If you have sensitive skin, you know how problematic it is to try a new product, especially when it is as concentrated and powerful as anti-aging skin serums. Serums by definition are concentrated formulas that have minimal amounts of fillers or water content and maximum concentration of active ingredients. If the main ingredient in you serum is itself is a known irritant for many people, you can end up with a face that is more red, inflamed, blemished and more troubled than before.
To avoid sensitive skin chaos, we are here to educate you about the primary ingredients used in anti-aging serums – so that you can eliminate them and provide your skin with the most effective and gentle treatment possible.
Retinol certainly has a gold standard reputation in anti-aging skin care, owing to its great ability to fight many signs of aging skin. Retin A is another prescription medication that is approved by FDA to treat acne and blemishes. But most drugstore products that contain cheap versions of retinols are harsh to the skin and can cause redness and peeling of sensitive skin.
Not just scientific studies, but many of our SBR clients over the years have shared us their history of painful redness, dryness, and burning when they used Retin A or Retinol-based anti-aging treatments. When traded for our Ayurvedic 3-step Pitta Skin Care Regimen for Sensitive Skin there is a drastic change in skin health and improvement in wrinkles by using our Retinol-free SBR Serum for Sensitive, Blemished and Rosacea Skin in just a few weeks.
Acrylamides and derivatives (such as polyacrylamides) is a soft gel like polymer, which has high water absorbent properties. It is used in anti-aging serums to keep the skin dewy for the longest time and offset dryness. As you may already have guessed, dryness is the number one factor in skin aging and contributes to skin sensitivity. The bad news? Acrylamides have been labelled by EWG (Environmental Working Group.. the foremost investigatory body for synthetic chemical hazards) as a high hazard ingredient. In addition to skin sensitivity, acrylamides have been linked to multiple issues including cancerous growths, and are highly neurotoxic.
3. Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl Peroxide is a base ingredient in many claimed-natural products as an acne-fighting and anti-inflammatory agent. It is also used to treat aging spots and scars. However, benzoyl peroxide also causes dryness and peeling, and as such can worsen skin problems and cause more breakouts.
Coffee masks and serums containing Caffeine are popular due to their ability to ingredient to brighten skin and slow the effects of aging. However caffeine is also a diuretic, which can deplete the skin of moisture. With a sensitive skin type, it’s important to avoid dehydrating the skin further.
Studies show that caffeine can worsen acne and blemishes, and as such this ingredient is best suited for oily skin or used in a very diluted form for sensitive or dry skin.
Ethanolamine (MEA, DEA, TEA, etc) is an amino-alcohol that works as a barrier protecting ingredient in anti-aging products. It is also used in some serums to balance skin pH. Recent studies have shown that Ethanolamine causes bioaccumulation of toxic compounds. Ethanolamine is also a skin sensitizing agent and can cause allergic skin manifestations and skin irritation.
The European Commission has put a total ban on usage of ethanolamines in cosmetic products due to its carcinogenic concerns.
6. Azelaic Acid
Azelaic acid is used in many skin care formulas for reducing dark pigmentation and increase cellular turnover. It is also helpful in exfoliating dead keratin cells. On the downside, high concentration of Azelaic acid in skin care products can cause tingling, burning or peeling of skin at the site of application. It can also cause dryness and redness and other symptoms like irritation and swelling, blistering and flaking of sensitive skin.
While most anti-aging formulas are designed to work at night (the time when your skin renews the fastest), some serums are designed to give you protection throughout the day. Such anti-aging serums often contain an SPF in the form of oxybenzones or other chemical sun protecting compounds like avobenzones and octinoxate. Oxybenzones are not only a skin sensitizing agent, but also are a major contributor to the destruction of coral reefs and the marine ecosystem world-wide, and as such many countries have banned them by 2021.
Instead of using a 2-in-1 day time formula, a 2 step skin care regimen is far more effective. Start with cleansing with our Organic Daily Foaming Facial Cleanser or SBR Cleanser. Next, spritz few sprays of our SBR Hydrator (learn why you DON’T want to skip this step).
8. Synthetic Growth Factors
Growth factors are the newest addition to the world of effective anti-aging skin care acknowledged by scientific research to be responsible for promoting elastin and collagen production. Human stem cells are natural growth factors that give significant improvement in wrinkles, fine lines, tone, discoloration and texture. However, formulation of skin growth factors is a very costly process. Due to conflicting ethical viewpoints of human-derived stem cells some companies use synthetic growth factors that are not as effective as human stem cells and have various side effects.
Stem cell extracts depend on other ingredients and peptides to influence adult stem cells present in our skin. Poor stem cell preparations can cause multiple inflammatory outbreaks, acne, dryness and skin peeling. Research also show that too much of growth factors may even accelerate cancer growth.
Swapping chemicals with regenerating peptides:
The best and most safe alternative to retinols or synthetic growth factors are – Skin Peptides that are naturally obtained. Which boost the collagen/elastin matrix of the skin without causing the redness or irritation. Our BioScience Peptide Complex with 10:15 ratio of Argireline and Matrixyl Skin Peptides works as a superior anti-aging peptide with no adverse side effects.
9. Essential Oils in Raw form
Many of us come across various vlogs and articles that talk about how effective are organic essential oils. While it’s true that antioxidant-rich and highly nourishing pure essential oils form the backbone of any effective natural skin product, these oils are highly concentrated and should not be applied directly onto the skin. This can cause redness, burning and skin irritation. Some essential oils can also darken skin tone and cause blemishes if not used in correct concentration.
Following the principles of basic chemistry, essential oils have different measurements to and are balanced with carrier oils, botanical extracts and organic fillers to form a product that is gentle, yet effective.
Make sure that you avoid products that contain parabens, mineral oils, artificial fragrances, color additives and dyes, alcohol, harsh exfoliants and other xenoestrogenic chemicals – learn why?