Are you tired of constantly being bombarded by “anti-aging” skincare ingredients, products, ads, and influencer posts that promise to make your skin look like glass, jello, or whatever the latest gimmick is? Have you ever wondered why these products feature ingredients like Vitamin C, retinol, and hyaluronic acid which are supposed to make you look 25 forever…yet these ingredients have been around for decades? I mean, if they worked so great, then why do so many people NOT get the results they promise…and instead get things like compromised skin barriers, dry skin, redness, rashes, breakouts, dark spots, and even pain?
If you’ve ever questioned whether applying ingredients like Vitamin C, retinol, hyaluronic acid, and other “gold standard” anti-aging skincare ingredients actually do any good…or might actually do harm…you’re not alone. I’m with you, and so are many other skincare professionals who think the “anti-aging” movement as a whole is harmful to women. There is beauty at every age.
As you know, I teach skincare pros how to make their own products without “active” ingredients that do more harm than good. And I strongly feel that the term “anti-aging” is hijacking young women’s lives as they strive for an unattainable beauty standard that cannot be bought. A huge part of my mission is to teach you (and teach you to teach your clients) how to age gracefully by doing fewer interventions, and supporting your skin naturally, as it goes through its natural cycles.
Avoid anti-aging skincare ingredients that do more harm than good.
When buying any product it is important to identify harmful ingredients masquerading as Vitamins because they just do not offer the same nutrients as a natural source would. Many of these synthetic compounds have not been around long enough to even know what the long term effects are.
In fact, the FDA requires the labels of any products that contains alpha hydroxy acids (which ascorbic acid–Vitamin C– is) to include a warning statement that informs consumers that “these ingredients that may increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, and particularly the possibility of sunburn. It’s imperative to use a sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards.” Yes, you read that right…A WEEK AFTERWARDS.
I recently had the opportunity to discuss this topic with my friend and mentor, Dr. Trevor Cates, on her podcast, The Woman’s Doctor.
Here are the key takeaways from this episode:
[4:30] Anti-aging is an unattainable marketing message and it’s harmful to younger woman
[6:45] In-Vitro research does not necessarily translate to regular usage of a product on humans
[8:30] Your skin takes in nutrients from the food you eat not the products you put on it
[11:00] Products using ascorbic acid will oxidize on the skin’s surface and won’t be absorbed
[13:00] If a vitamin was synthesized in a lab it is misleading to market them as natural
[16:30] Rose hip. citrus and berry extracts are a great resource for natural Vitamins for skin
[18:20] Retinols are actually very irritating and are banned by many ingredient safety sites
[22:00] Natural products have shorter shelf lives because they avoid preservatives
[23:15] Beauty is NOT pain! You should never need a day off from your products if they are safe
[27:00] Exfoliating your face can cause damage and should not be done more than twice month
[29:30] Dry brushing is a great way to exfoliate your body
[34:00] Since the weather affects your skin your skincare routine may change with every season
It’s about more than just what skincare ingredients to look for and what to avoid
Ultimately, I encourage you to ask yourself, why do you need any product at all? If you are spending money, time, and energy using products that are potentially harmful and really cannot stop the aging process at all, then what is the purpose?
Now, you know I love topical skincare. I love formulating it, using it, and teaching others to create it. But the truth is, that no topical skincare product can stop a process–like aging–that’s inevitable. That doesn’t mean it can’t help make the skin look its best as we age, but there is no miracle product or ingredient. By focusing on a skin-healthy lifestyle, instead of relying solely on products, you can boost your skin’s natural ability to heal itself without expensive or harmful intervention and age gracefully. That’s really the goal.
Have you ever experienced negative effects from anti-aging skincare ingredients?
I’d love to hear your experience. Please share your thoughts in the comments!