Women may have different views on how to dress or the perfect body type, but most women agree on this: Good skin matters—which is just one reason women spend a lot of time, money and effort looking for the best anti-aging skin care products, a behavior that only takes on more significance as they mature.
A 2014 poll by POPSUGAR Insights provides details about some of these buying habits. Fifty-two percent of those polled said they spend over $150 a year on body and skin care products. Overall, the poll said, 37% of women spend over $200 annually on body and skin care products, while 38% spend between $100 and $200 a year. Here’s the full breakdown from POPSUGAR.
GCI Magazine, which is devoted to the global cosmetics industry, predicts the U.S. skin care market will reach nearly $11 billion by 2018. Clearly, skin care is big business — with a lot of skin care product options.
To help PRiME readers learn more about the best anti-aging skin care products emerging in the market, we decided to do some of the research for you. Here’s a selective round-up of what we found. Do you have a best anti-aging skin care product we missed?
Before we start, it’s critical to know what to avoid in your skin care products. Patti Pao is CEO and founder of Restorsea, a company that makes high-end all natural anti-aging skin care products (you can read more about Patti in our entrepreneur series). We asked her for a list of key ingredients women should avoid when choosing skin care products. Her answer: Phthalates, Parabens and PEGs. Pao explains why:
Phthalates make cosmetic formulas flexible and bendy, Pao says. “They are found in many scented and cosmetic products, where they stabilize the fragrance, increase spreadability and enhance absorption. So you’ll find them in deodorants, nail polish (where they help prevent chipping), hair spray (where they prevent stiffness), perfumes, lotions, creams and powders (including baby lotions, creams and powders). The chemicals from these products can be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream.
“Studies have shown that phthalates are known to cause damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive systems. A study lead by Dr. Shanna Swann of the University of Missouri identified a positive correlation between male infant abnormalities and the level of phthalates in their mothers’ bodies.”
Pao suggests using this list of the most common phthalates, when checking labels:
“Parabens,” Pao says, “are used to preserve food and cosmetics products because they prevent bacterial growth. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization consider the chemicals safe at low levels. While the amount of parabens in any product is typically quite small, they are everywhere and it is thought that parabens can be stored in the body creating a cumulative effect, which could pose a health risk.”
Pao suggests using this list of the most common parabens when checking labels:
“PEGs (polyethylene glycol) isn’t a simple ingredient,” Pao says. “It is a class of ethylene glycol polymers that are used to help keep beauty stable. PEGs are also responsible for helping to bring bad chemicals into your skin. This includes the harmful ingredients they are often contaminated with.
“PEGs are typically followed by a number correlating to how many units of ethylene glycol they contain. The lower the number, the more easily the compound is absorbed into the skin.”
Pao suggests referring to this list of the most common PEGs when checking labels:
Given details like these, it’s no surprise women are increasingly interested in more natural and organic materials when they search for the best anti-aging skin care products. This segment accounts for more than one-third of the $9.6 billion natural and organic personal care industry, according to Nutrition Business Journal.
With this overall consumer interest in using all-natural anti-aging skin care products, we decided to focus on four categories: plant-based anti-aging skin care products, fragrance-free anti-aging skin care products, and organic anti-aging skin care products. Be aware that these categories are not absolute. Neither the FDA nor the USDA have standards or requirements for labeling a product natural or all-natural, according to Dermascope, the online encyclopedia of aesthetics and spa therapy. Pao, meanwhile, calls the organic label “a little thorny,” and also notes that “a product can claim to be fragrance-free and still have fragrance. It’s because the ingredient is classified as a masking agent to mask the odor of the base formula.”
Plants were the first sources of skin care and cosmetics. Tinctures of various plants can be traced back to at least the Middle Ages. Today, plant-based anti-aging skin care products are those created from plants (herbs, roots, flowers, fruits, leaves or seeds). Companies that create organic anti-aging skin care products also rely heavily on organically-grown plants. Here’s a sampling of companies that highlight “plant-based” when describing their own products:
Origins: Since its beginnings in the late ‘80s, Origins has “harnessed the power of plants to create high performance skincare.” The company has also, according to its website, devoted itself to caring for the planet in the manufacturing of its products. The company boasts that it created the first cosmetic recycling program, and it is committed to using renewable resources wherever possible. The company has forged a relationship with Dr. Andrew Weil, who has his own line of anti-aging products with Origins.
Juara Skincare: This company was founded by four women who combine treatments inspired by Jamu, an Indonesian herbal health tradition.
Fragrance-free anti-aging skin care products are exactly what they sound like: They have no fragrances at all. Or, at least that’s what they should do. Be aware, though, that this term is not backed by the FDA and therefore it is up to the manufacturer to decide what fragrance-free means.
Olay: Generations of women know the name Oil of Olay, but the company has evolved beyond this product to include hundreds of types of skin care options, including the some of the best anti-aging skin care products in the business.
Paula’s Choice Skincare: Paula Begoun built this skin care empire, which now includes 2.7 million copies of her books and countless TV appearances, including Oprah, The Today Show and Dr. Oz. Fragrance-free anti-aging skin care products are key to her company’s overall natural approach.
The following companies offer all-natural anti-aging skin care products.
Restorsea: The trademarked Vibransea complex, a naturally-derived skin care regimen based on Aquabeautine XL, is made from an enzyme found naturally when baby salmon escape their shells upon birth.
Suki Skincare: This eponymously named skin care company has products that are 100 percent natural and free of any synthetic ingredients, parabens, preservatives or genetically modified organisms, according to its website.
The following skin care companies focus on using organic products and practices while creating their best anti-aging skin care products.
Juice Beauty: Juice Beauty notes on its website that its organic anti-aging skin care products carry not one but three seals of authenticity—one regarding its use of organic products from the US Department of Agriculture; one from COPA, the California Organics Products Act, which is one of the more rigorous standards for organic products; and one noting that its products are certified gluten-free. A couple of products seemed particularly relevant for maturing women.
Tata Harper Skin Care: Tata Harper founded her company to “give the skincare industry a fresh start with highly effective and luxurious anti-aging beauty products that are completely free of synthetic and chemical ingredients.” Most of the ingredients the company uses to create its organic anti-aging skin care products are from its Vermont farm.
Please note: Some of these products offer a subscription option. Make sure you are ordering one product, and not a recurring order, if that is your preference.
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