Natural and luxury skin care products

Finding suitable skin care products when you have sensitive skin and/or eczema can be hard work. Some moisturisers may work fine when your skin is good, but irritate you when your skin flares up, whilst others are just way too harsh. Understanding the list of ingredients in cleansers, moisturisers and skin care products can be very confusing, as most of them sound like unnatural chemicals, not natural kind ingredients. Packaging and marketing can be misleading too – many products will claim to be kind to the skin, reduce wrinkles and nourish – when in fact they contain worrying things that, if explained, you wouldn’t want to touch with a barge pole.

I took a look at the ingredients on one product on my shelf, Aveeno, which includes: Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Cera Micorciralline, Distearyldimonium… to name just a few. Aveeno is fragrance free, with a naturally active ingredient – Colloidal oatmeal. It, apparently, moisturises dry skin for 24 hours. This is a kind, gentle skin care product which doesn’t irritate my skin, but do you understand what these ingredients are? They don’t sound nice, but rather like nasty diseases of some kind, or dangerous substances… however none of the above listed ingredients in Aveena are in the list of dangerous ones below. I would like to understand more about what they are, what they do and how they potentially effect my skin. More research needed…

I found this article online, “The 10 worst chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products”. In it the author discusses the effects of prolonged use of skin care products containing far more than ten potentially dangerous ingredients including:

  1. Emulsifiers
  2. Lead – which can be found in some lipsticks, sunscreens and tooth whitening toothpastes
  3. Mercury and formaldehyde
  4. Copolymer
  5. Triclosan is found in more than a handful of cosmetics, and now even in toothpaste, because it’s supposed to kill bacteria.
  6. Urea (Diazolidinyl or Imidazolidinyl) as a preservative
  7. Phthalates
  8. Formaldehyde
  9. Petroleum or petrolatum is commonly found in moisturisers. It forms an oily layer on the skin which blocks moisture evaporation. Just as aluminum in antiperspirants dangerously blocks and traps sweat, petroleum has adverse effects on skin. It is found in most eczema prescription skin emollients and creams, baby creams, makeup and wax depillatory creams.
  10. Coal tar – which is associated with shampoos and soaps recommended for the use of those with eczema and sensitive skin, causes cancer in lab mice when it’s injected into them.
  11. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), the ingredient which provides that shiny, smooth, varnish look, comes at a steep price, and not just in dollars and cents. It’s thankfully banned in Europe
  12. Diethanolamine and Triethanolamine, more easily recognized as DEA and TEA
  13. D&C RED 6 is a synthetic dye produced from petroleum or coal tar sources; this dye is FDA-approved for use in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics
  14. Zinc used in sunscreens and moisturisers, can clog skin pores
  15. Titanium dioxide is found in concealers and even baby ointments

Your skin is actually the largest organ in your body and it absorbs everthing you rub into it. We know, sometimes from painful experimentation, that even products sold for dry skin and eczema can actually be very bad for your skin. Read “Aqueous cream is the worst thing for eczema” to find out the shocking truth.

All this means that those who have eczema, psoriasis or dry skin will probably stick to the rather industrial large tubs of cream and emollient provided on prescription from the NHS e.g. Diprobase and Epaderm to name just a few. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking these products. They are very good, don’t irritate and do the job of moisurising very well, but they’re hardly what I’d call ‘luxurious’. They don’t smell very nice and they don’t have natural ingredients such as lavendar, aloe vera, tea tree etc. which we know are very good for treating, healing and nourishing our skin naturally.

Epaderm, which I use regularly, contains liquid paraffin, emulsifying wax BP, cetastereayl, alcohol, sodium lauryl sulphate and yellow soft paraffin. Are any of these natural? Would you drink paraffin? Most people would drink alcohol but would you imagine you were rubbing these things regularly into your skin?

Forever Living aloe vera gelly 99%

Forever Living Aloe Vera gelly

100% Aloe Vera gel

Historically, a major use of aloe vera was to soothe minor skin irritations. Many households kept a live aloe, or ‘burn plant’ for first-aid use. Essentially identical to the aloe vera’s inner leaf, our 100% stabilised aloe vera gel lubricates sensitive tissue safely. Specially prepared for topical application to moisturise, soothe and condition, Aloe Vera Gelly is a thick, translucent gel containing humectants and moisturisers. Readily absorbed by the skin, it soothes without staining clothes.

Aloe Vera is mentioned as far back as 16th century BC and its benefits for naturally soothing, cooling, and moisturising skin have been known of for centuries. When applied to your skin it can soothe minor burns, comfort and moisturise stressed skin, and even help aid in your skin’s ability to regenerate itself.

Aloe vera creates a protective layer on your skin, protecting and sealing in the natural anti-biotic and healing qualities. You may not need to, but you can apply moisturiser over the top of the aloe vera layer if your skin still feels tight.

Forever Living also promote the health benefits of drinking pure aloe vera juice. Drinking aloe vera gel (made only from the pure inner aloe vera gel of the leaf.) provides your body with 200 health promoting compounds, including 20 minerals, 18 amino acids and 12 vitamins. They also sell a whole range of natural aloe vera based skin care and cosmetic products.

Forever Living Sonya skincare collection

Forever Living Sonya skincare collection

Fancy a pampering facial, but too scared to risk it?

If you wish you could have a pampering face mask, or facial treatment, but have suffered skin reactions in the past when you’ve tried this, you might like to try Forever Living products. I won (yes I know, I WON a facial treatment, I never win anything!) from Forever Living and was nervous about trying it. I needn’t have worried. Caroline Ashlee, who gave me facial, had checked out all the ingredients for me, and there was only one product which I think had macadamia nuts in it which we steered clear of, and another which she felt may be slightly too harsh for my sensitive skin. I felt postitively radiant afterwards and had glowing youthful skin. I just wish I could afford to have this done more often as I’m not the type of person to learn how to, and stick to, a regular skin care routine like this. It’s like all those nice things like having a massage, reflexology or just stopping to smell the roses for a moment, that are so beneficial and reviving, but that we never make enough time to enjoy. Find out more about Forever Living products here: www.carolineashlee.myforever.biz/store

Raw Skin Food

Mab Fabulous face and body balm

Mab Fabulous face and body balm

Raw Skin Food produces skincare that is free from the eight common food allergens and is also vegan and BUAV approved. The ingredients are all natural and made from fruit butters and plant water and due to their purity they last a long time so they would be ideal for people who suffer with allergies as they are completely free from nut oil, soy, dairy and wheat/gluten.

I tried the Mab Fab range which is marketed as suitable for mother and baby, but equally good for just about anyone with sensitive skin who wants to give their skin a treat. The Mab Fabulous range includes a cleanser, facila mist or tonic and balm and although they’re quite small containers you don’t need to use much each time so it would last some months. I’ve had it for over a month and still have loads left.

So, you use the cleanser, then you spray on the tonique which calms sensitive skin and rashes, and when that’s dry, you apply the balm.

I find a balm far more moisturising than a cream. Apply to slightly damp skin when you get out of the bath or shower and it holds in even more moisture.

Mab Fabulouse Cleanser

Mab Fabulous Cleanser

These lovely balms/moisturisers contain all natural ingredients so try to keep the products chilled or refrigerated, if they are in a hot area or near a radiator (even in a bathroom) they may liquidise. If they do, put them in the freezer to make solid again. The smell mild but fresh and are a real treat – the fragrance is natural from the plant oils, not from any added perfume.

They also do not contain any of the following: Normal Water, Glycerin, Alcohol, Sugar, Petroleum, Beeswax, Lanolin, Perfume, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (Palm Oil), Parabens, E numbers or Colourings .

Find out more at www.rawskinfood.com

Pai skin care

All their products are formulated with sensitive and allergy-prone skin in mind. They carefully select ingredients with proven remedial and skin soothing properties and keep their products free from irritating chemicals and alcohol.

Pai skincare Chamomile and Rosehip sensitive skin cream

chamomile and rosehip sensitive skin cream


Chamomile & Rosehip sensitive skin cream
This sensitive skin cream is both soothing, gentle on the skin, and smells amazing. Pai were really helpful and responded to my queries about whether their products contained any nut ingredients. Some of the products say ‘contains nut oil’ on the packaging, and on further investigation, they are classifying apricot kernal oil as nut oil. The chamomile and rosehip cream doesn’t contain any nuts of the allergic kind, but do check before buying.

Rich in anti-oxidants and Omega 3 & 6, Chamomile and Rosehip work in perfect unison to soothe and protect sensitive skin. This delicately scented natural moisturiser has strong regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties. This sensitive skin cream is free from alcohol which can trigger conditions such as Rosacea. It is also free from chemical skin irritants including artificial fragrances, phenoxyethanol, propylene glycol and parabens.

Find out more about how to buy Pai organic skin care products online here: www.paiskincare.com

As a final footnote, both Pai Skincare and Raw Skin food mab fab range contain Linalool. This can occur naturally in plant oils, but can also be attributed to skin reactions. I have noticed very slight sensitivity to both but my skin is VERY sensitive. This may be due to the Linalool. More research to follow into Linalool.

And finally, a great resource for information, inspiration and articles about skin care for allergies and sensitive skin can be found on www.skinsmatter.com.

I hope this makes you think carefully about what you’re putting on your skin, as well as into your mouth. Take care of your skin, keep in moisturised, but give it a treat every now and again too.

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. http://www.whatallergy.com was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.

Comments

  1. Thank you Ruth for your review.

    The Mother and Baby Fabulous range is ideal not only for Mothers and their childen, but it is a unisex product which helps reduce skin ailments such as eczema, psoriasis and rosecea.

    From the 1st November World Vegan Day, Raw Skin Food has conducted an evaluation of our prices during the current economic climate.

    So now you can all purchase our products from as little as £7.99 up to the maximum of £12.99.

    Making Raw Skin Food’s natural products affordable for everyone young and old.

    Check out the site for further details from 1st November any questions customers have contact

    info@ rawskinfood.com

  2. I know a little bit about skincare production. What sort of quality can a cream be if it costs £7.99?

    skeptical. Also researched Richards background, no scientific or natural skincare history.

    • Hi Elaine

      Thanks for your concern about the quality of my balm (not a cream I may add) costing at £7.99.

      The balm used to be priced at £12.99 but knowing skin care users were struggling with the up and coming recession and my customers stated they wanted the prices more affordable hence why the evaluation was conducted stated in my previous reply to the post.

      This may change again with a end of financial year evaluation, as ingredients are going up and these costs must be accounted for.

      Working out the price to make and mark-up, I have taken a less mark-up as I am not greedy but want to see people relieve their skin ailments, the quality is still the same, no removal of ingredients or added ingredient bulkers.

      Perhaps you could try the product first before stating the skeptical quality of it and personally skincare should be affordable not overpriced and is part of my ethos which you may have found in your research.

      The quality of the balm must be decent also as it is in the shortlist for the FreeForm skincare awards ran by SkinsMatter who initially had four (not the two others had) people try and test the product before being added to the shortlist.

      My product from my company the Mab-Fab balm is pitted against many companies products who have huge coverage in magazines and the like, get sponsored and endorsed by famous people (Celebrities, skincare gurus ) and known as skincare brands with high regard.

      I am honored by this nomination and feel a personal goal of recognition for the product helps makes this all worth while, even if it doesn’t win the award being on a shortlist is an achievement, many companies would like to be on the shortlist and didn’t even achieve that, from new to established skincare companies.

      My background may not be in scientific or natural skincare history and I don’t pretend to have this. As an individual I am humble so don’t claim to be a genius or pioneer for skincare or any other PR spin. I don’t even promote myself much as I believe the products should speak for themselves and my customers who I have are satisfied and continue to buy my products.

      I think you will find many other companies who start skincare companies the same, most owners have background in PR, some have skincare history (but not much) and learn how to get skincare made, again using research and knowledge from others.

      In fact most skincare company owners you wouldn’t even know who they are, I know three owners of skincare companies personally, but if i had seen them down the street I would not have known who they were.

      The reason people and especially media like to know the person behind a brand is due to ‘The Roddick Effect” when she was the pioneer of the Bodyshop, however the average skincare user doesn’t really care about such things and want decent products not celebrity endorsements unlike perfume products.

      My products were created and researched extensively by myself along with scientists, skincare users with many ailments trying out the products before ever being released into the marketplace.

      I am myself a personal sufferer of eczema, roscea and psoriasis and have food intolerance’s to dairy, nuts, excess sodium, and potassium hence why these products were created in the first place as on the marketplace no product available or affordable to myself was helping me relieve my skincare ailments, hence I wanted to create my own to help me initially and then it expanded from there.

      Also here is a link to a radio interview recently I did stating why I got into making my product

      http://untangledfm.com/index.php/replays/the-gourmet-revolution-show

      Thanks for your comment Elaine as it is always good that there are doubters out there and not everyone has to like my product or company.

      Take Care

      Richard Clark
      Managing Director of Raw Skin Food

      • Interesting debate going on here. Good luck in the Skin Care Awards Richard! There are loads of small companies, like Richard says, who want to try to make good quality but also luxury skincare available to everyone. If you have eczema you are prescribed huge tubs of cream that is produced from paraffin and sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS). SLS is a known irritant for sensitive skin and neither are things you would choose to eat. Why do we put stuff on our skin that isn’t natural? I think we should praise companies like Raw Skin Food and Pai who are small ventures trying to make a difference in a world with big manufacturers can market a brand, Dove for instance, which has questionable ingredients and its sensitive skin products cause irritation to many people with sensitive skin.

        No one is accountable. Who regulates these products? How much good ingredients does a product have to inlude to claim ‘good for sensitive skin’?

  3. I use salt of the earth deo from Holland and Barrett, very good though not effective as much in hot greek sun.
    Re lotions and creams, I have allergies to sulphite and saliclylates, if I apply something which i reacte to, to the palm of my hand I can immediately taste it, then other relations occur.
    Very difficult and expense business these allergies of ours!

  4. Great article! The natural health benefits of aloe vera are certainly well documented and many people find it massively beneficial. We drink a small shot of Aloe Vera Gel every day and have noticed a massive difference in how well we feel. We have so much more energy and our general digestion seems much better. Aloe Vera Gelly is a fabulous product which we also keep at home and use on a regular basis. It is no wonder that Aloe Vera has been referred to as the miracle plant for thousands of years!

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