Since the use of sunscreens has been on the rise, they have gained many advocates as well as many opponents. Opponents of sunscreens claim that they block the synthesis of vitamin D, which is essential for our health. There are also extreme opponents who claim that using sunscreens is more harmful than unprotected sun exposure. However, is it true that sunscreens block vitamin D synthesis?

Basic information on vitamin D

Vitamin D acts as a hormone in the body and is synthetized by UV light. Vitamin D comes in two forms (D₂, D₃). Vitamin D₂ is obtained from plant nutrition and oral supplements. Vitamin D₃ is mainly obtained by exposing the skin to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation in sunlight and consuming foods such as oily fish. Vitamin D₂ and D₃ are metabolised in the liver and kidney to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D or calcitriol, which is a biologically active form. Calcitriol plays an important role in regulating the metabolism of calcium, phosphate for maintaining metabolic functions and for skeletal health.

How can one get vitamin D?

Vitamin D is also found in mushrooms, wheat germ oil, egg yolk, liver and fish oil. Vitamin D content in most foods ranges from 50 to 200 units per serving. Therefore, food cannot provide enough vitamin D, which is why most people synthetize it after sun exposure. Sun-induced vitamin D synthesis is strongly influenced by season, time of day, latitude, altitude, air pollution, skin pigmentation, use of sunscreens, passage through glass and plastic, and age.

Interesting fact: Even when older people are regularly exposed to sunlight, they produce 75% less vitamin D3 than young people.

Inadequate vitamin D intake can lead to postmenopausal osteoporosis and reduced bone density. Low vitamin D intake is also associated with heart and vascular diseases, depression, dementia and other conditions.

How is vitamin D synthesized after sun exposure?

Vitamin D3 can be produced in the skin when exposed to ultraviolet radiation B (UVB), so it is possible to increase vitamin D3 levels by exposure to UVB rays. During exposure to sunlight, radiation with a wavelength of 290–315 nm penetrates the skin. Most of this UVB radiation is absorbed in the epidermis, so when exposed to sunlight, most of the vitamin D3 is produced in the skin, in the living cells of the epidermis.

A quick recap on UV radiation

As we already know, exposure to UV radiation is not safe. Namely, we divide the UV spectrum into ozone-retained UVC rays, UVB rays that cause sunburns, UVA rays that cause photoaging. Unnecessarily prolonged exposure to UV light without protection can lead to skin cancer. For a reason, sunscreens have been developed to protect us from the harmful effects of UV radiation. Sun creams are designed to absorb and partially repel UVB radiation.

All The Ordinary and NIOD products can be purchased at Beautyology.eu, where you can use code COSMEDOC10.

If sunscreen blocks UVB rays does it block vitamin D synthesis as well?

Well, here we are. Where scientists from different disciplines are arguing with each other. Last time, I heard from a colleague that one dermatologist claimed that reduced vitamin D synthesis from sunscreens is more harmful than unprotected sun exposure. To put it mildly, I was almost hit by a stroke, but let’s go down the line. Sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 30 absorbs approximately 96% of UVB radiation. So, by adding 2 + 2, topical application of sunscreen with SPF 30 reduces the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D3 by the same amount, ie 96%.

In principle, we calculated that only 4% of UVB radiation can access our skin with SPF 30, which is a very low chance for vitamin D synthesis, right? But this is where  you need to ask yourself how much sunscreen you really apply to your skin. In order to achieve the protection stated on the packaging – so in our case SPF 30 we need to apply 2mg / cm2 of skin. For the whole face, this means two full fingers of the cream.

A short calculation to back up my claims

The average surface area of ​​all skin in an adult is 1.5-2.0 m². So if we need to apply 2mg / cm² the calculation is as follows.

The result is 32 g per coat. Therefore, 1/3 of the entire 100 ml tube of sunscreen should be used to properly protect the entire body. Of course, we did not take into account that the sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours.

Let’s be real, we apply such a small amount of sunscreen to the body that the question is if we have an SPF protection factor of 5. So with SPF 5, we are about 70% protected against UVB radiation. This may sound like a lot, but this time it can pass as much as 30% of UVB radiation to the skin! Not to mention some body parts that are not usually protected at all. Or maybe we are in the shade and don’t put sunscreen on because the UVB rays can’t reach us. All of these unprotected parts allow 100% passage of UVB radiation and thus synthesis of Vitamin D, but also increased chances of skin cancer.

UVA protection is beneficial for Vitamin D

A number of studies investigating the influence of sunscreen on vitamin D synthesis have found that the use of sunscreen is likely to have minimal impact on vitamin D. UVA rays have no effect on vitamin D synthesis, although one in vitro study showed that UVA2 (315–340 nm) can cause vitamin D to break down, in which case protection against UVA may be beneficial for vitamin D production.

Controlled field studies with true sun exposure are the best way to determine the effect of sunscreen on vitamin D synthesis. The results of such studies report that no change in serum 25 (OH) D3 vitamin concentration occurs despite the use of sunscreen.

In fact, most studies published to date have shown no association between the use of sunscreens and vitamin D deficiency, nor with regular use of SPF> 15. In general, other protective methods (eg, shading, wearing protective clothing and long sleeves) ) affect vitamin D status more than using sunscreens.

UV radiation is more dangerous than sunscreens

Daily skin protection is recommended for all skin phototypes. This includes staying in the shade, wearing headgear and clothing, wearing sunglasses, and applying broad-spectrum sunscreen. These strategies will help prevent sunburn and skin cancer. The use of sunscreen for daily sun protection does not compromise the synthesis of skin vitamin D synthesis, even when the sunscreen is used in the predicted amounts (2mg / cm2). Increasing UVA-PF in sunscreens, however, even improves vitamin D3 production.

In case of reduced vitamin D level, this should be replaced. Oral supplementation is easy and does not pose significant risks. The risk-benefit calculation shows that, instead of sunbathing, it is better to take nutritional supplements with this vitamin to increase vitamin D3 levels.

Skinfairytale sent two new products to the market before the summer and these are the natural body makeup Chocotan and the natural Aftersun lotion. Why is natural Chocotan a better choice than classic self-tanning product and what kind of wonders does the Aftersun lotion do?

The only light spectrum we talk about is UV light spectrum. However, the light spectrum also contains visible light and IR radiation. What are the effects of visible light on the skin and should we be protected from visible light as well?

Firstly, let’s get it clear. What is visible light?

Visible or blue light is an electromagnetic wavelength between 400 and 700 nm. This spectrum is able to be seen by a naked eye, well to most of the population. Some people aren’t able to see the full spectrum and somebody can see beyond the spectrum.

When a beam of visible light reaches to a body, the photons can be reflected or absorbed on the surface of this body. They can penetrate the body or be absorbed or dispersed into components. The last option for photons is to continue their path undisturbed.

Why is the sky more blue on days with no clouds and at sunset yellow or red?

The sky is blue because the blue photons are better scattered by the air molecules and are directed to our eyes. At sunset, we can see the sky red, because blue photons are scattered away so we can’t see them and on the , there are only red or yellow photons, which can be detected by a naked eye. At sunset, the journey of the light through the atmosphere to our eyes is longer than it is at midday.

Why do we see blood red?

Blood is red because it absorbs blue and green wavelength and red is being reflected. The grass is green because it absorbs red and blue wavelengths and the green is being reflected.

Energy dynamics

Why are we explaining all this? Molecules are able to form new chemical structures with other molecules being particular states. They can also transfer an electron to other molecules to create reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are able to destroy our DNA. Studies have shown that visible light doesn’t only affect the ROS but also matrix metalloproteases.

Visible light and skin

Melanin is responsible for skin color and can be found in the epidermis. Melanin partially absorbs visible light, which can cause hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone. The dermis contains blood vessels that are capable of absorbing blue and green light. Other photons, which are scattered around can penetrate into adipocytes in subcutis. Fat cells are capable of partial absorption of red photons.

A candlelight dinner is therefore good for people with mature skin. The blood vessels in mature skin are closer to the surface and can absorb more blue and green light and the wrinkles are more visible on daylight. When we are next to candles this doesn’t happen, because candles absorb only red and yellow photons, which aren’t absorbed by blood and vessels are less visible (consequently are also wrinkles less visible).

Per unit of energy, visible light is 20 to 30 times less effect than UV, but there is 10 to 15 times more visible light in the solar spectrum than UV, so visible light cannot be neglected.

Good and bad qualities of visible light

Visible light helps to promote photoageing. It’s able to promote inflammation and consequently, inflammation phenomenon accelerates ageing. All that affects our DNA.

Those were bad news, but there are also good ones.

The use of foundation (powders) and other decorative cosmetics prevents visible light from harming us. Decorative cosmetics in fact protect us from the negative effects of visible light. Moreover, visible light even shows therapeutic effects (treatment of psoriasis, eczema, acne).

Acne

Porphyrins in Cutibacterium acnes (before Propionibacterium acnes) are particularly sensitive to visible light. When the skin is exposed to visible light, endogenous toxins are formed. They kill the microorganisms which are responsible for acne formation. Visible light alleviates inflammation, redness and aesthetic discomfort.

Bilirubin

Another positive effect is seen in premature babies. Their system isn’t capable of removing bilirubin. The accumulation of bilirubin increases the risk of jaundice which can harm brains and liver. Premature babies are irradiated with visible light because it’s able to reduce bilirubin to normal levels.

So how safe is the visible light?

If the blue light is used only for a short time, it doesn’t show negative effects and should be safe (skin testing in vivo). However, we don’t know what it would be like to be exposed to the visible light for a long time.

What seems curious is that while studying visible light, the radiation in the spectrum between 410 and 420 nm showed cytotoxicity to human fibroblasts. But wavelengths between 453 and 480 nm didn’t. This is pretty logical since the first two wavelengths are closer to UV radiation and exhibit similar effects as UV light, while the other two are longer wavelengths and they don’t show these effects. Therefore, it is believed that sunscreens should have UV protection above 400 nm as well.

Where can a blue light be found?

The most common source of blue light is electronic devices such as screens, tablets, smartphones, and LEDs. Studies suggest that blue light is also expected to have negative effects on our eyes.

What substances can protect us from the negative effects?

So far, has shown activity in the visible spectrum only: titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, bis-benzotriazolyl tetramethylbutylphenol (MBBT), but their protection is low. They tested 3 % titanium dioxide and 4 % MBBT, which were expected to block 50 % of blue light between 400 and 500 nm.

The microalgae extract Scenedesmus rubescens reduces the negative effects of blue light, also vitamins B3 and B6 have been tested on preventing blue light negative effects (table in “Into the blue”). Vitamin E also provides good protection against visible light.

Tested ingredients (vitamin B3, B6 and algae extract) inhibit the formation of ROS caused by blue light (source: Mendrok-Edinger C., Campiche R., Gadsinski K., Schuetz R. Into The Blue. Cosmetics and Toiletries 2018)

Also, carotenoids, which act as antioxidants, are able to protect the skin from the negative effects of blue light. In addition, their maximum activity is precisely in the visible light spectrum, so they may represent potential biological protection against blue light.

Every facial care should begin with proper skin cleansing. Lately there is a lot of talk about “double cleaning” of the skin. Do you know what the purpose of the double cleaning is, and why most use this method? How does micellar water work and how do soaps work?

What is the purpose of cleaning the skin?

Throughout the day, we are exposed to our cosmetic products and various environmental pollutants. With our hands we touch our faces, and in the winter there is a lot of smog and all this accumulates on the surface of our skin and in the pores. Because of all the impurities that accumulate, the skin needs to be cleaned in order to keep it healthy. Under all pollutants, pores become clogged and this may be reflected as an increased excretion of sebum or the formation of comedons.

Skin should also be cleaned in the morning. In the morning, it is necessary to wash the cosmetic products that were applied in the evening, from the face. At the same time, dust is on our head, which is also passed on to our face. So, before the next morning you start to apply morning care, first cleanse your skin.

How do cleaners work?

Surfactants

We know that water and oil do not like eachother. The oil is lighter than water and will therefore always float above the water, and these two substances will not be united by themselves. The reason for this is the excessive surface tension between them. For stabilization, however, a substance is needed, which will reduce the inter-phase voltage, and these are surfactants.

One of the most typical activities for surfactants is cleaning. Surfactants are key ingredients of cosmetic products such as soaps, cleansing gels, shampoos and sparkling baths.

Surface-active substances are substances that, due to their chemical structure, are distributed at the boundary between the two phases. The characteristic of surfactants is the presence of a hydrophilic and hydrophobic part in the chemical structure. Surfactants influence the dissolution of substances with different mechanisms.

Solubilization

Solubilization means increasing the solubility of a poorly water-soluble substance with surfactants. The mechanism involves “catching” (adsorbed or dissolved) molecules in the micelles.

Cleaners work on the principle of solubilization. By solubilizing the substance, the solubility and dissolution rate of the substance is increased. More broadly, solubilization also involves the use of other methods of increasing solubility, such as, for example, use of co-solvent.

How does micellar water work?

The main ingredients of micellar water are water and one or more surfactants.
We can imagine micelles as a leaf that is folded back into itself. The way it folds depends on the media that surrounds it. In the aqueous medium, the micelle has hydrophobic tails on the inner side and the polar head on the outside. If the medium is an organic solvent, then the components of the micelle are turned – the polar heads are inward, and the hydrophobic chain is outwards.

By increasing the amount of surfactant in the aqueous solution, the surface tension drops until the molecules fill the boundary surface between the aqueous and the oil phase. At a given concentration, the surfaces between water and oil are saturated and surfactants begin to aggregate and form aggregates called micelles. The concentration at which micelles begin to form is called critical micelle concentration.

When the micellar water is applied to the face, the micelles capture the oily components into their interior. This happens because they are arranged in such a way that the lipophilic (hydrophobic) tails look at the place where the oil and other impurities are caught.

Why is it necessary to rinse off micellar water?

You must have heard that the micellar water needs to be washed off. Because they contain surfactants they can have a negative effect on the skin. Surface-active substances differ, some are gentle (eg syndrome), some are more aggressive (sodium lauryl sulphate).

It is known that the constant use of surfactants for cleaning has a negative effect on the skin. For decades, scientists have thought that the mechanism for damaged skin barrier is the removal of lipids from the porous layer. Recent studies show that surface-active substances cause denaturalization of skin proteins and interact with keratin.

Types of cleaning agents

Soaps

Soaps are a general term used for preparations containing alkaline (basic) salts from mostly solid fatty acids. Classical soaps are the most alkaline formulations with a pH value of between 9 and 10.

Glycerine soaps are made from glycerol and natural glycerine oils. Glycerin is a humidifier, which is often used for moisturizing and protecting the skin. This helps neutralize the effect of drying alkalis.

Superfatted soaps: contain glycerol, but also a wide range of lipids that help restore the lipid layer in the skin (triglycerides, natural oils and fats).

Antibacterial soaps include antibacterial substances such as carbanil and triclosan.

Soap with the syndets

They are made of surfactants, such as sulfuric acid esters and isoethates of fatty acids. These soaps have a pH of 5 to 6. However, they contain synthetic components.

Liquid cleaning agents

They can contain several natural and synthetic surfactants and various moisturizers and lipids.

Oil-free cleaning agents

Rich in fatty alcohols that allow you to clean your skin without the need for water. These formulations are rapidly dried and include moisturizing agents to prevent possible irritation.

Cleaning creams

These formulations are a mixture of surfactants, lipids and waxes. These have traditionally been used to treat patients with atopic dermatitis due to the high fat content that can form a protective barrier on the skin.

Double skin cleansing

Double cleaning is a method where two different types of cleaning agents are used, one after the other. In the case of two cleaning, first clean your face with clean oil, oil-based cleaning fluid or cleansing milk. Then there is followed by purification with a water soluble cream, gel or foam. Cleaning with oil-based products helps dissolve make-ups and water-resistant juicy creams. Compared to pure oils, modern cleaning oils contain emulsifiers that allow the oil to mix with water and form a milk emulsion. This facilitates skin rinsing.

How to properly clean the sun cream from the face?

A non-waterproof sun cream can be washed with a cleansing gel or oil, and waterproof sunscreen cleans only cleaning oil. The sun protection product can be partly removed with water, but this is a less effective way, compared to cleansing gel and oil. In addition, cleaning oil, in comparison with the cleansing gel, can less irritate the skin and dry it less.

Hair is exposed to chemical and mechanical stress and stress from the environment daily. All this leaves the consequences of hair, such as weaker, brittle hair and lost hair shine. For the purpose of restoring the hair surface, we use cosmetic hair restoration products, especially hair balms. This time, in Slovenian cosmetics, we represent the brand Eterika, which created the entire line of hair restoration products.

First, some hair facts

Human hair is naturally the same as all epidermal appendix that are typical of mammals. Their main function is to protect the body from external factors. The scalp differs from the skin on other parts of the body, as it is full of large hair follicles from which long hair fibers grow. A large sebaceous gland is attached to each of the hair fibers. Each hair is composed of the shaft, the cortex and the core. The shaft of the hair is an envelope that protects against the ingress of water and consists of several layers of cells that overlap like tiles.

Straight and curly hair are composed of different cells

Two types of cells are present in the cortex: orthocortic and paracortic. Paracortic cells having a higher density are more resistant to moisture and are characterized by flat hair, and lower-density orthocortic cells are more sensitive to moisture and are characteristic of curly hair.

Chemical composition of hair

Like other tissues, hair is also made mostly from proteins. The hair consists of 85% keratin, which has a very high content of sulfur-containing amino acids (15% cystine). Hair fibers consist of 1-3% lipids, trace metal ions (aluminum, chromium, calcium, magnesium), water and pigments.

Fun facts about hair

Hair has two basic properties—strength and elasticity. It is remarkably resistant; a single hair fiber can carry a weight of 100 g without breaking, and can extend by 20–30% when dry and 100% when wet without breaking. This resistance is due to the presence, composition and organization of the cortex protein keratin.

Hair damage and how to deal with repairing the hair structure

The number of consumers with damaged hair continues to grow due to external factors. There appear:

mechanical damage: combing, hair straighteners

chemical damage: hair dyeing and bleaching

environmental damage: sun, pollution

Hair after this kind of damage needs to be corrected at several levels from the middle of the cortex to the shaft. Hair conditioners are usually composed of filmmakers, such as silicones. The filmmakers cover their hair with a fine waterproof layer and thus slow down or prevent the penetration of active substances into the hair’s interior.

The role of hair conditioners

Hair conditioners restore the structure and affect the appearance of hair. Also, the use of hair conditioners can make it easier to comb and reduce the tension between hairs. Balms also increase the shine and volume of the hair and improve their structure. Among the hair restoration ingredients are mostly cationic surfactants such as stearalkonium chloride, cetrimonium chloride, dicytilimony chloride, PEG-2 cocochromic chloride and others.

The texture of the hair can also be restored in a completely natural way. In the case of Eterika, Anja created as many as 3 natural hair balms. The most important ingredients of Eterika’s Balm are emollients. These are lipophilic substances that give hair a shine. Emollients are distributed over the hair to form a transparent film that repels water.

Main ingredients in Eterika conditioners

Coconut oil

Aside from making a great moisturizer for hair and scalp, the oil has been used as a natural remedy to combat frizz, get rid of dandruff, remove and prevent lice and promote hair growth. Its antibacterial properties may ward off folliculitis, an infection of the hair follicles, and may also fight fungal infections, such as ringworm of the scalp.

Funfact: Did it ever happen to you, that you got a chewing gum in your hair? Coconut oil can even be used to extract chewing gum from hair.

While pure coconut oil can improve scalp health, therefore improving the conditions for growing thicker, fuller hair, it does not treat the underlying cause of hair loss and cannot be relied on for treating baldness related to dihydrotestosterone.

Argan oil

Argan oil is a versatile oil that helps hydrate and soften the hair. Argan oil is rich in oleic and linoleic acid, but also contains high levels of squalene and vitamin E, which act as antioxidants. Argan oil should naturally increase the elasticity of the hair and consistently renew the shine of the hair. Vitamin E is a lipophilic antioxidant that protects against free radicals. Lately, vitamin E is said to be an ‘anti-pollution’ component, as it should prevent harmful effects of the environment.

Behentrimonium methosulfate

This ingredient in derived from rapeseed oil. It is a very mild yet effective ingredient known for it’s de-tangling and hair thickening properties. Because this ingredient directly deposits onto the hair follicle to smooth out the cuticles, it’s highly regarded for its conditioning abilities. It can be found in many hair products like conditioner, detangler, shampoo and styling gel. It also acts as an emulsifying agent, gentle enough to be used in baby products that are left on the skin. When used in lotions and creams, it gives a soft and powdery after-touch to the skin.

Kako uporabljati balzame za lase?

Po umivanju lase utremo z brisačo, da zmanjšamo navlaženost las. Balzam razporedimo po dolžini las in počakamo nekaj minut za boljši učinek (3-5 min). Nato balzam izperemo. Pri suhih laseh lahko nanesemo balzam po celotni dolžini las, pri mastnih pa le po konicah, saj bo drugače balzam preveč zmastil že tako mastno lasišče. Pri zelo suhih laseh je skoraj nujna uporaba mask za lase.

Nasvet za najboljši možen učinek balzama: Balzam nanesemo na za dlje časa, lahko tudi čez noč, tako da lase zavijemo v vlažno brisačo ali plastično folijo. V balzam pa lahko kapneš tudi nekaj kapljic keratina.

Najina izkušnja z Eterika balzami

Na voljo so trije balzami in sicer za vse tipe las z vonjem vanilije, proti razcepljenim in suhim konicam s pelargonijo in sivko ter za neukrotljive lase s kokosom. Glede na to, da gre za balzam ima zelo bogato teksturo, v bistvu je že skoraj kot maska. Po uporabi se lasje zelo enostavno razčešejo in so mehki, ter sijoči. Da o vonju ne govorimo, saj zelo lepo dišijo, vonj pa se na laseh obdrži še kar nekaj časa.

Celotno ponudbo izdelkov Eterika si lahko ogledaš tukaj.

Tajka Selan

For sure you have been asking yourself if you have to nourish your skin in any other way than usual. While being at the beach skin needs more care because we are exposed to the sun that can burn us and sea salt drains the skin. So how to nourish the skin at sea? How to act in case of sunburns? How to nourish the skin to maintain the tan we have?

How to act in the case of sunburns?

Today, we are already aware of the harmful effects of sunbathing, but the sunburn can happen. Either this is because of the insufficient amount of sunscreen or excessive sunbathing. Burn is an acute skin inflammatory reaction that usually occurs 1-24 hours after sunbathing. The burn depends on the intensity and the wavelength of light. Erythema may occur, which may be accompanied by pain, swelling or even blisters. Of course, the best way is to prevent all this with the appropriate UVA and UVB protective sunscreens.

Not only does exposure to the sun lead to faster aging (photoaging), it can also cause the formation of lentigues, teleangiectasia (spider veins), skin cancer, etc., if we are exposed to the sun without protection.

We can cure sunburns with anti-inflammatory extracts!

In a case of sunburns, we shower with lukewarm or cold water and gentle cleansing agents. After showering, we apply lotions or creams like aftersuns. In case we are burned, cosmetic products should contain the following extracts that soothe the skin.

ExtractsHow they work
Chamomile (bisabolol, hamazulen)anti-inflammatory, wound healing, soothe the skin
Italian strawfloweradstringent, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant
Oatantimicrobial, antioxidant, soothes the skin, against itching
Pot marigold
anti-inflammatory, wound healing, antiseptic

Shea Butter

Due to the content of terpenoids, it acts anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. It also acts as an antioxidant and protects us from reactive oxygen radicals. It helps to restore the skin barrier and acts regeneratively.

Aloe vera against erythema

The study tested 97.5% aloe vera gel and 1% hydrocortisone in the cream, and 0.25% predicarbate in the cream, both of which are corticosteroids. The effect of natural extracts is delayed. Corticosteroids reduced the erythema after 24 hours, while the gel of aloe vera reduced the erythema only after 48 hours. Although it seems that the percentage of aloe vera gel is high, it did not show any hypersensitive reactions to the testee. So, the aloe vera gel reduces inflammation, but it is not necessary that the gel could be used for chronic inflammatory diseases. It can be used as an additional care, especially in after-sun products, instead of gels / creams containing hydrocortisone.

Usually, oils rich in omega-3 and / or omega-6 are commonly used to treat sunburns, as they work regenerative and anti-inflammatory. We can also use the right antioxidants that prevent the harmful effect of ROS on our DNA. Some studies have shown that vitamin D also helps to relieve the burns produced in the sun.

Tan preservation

Well, the other option is to succeed in getting a healthy tan, because the sun does not always burn us to red. We want to keep the tan as long as possible. One option for maintaining a tan are self-tanning products, where the difference in colour is noticeable, but is washed within 1 week.

How to prolong the permanence of tanned skin?

Carrot oil, which was present in the formulations at concentrations of 2, 4 and 6%, has been shown to have SPF factor. The measured SPF values ​​ranged between 4 and 7. This, of course, is not sufficient for proper SPF protection. Carrot oil also works antioxidant and rejuvenating, and at the same time it nourishes the skin properly. It is used as an oil that helps to extend the intensity of the tan. It usually leaves traces on clothes, as the right carrot oil has an orange colour, which does not disappear in the formulation, even if it is present only in 3%.

Cocoa butter

It has an SPF of about 3, which is not enough to protect us from sun rays, but it still works photoprotectively. At the same time, it works antioxidant and regenerative, as it contains phytosterols and vitamin E. It helps us preserve the tan that we already have.

How to take care of the hair?

We are sure that you have already noticed how our hair colour, whether natural or dyed, fades away while we are at the seaside. People with darker hair struggle with melanin photoxidation, and others with lighter hair with degradation of amino acids in keratin, which is the main structural protein in the hair. Darker hair is somehow better protected against fading than lighter shades.

UVA rays are mainly responsible for the loss of colour in dyed hair, as they penetrate all the way to the cortex where melanin and colour pigments are located. UVB rays are blamed for the fading of the natural hair colour as they percolate into all layers of hair.

Keratin is via cysteine converted into cysteic acid in the final phase. This, however, reduces the resistance of the hair and its elasticity. Therefore, the hair is drier, less shiny, and more difficult to brush through.

Hair cuticle which is the exterior layer is most exposed. Melanin is located in the cortex and is not capable of protecting  the cuticle against UV radiation. Radiation destroys proteins and lipids in the cuticle. Hair cuticle opens and the hair loses their softness. In UV radiation, ROS also develops and further destroys the hair.

Are cosmetics with UV filters the solution for hair care?

Until now, there was no excessive enquiry for such products on our market. But there are shampoos and balms with UV filters. In fact, an entire hair care line with UV filters. In hair cosmetics the same UV filters can be used as in sunscreens, but there are also quaternary and polysilicones that exhibits UV protection for hair, but not for the skin. Of course, there are natural oils and extracts that also help protect your hair from UV radiation.

UVA is mostly promoting the formation of ROS, while UVB destroys pigment named melanin (destroying it or bleaching it), and for changing mechanical abilities, as it breaks bonds in our hair (cysteine ​​present in keratin), which makes our hair fragile.

How to groom the face?

At sea, you do not usually need ” heavy care”. For most skin types, the use of rich and nourishing creams and oils in summer is simply too much. Overly enriched care can lead to the formation of clogged pores and pimples. Therefore, it is better to reach for moisturizing formulas. In addition to daily sun cream, it is also recommended to use serums with antioxidants, which will additionally support the function of the sun cream.

Mosquitoes are one of theworst ”pains in the neck” in the summer. The most disturbing noise is surely their “bzzzz” at night. In this blog, we’ll explain why the mosquito bites, why the bites itch and what we should use to get rid of the annoying and itchy mosquito bites.

Firstly something about mosquitoes!

There are nearly 3,500 different types of mosquitoes. When we say that we have been bitten by a mosquito, in most cases it’s by a female. Females are usually the ones that suck the blood of mammals. Women are drama queens, again :). Males are mostly fed with nectar only. The mosquitoes feed themselves from early dusk until the sunset.

Mosquitoes can be carriers of various diseases, most known to everyone is certainly malaria. The mosquitoes also carry dengue fever and yellow fever. Mosquitoes manage to transmit a disease to more than 700 million inhabitants per year. Only malaria kills 3 million people a year. It is true that tropical and subtropical areas are more exposed and the possibility of disease is greater, but this does not mean that Europeans are immune.

Tiger mosquitoes

They are a new species in Europe that originally came from Southeast Asia. It was first detected in Europe in 2006. It is mostly found near water and is really problematic.

Why are mosquito bites itchy?

We don’t notice the mosquito bite immediately, but only after a few minutes/hours. So, it’s not the mosquito bite that itches, but the immune reaction that follows the bite. Before the mosquito gets to the blood, it releases its saliva into the body. Substances in saliva prevent blood clotting during the sucking (anticoagulants), making their work much easier. Saliva also contains substances that are very immunogenic. Our body responds to these substances by making antibodies.

There are various types of immune responses. The reaction is carried out in a way that nothing happens at the first contact with the matter (first mosquito bite). At the first bite, the body is sensitized and memory cells are formed. But when have we ever gotten away with a single bite? When a mosquito bites us the next time, our body has already prepared memorial cells that then migrate to the point of the sting. At each subsequent sting, the immune response is faster.

Myth: ”Mosquitoes bite me because I have sweet blood”

The mosquitoes are said to more often sting younger people with hot skin and a strong body smell (not necessarily odor). They’ll love you even more due to the increased CO2 concentrations or in case you are wearing dark clothes or glitters.

How do get rid of mosquitoes with synthetic repellents?

DEET

N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide is a commercial ingredient used in repellents and it’s very effective. It is used for repellent activity against mosquitoes, ticks, fleas and other insects. According to studies, it irritates the skin.

How does it work?

There are 3 hypothesis, but in every case, it masks the scent and, consequently, the insects do not detect a person. DEET can only mask the smell that mosquitoes does not recognize or it changes to confuse the mosquito, and consequently, the mosquito does not recognize us as a host and will not sting.

Some repellents up for sale also contain up to 45 % DEET, which is an enormous amount and that can irritate the skin a lot.

A well-known synthetic repellent is also icardin, which also works against many types of insects. They are said to be less aggressive. Icardin is used in repellents up to 20 %.

Natural ingredients with repellent activity

Since the synthetic ingredients in repellents are unfriendly both for the ecosystem and for us, they have been looking for alternatives for repellent action in nature.

Essential oils of the camphor tree

The essential oil of camphor tree has proven to have a repellent effect. It also acts insecticidal, antifungal, antibacterial and as an antioxidant. Terpenoids and phenylpropanoids, found in leaves and bark, additionally contribute to the bioactivity of the camphor tree.

Curcumin

Is considered to be a cheap, non-toxic and easily accessible substance. You probably are much more familiar with the use of it in the kitchen. It is also a yellow dye that acts repellently and is used in cosmetics. It has positive effects on certain diseases, abnormalities, and syndromes.

Lemon eucalyptus

It produces citriodiol, which is an active ingredient in repellents. It irritates the skin minimally and works for 2-3 hours (maximum 6 hours). In repellents, it appears in concentrations up to 55 %.

Lavender

In a study, they tested 5 %, 10 % and 20 % concentration of essential oil. Essential lavender oil at a concentration of 5 % was sufficient for 40 minutes of protection against insects. While higher concentrations of essential oil were sufficient for 120 minutes of protection.

Peppermint

As a mosquito repellent a 1.5 % peppermint oil can be used, even in topical repellents. Peppermint essential oil also works against other insects. It works antifungal and antibacterial.

Other oils to repel insects within a natural way

Among them are citronella, eucalyptus, cinnamon, cloves, geranium, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, bergamot, red thyme, marjoram, spearmint and creeping (breckland) thyme.

Clove oil, creeping thyme oil and red thyme oil are the most effective repellents if used in the form of 3% essential oil. Polish thyme oil combined with citronella oil is an effective repellent combination that protects against insect bites up to 91 %.

Synergistic action

Oxford University tested basil and lantana extracts as repellents and found that they exhibit synergistic activity. In combination, they are longer effective against peak mosquitoes than individually. At the same time, the use of both together allows us to use lower concentrations of the extracts. They protect us from bites up to 120 or 150 minutes.

Safety warning for using synthetic repellents

In the study they used 20 % concentration of active ingredients, such as DEET and essential oils, in order to detect skin irritation and penetration. Pro-insect protection lasted up to a maximum of 8 hours. Repellents may contain substances that greatly irritate the eyes, so contact with eyes must be avoided. Some repellents can penetrate the skin. One of these is DEET, which can penetrate the skin up to 14 %. While essential oils can penetrate into the skin only up to 3 %. Essential oils also minimize skin irritation compared to DEET, which moderately irritates the skin.

Repellents should only be used on the exterior parts of the body.

  1. Don’t apply it to children under the age of 2 years.
  2. Never apply repellents on hands of children, because they are frequently in the contact with their mouth / eyes.
  3. Do not put in on your clothes.
  4. When we no longer need the repellent, we recommend showering with soap to remove the repellent from the skin as soon as possible, in order to avoid unwanted effects.
  5. If irritation occurs, the area must be rinsed with water and soap.
  6. The instructions must be followed closely.

If you can, avoid the hours when mosquitoes are active in order to prevent contact with them. If you want to go for a walk it is better to use repellents with essential oils, since they don’t irritate the skin so much and they also smell really nice.

You must have heard that hemp in cosmetics has positive effects on the skin. It is an increasingly popular ingredient for the treatment of skin diseases and the care of sensitive skin. Which parts of hemp are at all allowed for use in cosmetic products, what is CBD and what are cannabinoids, what effects does hemp in cosmetic products have on the skin?

Cannabidiol or CBD

First, we explain the basic terms. Cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid that exhibits biological effects and acts against anxiety and nausea, and also has antitumour effects. Cannabidiol has no psychoactive effects. It has many positive effects on the skin, such as the ability to inhibit the formation of sebum and anti-inflammatory activity, as it inhibits immune responses to inflammation.

Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids were also proven to have anti-inflammatory and sebostatic (ability to inhibit the formation of sebum) properties. Cannabinoids are capable of inhibiting the maturation of keratinocytes, which is highly desirable in skin diseases, where the maturation of keratinocytes is abnormal, as in psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

Endocannobinoids have psychotropic effects. THC is the only cannabinoid that is psychoactive, and there are still about 60 (according to some data, even 113) cannabinoids that do not show such effects.

Hemp seeds

In Chinese medicine and nutrition, hemp seeds have been used for more than 3000 years. Seeds are rich in vitamins A, C and E, and β-carotene, proteins (all essential amino acids), carbohydrates, fibers and minerals. The oil is obtained from seeds by cold pressing or by solvent extraction.

The seed also contain terpenoids and cannabidiol, which exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. The oil does not contain THC, unless it is present as an impurity. Concentration of THC in the oil depends on the cultivation itself and on the cleaning process. According to European legislation, the concentration of THC in oil must be less than 0,2%.

Fun Fact # 1: According to some data, Budha only ate cannabis seeds for 6 years. Seeds have an extremely nutritional value, thanks to proteins and unsaturated fatty acids.

Extract from cannabis seed

In the study on men,there was a cream containing 3% extract from hemp seed tested. After application of the cream with this extract, the secretion of sebum was significantly reduced. In men who had erythema, the redness decreased significantly.

What is hemp oil?

Marketing term for cannabis oil is the term “hempseed oil” so that it can be separated from cannabis used as a drug. Hemp oil is not obtained from leaves, but from cannabis seeds. This, of course, leads to the conclusion that hemp oil will not exhibit relaxation effects, as the seeds do not contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), except as mentioned above, as an impurity. THC is present only in cannabis leaves.

Fun Fact # 2: Cannabis with low THC value is estimated at $ 100-2000 million per year. What in the euro would mean about 90 – 1800 million euros. Crazy number, huh?

Composition of hemp oil

We have repeatedly mentioned the importance of oil composition. Hemp oil consists of all three of the most important fatty acids that act regenerative and / or antimicrobial. These fatty acids are very unstable because they contain double bonds that are highly reactive.

Linoleic acid – 57% (omega-6) is regenerative and anti-inflammatory

α-linolenic acid – 16% (omega-3) acts regeneratively

γ-linolenic acid – 3% (omega-6) acts anti-inflammatory

The ratio between linoleic and linolenic acid is 3: 1, which is the ideal ratio for dietary and cosmetic products. This oil can also serve as a natural source of antioxidants (vitamin E).

Atopic dermatitis and hemp?

Atopic skin has one disadvantage, namely, there is a defective action of δ-6-desaturase. It is responsible for the enzymatic conversion of linoleic acid into γ-linolenic. So, if desaturase does not work properly, we have an elevated level of linoleic acid, and the level of γ-linolenic acid is reduced. It is therefore desirable to use oils for the care of atopic skin, which also contain γ-linolenic acid, and thus add it itself because the skin itself does not produce it.

One of these oils is a hemp oil containing γ-linolenic acid. Due to the fatty acid composition, it helps to improve all skin diseases in which the skin barrier is weakened.

Studies also show the positive effects of cannabis on the skin

In Finland, a study was carried out in patients with atopic dermatitis, in which the test subjects orally used cold pressed hemp oil (30ml). They found that cold pressed hemp oil in an 8-week study, improved dryness of the skin and itching. The use of hemp oil reduced the use of topical medicines among test subjects. Olive oil was used as a control in which no such skin improvements were detected.

The endocannabinoid system in our skin

It is a biological system consisting of endocannabinoids. These are nonspecific lipid-binding carriers that bind to cannabinoid receptors and cannabinoid receptor proteins that are expressed in the central nervous system (including the brain) and peripheral nervous system. The endocannabinoid system is involved in the regulation of various physiological and other processes, including fertility, pregnancy, appetite, feeling of pain, mood and memory.

The effect on the endocannabinoid system would help to improve skin diseases such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, skin fibrosis, skin cancer, and itching.

What about hemp in cosmetic products?

In cosmetic products, oil from cannabis and hemp seed is allowed. Any extracts, tinctures and oils from flowers or fruits are prohibited. On the basis of the Regulation on cosmetic products no. 1223/2009 leaves and trunks are also prohibited. They belong to Annex II on cosmetic products where substances are prohibited in cosmetic products. On the list “Narcotics, natural and synthetic” we find cannabis resin, extracts and cannabis tinctures, which are also prohibited.

Sources:

Río, C. del, Millán, E., García, V., Appendino, G., DeMesa, J., & Muñoz, E. The endocannabinoid system of the skin. A potential approach for the treatment of skin disorders. Biochemical Pharmacology 2018. 

Singh, D., Fisher, J., Shagalov, D., Varma, A., & Siegel, D. M. Dangerous plants in dermatology: Legal and controlled. Clinics in Dermatology 2018; 36(3): 399–419.

Dhadwal, G., & Kirchhof, M. G. The Risks and Benefits of Cannabis in the Dermatology Clinic. Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery 2017; 22(2): 194–199.

Pacher P, Bátkai S, Kunos G. The endocannabinoid system as an emerging target of pharmacotherapy. Pharmacol Rev. 2006; 58(3): 389–462.

Montserrat-de la Paz, S., Marín-Aguilar, F., García-Giménez, M. D., & Fernández-Arche, M. A. Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Seed Oil: Analytical and Phytochemical Characterization of the Unsaponifiable Fraction. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2014; 62(5): 1105–1110.

This time in the Slovenian cosmetics category we’ll get to know Skinfairytale. It’s been released to the cosmetic market with a different purpose, which is: to relieve the skin condition in patients with dermatitis. To be clear Skinfairytale products are not only for those with skin diseases but also for those who are fighting with dry skin and various allergies.

What is atopic dermatitis?

Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory disease that can be inherited or because we have a predisposition for it. It can be stimulated by several factors, among which are stress and various allergies. The most visible problem in atopic dermatitis is eczema, which is usually red and rough if we touch it. A slightly less visible, but very annoying problem in patients with dermatitis is itch.

Individuals with dermatitis usually have a damaged skin barrier, which means that the substances we get in contact with easily get into/out our skin. It sounds great, but if it’s easier for good things to pass, bad ones (allergens, irritant substances) also pass. As problematic substances pass easier, there is a greater chance that they will cause immune reactions in the skin. In case we get in contact with an allergen or an irritant the inflammatory cells are activated, causing inflammation.

My atopic dermatitis before and 3 days after using Skinfairytale AtopicBalm

Why is Skinfairytale so special?

Skinfairytale is a cosmetic line that was first formulated to treat atopic skin. The market is currently flooded with products that are supposed to be adapted to atopic skin, but checking on ingredients often reveals the content of potentially irritant substances that can only worsen the condition. Skinfairytale is another story.

Atopia is nowadays a growing problem, according to some studies it affects 20-25% of children. The frequency of this disease decreases by age. Usually disappears until 5 years of age.

We both got atopic dermatitis in adulthood, unfortunately. Probably because of stress. It’s not a severe form, but still very disturbing. During exam time outbreaks are more frequent and the attacks of itching are on a daily basis (especially before bedtime).

And now serious businesses. We’ll describe the products that we’ve tested and their most important ingredients that benefit the atopic skincare.

Atopic BALM

Calamine

Calamine is a combination of zinc oxide and 0.5 % iron oxide. It’s an ingredient that shows antiseptic and astringent properties. It’s proven to reduce pruritus and skin irritation. Calamine is the most effective while evaporating from the skin because it cools down. After only one application, it offers long-lasting effect, so it calms the skin down.

Mango butter

Mango butter is rich in linoleic acid, which has anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties. In addition, it shows also antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. It’s very easy for application and very soft for our skin.

Cannabis extract

It contains 3 most important fatty acids for the skin. These are α-linolenic and γ-linolenic acid and linoleic. They act anti-inflammatory and/or regenerative. In addition, it also contains arachidonic acid that reduces inflammation and helps to heal the wounds.

AtopicCREAM

Black cumin oil

Linoleic acid represents half of the fatty acid composition of the oil. The essential in this oil acts antimicrobial. This prevents the invasion of microorganisms through a weakened skin barrier and prevents inflammation. The oil can also be used for oily skin because it supports normal skin action and doesn’t leave grassy feeling.

Evening primrose oil

It’s a gold standard for anti-age skincare and it’s more and more recommended for the care of atopic dermatitis. It contains 74% linoleic acid and 10% γ-linolenic it contains also phytosterols that help restore the skin barrier. Because of the fatty acid composition, this oil works anti-inflammatory and regenerative.

Zinc sulfate

Local zinc and its salts are used as photoprotective agents, for calming down or as a substance in anti-dandruff shampoos. The use of zinc salts is now used also in many dermatological conditions, including infections (warts), inflammatory dermatoses (acne vulgaris, rosacea), pigmentation disorders (melasma) and neoplasia (baseline cancer). It has antimicrobial and astringent properties.

ProtectBALM

Katarina from Skinfairytale also made Protect Balm, which is not so much for atopic dermatitis, but for several different skin problems. As the name itself says it protects the skin. Especially if we have some dry areas (lips, elbows …) or some scratches, etc. It also protects the pregnant belly, before the stretch marks and cracks appear.

Jojoba oil

This oil is very similar to human sebum. Why is that important? Because our body recognizes oil as part of the skin and for that reason doesn’t cause allergies or unwanted interactions. It works anti-inflammatory and can be used for several skin conditions, from aging to healing wounds. It also helps other active ingredients to absorb quickly, precisely because the body recognizes the oil as its own.

Squalane

While squalene acts antioxidant the squalene derivative squalane shows moisturizing properties. It’s a very good emollient and is absorbed into the skin, which gives us a light feeling on the skin. It can also work as an occlusive and makes a layer on the skin, which also prevents evaporation of the water and keeps more water inside the skin. At the same time, it works as a physical barrier for substances from the outside, which can not enter the skin that easy.

Allantoin

First of all, allantoin acts as a moisturizer and it also helps wounds to heal faster and calms the skin down.

Choice of atopic care products

People with skin diseases must be careful when choosing cosmetic products. It is recommended not to use products that contain fragrances, dyes or many preservatives.

Atopic balm is pink, I’ve made a very strange grimace, because I thought Skinfairytale missed a very important rule – the products should not contain colorants. But because of the content of calamine, which is slightly pink, the balm is colored, but unintentionally and doesn’t harm, because the color is not artificially added.

A slightly different world, as we usually mention, right? We mostly struggle with wrinkles, pigment stains, and greasy/dry skin. Atopia is a completely different problem and we almost don’t talk about it. Many don’t take it seriously. The disease is curable and with the right choice of the products, we can improve the stage of the disease.

What is our experience with Skinfairytale products?

First of all, we were a little in doubt about how these creams can help us when sometimes even corticosteroids (systemic medicaments for atopia) can’t help us. At the first attack of the itch, we have put some Atopicbalm and the pruritus disappeared. We couldn’t believe it because for us it was already completely normal to scratch almost until the bleeding before going to bed. We don’t have this problem anymore. After the first application, we thought that it was just a coincidence, but at the next application we found that this is always like that, itching disappears, end of the story.

Protect the balm is very useful for some of the slightest abrasions. From an exercise, I was doing on concrete I had irritated the skin on my palms and knees. The skin was reddish and burning sensation. After using Atopic balm there was only a bruise, but the flush and burning sensation were gone.

In fact, there is something about this name Skinfairytale. We are very critical, but seeing this, we can only say: Well done! You certainly have made our lives easier while battling with atopic dermatitis.

You can take a look at all Skinfairytale products here.

Alcohols are on a bad voice, just like silicones and parabens. When we see an ingredient with an alcohol ending on the product, we automatically categorize it as bad. But can all products containing any kind of alcohol be declared as bad or are we just being too general?

What are alcohols and what is their function?

Alcohols are compounds having an -OH (hydroxyl) group attached to a carbon atom in the alkyl group. The group may be attached to a primary, secondary or tertiary C atom, so we separate primary, secondary and tertiary alcohols.

Primary alcohols include methanol, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol and others. Secondary alcohols include 1-propanol and 2-propanol and others. There are also alcohols with two, three or more -OH groups, which we call diols, triols, etc. Among the most famous poliols are glycerol, ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, erythriol, and others.

Alcohols have several functions in cosmetic products. They are mostly used as solvents or co-solvents, and in high concentrations they posess antimicrobial properties, and therefore products do not need a preservative.

“No alcohol” doesn’t mean no alcohol

For many years cosmetic manufacturers have marketed certain cosmetic products that do not contain ethyl alcohol (also known as ethanol, or grain alcohol) as “alcohol free”. However, “alcohols” are a large and diverse family of chemicals, with different names and a variety of effects on the skin. This can lead to some confusion among consumers when they check the ingredient listings on cosmetic labels to determine alcohol content.

In cosmetic labeling, the term “alcohol,” used by itself, refers to ethyl alcohol. Cosmetic products, including those labeled “alcohol free,” may contain other alcohols, such as cetyl, stearyl, cetearyl, or lanolin alcohol. These are known as fatty alcohols, and their effects on the skin are quite different from those of ethyl alcohol.

Should any alcohol be avoided?

When we think about “bad” alcohols, alcohol denat, ethanol, isopropyl alcohol and SD Alcohol (which means “specifically denatured alcohol”) are the first we think of. These alcohols are commonly used as solvents for cosmetically active ingredients that are insoluble in water. The use of these compounds in cosmetics leaves a cool feeling on the skin, as the alcohol evaporates faster than water, while giving the products a “light-weight” texture. They also help with the penetration of cosmetically active compounds into the skin. Everything okay until now, right? But these alcohols are reputable to irritate the skin and dry it.

Ethanol or ethyl alcohol

Ethanol is widely used in all types of products to which our skin is directly exposed. Scientific literature contains contradictory evidence of the safety of such topical alcohol applications.

Ethanol is known to improve the penetration of other substances and can be used in transdermal delivery systems. In his study, Bommannan found that ethanol enters the skin in vivo and removes measurable amounts of lipids from the surface of the skin. Removing the lipid layer can reduce the function of the skin barrier, which makes the skin more permeable. Because the skin is more permeable, a larger transepidermal loss of water and less hydration of the epidermis results in further skin dryness. Longer use can cause dry, leaking skin due to a reduced amount of lipids and moisture and also causes local inflammation.

Alcohol denat

Alcohol denat is an abbreviation for denatured alcohol, which is used in cosmetics and personal care products. Denatured alcohol is a denaturant containing ethanol. The usual denaturants in cosmetic products and personal care products are: denatonium benzoate, t-butyl alcohol, diethyl phthalate and methyl alcohol. The method of denaturing alcohol does not chemically change the ethanol molecule.

Denatured alcohol is generally noted as alcohol Denat or SD (especially denatured) alcohol.

It acts as anti-foaming agent, adstringent, antimicrobial agent and solvent. One of the main reasons for the use of denatured alcohol is its adstringent action. Adstringent is a substance that reduces the permeability of the mucous membrane or skin and capillaries, thereby reducing the inflammatory response and sensitivity to external influences. Adstringent interacts with certain functional groups, in particular sulfhydryl, on the surface of the proteins, and thus causes their precipitation. Adstringents cool the skin and cause temporary toning effect.

Use of denatured alcohol

Denatured alcohol is commonly used in acne treatment. The product containing denatured alcohol dries faster, which gives it a cooling effect and immediately degreases the skin. However alcohol-based products can actually encourage sebaceous glands to produce more oils, which causes the skin to become even oilier than before. Excessive sebum production combined with irritation that may be caused by denatured alcohol can lead to increased acne production.

In case of long-term use of skin care products containing high concentrations of denatured alcohol, dryness and irritation may occur. Denatured alcohol can also cause erosion of the surface layer of the skin, leading to a weakened skin barrier.

Denatured alcohol is common in post-shave products, where the skin needs an adstringent effect. Often it is also found in sunscreens because it is a good solvent for UV filters in plays a role in their distribution over the skin.

Isopropyl alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol or 2-propanol is a flammable liquid that is obtained from propylene. It is a solvent that acts as a anti-foaming agent, an adstrigent and a viscosity reduction agent.

A spray with an isopropyl alcohol concentration of 80.74% did not show any possibility of dermal sensitization in 9 human participants. In one of the studies, it has been shown that isopropyl alcohol strongly irritates the eyes of rabbits, at a concentration of 70% of the solution in water.

Isopropyl alcohol, which some consumers consider that dries skin, is rarely used in cosmetics.

Let’s not throw everyone in the same basket, not all alcohols are bad!

So, many products on the market are labeled ” free of alcohol ” and then a look at the INCI list reveals compounds that end with the name alcohol. Is this a trap? Should we throw a bad light on such products? No. Not all alcohols are bad. Many cosmetic alcohols, such as cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, myristyl alcohol, behenyl alcohol and lanolinic alcohol, are also used in cosmetics.

These are long-chain aliphatic alcohols (usually between 12 and 18 carbon atoms), which are often used in lotions and creams. They serve as emollients, plasticisers, emulsion stabilizers, foam stabilizers and viscosity control agents.

Cetyl alcohol is used primarily as a softener to prevent drying and cracking of the skin due to its water binding ability.

What do you think about alcohols in cosmetics?

Sources: Lachenmeier DW. Safety evaluation of topical applications of ethanol on the skin and inside the oral cavity. J Occup Med Toxicol., Final Report of the Safety Assessment of Alcohol Denat.,
Final Report on the Safety Assessment of Cetearyl Alcohol , Cetyl Alcohol , lsostearyl Alcohol , Myristyl Alcohol , and Behenyl Alcohol, FDA