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Designer Cosmetic Ingredients: Natural or Not?

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Cosmetic Ingredients Have Gone Designer. What You Need to Know

Chemical terms. Latin names. Now designer cosmetic ingredients? How are we supposed to decipher the ever-changing (and confusing) terrain of beauty product ingredient listings?

It can be difficult to translate ingredient listings of cosmetics and personal care products. You may be good at identifying ingredients that are toxic and even some mysterious sounding natural ingredients, but it's not always easy. Especially when designer cosmetic ingredients are making an appearance in a big way, taking ingredient listing decoding to a new level. How are you supposed to know if an ingredient is safe if you can’t even tell what it is?

Some cosmetics manufacturers have started coming up with their own version of ingredients as a way to provide better beauty results, either by combining two or more ingredients, or altering an existing ingredient. This practice is being done with both natural and synthetic ingredients. The first problem you run into with these shiny new guys? It is tough to know what the heck they are. Sure, some brands give an explanation on their website. Most? Not so much.

And these new ingredients are cropping up like crazy. Allure magazine recently featured an entire section on “breakthrough” beauty products, many of which contain souped-up ingredients. Super charged cell-sloughing fruit enzymes, compounded bacteria-murdering molecules, oil-inhibiting offshoots, synthesized snail venom. Yes, for real.

The products that contain these crazy sounding stuffs come with consumer reviews that would impress any skeptic. I admit to looking each up myself. Who wouldn’t want better-than-botox in a bottle or to zap zits irritation-free? How much can one little synthetic ingredient hurt for results like these?

When you get a look at all of the other not at all natural ingredients packed into these products, your mind changes in a heartbeat. Just another toxic concoction with a shiny new ingredient and mad marketing team.

What about new and improved natural ingredients? Are there any and are they safe?

I recently spoke with Michele Periquet co-founder of Reset Yourself. Along with hair analysis, Reset Yourself offers skincare with some unusual suspects for ingredients. Here are Michele’s definitions of these not so common ingredients:

SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE: Naturally occurring enzyme; eliminates oxygen free radicals caused by UV radiation and environmental stress.

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From the Organic Authority Files

FULLERSOMES: Class of carbon molecules characterized by its icosahedron structure; absorbs and eliminates free radicals such as ROS; detoxifies.

SPIN TRAP: A highly active oxygen/nitrogen complex; reacts with damaging free radicals to form more stable adducts; reduces inflammatory response by impacting signal transduction pathways that can lead to damaging inflammation.

L-PROLINE : An amino acid with moisturizing and moisture retention properties; improves skin texture and aids collagen formation; repairs damaged tissue; promotes health of connective tissue.

L-GLUTATHIONE: Tripeptide (glutamic acid, cysteine, glycine); antioxidant; plays major role in cellular detoxification; assists in cellular respiration; anti-inflammatory; collagen boosting.

Michele also noted that Reset Yourself only uses non-toxic ingredients to create skincare free of parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulfate and aluminum, and is not tested on animals.

How do you feel about designer cosmetic ingredients? Eager to try or sticking with the tried and true?

Related on Organic Authority

Gluten Free Beauty: Marketing Gimmick or the Real Thing?

The 8 All-Time Worst Beauty Products Ingredients

“Unscented” Body Care Products Full of Fragrance (and Lies, Apparently)

Image of pretty scientist via Shutterstock

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