Check the Label: Protect Your Skin from Unsafe Ingredients

In seritech Posted

With the European cosmetics industry reported to be “valued at €76.7 billion at retail sales price in 2020, the European cosmetics and personal care market is the largest market for cosmetic products in the world.” Skincare products were estimated to make up 27% of the cosmetics market in 2019, and growing, with serums and moisturizers leading this category. Now more than ever, it is important to protect your skin.

Your skin is the largest organ of your body. It grows, sheds, and regrows at a remarkable pace. It takes an average of 28 days – also known as one skin cycle – for your skin to completely renew itself.

There are three layers of skin. The outermost – stratum corneum – is the strongest and, arguably, the most important. One of the main jobs your skin performs is to keep the bad stuff out and the good stuff in. 

With that small but important detail firmly lodged in your brain, now is a good time to ask yourself what you are putting on your skin?

Serums versus Moisturizers

Serums differ significantly from moisturizers. Serums tend to be lighter than moisturizers. They are designed to be absorbed leaving little residue on the skin. There is no strict definition of a serum. Technically, they could be oils, gels, or lotions.

Serums claim to deliver active ingredients and marketing teams apply big budgets promoting things like acne prevention, skin brightening, even anti-aging. The accuracy of these claims and the efficacy of products is debatable, especially as we know the #1 job of our skin is to keep stuff out.

Aging is a natural process that no serum or moisturizer can stop. Sure, products can help mitigate spots and wrinkles, but “anti-aging” is stretching it. Moreover, the lack of regulation around claims in the cosmetics industry makes the picture murky.

Moisturizers tend to be thicker and are made to lock in hydration. Their larger molecular makeup means they stay on the surface longer, binding cells together. They can protect your skin and yield many benefits, particularly for people with dry skin.

Check the Label

Regardless of whether you choose a serum, moisturizer, or both, be sure to check the label. Chemicals and synthetic formulations can have negative impacts on your skin when used for longer times.

Forbes Business Insights reports that “regular use of skin care products for an extended period of time can damage the skin, which can result in skin irritation, redness, burning sensation, discoloration and rapid aging of skin cells.” It adds that “excessive use can also lead to severe issues, including skin cancer such as melanoma.”

Synthetic cosmetic ingredients can be harmful to the environment. And while synthetics tend to be less expensive, they can be riskier to use.

Natural products present a better option to protect your skin, while reducing the environmental footprint of the industry. Natural products may cost more than synthetic ingredients, but your skin is worth it. 

Treat your skin, like any other body organs – with respect. From a dab of moisturizer to your daily routine, quality ingredients are important.

The Daily Skin Routine

Most brands recommend twice daily routines – wash your skin, let it dry, apply a serum, let it dry, then apply makeup or cream. You can see how following this schedule means your day becomes overloaded with skincare while time keeps ticking.

And let us not forget the price tag some of these products command.

A 2017 SkinStore survey found that American women spend an average of almost $3000 a year on skincare products. Incredibly, 85% of the women reported regular use of 16 skincare/cosmetic products. The most common products are face wash, toner, serum, moisturizer, primer, concealer, bronzer, blusher, eye shadow, eyeliner, eye cream, mascara, eyebrow product, foundation, highlighter, and lipstick. While this is a small and limited study, it gives us insight into the skincare market.

Why are skincare products so expensive? Ingredients – high-quality, natural ingredients – should comprise the bulk of the cost. However, fancy packaging, big marketing budgets, and manufacturing costs influence the cost of your favourite product. 

Do we need fancy packaging? Do big budgets make better products? Will cheap manufacturing have negative impacts on safety and workers?

The values a brand represents speak to product quality. Simple, honest, ethical, and effective products are easy to identify when you check the ingredient list.

What’s Inside?

Ingredient lists for many serums and moisturizers tend to be long and filled with strange chemical names. Some serums contain ingredients that either do not work, are not safe – or both. But not all serums are equal: a natural serum, for example, is likely to include fewer unwanted ingredients. 

Ingredients are regulated in different ways in different jurisdictions. For example, the EU, Japan, and Canada have strong consumer protection regulations. What cosmetic ingredients are banned in Europe? The EU takes safety seriously, with a list of over 1300 ingredients that are banned. Japan and Canada have strong regulations, with Canada maintaining a “hotlist”. 

In contrast, the United States allows almost every item on Canada’s “hotlist”, and the EU list, only banning a paltry 11 ingredients. The US FDA has not updated cosmetic rules since 1938 – that’s over 80 years. Read that again.

There are some key ingredients to watch for and avoid. Parabens, sulfates (they make nice foaming bubbles but can lead to allergic reactions, especially in children), and phthalates (which can lead to endocrine disruption – hormone imbalances) top the list. 

These nine ingredients are currently found in US cosmetics products – formaldehyde, hydroquinone, triclosan, lead, parabens, petroleum distillates, phthalates, selenium sulfide, quaternium-15 – have been linked to endocrine disruption and cancer. They are either banned or strictly regulated in the EU, Japan, and Canada. For more information on unsafe ingredients, check out this Byrdie report.

Sunscreen is an important product to protect your skin. Equally important: check the label. As reported July 15, 2021, Johnson & Johnson recalled several sunscreen products “found to contain low levels of benzene, a chemical that can cause cancer with repeated exposure.”

Vitamin A, retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate, all-trans retinoic acid (Tretinoin) are also common in cosmetic products. Tretinoin, with links to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, is banned for use in cosmetics in the EU.

Retinol, often found in so-called anti-aging creams, lotions, moisturizers, and foundation should be avoided in higher doses. A 2016 EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety review suggested safe Retinol levels for hand and face creams is 0.3% and 0.05% for body lotions.

There is a long list of ingredients to consider and plenty of publicly available information to help you avoid or reduce your use of certain ingredients. In the US, check here. In the EU, check here.

So, what is safe? The EU is regarded as having one of the most comprehensive regulatory cosmetic/personal care guidelines. It often sets the standard for other regulatory agencies around the world. In short, if a product is approved in the EU, it has been thoroughly assessed and is considered safe to use.

How Fast Do Serums and Moisturizers Work?

The cosmetics market is loosely regulated when it comes to making claims. Serums that advertise fast results may be misleading. Dermatologists suggest it takes 1 to 3 skin cycles to see results. As one skin cycle averages 28 days, it would take a minimum of one month and up to three months to see what is happening to your skin.

So fast-acting serums may not work that fast – if they work at all. Serums claiming to be “anti-aging”, wrinkle-fighting or for skin blemishes (acne scars, dark spots) rarely present data to support these claims. Science has not been able to reverse aging and it has been noted that ”facial products labeled with terms like “anti-aging” or “age-defying” are not to be trusted.”

What are your options? Products with data to back up claims are a good start.

IPSYLON Microarray Patches

SeriTech, the parent company of IPSYLON, has developed the world’s first fast detaching dissolving microneedle patch. In 2 minutes, the revolutionary patch delivers medicine to the target area. IPSYLON leverages this technology to deliver simple, yet effective skincare ingredients.

IPSYLON dermo-cosmetic skin care products offer a suite of transdermal microarray patches that deliver only the active ingredient precisely where your skin needs it. Laboratory tests demonstrate IPSYLON’s targeted delivery yields improved results.

Each of IPSYLON’s fast detaching dissolving microarrays is designed for a specific purpose. Products are minimalist, with no fillers or additives. They are a straightforward blend of hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and retinal.

Retinal – not to be confused with Retinol – is identified as “good for mature skin types who want to see a significant improvement in fines lines and wrinkles as quickly as possible.” It boosts collagen synthesis, improves skin elasticity, and might even repair some of the connective tissues.

IPSYLON eliminates lengthy skincare routines providing easy, express, and effective skin treatment. Different shapes fit the target areas, curved for around the eyes or nasolabial areas, round for dark spots and acne scars.

Professional quality skincare that is easily applied at home or on the fly.

IPSYLON products will soon be available in Spain and then in selected markets.

IPSYLON Products

IPSYLON targets wrinkles associated with aging, dark spots, and acne scars. Product ingredients are specifically blended to hydrate and rejuvenate, increasing elasticity and nourishing your skin.

Polymeric tip arrays vary in number depending on the product, target area, and load blend. Dark Spot Corrector and Acne Scar Smoother feature 137 dissolving micro-vectors while Deep Filler comprises 557 dissolving hybrid long micro-vectors of high-grade hyaluronic acid, vitamin C. 

HA Intense and Retinal Filler are 607 dissolving micro-vectors for fine line and wrinkle reduction.

IPSYLON successfully concluded in vivo clinical analysis at Bionos Biotech, Valencia, Spain, performed under the principle of Good Clinical Practices (International Recommendations ICH Topic E6, CPMP/ICH/135/95 of May 1st, 1996, European Parliament and Council Guideline 2001/20/CE – DOCE OF May 1st, 2001). The entire process involving this assay was performed under Quality Management System UNE-EN-ISO 9001/2015.

Laboratory Results

Laboratory in vivo analysis validates the ease of use of SeriTech’s fast-detaching dissolving microarray and demonstrates the efficacy of IPSYLON products. IPSYLON products have been certified by Bionos Biotech to meet EU regulations for Good Clinical Practices and qualify as “Dermatologically Tested”, “Clinically Tested”, and “Tolerance Tested” products.

Results confirm the Dark Spot Corrector significantly decreases the area for dark spots and increased skin uniformity. Retinal Nasolabial Filler Patches “displays antiwrinkle capabilities in nasolabial area, through significant reduction of the total area, length, depth and roughness, and significant increase of smooth area.”

Acne Scar Smoother Patches “displays smoothness and anti-rugosity capabilities, through significant improvement of smoothness and roughness in the area showing acne scars, compared to the basal values before the start of the treatment.”

The IPSYLON Solution

The old saying ‘your body is your temple’ is more important today than ever before. And the largest organ on your body – your skin – protects your temple.

Company creator Saimai Cunvong says: “Looking at skincare products with so little efficacy and too much marketing or long lists of ingredients, I wanted, in this technological age, to bring new products to give our skin just what it needs. This was the starting point and IPSYLON was born out of that desire for effectiveness, honesty, and my wish to impact people’s lives with a new generation of products.”

In today’s fast-paced world, we need effective solutions for age-old issues. IPSYLON products are minimalist, created ethically and honestly.

We believe in the Three “E’s” of skincare:

  1. Easy: Professional quality skincare easily applied at home or on the fly.
  2. Express: Goodbye lengthy skincare routine. Hello, express skincare treatment.
  3. Effective: Apply only the active ingredient directly where it is needed.

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