Even though I don't know you, I'll bet that if you're like me, you're sick and tired of skin care products that don't do what they claim to.
The worst part is, it's ironic that often the most expensive skin care products are the most ineffective. I don't know about you, but I'm quite tired of wasting good money on products which don't deliver what they promise.
Now, of course, there are some good products on the market which can genuinely help make your skin look smoother, more radiant, and youthful. Not only should a quality skin product help reduce bags under, and fine lines around, the eyes, it should also even out coloring inconsistencies caused by age spots and other unwanted pigment concentrations.
Now the problem is that there are literally thousands of products to choose from and unless you become a well-informed consumer, it's hard to find one of the few which actually produces real results and eliminates years of aging from your face and body.
Let's face it, people will understandably spend any amount of money to make themselves look better or younger. Cosmetic surgery is a multi-billion dollar industry as is the topical skin care industry.
It's simply a law of economics that as demand for such products skyrockets, the more products manufacturers will flood onto the marketplace in order to capitalize on this demand.
A lot of these products are rushed to market to meet demand without any real consideration to research and development. All of the money goes into marketing – instead of where it should go – making sure the product actually works! On the surface everything looks great. The bottles and jars which the creams come in look appealing. The magazine advertisements are glossy, complete with a youthful looking model or a well-known celebrity who doesn't even use the products.
You can't really blame these companies. (Well, yes you can, I do!) When you are spending a fortune paying for marketing, whether it be on the product containers, magazine, radio, and TV ads, royalties paid to celebrities and models, you have to charge a lot of money for your products or you're going to lose money. And heaven forbid that we actually spend the money necessary to develop a product that works before we worry about taking consumers' hard-earned dollars!
On the other hand, just because most beauty product manufacturers take shortcuts to profit, this doesn't mean you and I have to fall for their marketing schemes. After all, these companies aren't going to encounter any shortage of people who will open their wallets and purses to purchase their products anytime soon. The reality is most people simply won't take any time to research products and understand what ingredients work and what ingredients are actually bad for your skin!
That's why I created this website. So, let's get right into the important stuff you need to learn in order to find the products which actually work.
Ingredients to Avoid
It seems incredible, but many skin care products are loaded with ingredients which actually harm your skin over time. In this section, we will talk about some of these.
First, mineral oil. I have seen this oil used in literally hundreds of products I've looked at (and some I've purchased). Mineral oil may also go by the names liquid paraffin, paraffin wax, and petrolatum on the product label. Mineral oil is used so pervasively in skin care products for one reason: it's cheap! (Isn't THAT a shocker?!)
However, mineral oil, once applied, prevents the skin from “breathing.” Because of this, it clogs pores, interferes with your skin's natural ability to eliminate toxins, and can lead to acne flare ups. Also, it is irritating to the skin and if used for any length of time, your skin can become dependent on it, causing chapping and dryness – two of the very things we are looking to combat when we're discussing the quest for youthful-looking skin!
And finally, it can actually lead to exactly what we are all trying to avoid – premature aging of the skin. It's amazing this substance is even allowed in so-called “skin care” products at all.
Dioxane: (a synthetic derivative of coconut). This substance is widely used in skincare products. It often contains high concentrations of 1,4-dioxane, which is readily absorbed through the skin. I know this sounds crazy, but 1,4-dioxane is considered a chemical “known to the State of California to cause cancer”. To think people pay money to put this stuff on their skin unknowingly is downright scary.
Fragrances: Who doesn't like to smell nice? Well, I'm here to tell you that if you want to smell nice, use a little bit of perfume or cologne….or some body spray. Your skin care products should not contain fragrances. Many fragrances are produced from ingredients which are known to be toxic or carcinogenic.
You must remember that your skin is the largest organ of the body. Anything you put on it can be easily absorbed through the pores (which is one reason Aromatherapy can be so effective!). Now, why would I recommend you use perfume or cologne as a fragrance but to choose a skin care product without them?
The reason is simple. When you use skin care products, they are applied all over the face, neck, and body. This covers a lot of surface area and, therefore, a great deal of chemical absorption occurs through the skin's pores.
Now, I'm sure that many colognes and perfumes contain less than desirable substances too, but I'm enough of a realist to know that people aren't going to stop using these products to smell nice. However, with perfumes and colognes, you can achieve what you want by a small dab here and there or even dabbing and spraying on clothing instead of your skin.
So, in my opinion, using perfumes and fragrances is much less harmful than using skin care products which also contain potentially dangerous fragrance chemicals that are directly applied and massaged into the organ designed as your body's ‘protective shell' – the skin.
Parabens: methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl paraben. Many skin care products (and moisturizing products) will use parabens as a preservative to increase the shelf life of the formula. The reason is purely economical (of course). However, studies suggest these preservatives may cause cancer and interfere with the body's endocrine system, as well as causing allergic reactions and skin rashes.
Alcohols: ethanol, ethyl alcohol, methanol, benzyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol and SD alcohol. Not all alcohols have the same properties, but these, which are commonly found in skin care products, are very drying and irritating for the skin. Alcohols such as these strip away the skin's natural acid mantle, making you more vulnerable to bacteria, molds and viruses. And these are some of the very same ingredients which marketing campaigns are telling you will ‘clear up' problem skin!
Now that we've looked at some of the bad, let's examine some of the good ingredients and some ingredients that sound good but, in fact, aren't.
Ingredients to Look For
Before we have a discussion of specific ingredients, it's important to educate ourselves a little bit more on skin itself and what makes a product good or poor.
The biggest reason our skin, whether on the face or the rest of the body, develops lines and/or starts to sag, is that the collagen and elastin in our skin begins to break down. This is the most technical this page is going to get, so bear with me for just a sentence or two.
Collagen is a protein that is fibrous in nature. What makes collagen different from other kinds of protein is that it possesses great tensile strength, which means, among other things, it provides firmness to the skin.
You don't need to be a scientist to understand that as collagen breaks down due to aging, the firmness of our skin becomes…well, less firm. Wrinkles appear and skin starts to sag. We see these signs of aging in areas where there is the least collagen, for example, around the eye area where the skin is thinner.
Elastin, too, is a protein that helps skin stay “flexible” and firm. If your skin is stretched, elastin is the protein that helps it return to its original position.
What all of this means for you is that you do not want to purchase a skin care product that is nothing more than a cream that fills in fine lines and wrinkles, giving the appearance of temporarily nicer skin when it's on…but the illusion shatters when you wash it off. You want a product which contains ingredients that actually stimulate new collagen and elastin production in your skin. If you achieve this, you will, in reality, begin to turn back the clock.
Now, pay attention here because I'm going to share with you something extremely important. Some of the manufacturers of more pricey products will try to dupe the public by including some really good active ingredients. What's wrong with that, you say?
Well, here's the tactic they use. Because these active ingredients are beneficial for the skin, they include some just so that they can legally list them on the product label. This way, the typical consumer thinks they are getting a great product. But, because these ingredients are expensive, and because, as discussed before, a lot of well-known companies are already spending much of their budget on marketing, they don't put in enough of these ‘active ingredients' to have any real benefit for your skin.
So, when choosing a skin care product, it's not just about selecting one with good ingredients; it's also about choosing one with a high concentration of these good ingredients.
After my brief discussion about the importance of collagen, you would think that buying a product with collagen in it would be a great thing. And the marketers who sell products which contain collagen know this. But it's a bogus ingredient because collagen molecules are much too large to penetrate into the skin when applied topically.
To be of any benefit, you must purchase a product with ingredients that have been shown to stimulate your body's own collagen production.
Phytessence Wakame is an exotic kelp, native to the Japanese Sea. It works by blocking a harmful enzyme in your body called hyaluronidase. Hyaluronidase breaks down hyaluronic acid in your skin. You may think “well who cares.”
Well, you should, because without hyaluronic acid, the elastin and collagen fibers lose their “glue,” which leads to a loss of youthful appearance and dark eye circles.
But don't just take my word for it. If you research this on wikipedia, you will read, for example, “Hyaluronan is also a major component of skin, where it is involved in tissue repair.”
This is a new exciting, cutting edge substance. Cynergy TK actually stimulates your own collagen to grow again. In fact, it is proven in clinical trials to stimulate not only the regrowth of collagen but also elastin, thereby promoting firmness and elasticity. In short, fewer wrinkles, and more youthful, healthier looking skin. It may also help improve your skin's ability to retain its needed natural moisture.
Indeed, studies show a sustained 14% improvement in skin moisture retention over 18 days. Studies on Cynergy TK also show a sustained improvement in skin elasticity of 42% over 18 days.
If you look at the ingredient list for some of the better skin care products, you'll often see CoQ10 listed. CoQ10 is short for Coenzyme Q10, so you may also see it listed this way. CoQ10 is a vitamin-like substance that is found in all of our body's cells and is very important for healthy skin.
CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant. A lot of skin damage and aging comes from free radicals wreaking havoc in our body's cells. CoQ10's antioxidant ability can counter these free radicals before damage occurs.
Unfortunately, like many other vital substances, as we age, the amount of CoQ10 in our bodies becomes depleted.
Although CoQ10 is a great ingredient, not all forms are equal. One in particular stands head and shoulders above the rest. This version of it is called Nano-Lipobelle H-EQ10.
Don't let the name scare you off, though. Here's why it's different. Most of the CoQ10 you buy in a typical skin care product is not readily usable when applied topically to the skin.
Nano-Lipobelle H-EQ10, on the other hand, is a special ‘nano-emulsion' form of CoQ10, which penetrates far down into the skin, thereby providing much greater benefits for skin health. In fact, Nano-Lipobelle H-EQ10 can penetrate down 7 layers deep into the skin.
Because this version of CoQ10 can penetrate so deeply, it is extremely effective at ‘gobbling up' free radicals in your skin. The result is a powerful anti-wrinkle effect.
Nano-Lipobelle can also promote collagen and elastin production.
Together, these three main active ingredients are some of the most powerful anti-aging skin care compounds available, and can significantly improve the look and feel of your skin.
Where can you find all three of these ingredients in one product line?
The Xtend-Life Natural Products company, that's where. This company is located in New Zealand, but ships products world-wide. I use their products daily.
The company is not a household name. It doesn't have big Hollywood celebrities endorsing their products for even bigger royalties. They don't advertise all over the radio, in magazines, and on TV.
They're one of the few companies that focuses on spending the bulk of their money on the research and production of the absolute best and most effective products available, not the best marketing hype.
You can think of them as your “secret weapon” the big companies don't want you to know about.
So, if you truly want to achieve younger-looking, more vibrant skin, I suggest you visit their site and read about their skin care philosophy. I think you'll be as impressed as I am. At the very least, you'll learn more about what to look for and what to avoid when it comes to taking care of your precious skin.