The simple answer is yes. The whole point of skincare is to nourish the skin barrier (epidermis) which is the outermost layer of your skin. The epidermis layer provides a barrier to infection from environmental pathogens and regulates the amount of water released from the body. When our skin is nourished, our amazing bodies are able to self moisturise (via sebum), self exfoliate (via shedding) and self protect and heal (via the microbiome) which neutralises bacteria and pathogens.
The purpose of this article is to provide you with the top 2 tips to help you make more informed choices when buying skincare for you and your family.
So let’s look at what actually matters when choosing:
Tip 1 - Ingredients MATTER
Our bodies are miraculous, they are complex organisms made up of trillions of cells, each with their own structure and function busy working to keep us alive and healthy. Even when we sleep, our bodies are busy regenerating and healing. Natural, organic and especially sustainably wildcrafted ingredients, full of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals that don’t irritate or damage skin are the best ingredients to look for in skincare. Important to note is that natural does not always mean non-toxic. The word “chemical” has come to mean toxic or synthetic, something to be avoided. But everything is made of chemicals, including our bodies. Natural remedies such as herbs, flowers and oils are made up of chemicals too, just like everything else. There are also many toxic chemicals that occur in nature such as: mercury, snake venom, arsenic, and the list goes on… Synthetic, nature identical ingredients can sometimes be better than naturally extracted ingredients on your skin and kinder to the environment.
The important point here is to research ingredients and know their purity, where they are sourced, how they are sourced, what the scientific research behind each reveals and the benefits they are providing to your skin.
As a consumer, it’s important to do your own research regarding ingredients to determine what you are happy to use on your skin and that of your family and to navigate through the plethora of clever marketing. In today’s world of information, it’s easier than ever to do that. Some helpful resources to search for information regarding the safety and benefits of ingredients are:
If you’d prefer to use natural products it’s best to avoid the below ingredients. You won’t find any of the ingredients listed below in Nefysi products:
- Sodium Benzoate
- Artificial Fragrances
- Artificial Colours
- EDTA based agents
- Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
- Sodium Laureth Sulphate
- Ammonium Laureth Sulphate
Tip 2 - Product Formulation MATTERS
There is a LOT of conflicting information about what to use, which active does or doesn’t work with another, in what order to use products, etc. Many brands use pre-mixed formulas and add their label. The source of the ingredients in these pre-mixed bases are far removed from the brand selling the product and there are no strict guidelines to provide transparency to the consumer regarding ingredients.
Let’s take a look at botanical extracts - nearly every skincare product contains some form of botanical extract which are referred to as actives. These extracts need other ingredients to create the ‘extract’ and are called excipients. They are essential when using botanical extracts but they DO NOT need to be labelled on the end product. The general assumption is that the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) requires every ingredient to be listed on the label by law but this is NOT the case for additional ingredients used to create an extract. Many extracts are made with not so natural parabens or formaldehyde releasing preservatives… Concerning? Sure is!
At Nefysi, we make our own formulas from scratch. We also make our own extracts using organic herbs, flowers or bark using water with organic vegetable glycerine and natural preservatives so we know EXACTLY what is in them. We microbial test each formula to ensure safety and keep testing through the life of the remedy. Our concentrates are sourced only from suppliers that make their products as we do - from seed to skin.
Also, skin actives come in different forms that deliver different benefits to the skin. Take Vitamin C for example, it has many forms, (Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Ascorbate, Calcium Ascorbate, and Ascorbyl Palmitate) some are water soluble, some oil soluble and some better than others at slowing down oxidisation (i.e. the active lasting longer so the life of the product is extended and still provides benefits to your skin). Of all the various forms of Vitamin C, ascorbic acid is the most well known and well researched form of vitamin C in the skin care game. It’s the most effective at penetrating the skin barrier. When properly formulated at the right pH level, this potent antioxidant can shield delicate skin from daily aggressors and support a youthful complexion by aiding collagen production, mitigating hyperpigmentation, and improving skin texture. The challenge with ascorbic acid which is water-soluble is that it breaks down (oxidises) when exposed to light and air. Ascorbic acid formulations start oxidising and continue to oxidise while sitting on the shelf and after you’ve opened. You need to ask yourself, are you paying a lot of money for vitamins C benefits that are actually inactive by the time you use them? What form of Vitamin C is in your product? If it’s not ascorbic acid, does it deliver the same benefits?
Nefysi’s Cosmos Vitamin C + Superfoods Face Polish is in powder form intentionally so the vitamin C and other nutrients are activated when mixed with water the moment you need them. Therefore no risk of oxidisation, just maximum potency and maximum benefits.
We will be sharing more articles that will help you demystify skincare and those clever marketing tricks …
Thanks for reading and please feel free to get in touch if you have specific questions or concerns by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Helen, Engineer and Founder of Nefysi Skincare xx