About Our Skin
There is nothing worse than dry, scaly, itchy skin. It is the bane of our existence and we go
great and often times expensive lengths to moisturize our body’s largest organ. On average
it weighs 8 pounds and covers some 22 square feet. According to National Geopgraphic,
our skin acts as a waterproof, insulating shield, guarding the body against extremes of
temperature, damaging sunlight, and harmful chemicals. It also exudes antibacterial
substances that prevent infection and manufactures Vitamin D for converting calcium into
healthy bones. Skin additionally is a huge sensor packed with nerves for keeping the brain
in touch with the outside world.
Our best intentions to moisturize and protect our skin often result in failure and one of the
reasons is that we take skin care products at face value and if the name is one we are
familiar with or word of mouth reviews are good, we purchase a product. We seldom read
the labels which include a list of gobbledygook and any potential warnings. All
moisturizing agents are not created equal
Methyl What? Polyparabens?
If you are one of those consumers who reads labels, first of all you are among the
minority and second you will notice that one of the first three ingredients in most brands
of lotion is water. After that you may see cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol and/or benzyl
alcohol. In fact, if a skin care product contains water, it must contain preservatives
[source: American Academy of Dermatology and the most popular preservatives used are
polyparabens and methylparabens. After that there is the gobbledygook- the odd lot
assortment of hard to pronounce ingredients with definitions that boggle the mind.
Parabens are a class of ingredients derived from para-aminobenzoic acid. They function
primarily as preservatives, increasing product shelf-life.
In the next few slides I will share with you the ingredients in some of the more popular
and best selling brands. The information is readily available for a variety of sources
including MSDS sheets if you can find them. It is important to remember that when it
comes to labeling some of the exact ingredients are protected by US Federal Trade Secret
Eucerin Intensive Repair Ingredient List
For the most part consumers make the assumption that a widely recognized and highly
recommended product is safe to use and there is no reason to read the labels, however, as you
can see the warning on the label of Eucerin is one every user should heed.
Ingredients: Water, Mineral Oil, PEG-7 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Isohexadecane, Sodium
Lactate, Urea, Glycerin, Isopropyl Palmitate, Panthenol, Microcrystalline Wax, Magnesium
Sulfate, Lanolin Alcohol, Bisabolol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.
Sunburn Alert: This product contains alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), which may increase your skin’s
sensitivity to the sun, and particularly the possibility of sunburn. Use a sunscreen, wear
protective clothing, and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week
CeraVe Ingredient List
Purified Water, Glycerin, Ceteareth-20 And Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,
Behentrimonium Methosulfate And Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6-II,
Ceramide I, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Petrolatum,Dimethicone, Potassium Phosphate,
Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol,
Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Phytosphingosine, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum.
What Makes A Product Organic?
Now that you have read the laundry list of ingredients in some of the top selling
skin moisturizing agents, you can begin to appreciate the value of organic skin
The USDA has identified for three categories of labeling organic products:
100% Organic: Made with 100% organic ingredients
Organic: Made with at least 95% organic ingredients
Made With Organic Ingredients: Made with a minimum of 70% organic
ingredients with strict restrictions on the remaining 30% including no GMOs
(genetically modified organisms)
Products with less than 70% organic ingredients may list organically produced
ingredients on the side panel of the package, but may not make any organic
claims on the front of the package. (excluding water and salt).
Most Widely Used Ingredients In
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera Gel- referred to as “the plant of immortality” , the Aloe
Vera plant is effective in treating a variety of skin conditions
including wounds, burns and minor skin infections. When
topically, it :
Acts as a moisturizer and after shave treatment for small
Treats acne and is soothing and can reduce skin inflammations,
blistering and itchiness, while helping the skin to heal more
Fights aging- Aloe leaves contain a plethora of antioxidants
including, beta carotene, vitamin C and E that can help improve
the skin's natural firmness and keep the skin hydrated. For
cosmetic purposes look for 100% certified organic on the label.
Beeswax- By itself, beeswax locks in moisture, fosters cells
and protects skin. With its amazing ability to work with in
concert with multiple ingredients, beeswax can be utilized to
benefit and beautify the entire body. With anti-bacterial
properties and vitamin A, it aids in natural healing and cell
development without clogging pores.
With its water repelling properties, beeswax sustains
sunscreen action it
• is an excellent emollient and support for moisturizers
•It gives skin protective action of a non-occlusive type
•It increases the protective action of sunscreens
•It does not provoke allergic reactions
*Warning: Pregnant and nursing women should check with
their physicians before using products containing beeswax.
People who are allergic to bee stings should avoid using
products containing beeswax.
Virgin Coconut Oil- is often described as “the
healthiest oil on earth”. Good for you inside and out
The benefits of coconut oil run the gambit literally
from head to toe. Also, coconut oil speeds up the
healing process of bruises and burns by helping to
repair damaged tissue. For cosmetic purposes look for
100% virgin coconut oil in the top three ingredients on
a product label. Virgin coconut oil is noncomedogenic.
Grapeseed Oil-• Cold Pressed , Organically Grown
Pure Grapeseed Oil is truly a versatile oil with
numerous benefits when used in cosmetics. It's rich
in essential fatty acids and is esteemed for its
emollient properties and is suitable for all skin types. A
light oil that helps nourish, tighten and tone the skin
without clogging pores or causing breakouts. Cold
pressed is preferred for organic cosmetic purposes.
Shea Butter - Superfood for the skin and grown in the Sahara
the properties of shea butter can reduce the appearance of
fine lines and wrinkles and scarring. It is an antioxidant, antiinflammatory and deep moisturizer. It can contribute to skin
strengthening and protects from harmful UV rays. It also
helps in skin cell regeneration and stimulates collagen
Refined Shea butter has been extracted with chemical process (with hexane mostly),
which involves bleaching, deodorizing and overheating. All of these deeply altering
chemical processes yield a white odorless Shea butter that has lost all of its deep
moisturizing, anti-aging, protecting and healing properties.
Raw Shea butter in its natural state has been extracted manually or mechanically. It
has a mild nutty-smoky scent and a golden to light ivory color. The raw Shea butter
has retained all its precious skin moisturizing, anti-aging and healing properties.
(non-comedogenic). *When reading cosmetic labels look for “raw shea butter” as an
Sunflower Oil- High oleic cold-pressed, unrefined extra
virgin Sunflower Oil is filled with live nutrients and when
applied topically is:
•a great moisturizer for skin and hair, especially on dry scalp
and hair and mature, dry, cracked or damaged skin, as well
on allergy prone skin.
•is very useful on infants in preventing diaper rash and skin
• helps to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy and scars
when used as massage oil
•great to use on sunburn & sun damaged Skin
Benefit and Cost
In addition to all natural skin care products being better for the environment,
they have the ability to restore skin to good health. The problem with skincare
products made using synthetic or inorganic ingredients is that they can lead to
irritation, inflammation, skin disorders, discoloration, and more. Even worse,
these products often contain carcinogenic substances, which are ingredients
known to cause cancer.
In comparison, organic facial products are made with only the finest quality
substances that meet extremely high and regulated standards. With this, skin is
healed on both the inside and outside. Internally, collagen production increases,
damage caused to cells by free radicals decreases, and even oxygen and blood
flow improve. Externally, a person’s skin will be better protected against
environmental elements. (Source: naturalskincarelove.com)
Benefit and Cost Cont’d
Most organic ingredients are familiar and their function easily understood
while few ingredients listed in some of the most popular products are known
or their product function understood. There is also the issue of
comedogenicity. Many of the popular skin moisturizers make no mention as
to whether or not their product is non-comedogenic or even dangerous such
as the sunscreen warning which could be overlooked.
While considering to our own personal health and wellness as that of our
families, it is our responsibility to also consider the impact a skin care
product has on our eco-system. Just as we live and die in the skin we are
born in, our planet is the same way. Every product we use becomes waste of
some kind, either packaging or an unsatisfactory product rinsed down the
drain or tossed in the trash. The certification process farmers grow through
to have their products certified is expensive and the care taken in the
manufacturing of organic skin care products and the knowledge that
ingredients from the earth return so in a harmless fashion is one important
consideration. Oftentimes the processes used in the manufacturing of nonorganic products is one that is not eco-friendly.
Cost Versus Benefit
In the final analysis when it comes to buying moisturizing products we spend a
lot money using a lot of ingredients that we don’t understand and that often
don’t get the job done. Organic skin care products contain nutrients, are nontoxic and many are fragrance-free. When fragrance is added it is an organic
essential oil. They are priced competitively and safe for skin from birth to the