Active Ingredients?! We see it written on all sorts of skincare packaging and used throughout cosmetic marketing but what does it actually mean?
Once upon a time, active ingredients were those that had a biological effect based on scientific studies. These days the term is used more loosely to describe an ingredient in a product formula that has been included for a specific benefit and/or effect.
Actives are usually the part of the formula responsible for repair, hydration and protection. Among many of the benefits we can expect from actives, they can provide a fullness or plumpness to the skin’s appearance, reduce pigmentation and limit sebum blockages in the skin which often lead to acne. No wonder we go crazy over skincare actives!
Active ingredients can be found in all skincare products. Active ingredients in toxin free skin care include minerals, natural oils and plant extracts whereas the chemical compounds found in other skincare formulas are often created in a lab to mimic many of the natural ingredients.
Are you paying for water?
In many mainstream skin care products, water is the main active ingredient which provides an inexpensive filler to the product. When water constitutes the majority of the product, the consumer must use more of the product which means the product is used faster than expected, ultimately leading to spending more money on skin care. Be mindful if water is the main ingredient in your products, you are not always gaining the best value for money.
Botanical active ingredients are primarily used for their antioxidant properties. Ingredients that act as antioxidants have the ability to reduce damage from harmful environmental pollutants and other oxidative stressors. It’s a balancing act for the skin with oxidative stress occurring from sun exposure, chemical exposure, pollution, stress and poor diet leading to an increase in what is known as free radicals. Free radicals even sound like they want to party, right? And what can minimise the negative effects of free radicals including wrinkles and hyperpigmentation? You guessed right, antioxidants!
Are natural actives really going to work?
Yes! Natural actives are actually far superior to laboratory made synthetics. The key to seeing results with any skincare is being consistent and using products as directed by qualified skin therapists to gain the best results. Instant results can be seen with some products such as an improvement with fine lines from hyaluronic acid, however, most benefits are seen over a period of time, often three to six months, when the products have enough time to get the job done. Remember your skin has been a progression of life, it doesn’t change overnight. Patience is the key and it is well worth it.
Why should I choose toxin free?
The skin is the largest organ of the body and absorbs much of what is placed upon it. As with the food that we eat, it is best to minimise the use of chemicals on the skin to decrease the overall toxic load on the body and to minimise exposure to what are known as endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors have the ability to act in similar ways that hormones do which can lead to hormone disruption, weight gain, the liver needs to work harder in detoxification processes, clogged pores and increased breakouts and acne. Is that one tube of moisturiser going to cause all of these issues, probably not, however if you have a look at everything your body is exposed to in life from pollution, pesticides, stress, chemicals in skincare and makeup, alcohol, medications, the body has a pretty big job keeping us healthy so why add to its task list? There are so many effective product ranges available now that it seems crazy not to choose chemical free.
Click through to read FIVE of our FAVOURITE ACTIVE INGREDIENTS