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Do you need “bespoke” skin care product? Do you need “AI” devices? Do you need gimmicks?

First, what are these “bespoke” skin care products?

They are skincare powered by expensive website software and/or packaging.

The problem? The products are limited by the ingredients, and gimmicks limit your choice of ingredients even further. Unless you have good, active ingredients to start, your final poduct, “personalized” or not, will be mediocre.

Example:

An oil based product line offers an oil base” like rosehip, jojoba, etc. and a few essential oils to fix any problematic skin. This approach assumes that essential oils can fix skin care problems when, in reality, they may worsen them. Lavender, an essential oil I love, is allergenic. Many components of essential oisl should not be used in skincare products because of allergenicity or phototoxicity (bergamot essential oil).

These are some of essential oil components known to be allergenic: Amylcinnamal, Amylcinnamyl alcohol, Anisyl alcohol, Benzyl alcohol, Benzyl benzoate, Benzyl cinnamate, Benzyl salicylate, Cinnamyl alcohol, Cinnamal. Citral, Citronellol, Coumarin, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Hexyl cinnamicaldehyde, Hydroxy-citronellal,  Hydroxy-methylpentylcyclohexenecarboxaldehydeIsoeugenol,  D-Limonene, Linalool, Methyl heptin carbonate,  3-Methyl-4-(2,6,6-tri-methyl-2-cyclohexen-1-yl)-3-buten-2-one, Oak moss and treemoss extract, Treemoss extract, 2-(4-tert-Butylbenzyl) propionaldehyde.

But look at these claims: Blue Tansy Oil is a deep blue oil derived from a little flower in the Chamomile family that’s native to Morocco. It works well in face oil blends to calm and balance other super-active ingredients that are potentially irritating. Packed with antioxidants (hi, glowy, radiant skin!), this oil works against premature aging without triggering irritation

In fact, the essential oil of Tanacetum contains sabinene and camphor as major constituents, a composition more cosnsietnt with antifungal activity than anything else.

Another strategy is based on packaging: a pump mixes two components, a base cream and the contents of a cartridge. Nothing wrong with this approach, but it is limited by the number of cartridges available, and, more important, the ingredients.

Example:

Cartridge Fatigue:
Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycolic Acid, Pentylene Glycol, Caffeine, Sodium RNA, Salicylic Acid, Glycerin, Adenosine Phosphate, Albizia Julibrissin Bark Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Acetyl Carnitine HCL, Phospholipids, Lactobacillus Ferment, Caprylyl Glycol, Taurine, Hexylene Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide, Xanthan Gum, Stearic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate, Phenoxyethanol, Red 4 (Ci 14700), Yellow 5 (Ci 19140).

The color is given by colorants. The glycolic acid is neutralized by sodium hydroxide. “Fatigue” combating ingredients? Caffeine. Carnitine, AMP, green tea may help a bit, but not much.

Cartridge  Lines & Wrinkles:
Water, Butylene Glycol, Whey Protein, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Citrate, Sweet Almond Seed Extract, Caffeine, Porphyridium Cruentum Extract, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Micrococcus Lysate, Pullulan, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Taurine, Hexylene Glycol, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Blue 1 (Ci 42090), Red 33 (Ci 17200).

Is this all you are going to “throw” at wrinkles? Polysaccharides that will dry as a film, stretching the skin until you wash your face. Milk proteins? Synthetic peptides? This is a wasted opportunity.

BB-gel Base:
Water, Dimethicone, Isododecane, Butylene Glycol, Bis-Peg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Glycerin, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Laminaria Saccharina Extract, Polygonum Cuspidatum Root Extract, Lactobacillus Ferment, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Oleth-10, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Barley Extract, Polysilicone-11, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Caffeine, Trehalose, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Tromethamine, Propylene Glycol Stearate, Hexylene Glycol, Magnesium Stearate, Laureth-23, Carbomer, Laureth-4, Silica, Caprylyl Glycol, Cellulose Acetate, Disodium Edta, Bht, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891).

A silicone make-up base equipped with some pigments and reflecting minerals. More caffeine, plus algae extracts.

AI

What about artificial intelligence, as applied to skin care? An app that uses your photo to decide between a few ingredients available in the container. What a waste of intelligence (artificial or not) and actives that could improve your skin health!

 

Take-home lesson? Learn to distinguish between science and gimmick, it will help you to save money and your skin.

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