When an ingredient is at peak freshness, it delivers its full function and performance – that’s the fabulous advantage of using fresh ingredients. Here we’ll discuss the benefits of truly fresh and clean skincare, the importance of taking care of your skin, and some of the risks associated with additives and preservatives in skin care and body care products.
The Concept of ‘Salad for Your Skin’
What do we mean when we say LightWater is like a “Salad for Your Skin?” We like to look at using our fresh, daily dosed, and preservative-free skincare as being similar to eating a nutrient-rich salad with perfectly ripe, healthy vegetables and fruit. When consuming this way, you get vitamins and nutrients at their peak nutritional value and efficacy, and you avoid unnecessary processing agents and additives. On the other hand, canned and processed foods – just like jarred and bottled skincare – requires the addition of preservatives and other additives intended to extend the products’ shelf life and enable their repeated use after their packaging container has been opened. These additional ingredients may result in more harm than good to skin, as many are known to cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. So fresher really is better.
Clean beauty definitions can be a bit murky. Every brand seems to have their own definition, and there are no federal regulations about the claim “clean beauty”. The fact is some ingredients are proven to lead to skin issues, and some others are suspected but still in debate. Our philosophy is that when it comes to your skin’s health, we don't take any risks. We want to go beyond “clean” as it is currently described in the mainstream industry, in order to deliver products that are as pure as possible and cleaner than have ever been created before. That's why we exclude any ingredient known or even suspected to be concerning and we carefully select and screen every ingredient for purity. It’s like the difference between eating an organic, just-picked tomato from your local farmer’s market or a can of tomato paste that was opened a month ago. Fresher is superior on many levels! Not only would you taste the difference, but the nutritional value would be completely different especially as the canned paste would have been oxidizing during the month since it was first opened, and you’d be ingesting additional processing and preservation agents with some undesired side effects.
The Benefits of Choosing Fresh Skincare
When you think of food, you can see produce start to go bad and stale – such as cucumbers shriveling, or lettuce wilting – and you can even taste the difference. It’s not that easy to notice skincare products become stale, but the fact is active ingredients in skincare formulas are delicate, and age more quickly than you might imagine. They oxidize and degrade easily and rapidly, even more so when repeatedly exposed to air and touch every time you open the jar and put your finger in it, but also even when exposed to light such as through clear jars and bottles.
One visible and commonly known example is Vitamin C, which changes color from clear to brown as it degrades. The same type of process occurs with many other active ingredients - including vitamins, antioxidants, retinol, acids, and even oils. Studies have shown that the average skincare loses half its ingredient potency and efficacy in just a few months! For instance, a lab discovered a 40% average degradation in eight weeks among 20 leading skincare products with vitamin C, retinol, and CoQ10.
A loss in potency and efficacy is different than an expiration date, so even if a product is not technically expired or does not have a noticeable off-odor or color change, it may not be functioning as it should. Not only are degraded ingredients ineffective, but some may even lead to skin sensitivities and irritation. This can result in a mild rash due to a change in the ingredients’ chemical composition.
When you purchase skincare, you expect it to have the effects claimed by its active ingredients. This leads us back to our overarching LightWater brand motto – freshness is key. It’s why we chose the most meticulous route of producing our products in small batches and packaging in daily doses, to ensure each time you use our products they are as fresh and new as the day they were made. It allows our consumers to benefit from the peak efficacy of every ingredient, every time they apply our products.
We’ve packed our AM Multivitamin Moisturizer and PM Replenishing Cream with skin-essential ingredients to deliver all-around skincare in an easy-to-use, luxuriously lightweight 2-product regimen. Multi-vitamin complex (niacinamide, biotin, vitamin C, vitamin E), hyaluronic acid, ferulic acid, ceramides, squalene, omega-3 fatty acids, shea butter, glycerin, plant extracts, probiotics, and more, provide complete nourishment for your skin and offer multiple clinically proven benefits.
We respect the body’s innate intelligence and are supporting its healthy natural functions to heal and protect itself, by providing the skin with the effective nutrients it needs, at peak potency and in a form the skin can absorb and utilize. Just like eating nutrient-rich fresh foods results in greater overall health and the body looking and feeling better, we are feeding the skin to improve its health and appearance. And because our products are always fresh from source to skin, they are truly like a Salad for Your SkinTM.
The Importance of Using Clean Skincare: Comparison Studies
Many studies have pointed out the importance of protecting and caring for your skin in slowing and lessening the visible signs of aging. In a 2009 study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery by Dr. Guyuron et al, 186 pairs of twins had their images evaluated by an independent panel. The goal was to see what age was assigned to them by appearance based on a range of observations, then compare how the twins measured up to each other. Unsurprisingly, based on facial appearance alone, the panel perceived an age difference most often in twins who had differing amounts of sun exposure over their lifetimes. The study concluded that certain lifestyle and environmental factors correlate to the appearance of aging skin, leaving aged twins looking not quite as identical as they once did.
In the below set of twins, for example, the twin on the right was thought to be 11.25 years older than her 61-year-old sister, mostly due to the discoloration and wrinkles on her face. She reported spending approximately 10 hours more in the sun per week. Prioritizing skin health, such as moisturizing with microbiome-friendly products, wearing SPF, and being mindful of prolonged sun exposure, can help you to prevent similar results.
For another example, take a look at the cheek and neck of this 92-year-old female, who used UV-protective moisturizers on her face but not on her neck for over 40 years. Clinical examination, and even the untrained eye, see a striking difference in skin quality between her cheek and neck.
Cases like these illustrate the importance of taking proactive steps in preventative and protective skin care on a daily basis.
Dangers of Preservatives and Hidden Ingredients in Skin and Body Care Products
Conventional beauty industry products require the use of many preservatives to protect them from the bacteria that get introduced during manufacturing and consumer use and repeated touch. This, of course, extends their shelf lives to two, or even more, years, but at a cost. These preservatives can upset skin’s microbiome and cause more harm than good because preservatives also kill beneficial bacteria, leaving the skin barrier weaker and more vulnerable. This could be why some people notice their skin becoming irritated when they use and layer multiple skincare products. Each product comes with its own set of preservatives so by using multiple products, they may be stacking preservatives above what may be considered a safe threshold.
Pernicious preservatives and other hidden ingredients such as residuals and impurities aren’t limited to only skincare; they’re found in the beauty industry as a whole. In November 2022, an independent laboratory showed high levels of benzene, a known carcinogen, in 70% of dry shampoo samples tested. That same month, another news piece reported a woman in Minnesota suffered partial vision loss, as well as other symptoms, after mercury exposure from a skin lightening cream. Mercury, a chemical that blocks melanin production, was not disclosed on the product labels. These hidden ingredients can sometimes cause irreversible damage to the skin or overall health. Most skincare users apply products at least once or twice a day, year after year, so it’s logical to assume that using preservative-free, ultra clean and pure skincare decreases the risk of short and long-term negative health implications.
Conclusion and References
There’s plenty of information available to suggest the importance of taking care of your skin and doing so with clean, pure, trusted products. We hope some of the stories, metaphors, and sources we’ve highlighted will help lead you to the same conclusion we’ve arrived at – that fresher is better and safer, and the time to start taking care of your skin is now.