Monthly Archives: October 2013

Raw Essentials: Free of Yucky Stuff

Source: flickr.com user Doug Wheller

Source: flickr.com user Doug Wheller

At Raw Essentials, we are dedicated to formulating skin care products that only do good for your skin. We aim for products that are free of harmful ingredients or chemical additives that do nothing beneficial for your skin’s health. That’s why we ensure that each and every product contains 100% raw active ingredients, and will never contain (said simply) any “yucky stuff.”

What counts as yucky stuff? To us, it’s anything that mainstream skin care companies use as fillers or cheap substitutes for healthful ingredients, as well as ingredients that may harm the skin. Many common skin care ingredients used in mainstream products are known as GRAS to the FDA – generally recognized as safe. However, this does not mean that those ingredients are healthful, and it doesn’t even mean that they’re guaranteed to work without damaging the skin. More on that in a minute.

To give you an idea of the so-called yucky stuff that we never, ever use, here’s a quick rundown of commonly used skin care ingredients and why we don’t think they belong in skin care products.

Petroleum
Petroleum, also known as petroleum jelly, petrolatum, or soft paraffin, is often used in skin care to prevent moisture loss. Because of its texture, it can make dry skin feel like it’s being heavily moisturized, when in reality the petroleum is just acting as an extra layer on top of the skin.

In addition, petroleum actually repels water, which means it will keep environmental hydration from reaching and benefitting the skin, which may actually worsen dehydrated skin types. It also locks in bacteria, which can worsen acne and other bacterial skin conditions.

Finally, there has been some concern over whether or not petroleum can be carcinogenic. Unrefined petrolatum (from which petroleum is derived) has been known to be carcinogenic. Most experts state that petroleum taken from a safe source and properly purified will not contain carcinogenic properties; however, this is never a sure thing, and those wishing to err on the side of caution should stay far away from petroleum products.

Sulfates
Most mainstream cleansers contain sulfates or another form of detergent. Sulfates are cleansing agents, typically listed as sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium dodecyl sulfate, or sodium laureth sulfate, or just SLS for short. From facial cleansers to shampoos to toothpaste, most products on the beauty aisle contain a sulfate or two.

But, did you know of the dangers that sulfates post? First off, SLS is known to cause damage to the protein formation of eye tissue. In animal studies, SLS penetration is much higher in neonatal and young animals, and shows penetration into the eyes as well as the systemic tissues! It was also discovered that SLS was still present in tissues up to five days after a single drop was administered.

On top of that, SLS is also known to react with other beauty ingredients to form NDELA, a potent carcinogen. As seen above, SLS is already known to be highly absorbed by the body. In its carcinogenic form, it’s just that much more dangerous when absorbed. 

Lastly, SLS is a known skin irritant. In fact, SLS is the laboratory standard used to induce contact dermatitis (sensitivity caused by an external aggressor) in order to test products designed to soothe and heal this skin condition. It has been shown to damage skin barrier function, enhance allergic responses, damage and alter skin cells, cause skin roughness, and more.

These reasons and more have led a complete ban of SLS in Europe. In the U.S., though, it’s still generally recognized as safe. But, as far as Raw Essentials in concerned, it’s not safe enough for use in our products.

Artificial Colors and Fragrances
Humans like things that look and smell nice. The natural scent of flowers, the vibrant color of a sunset; these are almost universally loved! That’s why beauty products are so often created to appeal on a sight and scent level before almost anything else.

Unfortunately, many companies rely on artificial colors and fragrances to achieve this goal. It may seem innocent enough, but the fact is that just one artificial fragrance may contain hundreds of chemicals in order to achieve that “fresh” cucumber scent that you love so much.

Fragrances are considered a trade secret, so beauty brands don’t have to spill the beans on which chemical compounds they use to scent their products. Similarly, color combinations do not have to be displayed on the ingredients lists. And that unscented product you use? It may contain masking fragrances to cover up the scent of other chemicals used in the product!

All these chemicals pile up together to form a mess that doesn’t benefit your skin at all, and may even cause a reaction, especially in sensitive skin types. Here’s a quick rundown of just some of the side effects caused by artificial fragrance and/or color:

  • Immune system damage, leading to a person becoming sensitized and experiencing allergic reaction to the offending ingredient with further use
  • Hormone disruption, including fertility issues, caused by phthalates. Phthalates are found in many fragrances, specifically spray perfumes
  • Brain damage caused by neurotoxins, chemicals which are toxic to the brain and are known to be found in some fragrance chemicals
  • Non-phthalate hormone disruption caused by synthetic musks, which are also highly absorbed and even found in the umbilical cord blood of some newborn U.S. infants
  • Skin rashes and swelling caused by artificial dyes
  • Hyperactivity, headaches, mood disorders and more caused by artificial dye absorption

As you can see, these very common ingredients have a very sinister dark side. Just because they’re used by many does not mean that they should be used at all. With Raw Essentials, you can rest assured knowing that your skin care products will never contain these harmful ingredients.

Advertisements

Featured Product: Moisturizing Face Serum

Moisturizing Face SerumRaw Essentials is the perfect skin care line for all skin types and conditions. Because of its raw formulation, it is extremely nourishing while maintaining a gentleness rarely seen in such an active skin care regimen. For those concerned with visible signs of aging, Raw is able to tackle fine lines and wrinkles with precision, and without causing damage or discomfort.

Our Moisturizing Face Serum is one such product. Formulated with our proprietary blend of cold-pressed tamanu nut and monoi oils, Moisturizing Face Serum expertly works to soften and illuminate skin, restoring a youthful and healthy radiance.

In addition to these rich, non-comedogenic oils, Moisturizing Face Serum features the Party Foam POM Complex, a dynamic duo of pomegranate and orange blossom extracts. These ingredients are able to help you achieve firmer skin while also working to smooth lines and wrinkles. The result is skin that looks, feels, and acts younger.

Finally, aloe soothes and comforts irritation, hibiscus exfoliates to smooth away fine lines and dead skin cells, and essential vitamin E neutralizes free radicals with skin care antioxidants. These antioxidants also work by preventing future free radicals, helping to stop the occurrence of premature signs of aging.

As with all of the products from Raw Essentials, the active ingredients found in Moisturizing Face Serum are never heated above 115 degrees to ensure that all of the ingredients retain their nourishing vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. This means that your skin is able to fully recognize and absorb the benefits of each raw ingredient, allowing for maximum results.

As you can see, this comprehensive skin care serum is your one-stop-shop for moisture, nourishment, and anti-aging actions. Whether you’ve already begun to see visible signs of aging on your face, or you’re simply looking to prevent their onset, Moisturizing Face Serum will work to give you a youthfully glowing complexion.

Vitamin C and Your Skin

Source: flickr.com user slipah

Source: flickr.com user slipah

Vitamin C plays an essential role on the overall health of your body. From boosting the immune system to promoting iron absorption and even lowering one’s risk of certain heart disease, vitamin C is a powerful nutrient for the body. But, did you know it’s just as important for skin health and integrity?

In addition to the great benefits mentioned above, vitamin C is also essential to the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein which acts as a glue that binds cells together. It is the most abundant fiber in the body’s connective tissue, and plays a huge role in maintaining the form and strength of the teeth, bones, skin, organs, and cartilage.

When it comes to skin, collagen is responsible for keeping skin firm, resilient, and supple. It is abundant in youthful skin, but deteriorates as we age. This is what causes older skin to wrinkle! A lack of vitamin C can cause premature skin aging, including fine lines and wrinkles, as well as bruising of the skin.

Another way vitamin C works to prevent skin aging is by protecting it with antioxidants. Beneficial for the entire body, antioxidants help prevent cell damage by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals can cause a wide range of damage, including the skin damage which leads to more signs of skin aging, as well as skin dullness and overall lack of health.

If you’re concerned about aging skin, vitamin C is the perfect place to start. It is found in many foods, including fruits and vegetables, and may also be taken as a supplement. Lastly, vitamin C is found in many skin care products, including anti-aging skin care. By incorporating vitamin C into your diet, daily supplements, and daily skin care routine, you’ll be sure to slow visible signs of aging, and even restore a more youthful tone and texture to skin that has already started exhibiting fine lines and wrinkles.

Body Skin Care

Source: flickr.com user danivenn

Source: flickr.com user danivenn

You pamper your face with rich skin care moisturizers and anti-aging products, but do you properly care for the skin on your body? Your body needs more than the occasional dousing of lotion — if you want the skin on your body to be as soft, radiant, and healthy as the skin on your face, follow these tips…

Protect against sun damage. Too often, we apply an SPF to our face, neck, and chest, but leave the rest of our body exposed to UV damage! This is what leads to premature skin aging, wrinkles, fine lines, leathery texture, hyperpigmentation and more. If you’d like to keep your body looking youthful and healthy, be sure to protect it by wearing weather-appropriate clothing and applying an SPF to exposed skin.

Cleanse right. A lot of mainstream soaps and body wash products are very stripping on the skin. Most of them contain sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate, an extreme irritant that is also used in floor cleaners and grease removal products! Instead, be sure to use a gentle body cleanser that will benefit your skin while it cleanse. Our Balancing Body Wash, for example, protects the skin with antioxidants while nourishing and moisturizing with a blend of natural oils. The skin is left soft, pure, and gorgeous.

Moisturize every day! When you use your daily face moisturizer, use your body moisturizer, too. Whether you use a body lotion, body cream, or body oil, the skin on your body needs to be properly hydrated and protected against moisture loss. This will keep skin supple, soft, and radiant, while also reinforcing the skin’s natural defenses against aggressors.

If you follow these three simple steps, your skin will look healthier than ever, and premature signs of aging won’t even be on your radar!

Why Skin Needs Antioxidants

Source: public domain. Used with permission granted by image owner Ben Mills.

Source: public domain. Used with permission granted by image owner Ben Mills.

The skin care industry is filled with a slew of ingredients from which to choose, from harsh manmade chemicals, to ultra pure and natural skin care ingredients. In the mix of all these ingredients stand skin care antioxidants, one of the simplest, yet most effective, skin care ingredients.

Why are skin antioxidants so important? Here’s a look at why skin needs antioxidants, and how your skin will change for the better when you start using them. First, let’s have a refresher on free radicals.

Any cell in the body can produce a free radical. A free radical is an atom or molecule that is missing an electron in its outer shell. This causes the atom or molecule to attack healthy cells in order to steal an electron to heal itself.

While a skin free radical is rocketing around, it is able to cause oxidative damage to the skin, which then causes biological aging. For example, a free radical will cause our skin’s natural oils to become rancid, which breaks down collagen, a protein responsible for the youthful tone and texture of young and healthy skin.

Free radicals have actually been linked to everything from premature signs of skin aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, as well as more sinister things like skin cancer. Free radicals are caused by a multitude of what we call aggressors — anything in one’s environment capable of damaging the body’s atoms or molecules, including cigarette smoke, sun damage, pollution, and more.

So, how do we stop this awful damage? The answer is simple and beautiful: skin care antioxidants! Antioxidants include vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Antioxidants are able to slow and even prevent the oxidation of other molecules by neutralizing free radicals. In this way, antioxidants can actually heal and prevent visible signs of aging and damage!

Antioxidants applied topically will directly treat free radicals within the skin. Within days or weeks of using an antioxidant-rich skin care product, you’ll notice increased firmness and radiance, and minimized fine lines, wrinkles, and even skin discoloration!

Another way you can treat skin free radicals is by eating a diet rich in dietary antioxidants. Many foods and supplements contain antioxidants; the best way to get your daily dose of antioxidants is by eating a diet rich in colorful veggies. The more colors, the more unique antioxidants to use within your body to stop all free radicals, in the skin and elsewhere.

As you can see, antioxidants are one of the most versatile fighters available to our skin as well as the rest of your body. So, be sure to consume your antioxidants and use an antioxidant-rich skin care program like Raw Essentials!