--> Then came the big guys. Obviously the Elizabeth Arden's and Helena Rubenstein's started out small but the timing was right; women had more disposable income, and sales and marketing departments were starting to pay attention to the wants and needs of women so suddenly a whole cosmetics industry sprang up.
The cosmetics industry was, and still is, largely unmonitored and so they could add ingredients to their products and also make claims about them that may not have been in the best interests of their customers. A very frightening 90% of the 10,000+ cosmetic ingredients identified by the US Food and Drug Administration have never been checked for safety by any of the appropriate institutions. Most of them are probably perfectly safe, after all you never hear of people immediately dropping dead after applying face cream, we may very well be dying slowly from the use of the rest!
--> As a result of this casual approach to skin care ingredient, many mainstream skin care products made today contain synthetic chemical ingredients including dyes and fragrances and of course preservatives such as parabens, which can mimic the hormone oestrogen, which has been shown, in some studies, to be linked to breast cancer and urogenital abnormalities.
Sometimes there are very good reasons for putting parabens, in particular, into a product; a cosmetic is likely to be more toxic if it has gone off than the preservatives themselves so it is the best of a bad choice. One of the reasons why preservatives are so important is because big manufacturers make huge batches of their products and ship them around the world and the products need to withstand uncontrolled shipping and storage environments. Also if they did have a batch that went off the cost of recalling hundreds of thousands of products from around the world would be astronomical, not to mention the bad publicity.
The inclusion of synthetic perfumes and colors is purely cost cutting, as are all the fillers that are added. Phthalates which are often found in synthetic fragrances are a hormone disrupter known to cause birth defects, damage sperm, cause infertility and cause the feminization of boy babies. So choose your skin care without the nice smells unless the perfume is essential oil based.
Now that we are getting a little wiser and understand that our skin is our largest organ and whatever we apply to it ultimately gets absorbed into our bloodstream, we are demanding more natural cosmetics, and the market is turning full circle and starting to address our concerns.
Fortunately natural skin care has also come a long way. For a long time most natural products were thick and gluggy and blocked pours, more importantly, they also did not work. Now there are several ranges on the market that can actually do what they claim to do, enhance the skin. Even sun screens are moving away from being mainly chemical based to natural, while still providing 30+ SPF broad spectrum protection and they are much more pleasant to use.
The use of specialised ingredients such as CO Q10, marine collagens, bee venom, and vitamins and minerals are being included in natural skin care ranges added in bases that can easily be absorbed by the skin and so now we are seeing a difference. These products are now not only pleasant to use but they will plump up skin, stimulate collagen and elastin production and as a result will reduce fine lines and make the skin look brighter and firmer. Generally the best of both worlds.
So remember if it smells nice, step away from the cosmetic, and where possible use a natural product that incorporates active ingredients such as bee venom, marine collagens and vitamins and minerals.