Organic, Natural, and Botanical Ingredients
As the demand for organic beauty care items increases, so has concern over who is, so to speak, minding the store, when it comes to their ingredients. “Right now, the cosmetic industry is using the rules for organic food but the rules for organic cosmetics have just begun being implemented,” according to New York dermatologist Dr. Jeanette Graf. The OASIS (Organic And Sustainable Industry Standards) group has established guidelines for organic cosmetic products modeled after European guidelines.” The OASIS will certify products at two levels: ‘organic’ and ‘made with organic.’ To meet certification rules for organic, the “organic” label claim will start at 85 percent until January 2010, then shift to 90 percent and to 95 percent in 2012. The “made with organic” certification will begin and remain at a 70 percent minimum organic content with additional criteria for the remaining 30 percent of ingredients.
Plant-based oils including millet, argan, rose, grape seed, coconut, and neem all provide skin, hair, and nails with vital vitamin and antioxidant properties. These oils are already being used in various soap, skin, and hair treatment products, lotions, and in beauty supplement capsules. Availability and the locating of renewable resources in organic and natural ingredients are deciding factors in formulating these products. According to Kayla Fioravanti, Vice President, Chief Formulator, ARC Registered, and Certified Aromatherapist for Essential Wholesale and its lab division Essential Labs, “Some of the top oils for skin care will be related to what is readily available organic. Shea butter, olive oil, and coconut oil will play a big role because they are abundantly available to the organic market. Meadowfoam oil will be a popular choice. Formulating green is the wave of the future. Factors like renewable resources will play a role in formulations.”
Skin care with marine-based ingredients including sea kelp, plankton, microflora, and algae will continue to grow in popularity. As companies look to China for anti-aging answers, a combination of Western and Eastern medicinal ingredients are also becoming more common. Tea (especially green tea), herbs, and berries (such as acai and goji) harness the theory that what works for anti-aging internally can also be beneficial when applied externally to the skin. As consumers learn more about free radical damage, they seek products with recognizable ingredients in an attempt to feed their skin with the same healthy ingredients with which they feed their bodies.
Sun Protection and Self-Tanning Products
The issue of sun protection will certainly be huge in the coming year. By now hopefully everyone understands the importance of broad-spectrum protection and that everyday use of it, regardless of the weather, is key to reaping its anti-aging and sunburn prevention benefits.
Jimm Harrison, holistic beauty product developer and author of the book Aromatherapy: Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils for Esthetics (Milady 2007) is currently working on further research and formulation for botanical sun protection. “Used both internally and topically, it appears from current studies that there are botanicals and extracts that offer greater sun protection than the current SPF formulas in the marketplace,” says Harrison. “Even with internal use, some have been shown to prevent sunburns.” He also stresses that the added benefit to botanical sun protection formulations is their ability to allow the formation of vitamin D in the skin. “Vitamin D has an extraordinary list of functions in the human body and is at sub-par levels in a majority of people, which is partly attributed to the use of sunscreen.”
Pairing the physical barrier sunscreen ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide with antioxidants such as green tea or lycopene will likely continue, while some companies are adding ingredients with reparative qualities for skin tone, collagen production, and even mild exfoliation. Consumers want products that truly multitask and if they can get additional benefits from their sunscreen, it is one less layer of product they must apply to their skin each morning. Look for sunscreen with anti-aging ingredients to increase in volume and popularity in 2010.
Don’t let numbers fool you when it comes to sun protection. Pennsylvania-based dermatologist and clinical psychologist, and member of the executive committee of the American Acne & Rosacea Society, Richard Fried, MD, PhD says you’ll likely be seeing higher SPFs. The question, says Dr. Fried, is whether SPF 100 is over-kill. “The difference between an SPF 30 and an SPF 100 is only about three percent more protection. This is only relevant if you have a serious sun sensitivity disorder or are on a very sun sensitizing medication.” He warns that the increased chemical content of the very high SPF chemical sunscreens may be irritating for rosacea skin. For new and promising sunscreen ingredients he recommends Mexoryl and Helioplex.
While the use of sunscreen is on everyone’s mind, expect to see more self-tanning products on store shelves as well. These will only improve in terms of the odor factor and their ability to multitask as a beauty item. We’ll see more self-tanners with firming and ultra moisturizing ingredients, along with emphasis on ingredients to speed drying time after application. Next year’s self-tanning formulas should prove easier to apply and provide more realistic color tones as ingredients and formulations progress.
High Tech Anti-Aging Ingredients
Research and Development minds haven’t been wasting any time when it comes to linking science with how to keep skin looking young and vital. Gene therapy in skin care is a hot topic. The activity of key genes is regulated by sirtuins. The enzymes in sirtuins appear to delay cell death and help cells recover from damage. “Genes are composed of DNA, which provide the blueprint or code to create and maintain cells. Certain genes such as sirtuins (the youth gene) have been shown to affect the rate at which cells age. There will be more product launches containing ingredients that claim to change the rate in which skin cells age, essentially re-programming the skin to look younger,” predicts Ron Robinson, founder of beautystat.com, a cosmetic chemist and a 20-year veteran of the beauty industry.
You may have heard the buzz about Resveratrol, an antioxidant compound that acts on sirtuins and is found in red wine. It’s garnering hopeful press and is seen as having much potential for expanded inclusion in skin care products. Already available in some supplements and creams, Resveratrol is said to have skin lightening and brightening – as well as anti-inflammatory – properties. In the war against anti-aging, Resveratrol is likely to be a sought after weapon next year.
Peptides, which signal the skin to create more collagen, have enjoyed a great ride in the past few years and only stand to increase in usage and popularity going forward. Dr. Neal Schultz, a New York dermatologist for over 30 years and the host of DermTV.com, believes peptides have yet to peak in their ability to alter skin for the better. “The blockbuster ingredient for facial skin in 2010 is going to be new and “tweaked” peptides that will help to not only produce more collagen to reduce lines and wrinkles, but will also reduce brown discoloration. There is even new technology in peptides to help some of the red discoloration of rosacea.”
Look for more products offering multiple peptides to speak to different skin issues. Because they address a myriad of concerns, including wrinkles, tone, and collagen boosting, and are well tolerated by most skin, peptides are poised to continue to morph as consumers needs change and grow.
Research on stem cells in skin care is ongoing. It centers upon how to stimulate the adult stem cells that are already in your body as opposed to attempting to implant them through products. In studies, wrinkled areas show a lack of stem cell activity. Most of the current stem cell related skin care products claim active plant cells as the catalyst for existing stem cells to defend and repair themselves from damage.
You’ve probably heard about growth factors, which promote cell proliferation, blood vessel growth, and encourage collagen and elastin production without irritation, according to proponents of this rising star ingredient. Particularly effective in treating issues involving uneven skin tone, including acne scarring, cell growth factors come from fibroblasts (a type of stem cell that circulates through the tissue and can change into various types of cells) of immature cells, which are propagated in labs. Growth factors are likened to a nourishing energy boost for your skin. Expect more skin products for ‘mature’ skin to contain growth factors.
In the coming year, not only will the actual skin care ingredients themselves be important, but also their delivery systems will be equally studied and enhanced. How your skin receives the ingredients that target specific issues has a significant impact on their effectiveness. Much promise is held for more controlled release ‘smart’ delivery systems, where materials are released from microencapsulation through stimulation by such variables as temperature, proteins,
The Paraben Controversy
Parabens are at the center of what is a heated ingredient disagreement. In the media, parabens have been linked to mimicking estrogen, which has been researched for its possible links to breast cancer risk. While many companies have ditched parabens in favor of other preservative choices, including rose extract, potassium sorbate, and citric acid, shelf life and product safety are at the heart of the issue. Often consumers have no idea how long they have had a certain product and are relying on the manufacturer to insure its safety and effectiveness.
“These preservatives are used at very low levels,” says Robinson, “and numerous studies show that they are completely safe.” He predicts they will continue to be used in 2010. Dr. Shultz echoes these sentiments, saying, “They get a lot of bad press and really are very effective preservatives that usually do not cause problems.” He adds, “Their primary draw back is a higher-than-average incidence of allergic contact dermatitis. People who are allergic to parabens and use products containing them get a rash, which returns every time they use a paraben-containing product on their skin. The diagnosis of paraben allergy can only be established by patch tests to parabens performed by a dermatologist or allergist.”
Keep in mind that legally the first three ingredients on a label are the majority of what you are getting in a product. Law requires ingredients be listed from highest to lowest in volume. If you are concerned about parabens in your skin products, look at where they fall on the ingredient list or seek out the many paraben-free products on the market.
Acne and Rosacea
Persistent skin issues such as acne and rosacea can make life miserable for many people. Progress in ingredients and formulations hold the key to relief, if not a ‘cure’ for these habitual skin offenders.
“Some exciting new ingredients to look for in 2010 include vasoconstrictors (which reduce local blood flow) for rosacea,” says Dermatologist and American Acne & Rosacea Society spokesperson, Diane Berson, MD. “These will help rosacea-prone individuals to experience less redness for several hours at a time. It is not a permanent ‘fix,’ but will provide temporary relief from the redness of rosacea.” According to Dr. Fried, “there will also be more emphasis on barrier creams with dimethicone, ceramides, and other natural components of the skin barrier.”
When it comes to dealing with acne, “Antimicrobial peptides are being closely watched for their benefit to people who have either acne or rosacea,” says Dr. Fried. These peptides, also known as host defense peptides, can kill a wide variety of microbes and may have the ability to enhance immunity. Dr. Berson also suggests that acne fighters to look out for are new combinations of benzoyl peroxide and retinoids.
Hope Springs Eternal
In terms of dealing with skin care and our daily attempts to keep our skin looking as clear and radiant as possible, knowing that time and research dollars are continually being spent on finding and improving the most effective in skin care ingredients is a comforting thought. From locating sustainable natural and organic sources, connecting science and wrinkle reduction, and finding help for those who suffer from acne and rosacea, to better smelling self-tanners and delivery systems for sensitive ingredients, the world of skin care shows no signs of slowing down. An abundance of effective skin care formulas confirms that key ingredients, matched against specific skin issues, can often bring triumph. And if you have a skin issue you have not yet successfully solved, certainly don’t give up hope. It could be that 2010 is your year.
Laura Carson Miller is a freelance lifestyle writer specializing in beauty and health/wellness. Her many years in the salon and spa business bring true life experience to all her beauty stories. She currently writes for the web, including her beauty and health blog laurasbeautybounty, and for magazines including various lifestyle and salon/spa industry publications.