This blog post is in response to a rebuttal to my original blog post on Oils and Balms Ruining The Skin.
My original article SHOCKED the green beauty world. For the first time ever someone was declaring that “Just because it is natural doesn’t always make it good for the skin”. This is a premise believed by many in green beauty that natural is always superior. It is a naive premise at best, there are many toxic substances that come from mother nature.
Each of the points raised in the rebuttal article I am going to go into great depth so you can really understand this concept that I am trying to get across. This post is in response to point one that was raised by the authors.
So here comes the rebuttal to the rebuttal…….
Cosmetics are not Pharmaceuticals
The rebuttal quotes this “It’s important to remember however, that most people using oils and balms won’t have medicinal or aesthetic problems with their skin – they just enjoy using nice cosmetics. Cosmetics are not pharmaceutical products and if anyone has inflamed skin or an impaired skin barrier, then this is a medical issue and not a cosmetic one. Using balms and oils on an inflamed or impaired skin barrier may indeed not be the best course of action, but that is not of concern to a cosmetic formulator”
My first comment is there is a vast difference from a genetic mutation and alteration of the skin such as in eczema versus someone who is dehydrated or who has an impaired barrier as a consequence of treatment of the skin. One is a medical problem and genetic; and the other could have numerous reasons as to its occurence including the following:
- The cosmetics they use (including oils and balms)
- The consituents of the cosmetics and their long term effects on the skin
- The atmospheric conditions (climate)
- The original state of the skin barrier.
- Hormonal changes and their age.
All of these factors have an impact.
The esthetics and feel of products, as well as smell are critical to their commercial success. To think that a basic moisturiser or cosmetic couldn’t do anything detrimental is again ill-informed and shows a lack of research to say the least. I remember contacting a famous chemist regarding the effect of emulsifiers on skin barrier function and this is the response I got.
They couldn’t answer the question because the person didn’t have any idea of what I was even talking about. In otherwords they didn’t know!!
Here is an eye opener for everyone. Guess how many hours cosmetic chemists spend on skin science?? Less than an hour. There were 10 pages in my Diploma of Cosmetic Formulation Course devoted to skin science and it was basic at best. The job of a chemist is to formulate a stable product. It is not their job to know skin science in depth….and this is where the biggest issue occurs. They are 2 completely separate fields. I knew more about the skin from my post graduate Esthetic Courses then I ever learnt from my Bachelor of Nursing or Diploma of Cosmetic Chemistry.
The first sentence “It’s important to remember however, that most people using oils and balms won’t have medicinal or aesthetic problems with their skin – they just enjoy using nice cosmetics”.
Mistake Number One – Believing that cosmetics don’t have any impact on the skin and it isn’t your concern because they don’t have a medical problem.
If most people did not have esthetic issues with their skin then the entire cosmetic industry would not exist. The reason why you choose to use a particular oil, serum or cream is because you either don’t like the feel of something about your skin or you are trying to improve the condition of it. Whilst I acknowledge that cosmetics are not drugs and that the regulation around cosmetics is different, it does not lessen the fact that they do INDEED influence the skin. You only have to go and ask those in green beauty who are suffering from a rampage of acne. Cosmetic plant oils can be comedogenic. This is not new information. It has been known for a long time.
Quote from the article “Cosmetics are not pharmaceutical products and if anyone has inflamed skin or an impaired skin barrier, then this is a medical issue and not a cosmetic one.”
Hello……NOT TRUE. Cosmetics do indeed influence the barrier, even if it was a healthy one to begin with. This study showed that moisturisers even affect the skin barrier function of a healthy normal skin. The belief that you can’t do any damage is as false as it comes.
In another study they were shown to affect the mRNA of cells. So moisturisers affect normal functioning of the skin on a very biological level. Don’t be fooled into thinking they are just “nice creams”. They are not innocuous and they are having an effect. Whether they are having the right effect or desired effect purely depends on what is in the formula.
To refer back to the reference about the client presenting to our clinic. Skin diagnosis is a skill set that is taught in Esthetics training. The use of corneometers (devices that measure the moisture loss from the skin as well as other skin paramaters) are a component of this diagnosis. The use of a woods lamp is also a component of this diagnosis. When a client goes from having a healthy skin to one that is inflamed with heat generating from it, with the only change being she has now stopped using a moisturiser and gone the green beauty route and using rose hip oil on her skin, it isn’t rocket science to work it out. The moment she discontinued it and started using a well formulated moisturiser her skin completely transformed back to being healthy.
The reason why it had such an impact on her is because she was approaching menopause and the skins needs completely change. The reason why she started using it was because her skin was suffering the impact of menopause and changing. She thought that by including the oil it would counteract the dryness she was experiencing. It just made it worse.
Cosmetic formulation is a science. It requires knowledge of what you are doing. This knowledge takes time to acquire and if you are formulating products then I hope you do your due diligence because many don’t.
Part Two of this 5 part rebuttal will follow in a couple of days.
About the Author
Jacine Greenwood is an internationally recognised educator who is known within the industry for her up to date knowledge and her ability to deliver training in an easy to understand method. She writes regularly for the Australian Aesthetics Journal.
Jacine is a Cosmetic Chemist as well as Esthetician. Jacine holds 6 Diplomas and a Bachelor of Nursing and her knowledge is well respected by her peers. With over 21 years experience in the industry and a background of cosmetic formulation, Jacine has an immense knowledge of current trends in research and new developments in the industry.
Jacine has been continually educating herself in all aspects of skin function and cosmetic chemistry for the past 21 years. Jacine’s knowledge is current and has a vast knowledge of the active ingredients that are being released onto the market.