Do you often feel overwhelmed by the endless amount of information regarding skincare?
How do you know that something that is amazing for one person, also works for your skin?
Generally, the ingredients that are used in the European Union to produce skin care, follow strict regulations. However, we as a company have sustained from using certain ingredients, not because we think they are toxic or dangerous, but because they either do not meet our sustainability criteria or we – in our opinion – have found superior alternatives. That being said, everything is a matter of dosage and formulation. We would prefer to find alternatives, that may cause less irritation to sensitive skin types. In addition, we want to respect personal preferences about what customers want to apply to their skin or how they would like their products to be sourced, tested, packaged and shipped. It is essential to highlight that every person's skin is different and we have tried to cater to various needs, and respect the consumers beliefs and preferences based upon scientific evidence, up to this day.
The biggest difficulty, in my opinion, is that claims such as 'Chemical free' or 'Non-Toxic' are very misleading and confusing. Looking at the Harvard dictionary, a chemical is everything, which is presented to us as a solid, liquid or gas. Therefore, water, oxygen, aloe vera or silicone is made up of chemicals- making the claim chemical-free very problematic for me. The meaning of a chemical is very divers and often refers to a synthetic chemical, i.e. lab made, thus only ingredients like silicone are chemicals, whereas water or aloe vera wouldn't be. In my opinion, both a plant derived essential oil and silicone are considered a chemical. This clearly shows, that neither is superior or less 'toxic'. The most dangerous poisons such as the Botulinum Toxin aka Botox (derived from nature, from the Bacteria known as C. Botulinum), can work perfectly as an age preventive agent, at a extremely low concentration, however at a higher concentration, it can be the most deadly toxin. The same comparison can be made for synthetically produced chemicals, which act poisonous or harmful at certain concentrations, in certain formulations, but can be great at treating certain skin issues.
Our company will always adapt to the latest findings/advancements and will be open minded about including and excluding ingredients, based on the latest scientific knowledge, if these meet our companies ethical and technological principles.
Sodium lauryl sulfate also known as SLS, is a surfactant, meaning it can act as a detergent in face washes, shampoos and other products. It is also used as an emulsifier or a solvent. The problem with SLS is that it is extremely sensitizing, meaning it can irritate the skin. In scientific studies, one often compares other products to SLS, in order to establish how sensitizing a product can be.
Although around 3-5% of the population is sensitive to SLS, it does not mean everyone has to experience problems when using SLS. We do not believe that SLS has any serious health risks, but as a company we have decided to use other 'more beneficial' ingredients with similar attributes, in order to prevent any possible skin irritation.
The plant-derived group of preservatives, known as parabens (butylparaben, isobutylparaben, propylparaben, methylparaben, and ethylparaben) are amongst the most common preservatives in skin products. What makes parabens attractive, are their non-sensitizing but effective characteristics. Plants contain this p-hydroxybenzoic acid (PHBA)- which is needed to make parabens- in order to protect themselves.
We have sustained from using parabens in our formulations, although they have great, versatile characteristics, as there are still some inconclusive health related debates regarding this matter. Although some studies have used much higher concentrations of parabens, to conduct testing, we still do not feel comfortable when using parabens- especially if there is so much inconclusive information. We are always willing to change our formulations, based on the latest scientific publishings, but want our customers to feel comfortable, when using our products.
Polyethylene glycol, short form PEG, is a very versatile ingredient and has long been a staple in skin care products. The PEG's we would be sourcing, would be free of the much feared by-products, ethylene oxide and 1,4 dioxane, we know, many customers would appreciate that we do not use them in our formulations. In addition, some studies have suggested that irritation may occur, when skin is compromised or sensitive. We are always willing to change our formulations, based on the latest scientific publishings, but want our customers to feel comfortable, when using our products.
Occlusives: Silicone and Mineral Oil
Silicone, as well as Mineral Oil and Lanolin are all great, non-sensitizing occlusives, meaning they 'lock in' moisture. They show benefits in treating very dry skin conditions such as eczema. Focusing on mineral oil, we would not recommend it for acne sufferers. In addition, sustainability is a key component of our company and mineral oil unfortunately is not. It is not biodegradable and is produced from a non-renewable source.
Silicone on the other hand is derived from sand, making it a very sustainable and safe option. Out of personal preference, Natalie does not like the feeling of silicone products and thus has sustained from using it.
Due to various reasons, our company has decided to use other occlusive emollients, such as squalane, as we appreciate the various superior aspects squalane has. Squalane has great antioxidant capabilities, it has a light feeling on the skin, making it a perfect 'lubricant' for applying makeup, without feeling greasy. We pair it with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, to prevent trans-epidermal water-loss (due to squalane, the hydration benefits of the hyaluronic acid is trapped within the skin).
As a company, we like to focus on ingredients that have various benefits and are skin care 'multi-taskers'.
We have sustained from using synthetic dyes, as we think it is an unnecessary 'extra' ingredient with the potential to cause irritation.
Fragrance: essential oils vs non-allergenic fragrances
Our company uses very mild, non- allergenic, essential oil free fragrances to perfume our skincare. We heavily debated the use of fragrances in our products, as fragrances have a higher possibility to cause skin irritation, however the selected are specifically formulated for reactive, sensitive skin.
Essential oils, having amazing benefits, can however cause irritation and lead to contact dermatitis- an itchy, skin allergic rash. Essential oils are very appealing due to their incredible smell, but we want to highlight, that they are often not very sustainable either.
Many of our products would naturally have a unique smell, due to the active ingredients- for example the Smooth Lotion contains lactic acid, which has a slightly unpleasant smell, ruining the bathroom pampering.