The Good, The Bad and the Ugly – Part 1

April 3, 2019 - 11:59am

I am often witness to how overwhelmed and confused clients feel about the Skincare Industry.

Which ingredients are good, which are harmful?
What exactly are the preservatives and is it all bad or are small quantities acceptable?
What Is the correct percentage for a vitamin in a topical product?
How do I get more collagen or elastin in my skin?
Can collagen be ingested, can it be applied topically?
What is hyaluronic acid and how do I get it in my skin?

Unfortunately, the same as the Food Industry, there are many tricks and ploys used by some manufacturers to bamboozle the consumer. Governing bodies for Skincare products in North America are few and far between and not very strict – the consumer is not protected. The question then re: Skincare Products is, ‘How do we know what is Good, Bad or just plain Ugly?’

Human skin is the largest organ of the human body and we most definitely absorb (some, not all!) molecules through our skin. Nicotine patches deliver nicotine through the skin into the bloodstream, Fentanyl patches deliver fentanyl through the skin and can be fatal in the wrong doses, estrogen and many other medications can be delivered through our skin. These are all rigorously documented and quantified and published products with very strict rules and regulations re distributing and using it, but on a daily basis we emerge our skin in a multitude of products that are not monitored, documented, tested and controlled.
We hope it is all good and safe.
My hope it is all good and safe.

My goal would be to teach Skincare Consumers the industry, its pitfalls, its “common senses” aspects and how to look at a product as smart consumer not caught up in the smoke and mirrors of advertising.

This month let’s start with basics that sets the ABC’s of Skincare products.
1. Vitamins are destroyed by air (Oxygen) and light (UV light) = proven Scientific fact.
That means that any Skincare product that comes in a jar with a lid will have no active ingredients once it has been opened a few times. Secondly, re products packaged in jars – we unintentionally contaminate it every time we put our fingers in it.
face/neck/hands/décolleté. Bottomline: skincare proclaiming to contain active ingredients but is packaged in a jar shows you a manufacturer who doesn’t even know the basics of stabilizing a vitamin molecule. Don’t buy it.  

2. The same rules apply to products packaged in transparent containers and using a straw-type pump. UV-light penetrates the transparent container – vitamins inactive.
Air is let into the product that uses a straw-pump – vitamins inactive. Do not waste your money on a product proclaimed to contain active ingredients but packaged in a transparent or straw-pump container, there is nothing active in it a few single weeks after manufactured.

What then do we do when the manufacturer is savvy enough to package “junk” Skincare in a container with a vacuum-pump (no straw, no air) and/or a non-transparent container (no UV-light). How do we as consumers know when it is substandard or harmful products, but in “smart” packaging to make us think it is fine? The correct packaging does not make the product good or high-end or even safe, it is just not an obvious rookie packaging error. In the same breath, incorrect packaging can destroy any  beneficial molecules that might have been present in the product when it was manufactured.

In the next article, I will address more of those questions so often asked by my clients.

As always, we would be more than happy to help and advise you re: all of your Beauty and Skincare concerns ad Hummingbird MediSpa 403-529-2006.

Skincare Basics
By Dr. Burger - Hummingbird MediSpa