The world of medical skincare is one that can come off as overwhelming. Reading product labels can be confusing, and trying to demystify actual skincare concepts versus trendy words is even more exhausting. There are definitely some terms out there that you may have encountered on more than one occasion and have always wondered "what the heck is that"?
On that note, we thought of a few trending terms and how it could be beneficial to help you debunk them. Read on below to learn about a few mysterious skincare concepts!
Stem cells are rapidly dividing cells within the body that have the ability to either duplicate or become other types of cells with a more specialized function,” explains Dr. Sejal Shah, a board-certified dermatologist from New York City.
Stem cells nourish skin cells with their natural antioxidant properties. Because they promote cell turnover and increase collagen production, this could result in fewer lines and wrinkles, improved skin texture and tone, and younger, better-looking skin.
While they can be rich in antioxidants and often contain hydrating molecules, they aren’t necessarily more effective than non-stem cell products. There is also more research on the efficacy of plant-based stem cells, so if you’re looking to try it out as a treatment, we recommend reaching for plant-based or organic brands such as Eminence.
EMINENCE ORGANICS MONOI AGE CORRECTIVE NIGHT CREAM FOR FACE & NECK - $69
EMINENCE ORGANICS NEROLI AGE CORRECTIVE HYDRATING MIST - $44
Growth factors act as a healing agent that can help to “boost collagen synthesis, prompt cells to produce components that improve skin firmness and elasticity, strengthen the skin barrier and repair/rejuvenate skin," explains Dr. Shah.
Most growth factors are genetically engineered in a laboratory or sourced from human stem cells––such as bone marrow stem cells, skin cells, and fat stem cells. Growth factors can also be extracted from platelet-rich plasma or from other natural sources (like plants); like the OBAGI Professional-C Peptide Complex, for example!
“CLEAN” VS ORGANIC VS VEGAN
- “Clean” (or “natural”) brands should be free of chemical toxins like parabens, SLS, synthetic fragrances, and artificial colors. Clean skincare care can also mean they are free of ingredients that cause toxic responses in humans and prioritizes natural ingredients. However, as these are not government-regulated, the definitions may vary.
- Vegan makeup and skincare products, on the other hand, do not have any animal produce or by-products. This includes ingredients such as honey, dairy, lactic acid, biotin, and lanolin since they are all derived from animals. In theory, they are also not tested on animals and are regulated. We actually have another blog post going a bit further in-depth on the topic right here!
- Organic products are made without GMOs or chemical additives (like pesticides) and are also government regulated.
EMULSIFIERS VS EMOLLIENTS
- Emulsifiers are ingredients that are found in water-containing creams and lotions. They are the magic ingredients that allow water and oils to mix, as one end of the molecule is water-soluble and the other is oil-soluble. This molecular structure is what makes cleansers possible and a well-made moisturizer will use a low-irritant emulsifier in small quantities.
- However, when the skin’s barrier is compromised or when there is a skin disorder such as acne, eczema, or rosacea, emulsifiers can potentially cause further damage to irritated skin.
- Emollients, on the other hand, are moisturizing treatments that are applied directly to the skin to soothe. Because the molecules are hydrophobic, they cover the skin with a protective film to better lock in moisture. Emollients are most often used to help manage dry, itchy, or scaly skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Although many people think an emollient and a moisturizer are the same thing, they aren't; an emollient is only one of the ingredients in a moisturizer.
Any other skincare terms got you confused? Leave us a comment below or feel free to send us your questions on our social media and we will make sure to get back to you in no time!
Until next time, take care of the skin you are in!
The BSE Team