Top 10 Skin Care Products for Soft & Safe Skin in the World 2012

7:26 AM KrazY Blogger 0 Comments

Parabens extend shelf life and improve a product's stability, and if you start reading labels, you'll realize they are pervasive in skin care products under a variety of names all ending with 'ben'.

The Environmental Working Group finds parabens linked to organ system toxicity, reproductive and fertility problems, birth and developmental defects, and endocrine (hormone) disruption.

These days a new crop of skin care lines have taken care to find alternatives to parabens for keeping cleansers and creams shelf-stable or using no preservatives. Take a look at these new choices, then start to clear your cabinet shelves and shower stalls of paraben-laced skin products.

10. Paraben-Free at the Pump
dr bronners shikakai pump soaps
If a pump-based soap is a necessity, options do exist. Unlike many of the other liquid soaps available, Dr. Bronner's new formulations of its Shikakai line of pump soaps contain no preservatives of any kind, and no synthetic detergents.

Shikakai is a seed pod from a South Asian tree and (similar to soap nuts) has been used as a cleanser for centuries.

Dr. Bronner's uses their castile soap base and mixes in shikakai from organic sugar and grape juice.

The 12-ounce bottle is not inexpensive, is mild, and lasts for ages. Available in lavender, peppermint, tea trea, lemon-grass lime, and a formula for babies. (Dr. Bronner's Magic Skikakai Soap, 12 oz. bottle $8.99)

9.The Art of Cleansing

Tiny Karen's Botanicals is one of the few skin care companies around that doesn't want to get bigger. Karen Palcho created the line as an outgrowth of her love of creating herbal concoctions -- she quickly realized that the need for the 'gentlest, safest' products possible was great, and her customer base has grown these past seven years.

Gentle Cleansing Lotion is one of the company's best-sellers, as it is completely soap free, using a base of witch hazel, vegetable glycerin (not all glycerin is vegetarian) and coconut oil.

While Karen's Botanicals has had offers to feature their products in drug stores, the company decided it did not want to change its formulas to include the preservatives that would be necessary for widespread distribution and mass marketing.

Thus Gentle Cleansing Lotion has soothing balm of Gilead buds, burdock, and sage, but no preservatives, and can be used for makeup removal. (Karen's Botanicals Gentle Cleansing Lotion, 8 oz. bottle $18)

8.Safe Sanitizing
If you have kids, you get sicker, more often – it's the reason an absolute mania for hand sanitizers has spread over Americans in the last few years.

And then, of course, there was a bit of a sanitizer backlash – studies showing that hand sanitizers don't work in stopping the spread of disease, and may even cause more infections with sicknesses such as rotovirus.

It seems like part of the problem might be with the alcohol in most sanitizers. There's a theory that overuse of sanitizers (versus vigorous hand-washing with soap and water) is leaving spores on the skin. In addition, those wall-mounted name-brand sanitizers are likely to have irritation-causing fragrances and parabens.

Loving Naturals has a purse-friendly sanitizer that taps the powerful anti-microbial action of oregano oil as its active ingredient. For My Kids is another option, though it does contain some alcohol in its witch hazel base. (Loving Naturals Hand Sanitizer , 2 oz. spray bottle $4.99)

7.It's In the Eyes
When in comes to makeup removal, your cleanser should do double-duty (and Karen's Botanicals definitely will)...except for in the sensitive eye area.

If you don't want parabens on your skin you certainly don't want them in your eyes -- studies by the Centers for Disease Control have found 90% of Americans have parabens in their body, and another study showed nearly all women with breast cancer had parabens in their breast tissues.

That seems like a good reason to pare them away where possible.

In chemical-free eye makeup removal, there seem to be two ways to go to remove mascara, liners, and powders -- with a light oil like jojoba, the base of Face Naturals Organic Eye Makeup Remover, or with more of a water base, like Be Natural Organics. (Face Naturals Organic Eye Makeup Remover: , 1 oz. pump bottle $16.95); (Be Natural Organics Makeup Remover, 6 oz. bottle $18.00)

6.Butters Are Better
Once you've cleansed, you moisturize, and there are e two camps with moisturizing -- the thick, and the thin.

In the thick camp is an option such as SheAyurvedics, with its range of shea butter-based creams. Deja's View Rose and Neroli moisturizer is quite thick and best applied to damp skin with clean hands.

Because SheAyurvedics doesn't add any water to their cream formulas, you could never squirt them from a pump. On the other hand, as Cheryl Cunningham of the company puts it, "[Water] can make the product lighter, and smoother in some cases, but what do you really have left when you take those additives away?"

Serious vegans can order a version of the product minus the honey. (Deja's Vu Rose and Neroli, 4 oz. jar $15)

5.Just Good Moisturizer
If you want a fluid, thinner feeling in your daily moisturizer but without too many ingredients and minus the parabens, Just the Goods Facial Moisturizer may be the answer.

Vegan and without artificial flavors or fragrances, Just the Goods also tries to balance the benefits of the oils and ingredients used with an eye to affordability.

So Just the Goods combines avocado oil and apricot kernel oil in a base of aloe vera. It's also a good formula for skin that might be sensitive or allergic to botanical ingredients.

Created in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Just the Goods products are in simple HDPE bottles, with a glass option available. (Vegan Daily Moisturizer, $10.35 for an approximately 4 oz. bottle)

4.Anti-Aging Serums
It no longer seems to be enough to moisturize – serums are the supposed key to age-defying skin.

The number of anti-aging serums on the market is truly bewildering.

Aside from knowing that a serum would be better off without parabens or other synthetic preservatives, what should a person look for? Well, Consumer Reports determined, after a six-week test and the use of a high-resolution digital camera, that serums results are...underwhelming.

In fact, most dermatologists seem to agree that serums don't necessarily do more than regular moisturizer.

Yet if you are still determined to fight aging with a bottle, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C are believed to have anti-aging properties. You can have those both in Marie Veronique's Anti-Wrinkle Serum, but you will pay for the privilege. (Marie Veronique Anti-Wrinkle Serum, 1 oz. bottle $140)

3.Acne Control
What if, instead of fighting wrinkles, you want to fight instead the type of acne that can plague adults as well as teens?

Leslie McCann, who founded skincare company My Mama's Love, says that the first step is to forget the myth that oil on troubled skin exacerbates acne.

McCann believes that petroleum-based mineral oils are bad for skin, but that oils derived from plants are beneficial to the skin and have healing effects.

The Anti-Acne kit from My Mama's Love includes an olive-oil soap with organic licorice, myrrh, and chlorella; the salves has most of the same ingredients in a glycerin base; and a soothing spray has distilled vinegar and organic herbs.

Paraben and preservative-free, the Anti-Acne kits is also considered soothing for eczema and psoriasis. Videsante also has an anti-acne line, as does Marie Veronique. (Anti-Acne Kit, $25 for 4 oz. soap 4 oz. soothing spray; 1.7 oz salve)

2. Lightening and Brightening
Products to fade dark spots and even out skin discolorations, or to lighten and brighten skin are popular, yet the category seems to be one with more than its fair share of dubious formulations.

Hydraquinone and BHA seem to be the problematic ingredients in some skin lighteners because of their links to cancer, endocrine and developmental disruption, as well as what the Environmental Working Group labels "organ toxicity."

Frequently, formulations that don't score well at the EWG Skin Deep database also contain not one but many different forms of parabens.

There are products to even and lighten skin that do not contain any of these, and Derma E is one company offering a new, complete line of skin care that aims to work on dark spots and discoloration using madonna lily, bearberry, vitamin C, and niacinamide. (Evenly Radiant cleanser, toner, moisturizers, various prices: currently only available at Whole Foods)

1.Start with Soap
While we've all grown fond of pump-based soap products, these are the most likely place for parabens to lurk. You can go back to the bar -- a beautiful bar such as Portland, Oregon-based Camamu's Star soaps made from olive, coconut, palm, and avocado oils, (vegan!) and colored with organic safflower petals and organic dried mint. (Camamu Star Soaps, $5 each)