde has been associated with nasopharyngeal and nasal cancer. Even more so, this ingredient used for cleansers and body washes can cause harm to your immune system and even trigger allergic reactions to your skin.
Natural Skin Care Products
Even though the majority of skin care products available on the market are not as organic or natural as we hope they would be, there are a few brands out there that are actually reliable. KORA Organics, Éminence Organic Skin Care, Dr Organic or Tata Harper Skin Care promote natural and healthy wholesale products to take care of your skin in a safe way. If you ever are in doubt about your selection of skin care or beauty products, you can consult the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database put together by the Environmental Working Group. The database offers ratings for popular products based on their toxicity, on a scale of 0-10.
If you really don’t trust commercial manufacturers, you can try making your own skin care products at home with a few do-it-yourself recipes (just search for any of our suggestions below on Google and you’ll easily get the recipe for it). A couple of homemade products that have been positively rated are:
Homemade Skin Exfoliator / Scrubs
The internet is literally packed with recipes for homemade scrubs. They usually involve ingredients you can already find in your kitchen and are great for thoroughly cleaning your skin. The basic element for a successful homemade exfoliating scrub is either sugar or salt. A few popular DIY scrubs are:
- Lavender, Coffee & Sugar Scrub
- Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub
- Oatmeal & Honey Sugar Scrub
- Shea Butter Body Scrub
- Green Tea Sugar Scrub
Why go out and buy soap when you can make it yourself at home? By treating yourself to homemade soap, you know that your skin will be enjoying a 100% natural treatment. A few types of soap that you can fix up yourself are:
- Lemon Soap
- Coconut Oil Soap
- Oatmeal Soap
- Hot Chocolate Soap
- Mocha Soap
Homemade Body Lotion
After exfoliating and washing your body well, you are probably going to need to moisturize your skin well. Aside from scrubs and soaps, you can also make body lotion to get your skin feeling silky smooth. Try one of these out:
- Vanilla Bean Body Butter
- Lavender Chamomile Body Lotion
- Whipped Coconut Oil Body Butter
- Avocado Body Lotion
- Plum and Coconut Whipped Body Butter
Homemade Face Masks
It’s always important to take care of your face, as well as the rest of your body. If you have tried out all sorts of store-bought face masks and you’re not convinced, try out these popular recipes:
- Egg White Face Mask
- Yogurt and Oatmeal Face Mask
- Cocoa & Coffee Face Mask
- Turmeric Face Mask
- Pumpkin Facial Mask
Photo credits: Beautyabudhabi.co, Praxisrichter.com, Sugarlanddentalspa.com, Companiesandmarkets.com, Accuval.net, Onsugar.com, Statista.com, Fairwaymarket.com, Naturesgardencandles.com, Skincaretrends.com, Elementsofstyleblog.wordpress.com.