The world of skincare can be a complicated place. It seems there’s always a new miracle ingredient claiming to be the answer to all your skincare woes – it’s hard keeping up! At Pure Shave, we make it our business to keep our ear to the ground and stay atop of the latest news. Why? Because quality, natural ingredients are at the heart of our business.
So, we’re rounding up the good, the bad and the ugly of the skincare world and sharing the lineup with you, wonderful readers. Without further ado, here are the key ingredients to look out for in 2021.
Forget the latest fads, the best ingredients in skincare are the ones that have survived the test of time. These are three of our favourites, just as good in 2021 as they were in 1221.
Sweet Almond Oil
You can’t beat a classic. Sweet Almond Oil has been used for centuries to treat dry skin, including conditions including eczema and psoriasis. In ancient Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, it was used to reduce scarring and swelling, long before we had terms like “anti-inflammatory” to explain its actions. Today, Sweet Almond Oil is a fantastic skincare ingredient for even the most sensitive skin, improving skin tone and complexion while reducing redness.
We really can’t shout about Vitamin E enough; it’s such a brilliant ingredient for your skin’s health. Not only does Vitamin E help your cells regenerate, but it also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. When used in skincare, it reduces redness, nourishes the skin, locks in moisture and has anti-ageing benefits. We’ve been using Vitamin E in Pure Shave Shaving Cream since day one and have seen firsthand how it can transform even the most irritated skin.
Although it can clog your pores if used alone, your skin can significantly benefit from coconut oil when it’s combined with other ingredients in a product. It is rich in healthy fatty acids, particularly lauric acid, which is antimicrobial and may help acne-prone skin by killing surface bacteria. However, the most popular reason for including coconut oil in skincare products is its excellent moisturising properties, even in the driest conditions. Whether you suffer from dry, oily, sensitive or inflamed skin, coconut oil is a great ingredient to consider.
Here are some of the not-so-nice products you’re likely to find in many of your favourite skincare products, and why you might want to clear them out for the year ahead.
We all love a good fragrance, but there’s a time and a place. The delicate skin on your face is definitely not that place. Why do so many manufacturers add fragrance to their products? Great question! There was a time when rose-scented creams were all the rage, but us modern folk have moved on since then. There really is no good reason to scent skincare products.
Scarily, the ingredients that make up any “fragrance” are also considered to be a trade secret, meaning that companies don’t have to disclose what’s inside. What might be lurking inside that floral moisturiser in your bathroom cabinet?
Alcohol in skincare can be a confusing topic; it’s not as easy as saying you should avoid it. In fact, there is a wide range of different alcohols, some of which are beneficial for the skin.
The worst offenders in skincare are ethanol, isopropanol, and propanol, which are “denatured alcohols” that can dry and irritate the skin. When used in high qualities, these alcohols, which you can find in many cleansers, toners and soaps, can damage your skin’s natural barrier and make it difficult to retain moisture.
However, fatty alcohols such as stearyl, cetearyl and cetyl are emulsifiers, binding oil and water together – this makes them ideal for use in moisturisers.
Concentrated Vitamin A
Are you surprised to see this one on our list? Vitamin A has long been heralded as a must-have skincare ingredient, particularly for acne-prone skin. However, when concentrated, it should be used with caution. Recent studies into the potential harm of Vitamin A toxicity have led to many organisations calling for Vitamin A to be withdrawn from cosmetics. Many organisations within Europe, such as the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung), have recommended that Vitamin A be restricted in products for the face and hands and should not be used at all on the lips or body.
If you thought those last ingredients were best avoided, these next few will have you running for the hills. Here are our top “avoid at all costs” skincare ingredients.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
SLS and SLES are found in many products in the average home. Expect to see them in your washing up liquid, laundry detergent and the stuff you clean your car with. You might also be surprised to find SLS or SLES in your shampoo, body wash and shaving cream. As a surfactant, SLS and SLES make liquid foamy and help to remove dirt and grease; however, that stripping action is far too harsh on our skin, causing irritation and triggering allergies.
Formaldehyde is naturally present in minimal amounts in our body, but it may increase the risk of certain cancers if we’re exposed to it in higher concentrations. Scarily, it has also been found that formaldehyde absorbs easily through our skin. Despite Public Health England naming formaldehyde as a carcinogen, it continues to be used in a range of products, including body wash, shaving cream and shampoo.
Parabens are a family of chemicals (ethylparaben, methylparaben, butylparaben and propylparaben) that extend the shelf-life of products, similar to formaldehyde. The main concern about the use of parabens is that they have been linked to hormone disruption. Parabens mimic oestrogen in the body, changing our hormone balance and increasing breast cancer risk. Parabens are used widely in skincare, from cleansers and makeup to body lotions and face creams.
Knowing how important skin health is to us, you won’t be surprised to learn that you can find all of the “good” ingredients in Pure Shave products (and none of the nasties). Our skincare range has been designed to be kind to your skin, and to the planet, so you can look good and feel great about your daily regime – it’s the Pure Shave way.