Are Your Products Polluting Our Water?

Yesterday, I read this tweet by @MarktheSpaman:

It was a very informative tweet he obtained from @CosmeticsDesign.  @CosmeticsDesign’s bio reads:  “  USA is a daily news service that provides news stories and data of value to decision-makers in Cosmetic Formulation & Packaging in the USA.  I recommend if you have a twitter, to follow both @MarktheSpaman and @CosmeticsDesign to receive insightful information about the skincare and beauty industry.

The article I read from Cosmetics Design’s website was an enlightening story about the damaging effects some skincare products can have on our aquatic systems.  The products in particular that they were discussing were products that contained plastic microbeads.

Picture from article "Skincare in the Ocean" by Bill Hickman.

Picture from article “Skincare in the Ocean” by Bill Hickman.

Microbeads are huge in the skincare industry.  I am a big fan of microbeads because they can really sluff off dead skin cells and create an even-toned look on the skin because of the mechanical manipulation they deliver on the skin. I would have to say the quality of products that I have been fortunate to use during my years as a licensed Aesthetician, I have come across skincare product’s that have plastic microbeads in them.

What is the difference between a plastic bead and a natural bead.  The plastic bead is synthetic and does not break-down naturally within earth’s waters, lakes, rivers, oceans, streams, creeks, seas and on various kinds of lands.  The plastic bead not being able to break down and disperse into earth’s natural elements is causing pollution to our land and most importantly, our water.

Paraphrasing what was in Cosmetics Design’s article:  Research has been done on these plastic microbeads and the effects it is causing to our aquatic system.  When we use these products with plastic microbeads, remember, non-biodegradable plastic beads, and rinse it off of our skin, these tiny microbeads filter into our aquatic system, our drinking water, sewer, any other kinds of water systems that the environmentalists are trying to preserve for our prolonged use, and is slowly destroying the aquatic system because these microbeads become tightly packed together and block its irrigation.

Image taken from "3 Companies Commit to Removing Plastic Beds from their Body Products", written by Margaret Badore.

Image taken from “3 Companies Commit to Removing Plastic Beds from their Body Products”, written by Margaret Badore.

In order to keep providing safe drinking water and to keep the aquatic system functioning, something has to be done to keep the filtering system’s free from blockage and furthering damaging our environment.  Well, something is being done, according to, “Representatives Fred Upton (R-Mich) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) introduced federal legislation to ban plastic microbeads from personal care, taking a similar stand to legislations that have already been passed at a state level.  If passed, the federal bill would ban the sale or distribution of cosmetic products containing plastic microbeads throughout the U.S., effective, January 1st, 2018.”

I am one of the biggest skincare product supporters, but there are a few things I will not support a product for, they are:  harming a consumer, unethically derived, and bad for the environment.  These plastic microbeads fit into one of my three categories, so these products that are formulated with these microbeads got to go.

Read the full article here:  New Research Points to a Total Ban on Microbeads as the Only Way Forward

Article written by, Simon Pitman.  Another great article to read is:  Skincare in the Ocean by Bill Hickman and 3 Companies Commit to Removing Plastic Beads from their Body Products written by Margaret Badore.

What is a Cold Cream?

coldcreamjarI had forgotten about the good ‘ole cold cream’s until I was reviewing Caswell-Massey’s products.  Cold creams have been widely used for centuries but we don’t hear about them much anymore.  I’d like to bring cold creams back.

I remember my grandmother and my mother using cold creams nightly to remove makeup.  I would sit in their bathroom, starring at this thick, white cream that looked like thickened heavy cream and remembering that when I got older, I wanted to be just like them.  It looked so elegant, the way they would swoop their delicate fingertips into the jar and gracefully apply it all over their face and neck.  They looked like movie stars but much more beautiful and alluring.  As I got older, my mother stopped using the cold creams and turned to the more modern products, as great as it worked for my mother’s skin, there was a part of sophistication that was lost.

mancoldcreamWhat exactly is a cold cream?  It is the simple combination of water and certain fats, usually beeswax, and different scents.  Cold creams were made to help smooth skin and remove makeup.  They got the name “Cold Cream” because it was cold when applied on the skin.  Although white in the jar, when mixed with the heat on the skin, the fats would warm and the white coloring would vanish.  These were great cleansing moisturizers for the skin.

10 Apr 1953, Ravello, Italy --- Gina Lollobrigida Applying Face Cream --- Image by ©  /ANSA/Corbis

10 Apr 1953, Ravello, Italy — Gina Lollobrigida Applying Face Cream — Image by © /ANSA/Corbis


Cold creams have been used for over 2000 years and some of the older woman I have as clients, that’s all they have ever used and their skin looks absolutely beautiful, supple and youthful.  To me, cold cream is glamour, luxury, and a product that will forever be timeless.

Physical vs. Chemical Sunscreen

sun-protection-chemical-sunscreenProtection from the sun is important when it comes to your skin.  There are two kinds of sunscreen that can be used on your skin:  physical and chemical.  The difference between the two is that physical sunscreens use physical filters and chemical sunscreens use chemical filters.

The chart table below is data both the EPA (Environmental and Protection Agency) and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) have made for the “filter” ingredients used in sunscreen that are either chemical or physical.


Notice that most ingredients protect against UVB rays but not too many protect against UVA rays which are more damaging to the integrity of the skin penetrating deeper into the skin’s layering as seen in the graph below.


Physical sunscreen has two ingredients: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide which help protect against both UVA and UVB rays and make physical sunscreens the better choice to wear on your skin for sun protection.  The physical sunscreen will reflect the sun’s light as it shines down on the skin and chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s light providing no protection for the skin.



Physical sunscreen does not absorb into the skin easily when applied like chemical sunscreens do, often leaving a white film on the skin.  When it comes to wearing sunscreen, a physical sunscreen allows to protect against a broad spectrum of rays; whereas, a chemical sunscreen will not add enough protection to the skin allowing the sun to pass thru the skin’s layers.



Stem Cells in Products

Animal cell vs. Plant cell.

Animal cell vs. Plant cell.

Stem Cell, defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary, is a simple cell in the body that is able to develop into any one of various cells (such as blood cells, skin cells, etc.).  A cell is the building blocks of the body, a very tiny particle that when combined together with other cells form all living things.  Stem cells then, can be found in plants and animals.

doublestemcellTechnology has now allowed the advancement of stem cell use in skincare products.  Stem cells have been clinically proven to help restore and repair skin cells which is extremely important with helping to fight aging skin.  Most of the stem cells come from Swiss apples, grapes and other fruit plants but there are a very small portion of stem cells that come from humans.


Is this legal?  How can skincare products use human stem cells?  American CryoStem is a skincare line that uses your own fatty tissue in combination with proprietary skincare ingredients to create a firming serum, moisturizer and eye cream.


fat-stem-cell-therapy-procedure-step-1This is taking stem cells in your body from your fat and making products that will help with anti-aging.  Of course, these are not cheap products, costs are in the thousands, and your products won’t be in your hand when you leave the doctor’s office from your mini liposuction extraction for your products.  The suctioned out fat then is taken to another location where it is combined with other ingredients and locked up in a cooling chamber where it will reside for future product making for you. If you have the money, patience and don’t fear a mini liposuction, then this would be a good use for recycling cells from your body.

pluripotentstemcellsAmerican CryoStem uses your own skin cells from fat but scientists have found a way to use human stem cells for skincare that is ethically accepted.  It is called, Non-Embryonic Pluripotent Human Stem Cells.  These are the most powerful stem cells because they have the potential to become any cell in the body.  How is this done?  Women donate their eggs to science knowing that they are being used solely for their eggs stem cells.  The unfertilized eggs then divide and once when they get to a certain stage of dividing, the stem cells are taken out.  The donors DNA is removed and proteins within the stem cells, such as the fibroblast, collagen and elastin are carefully centrifuged (a highly-effective way of scientific particle separation) and used as the human growth factor in skincare products.  Because the eggs are not being fertilized with sperm, there is no Y chromosome involved, so there is no potential for human life and this makes it ethically lawful for use in skincare products and scientific research.

skin-care-honey-combThere are some companies that choose to use the Non-Embryonic “Pluripotent” Human Stem Cells and others use the Plant Stem Cells.  Plant stem cells closely mimic our human skin cells but are not as potent as the “Pluripotent” Human Stem Cells.  Stem cells are being used more and more in skincare product lines and produce great results on the skin.  Many manufacturers are finding these results beneficial for their consumers and when consumers are visibly able to see a difference in their skin after a shorter duration of consistent use, manufacturer’s will continue adding stem cells to their products.