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What’s In Your Skincare?

non-toxic skincare

It’s easy to not realize and to even forget that our skin is a thriving, breathing organ (the largest!) of our bodies and the true gatekeeper to our health.  But how much does our skin actually absorb?
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health looked into the skin’s absorption rates of chemicals found in drinking water. It showed that the skin absorbed an average of 64% of the total contaminant dosage.  One other study found the face to be several times more permeable than broad body surfaces and an absorption rate of 100% for underarms and genitalia.  Another peer-reviewed study showed 100% absorption of ingredients with fragrance.
This is pretty alarming when you think about how much product we use daily and weekly, not to mention all the pollutants in the air that our skin is exposed to on a daily basis. For this reason, shouldn’t we be paying attention to the ingredients in our personal care products?  The reality is that most of our personal care products consist mostly of synthetic and chemically derived ingredients that either have been found to be toxic or lack long-term data simply because the industry is always introducing new synthetics to use in our cosmetics.  Of course, not all chemicals are bad.  Many have helped advance the human race but others should be used with caution.
Here are the top ingredients to avoid in your personal care products.
POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL (PEG)
PEG is a nonbiodegradable petroleum derived mixture of polymers that are bonded together.  PEG’s act as an emollient, emulsifier, a penetration enhancer and a solubizer for other ingredients. You can recognize a PEG in it’s most simplest form as PEG-4 or PEG-100. The lower the number after the dash, the more easily it is absorbed into the skin.  You might also notice other ingredients with numbers following them.  Those ingredients are technically not PEG’s but they do have one significant thing in common with PEG’’s and that is ethylene oxide. Ethylene oxide is a compound used to create PEG’s as well as a host of other chemicals through a process called ethoxylation.   According to EWG (Environmental Working Group), Ethylene Oxide is extremely toxic and a known carcinogen. Ethoxylation (the process in which ethylene oxide is used to produce PEG’s and other chemicals) produces an unwanted byproduct contaminate called 1,4 dioxane and is found in a whopping 1,817 ingredients (46% of products tested) that are used in most of our commercially sold personal care products! PEG’s have also been found to be contaminated with other impurities as well as heavy metals like lead, iron and arsenic. 
In addition to PEG’s, be on the look out for these other major offenders such as Ceteareth-20, Polysorbate-20, Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Dimethicone which are all found in the majority of products sold at most retailers, even when the product claims to be “Natural” or “Organic”. Notice the “eth” in most of these?  That is a signal that the ingredient was treated with “eth”ylene  oxide. 
So why shouldn’t you use products with PEG’s?
On top of exposing your skin and body to a known carcinogen and other contaminates, PEG’s enhance the penetration of other undesirable ingredients across the epidermis like bacteria, pollutants and anything else foreign that shouldn’t be on our skin. 
PEG’s also compromise the barrier function of injured or sensitive skin types and makes the skin far more vulnerable to bacterial infection while also upsetting the natural moisture balance of our skin.
PEG’s are basically the fluid form of plastic and are not biodegradable.  They run into our water ways and can have a negative impact on the ecosystem. 
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/726229/ETHYLENE_OXIDE/
PROPYLENE GLYCOL
Propylene Glycol is a non-renewable crude oil from petroleum and natural gas refining.  It’s a major ingredient in many products because it acts as a solvent for active ingredients that are hard to break down such as salicylic acid.  It’s also used as a stabilizer, emulsifier and a humectant. It should be noted that some companies have begun replacing PG with a natural vegetable derived Propylene Gycol which is more environmentally sustainable.  Most of those companies will let you know if the form they’re using is plant-based.
Why should we avoid it? 
There is evidence that PG can cause contact dermatitis, rashes and skin cell growth.  It also dramatically enhances the penetration of whatever comes in contact with your skin be it good or bad.  
Products that us PG form a seal over the skin that prevents the escape of water.  This might sound good at first BUT it doesn’t add moisture, it only draws moisture from the lower layers of your skin to the top layers.  This only provides short-term hydration.  Eventually, the lower layers will gradually dry out. This leads to the degradation of your skin and with long-term use, your skin will begin to look unexplainably dull and dry which leads to fine lines and wrinkles.
Propylene Glycol ends up sitting on the skin even after washing, dissolving the fats and oils your skin needs to stay healthy.  As a result, your skin reacts by becoming dry which requires more and more applications. 
POLYSORBATES
Polysorbates are sugar based alcohols and are used as emulsifiers.  Emulsifiers marry oil and water solutions together.
Why should we avoid it?
While there is no visible “eth” in the spelling of Polysorbates, they are in fact “ethoxylated” or treated with ethylene oxide and thus, contaminated with 1,4 dioxane which is a known carcinogen.  You will often see a number after Polysorbate such as Polysorbate 20.  That number represents the amount of ethylene oxide used in it’s creation.
DIMETHICONE
Dimethicone is a popular synthetic used in most commercial skincare products.  It is a nonbiodegradable silicone-based polymer. It helps to provide a smooth application of cream and lotions and creates a protective cover over the skin.
Why should we avoid it?
While not generally toxic or contaminated, dimethicone and other silicone ingredients interfere with the skin’s natural processes like sweating (releasing toxins from the body), and sloughing off dead skin cells. Prolonged use of silicones creates a dependency and your skin eventually stops producing it’s own moisture which in effect, locks in bacteria that causes acne.  Over time, your skin also becomes dry, dull and lackluster contributing to fine lines and wrinkles.
SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE
Found in 90% of personal care products, SLS is a surfactant.  It’s that thing that makes your cleanser or household cleaner foam. Many companies will tell you that it is “coconut derived” but it uses petro-chemicals in it’s processing and the final product is very far from being plant-derived.
Why should we avoid it?
Notice the “eth” in SLS?  It is another popular ingredient that has been treated with ethylene oxide. 
Apart from being extremely drying to your skin, it is also a known lung and eye irritant and has been linked to kidney and respiratory damage.  It also has the potential to interact and combine with other chemicals to form nitrosamines which are a known carcinogen.
ARTIFICAL ADDITIVES & INGREDIENTS
There are host of artificial ingredients that make up this category.  Here are the worst offenders.
Parabens are a widely used preservative in personal care products.  We don’t need to go into detail as chances are you’ve heard it all about parabens.  They have estrogen mimicking properties and are linked to breast cancer. 
Phenoxyethanol is actually an alternative dubbed “natural” preservative that was created to address the problems associated with parabens.  Notice the “eth”?  That’s right, it is petro-chemical derived and treated with ethylene oxide. It has been linked to cancer as well as reproductive and nervous system defects.
Phthalates are widely used in certain personal care products like hair sprays and nail polishes.  They are also added to plastics and it’s main use is to increase flexibility and softness of the product it is in.  Phthalates are also a component in fragrance!  If you see”Fragrance” listed as an ingredient in your product (which comes with it’s own issues), Phthalates could be included in that but there is no law that requires companies list it just like there is no law that companies have to disclose what ingredients make up the “Fragrance” used in their product.  Phthalates are endocrine disrupters in females with links to breast cancer and reproductive birth defects in both males and females.
Artificial Colors should also be avoided. Almost all artificial colors are made from coal tar while some are petroleum derived.  These dyes are used in foods, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, textiles, cosmetics, and personal care products like hair dyes, shampoos, and deodorants. Their use in products that go on or in the human body is regulated by the FDA, which labels each dye type with a letter indicating its approved uses. “F” means approved for food. “D” means approved for drugs. “C” means approved for cosmetics. In this system, for example, FD&C Blue #1 is a blue dye permitted in food, drugs, and cosmetics. There’s evidence that artificial colors increase hyperactivity, ADHD and learning difficulties in children. Other studies have implicated coal tars in lung and skin cancers (though a direct relationship remains unproved).
FRAGRANCE
Cosmetic and personal care industries are given permission to just use the word “Fragrance” in their ingredients list instead of disclosing exactly what chemicals are used to create their signature scent.  Fragrance is essentially code for a toxic concoction of who knows what?! Fragrance has been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and reproductive issues.
PETRO-CHEMICALS
Most of the ingredients we’ve covered above are petro-chemically derived. Studies have found that topical application of petro-chemicals on rodents resulted in anemia, kidney degeneration, nerve damage to the brain and spinal cord as well as cancer.  A lot of what’s in our skincare is a form of plastic and does absolutely nothing good for the environment.  These ingredients run off into our waterways and disrupts eco-systems.  A study conducted in 2008 revealed that Marine litter is now 60-80 percent plastic, reaching 90-95 percent in some areas. Plastics are also known to absorb additional pollutants, creating unknown health hazards.
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Your Saving Grace for Sensitive Skin | 35% off + Free Shipping for a limited time!

sensitive skin regimen

We’re getting close to unveiling the most exciting Sensitive Skin Regimen to the world and we cannot wait to share it with you!
We felt there was a void in the sensitive skin landscape for products that are honestly plant-based and use a balanced assortment of botanicals that truly offer benefits to sensitive skin but also possesses an anti-aging effect by incorporating the right actives at effective ratios.  
We wanted to create an affordable luxury Sensitive Skin regimen that met all of this criteria but with a minimalist approach.  We wanted a regimen that would gradually teach your skin to naturally thrive and shine virtually on it’s own with a minimal amount of product completely independent from synthetic barriers and unnecessary fillers. 
Hero by Skinnocence was developed for sensitive, problematic skin issues and was a passion project for our founder, Cara McEvoy.  Cara and her family all struggle with sensitive skin and dermatitis skin conditions. The Hero 3-step regimen is the result of Cara personally trialing and curating every ingredient based on how it has helped her own sensitive skin as well as her family’s . Hero helms the power of the most effective natural botanicals and actives that are proven to soothe, reduce redness, restore hydration & protect the most sensitive skin from daily environmental stress.
The beauty of the Hero Regimen is that you’ll find you don’t need to pile on a ton of product after cleansing and you might also find that with continued use, the amount of make-up you need to use will gradually diminish!  It is great for any skin type but particularly suited for sensitive skin, rosacea, eczema and other dermatological conditions. 
The Minimalist Gel Cleanser uses an ultra gentle coconut based surfactant that lifts impurities up and actually helps treat flaky skin issues.  Coupled with manuka honey, aloe vera and a minimal infusion of key botanical extracts that lend to a healthy epidermis, your skin is left clean and hydrated instead of dry and dull. 
The Toning Nectar (step 2 of the Regimen) infuses skin with superior lightweight hydration using dead sea salt mineral which helps retain moisture and Giant Sea Kelp bio-ferment which is extremely helpful at soothing skin and reducing redness and irritation.  It can even help clear up acne.
The third step of the regimen is our Soothing Oil-Free Moisturizer.  You may find you don’t need to use that much which makes your Regimen last longer, however this daily moisturizer is truly a gift for those who suffer from sensitive skin issues. Japanese Honeysuckle, Micro-Algae, Neem, Ceramides, Oat Straw, Borage and Zinc Oxide assists in repairing the lipid barrier of the skin, rejuvenating dull and stressed skin and providing protection from the sun and elements.  Hero also includes a special patented Tetrapeptide that helps reduce redness and sensitivity.  
On top of being what we feel is the most exciting plant-based regimen for sensitive skin issues, Hero also incorporates key anti-aging actives that are gentle enough and beneficial for sensitive skin.  These include Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramide 3, Panthanol (Vit B5), Niacinamide (Vit B3),  and a stable form of Vitamin C  (magnesium ascorbyl Phosphate).
Hero will be available to purchase from our website beginning TOMORROW! We’re offering first time buyers 35% off with free U.S. Shipping for a limited time only.
 Not only can you buy the complete 3-step Regimen (4 Fl oz each) for $120 + Free U.S. Shipping (before 35% off).  Each step is also available to purchase a la carte and we will offer a trial regimen for $40 that includes a 1 fl. oz bottle of each.

 

 

 

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Youthful Skin is Here

Pressure from society to look as young as possible can sometimes be daunting and unavoidable, but the most important thing we should be focusing on instead, is our health.
Do you always wish you could have perfectly radiant and youthful looking skin? Well, now you can have it by following these few simple rules we’re about to provide for you. Skin care is an essential part of a woman’s everyday routine, and our rules for healthy skin will surely help you achieve that glow you’ve been striving for.   What sets this routine apart from all of the other ones is that it doesn’t include injections or BOTOX in order for you to look beautiful.

You are what you eat!

You’ve probably heard this saying many times before, but maybe it’s time to take it seriously. A diet full of whole foods like fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains is going to help you keep your skin looking youthful and radiant. Vitamins A, C, and B are very important for our skin and hair, so implement those in your everyday diet.
Also, Omega fatty acids help our skin to receive beneficial nutrients which can make you look younger and vibrant, without the need to get  injections. 

Read the labels

Labels on makeup products and skin care products are there for a reason. How many times have you tried a new product on your face, without reading its content? If the answer is often, then you should stop doing this ASAP. Get to know your skin type and adjust your skin care accordingly. This means if you have oily skin, avoid using heavy products and look for oil-free or gel-based moisturizers and if your skin is dry, then you should definitely go with products that offer exceptional hydration.
Another helpful tip is to avoid products that contain SD alcohol in them because they will dry out your skin and make it look dull over time.

Moisturizing is the way to go

Youthful skin looks fresh and vivacious, and to achieve this look you need to moisturize your skin daily. Don’t confuse moisturizing products with oily ones, and don’t run away from them if your skin is oily. Oily skin also needs hydration, and there are many products on the market that will offer you oil-free skin care and won’t make your skin look greasy.  It should also be noted that oily skin should be treated with products that use the right kind of natural oils like jojoba and grapeseed.  If you deprive oily skin completely from oils, your skin will just produce even more oil to compensate for that loss.  Moisturizing is an essential part of your skincare regimen after cleansing and toning and to replenish after heightened sun exposure. However, it’s all about finding the right moisturizer for your skin type.

Exercise daily

Don’t be turned off by the “daily” part because you don’t have to go and run a marathon everyday, but do few simple exercises to get your body moving. This not only benefits you physically, but it will also benefit your skin. Even though the skin is our outside shield, it still reacts to the things that are happening inside our body. When we exercise, our body releases toxins by way of our skin and we also produce endorphins, that in turn, make our skin tone look healthy and vibrant naturally. So get up from your seat, and start implementing more exercises in your daily routine, to get that beautiful and youthful looking skin.
Written by,
Clara Smart
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BLOGGER CHALLENGE!

beauty bloggerWe’re inviting beauty & Health/Wellness bloggers with at least 1000+ Instagram followers to experience a 2+ week free trial of Formula H2R Resurfacing Night Cream!….PLUS 2 free 5ml samples of our daily moisturizers!
 Bloggers who complete our interactive challenge are automatically entered to win 1 free bottle of Skinnocence Oil Envy Facial Oil (custom blended for your skin type!)     PLUS   Two (2) Instagram reposts!

We’ll be choosing 2 winners!

To get your free 1 oz trial and 5 ml samples shipped (free of charge)  – please private msg Skinnocence via Instagram.  We’ll need your shipping address and your agreement to the terms provided below.
Contact us NOW to experience true INSIDE-OUT Beauty!

Requirements to enter to win the free bottle of oil envy.

Use Formula H2R Resurfacing Night Cream exclusively at night after cleansing skin for at least 1 full week AND complete a short 2 sentence minimum social media + personal blog shout out/review of Formula H2R accompanied by the product image (will be provided by Skinnocence) to enter to win your free bottle of Oil Envy blended for your skin type shipped to you at no charge PLUS   2 Instagram Reposts of your choice.  
We’ll pick our preferred 2 winners!

 

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Why Natural Skincare is an Important and Growing Movement

 

It’s About Health and the Environment, not Superficial Fixes.

My journey to creating a natural skincare line was not a decision rooted in vanity.  It was not  about vanishing wrinkles or trying to thwart the inevitable aging of my skin, though that is just one small part of all of this.  I got in this for many different reasons stemming from personal needs to the desire to be environmentally responsible.   I always suffered from very sensitive, blemish prone skin my entire life.  Friends and acquaintances seem surprised when I tell them this but I always had to work really hard at it in order to have clear skin and to be happy with what I saw in the mirror.  I recall many days when I didn’t want to leave my house due to a break out.  I remember purposefully waking up early to wash and conceal my blemishes before my significant other woke up. If I skipped just one face cleansing, it was inevitable I’d break out in some way, shape or form the next day. I was a slave to my skin and I was too embarrassed to talk about it because I felt it would make me look overly vain or self-conscious. I ended up marrying someone who also has a skin condition and subsequently, it turns out that our two children also have very sensitive, reactive skin. Skinnocence, first and foremost grew out of a very personal need to find natural remedies for myself and my family when all the commercial store-bought products I tried just didn’t seem to produce truly healthy looking skin. 
After insurmountable research and self-educating, I also uncovered the dirty truth about the cosmetic and personal care industry and the amount of plastics and petroleum used to make so many of the products we buy at our local drug stores and retail chains.  We’re talking about synthetic polymers like Polyethylene Glycol or PEG’s and silicones like Dimethicone that are heavily and almost exclusively used by most skincare manufacturers for the simple fact that they are extremely cheap.  PEG’s and Silicones are just the tip of the ice berg and there are so many more offenders on the list. Furthermore, manufacturers that use plastics don’t shy away from overtly marking up the cost of their products even though 95% of their ingredients are abundantly synthetic and far less expensive than their natural counterparts.  What’s more alarming is that PEG’s and other petroleum-based ingredients are known to be contaminated with carcinogens and other endocrine and reproductive disrupters. This is the first major problem with plastics in our personal care.
The second major problem with plastics in personal care is that they are not biodegradable and extremely harmful to the environment.  A study conducted in 2008 revealed that Marine litter is now 60-80 percent plastic, reaching 90-95 percent in some areas. Plastics are also known to absorb additional pollutants, creating unknown health hazards. Run off containing these ingredients end up in our water ways and contain harmful contaminates that are detrimental to eco-systems.
The third problem with plastics in our skin and personal care products is that they are short-term  skin conditioning agents that end up doing our skin a disservice in the long-term.  Ingredients like Dimethicone create a superficial protective cap on top of our skin.  Proponents might tell you that it helps lock moisture in and protects your skin from environmental aggressors but with long-term use; day after day – that protective seal accumulates, becoming thicker and thicker. This build up makes it harder for skin to absorb vital nutrients and can actually make your skin look duller over time. In the long-term, it prevents your skin from naturally breathing and from releasing toxins.  Eventually, your skin is systematically trained to rely on these ingredients to thrive instead of thriving on it’s own, which is what our skin should be able to do. 
I had a real issue with these facts once I began researching the cosmetic industry and learning about ingredients.  I was even more frustrated at the rampant “Greenwashing” that skin and personal care brands committed in an attempt to appeal to the growing natural movement by consumers.  I found it offensive that consumers are continually duped into thinking they are buying a natural non-toxic product when in fact, they are not.  I realized it is up to us to be educated consumers since we cannot rely on most of these companies to do the right thing.
So where was I before I began experimenting with natural skincare?  I was using Cetaphil for well over 15 years.  Manufactured by Galderma, Cetaphil is widely pushed and recommended product by dermatologist such as mine when I was a teenager.  It did help keep major break outs at bay in the beginning but I still experienced random skin sensitivities and blemishes despite trying a myriad of other expensive commercial skincare products over the years with little success. As I reached my mid 30’s, I also started to notice how generally dull and uneven my skin looked and I realized I needed a change. 
Once I ditched all the chemically and synthetically loaded skincare,  my skin issues gradually started to disappear.  When I stopped using body washes with sulfates and other harsh ingredients, I stopped experiencing all my weird and random skin sensitivities.  I was amazed at how different my facial skin felt after I started experimenting with natural ingredients.  I also noticed  a dramatic shift in skin tone.  
In addition, my two children and husband have also benefited from Skinnocence’s natural remedies which could not make me any more happy. We’re excited to be developing a 3-step skincare regimen to naturally treat specific skin conditions that will hit the market soon.  Check out the before and after results at the end of this article. 
Now don’t get me wrong, age prevention is definitely a component of Skinnocence but it’s more about getting that healthy youthful glow from the inside out by  using natural ingredients that feed the skin and body holistically at a long-term cellular level – instead of treating the skin a the topical short-term level like many commercial mass marketed skincare tends to do.  I’ll also keep it real by telling you that there really is no cream in existence that will completely get rid of your wrinkles.  Quality skincare can reduce and improve the appearance of wrinkles, but unless you’re getting injectables (which come with their own risks) –  well formulated skincare will result in a glowing balanced and healthy skin tone while smoothing the surface of your skin so that it looks soft and radiant – thus, reducing the appearance of those pesky wrinkles. Of course, the earlier you start an effective skincare regimen, the better.  Diet and lifestyle also plays an enormous role in the health and appearance of your skin and is the first and most important step to getting that glow.  As someone who likes a good party, I find that a quality  skincare regimen can make me feel just a little bit better the day after a big night out.  Nevertheless, we must come to terms with our aging selves and learn to see the beauty in it. They don’t call them “fine”lines for nothing.     

We’re happy to share even more exciting results from Skinnocence!

 

natural skincare
Before and after results of using Skinnocence Butt & Cut cream on a chronic scaly skin condition my son was experiencing.

 

sebhorrheic dermatitis
Before and after results from using HERO by Skinnocence Sensitive Skin Regimen to treat Sebhorrheic Dermatitis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moore CJ, “Synthetic polymers in the marine environment: a rapidly increasing, long-term threat.” Environ Res. 2008 Oct;108(2):131-9, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18949831.