Discussing how to start reading product labels, why this is important, what products to look for that are vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic, learning to identify key ingredients that are good vs bad ones.

Sunscreen Knowledge Keeps Evolving

What we once knew about protecting our skin from the sun’s rays began centuries ago when the ancient Greeks used olive oil to hydrate their skin and help keep it from burning. Our knowledge on how to protect our skin continues to evolve with a recent pilot study conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates all drugs including topicals such as sunscreen.

 

The study raised some questions and confirmed a theory. Of the four active sunscreen components tested – avobenzone, octocrylene, oxybenzone, ecamsule – it was proven they were absorbed by the skin and entered the bloodstream. This does not mean they are unsafe. But because they are absorbed into the bloodstream after only one day of use and accumulate in the body with continued use, the pilot study raised questions about the safety of sunscreen ingredients, as well as usage, forms, and absorption rates.

 

The FDA began regulating sunscreen in the 1970s. There are multiple reasons for further testing now:

  • Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. More people are using more sunscreen to diminish their chances of such a diagnosis.
  • Formulations of sunscreen products use more active ingredients, in higher concentrations and are found in more products.
  • These active ingredients are often combined with other ingredients.
  • Scientists’ ability to measure benefits and risks are better now than they were then.

 

If you are concerned, the FDA did spotlight two active sunscreen ingredients that were proven to be safe and effective – Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide – both of which are minerals that provide broad spectrum protection from harmful UVA radiation. Of course, you can also seek shade, wear lightweight clothing and hats. Another ways is to know which topicals and ingested ingredients can offer some protection as well. You can find alternative skin protection ideas here.

 

We always advocate for reading labels on products. The label will inform you on what ingredients the product contains, where it comes from, and how to use it. Be aware that some active ingredients in sunscreen may prevent sunburn but do nothing to prevent skin cancer and premature aging due to sun exposure.

 

The FDA study has brought attention to product safety issues, product labeling, UVA protection, and delivery systems including sprays. Sunscreen is found in more products than you might think. It is added to some face primers, moisturizers, setting sprays, matte tints, correcting creams and lip balms making it hard to know what dosage your skin is actually getting. You may want to read why YASOU Skincare does not contain sunscreen.

 

Previous government tests on oils have affirmed what the ancient Greeks practiced in protecting their skin. Tests showed that among the fixed oils tested, olive oil had the highest SPF value at 7.5. Coconut oil had the second highest value at 7.1. These natural oils contain tocopherols, carotenoids and essential fatty acids which are all good for the skin. However, don’t mistake these as a substitute for proven UVB and UVA protection.

 

As we increase our knowledge about sunscreen and how best to protect our skin and our bloodstream, we hope natural oils will be recognized informulating cosmetics and skincare products. Afterall, oil is a priority element in the formulation of lotions and creams. Here are just some of the benefits from olive oil in your skincare product

Are There Good Alcohols in Skin Care?

When I started YASOU skin care I wondered why is there alcohol in skin care products?  I believe we need to understand why alcohol is used in skin care before we can begin discussing the difference between good and bad types of alcohol.

The use of alcohol in skin care products may be that it is used as a solvent (dissolves something or thins out a mixture), emulsifier allows two different substances to blend together), antiseptic (kills bacteria), buffer (balances the pH), stabilizer (prevents separation or unwanted reactions), preservative (minimizes bacterial growth or spoilage), penetration enhancer (improves delivery of an ingredient into skin), or fragrance fixative.

So as you can see alcohol in itself is a versatile ingredient that can perform a range of functions! Today I want to concentrate on the “good” alcohols.  I have included a chart below with our list of “good and “bad” alcohols for you to use as a beginning guide to help you become aware of certain alcohols when reading your skin care labels. The “bad alcohols” for skin care are on this list because they produce dryness, erosion of the surface of the skin (which is really bad for skin), and a strain how the skin replenishes renews and rejuvenates itself.  These alcohols just weaken the skin and can be considered volatile.

The good alcohols are the fatty alcohols, also called wax alcohols. These fatty alcohols are a wax substance which are usually derived from nuts, coconut, and Palm oil (we don’t recommend using products with palm oil due to the sourcing tactics of this ingredient) making them rich in healthy fats that can feed and nourish the skin in combination with other plant based oils.

Fatty alcohols also tend to be 100% non-irritating (please note this doesn’t mean that people with skin sensitivities won’t have allergic reactions to them because everyone has different skin). The function of fatty alcohols is to act as emulsifiers to help bind the oil and water components of a lotion or cream and keep it from separating. They can thicken a formula making it creamy, thick, luscious and rich. The fatty acid content acts as an emollient, assisting with hydration and forming a protective barrier to the skin once a product is applied.

YASOU skin care only uses fatty alcohols that are nut or fruit derived (vegetable).  We have constructed an alcohol informational graphic listing the ingredients to look for in both “good” and/or “bad” alcohols.  These fatty alcohols can be plant or animal, thus this infographic has been created as a general guide for you.  Should you be seeking vegan fatty alcohols, check with the product’s manufacturer to find out if the wax is plant or animal based, gluten free and natural.  I hope you find this informational graphic helpful.  If you are interested in learning more about any ingredients, or if you would like us to address certain skin care topics, please feel free to drop us an email at Terry@yasouskincare.com and let us know what you would like us to cover it.

YASOU!

 

Learn To Understand Your Product Labels

REPOST We are reposting this article because we feel it is filled with basic 101 tips that can help you learn about your skincare products.

Before putting any skin care product on your body, read the label. You may trust the product’s reputation or be lured by beautiful packaging, but reading product labels will tell you what ingredients are included, if it is recyclable; where it was packaged, manufactured or distributed, and proper usage. One or all of these things might matter to you in a significant way. Take a few minutes before buying and make reading skin care product labels a good habit.

Ingredients
The list of ingredients should matter to everyone, not just those with sensitive skin or people prone to allergic reactions. If you are looking for a particular benefit from the skin care product, such as moisturizing properties, look for ingredients known to moisturize. If you want to avoid synthetics (petroleum/chemical based) ingredients
look for botanicals containing plant-based nutrients. The order in which ingredients are listed is important. The highest concentrations are listed first, the lowest last. The right amount of active ingredients in the skin care product is essential to get the results you are looking for.

Recyclable
If you want eco-friendly skin care products that won’t harm the environment during production, use, and disposal, read the label. Overcrowded landfills may be one concern of yours but also think about what you are washing down the drain everyday. Do not dispose of nail polish, polish remover, or medication in your sinks. Water systems and the life that depends on it may be affected. Clogged pipes are another reason for not washing toxins down the sink.

Packaging and containers for lip balm, soaps, lotions, body wash, shaving cream and hand lotion are just some of the materials that can be recycled. Look for “recyclable” on the label.

Origins
Where a skin care product is packaged, manufactured, or distributed may be another concern. Some people want only products made in the U.S.A. Some don’t want to invest in products from countries that don’t adhere to stringent quality controls, decent wages for their workers, or environmental controls. If these things are important to you look at how and where the product is manufactured.

Usage
Who knows better than the manufacturer how the product is best used? Some times you can find some great skin care tips. Look to see if there are any warnings about use. If you are concerned about the safety of a product do an online search, relying only on the most reputable sources such as Mayo Clinic. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, always do a test on your skin before lathering it all over your body.

Read the label if you want to be intentional about your skin care product purchases. It’s a small thing that can help you feel good about your decision.

Did I miss anything? Let me know what you look for on a skin care product label.

NO LIST
Below is a NO list that was compiled by Thorne Organics www.thorne.com that we thought was an excellent reference source to help you when checking your skin care product labels.

NO
1. Animal Testing
2. Animal B-Products
3. Artificial Colors
4. Artficial Fragrances
5. Benzene
6. Bisphenol A
7. Dimethicone
8. EDTA
9. Formaldehyde
10. Gluten
11. GMO’s
12. Hydrogenated Oils
13. MEA-,DEA-, or TEA(Triethanolmine)
14. Mineral Oil
15. Parabens
16. Petrolatum
17. Plastic/Phthalates
18. PVC’s
19. PEG’s 1,4-Dioxane
20. Silicates
21. Silicones
22. (SLS) Sodium Sulfates or Laureth Sulfates
23. Wheat

Why Preservatives are a Must Have in Skincare

Of all the ingredients in skin care formulations preservatives are the most important, especially in store bought skin care products. The reason is because they keep that product fresh (bacteria free) for 2 to 3 years. Preservatives have become the most controversial and debatable topic in the skin care industry.

I myself pondered sleeplessly over the topic when developing YASOU natural skin care. I knew I wanted high quality, Greek-inspired natural and organic ingredients in YASOU’s products. That part was exciting, fun and came easily when working with my formulator. The difficulty came with the preservative system, so I asked myself these questions:

1) What is the role of preservatives? Preservatives are synthetic chemicals that kill bacteria, fungi and mold. Only products that contain water (which are most products) need a preservative. Oil-based skin care products and anhydrous (water-free) skin care products do NOT need preservatives.

2) Are there effective natural preservatives? Well, I found some folks that argue yes and others that argue no. The people that argue yes use natural ingredients as preservatives, which only gives the product a 3 to 6 month (safe) shelf life span. And the folks that say no argue that natural substances are not active against the most threatening microbes, and pseudomonads (bacteria). Other ingredients used as natural preservatives such as essential oils require very high concentrations to be effective. Some of these oils also have offensive odors and coloring that are just NOT acceptable and most of them become inactivated by manufacturing procedures and other factors.

In addition these natural preservatives can change the density and experience of the product. For example, YASOU cellular day cream does not have much glide during application which is due to the extra natural preservative called Biovert that we added in it.

The only natural products that are really all natural are the ones handcrafted by you in your home, which can be used immediately and stored for a short time in the refrigerator. These are the only natural products that are not in need of any kind of preservative.

Store bought products need to be designed to remain fresh during the long span between the time of manufacture and the time the customer finishes using it. Without some type of preservative, store bought products would expose consumers to mold, bacteria, adverse skin reactions that can lead to serious skin infections and even blindness with products used around the eye area.

As you can see, there was a lot to consider when it came to YASOU’s preservative system. I am not pro synthetic preservatives because most of today’s commercial products are typically loaded with these synthetic and potentially carcinogenic (cancerous) preservatives.

YASOU’s foremost priority is the safety of our customer’s. Our products are luxuriously rich and we knew as a start up company we would need at least a two-year (safe) shelf life span. With that in mind we proceeded in developing the most natural /organic products using top quality ingredients as well as natural ingredients and natural preservatives and began testing. It was at that time we discovered we needed to add a little more protection into our products so we carefully decided on Phenoxyethanol.

Phenoxyethanol offered a universal, highly effective broad-spectrum protection for gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, mold, yeast and fungi. It is NOT formaldehyde releasing agent and probably the most paraben free and propylene glycol free preservative on the market. It works extremely well in small amounts with natural preservatives.
Phenoxyethanol is created by treating phenol with ethylene oxide in an alkaline medium. Each ingredient individually could cause harm, but when they react together they chemically create a safe and effective preservative.

YASOU natural skin care products contain less than .06% phenoxyethanol. We let you know that upfront because our priority is you and your safety!

4 Reasons to Read Skin Care Labels

Before putting any skin care product on your body, read the label. You may trust the product’s reputation or be lured by beautiful packaging, but reading skin care labels will tell you what ingredients are included, if it is recyclable; where it was packaged, manufactured or distributed, and proper usage. One or all of these things might matter to you in a significant way. Take a few minutes before buying and make reading skin care labels a good habit.

What ingredients does it contain?
The list of ingredients should matter to everyone, not just those with sensitive skin or people prone to allergic reactions. If you are looking for a particular benefit from the skin care product, such as moisturizing properties, look for ingredients known to moisturize (Aloe vera, Olive oil, Shea butter). If you want to avoid synthetics (petroleum/chemical based) ingredients look for botanicals containing plant-based nutrients(Calendula (Extract).

The order in which ingredients are listed is important. The highest concentrations are listed first, and than anything 1% and under. The 1% and under ingredients do not have to be listed in any order. The right amount of active ingredients in the skin care product is essential to get the results you are looking for.

Is it recyclable?
If you want eco-friendly skin care products that won’t harm the environment during production, use, and disposal, read the label. Overcrowded landfills may be one concern of yours but also think about what you are washing down the drain everyday. Do not dispose of nail polish, polish remover, or medication in your sinks. Water systems and the life that depends on it may be affected. Clogged pipes are another reason for not washing toxins down the sink.

Packaging and containers for lip balm, soaps, lotions, body wash, shaving cream and hand lotion are just some of the materials that can be recycled. Look for “recyclable” on the label.

Where does it come from?
Where a skin care product is packaged, manufactured, or distributed may be another concern. Some people want only products made in the U.S.A. Some don’t want to invest in products from countries that don’t adhere to stringent quality controls, decent wages for their workers, or environmental controls. If these things are important to you look at how and where the product is manufactured.

What is the proper usage?
Who knows better than the manufacturer how the product is best used? Some times you can find some great skin care tips. Look to see if there are any warnings about use. If you are concerned about the safety of a product do an online search, relying only on the most reputable sources such as Mayo Clinic. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, always do a test on your skin before lathering it all over your body.

Read skin care labels if you want to be intentional about your skin care product purchases. It’s a small thing that can help you feel good about your decision.

Did I miss anything? Let me know what you look for on a skin care product label.

NO LIST
Below is a NO list that was compiled by Thorne Research. www.thorne.com We think it is an excellent reference to help you when checking your skin care product labels.

NO
1. Animal Testing
2. Animal B-Products
3. Artificial Colors
4. Artficial Fragrances
5. Benzene
6. Bisphenol A
7. Dimethicone
8. EDTA
9. Formaldehyde
10. Gluten
11. GMO’s
12. Hydrogenated Oils
13. MEA-,DEA-, or TEA(Triethanolmine)
14. Mineral Oil
15. Parabens
16. Petrolatum
17. Plastic/Phthalates
18. PVC’s
19. PEG’s 1,4-Dioxane
20. Silicates
21. Silicones
22. (SLS) Sodium Sulfates or Laureth Sulfates
23. Wheat