Cosmetic Myths Debunked From A Manufacturer

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1. People with sensitive skin should use only “natural” products.

Not necessarily, natural ingredients are just as capable of causing an allergic reaction as non-natural ones. A typical example of natural ingredients with allergen potential are nut oils, some individuals are so allergic to these ingredients that even application to the skin can have serious effects.

On the other hand paraffin oil, so often avoided in cosmetics because of its petro-chemical heritage, very rarely causes allergy and is often the basis of dermatologists prescriptions for highly sensitive skin.

2. Mineral based make-up products are better for my skin.

Not always, some minerals can be very toxic, lead, arsenic and mercury based minerals were used in ancient times with sometimes devastating results. Fortunately these minerals are no longer allowed to be used in cosmetics. Almost all foundations, cover sticks, eyeliners, blushers, face powders and lipsticks contain minerals such as titanium, iron and zinc oxides. These minerals have been used safely in cosmetics for hundreds of years and are certainly nothing new.

3. Cosmetic manufacturers don’t care which ingredients they use as long as they make a profit.

This is hardly ever the case, manufacturers care about what you think of their products and they try very hard to give their customers what they want, after all their customer is what keeps them in business. The internet age has given unprecedented access to all sorts of information on ingredients which are often accurate and unbiased, most consumers like to be well informed. Modern manufacturers are well aware of this and strive to make their products acceptable to consumers and closely align with market trends.

4. Some commonly used ingredients are harmful.

In Australia, as in most of the world, we have laws in place that prevent the use of ingredients that have been proven to be harmful. We often see claims that imply that some ingredients can be harmful such as parabens, propylene glycol and sodium lauryl sulphate. Some unscrupulous manufacturers embark upon scare tactics as a way of influencing the market towards their own products.  They often cite these ingredients as harmful based upon unsupported and flimsy evidence.

All of these ingredients have stood the test of time and have never been scientifically identified as being harmful when used for their intended purpose. Most people don’t realise that sodium lauryl sulphate is one of the main ingredients in almost every brand of toothpaste in Australia. We have been putting it in our mouths for over 100 years, but it has suddenly become risky to put it on our skin. It doesn’t make any sort of scientific sense.

However, some manufacturers have developed policies that avoid ingredients which raise issues with their consumers whether they are scientifically valid or not and Wild Child is here to please.

5. We should only use hypoallergenic products.

The term hypo-allergenic and similar descriptive terms are often used and abused by cosmetic marketers. Unfortunately they are used with little real regard to what their products actually contain. Skin reactions are a complex issue and it is often the case that you may develop an allergy today which you didn’t have last week or even just as suddenly become immune to something that you were allergic to before. Some allergies are stimulated by a combination of events, for example, using a product for years and then suddenly developing an allergic reaction after spending time in the sun.

By far the most common allergic response is caused by preservatives or fragrances, selecting a product that makes fragrance and preservative free claims is a good starting point. Most retailers have testers available; try the product by applying a very small amount to the underside of your forearm. Any allergic reaction will result in redness and itching within a few minutes.

Be aware that although a product may claim to be fragrance free it may still contain flavours or essential oils. Both ingredients can contain the same allergens that compounded fragrances have.

6. Homemade skin care is better for my skin.

This is far more risky and potentially harmful than buying the cheapest supermarket brand personal care products.  Despite highly well-intentioned amateur manufacturers, their manufacture is often poorly controlled or adequately preserved and can present serious risks if applied to eyes and open wounds. As with poor food handling practice these products can be a risk to you and your family.

7. Natural skin care is safer.

The term “natural” is another one that is used and abused by manufacturers, some would say that the term natural should only be used in regard to anything that is plucked from the ground or a tree and subjected to no more than minor purification such as cold pressing. Others would venture that anything that has its origins in nature is “natural”. Using this analogy we could say that coal and crude oil and even radioactive uranium were natural since they originally came from the earth. Using the latter definition we could say that sodium lauryl sulphate is natural because it starts out life as coconut oil.

While that is true it is also true that it is treated with synthetic chemicals such as caustic soda and sulphuric acid and then subjected to rigorous purification. This doesn’t necessarily make them unsafe but clearly most people would not consider these ingredients “natural”. Many other ingredients are claimed to be “natural” but are still synthetic. In this case the “natural” claim comes from the fact that the chemical occurs in nature. Vitamin E for example can be extracted from wheat germ oil but is far more commonly synthesised. Some of the most toxic things known have natural origins so it is incorrect to assume they are intrinsically safe.

8. A good skincare routine will give me youthful skin.

There are 6 golden rules for youthful healthy skin, sadly for us the most important one is to have good genes. You inherited your skin from your forebears so the way your skin looked and behaved as a child is not going to improve, even sadder news is that it will all be downhill from there. 

On the bright side the next 4 rules are lifestyle related and will prevent the early onset of the signs of ageing. They are; don’t smoke, don’t sunbathe, get plenty of rest and drink plenty of water. The 6th, not surprisingly, is to use moisturisers that include a SPF rating of at least 15 every day, even in the winter months.

9. Skincare can reverse the effects of ageing skin.

Overall, they rarely live up to expectation but there are some benefits that are possible. The process of ageing results in the slow loss of elasticity in the skin. This leads to the formation of wrinkles which gradually deepen with age. There are no cosmetic products in the marketplace which dramatically change skin elasticity, lower wrinkle depth or prevent wrinkles occurring. If there were they would have to be registered medicines because of their profound effect on the skin.

Similarly, it is not of much use applying high concentrations of large macro molecules such as collagen and hyaluronic acid to the skin because they are too large to be absorbed via the intracellular route.

One of the ways we can slow the ageing process on the other hand is to slow or prevent the formation of solar induced skin blemishes known variously as actinic keratosis, cheilitis and poikiloderma of civatte. The best and most efficient is in the regular use of high SPF value sunscreens everyday, all year round.

The other influence cosmetics can have is in the slow reduction of uneven skin tones with vitamin A derivatives. Known as retinol or retinol derivatives they can be of good benefit in the reduction of patchy skin tones.

Experienced Contract Manufacturers

At Wild Child, we are a leading cosmetic manufacturer with more than 30 years of experience producing a range of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

Find out more about our cosmetic manufacturing services or feel free to contact us for more information.