Skincare does not escape the ‘aging process’, doh! But that’s somehow comforting right, everything ages and like we can be proud of our life journey told on our skin, skincare can also be proud because by aging it means there is a lot of ‘active’ stuff in there. So how do we know when its active and when it’s not, and how can we wrap our skincare up in ‘cotton-wool’ so its active juices are used up on our skin and not in the bottle?
WHAT MAKES SKINCARE LESS EFFECTIVE
First lovelies let’s talk about how skincare can age and become less effective. It helps to think of skincare like FOOD. [The cosmetic regulators will take a GASP when reading this… as there are strict ‘do not make your cosmetic look like a food’ guidelines to developing skincare products and pretty much any other kind of product that isn’t a food – sorry guys, my readers just need this!].
Think of a carrot, it spends most of its life ‘below ground’, then it sprouts to its BEST and it’s time for it to mature in its life path to ending up on our dinner plate! From the moment that carrot is ‘MADE’ or in best, ripened and vitamin packed state, it is starting to age. Food companies will try to SLOW the aging by picking them a bit un-ripe, by transporting them to your dinner plates in cold, cold trucks and by keeping them out of sunlight. When the ‘I went for a tan and came back a bit orange’ carrot reaches your home, it’s time to put it in the fridge and schedule-in its performance time on your dinner list before it becomes a bendy or mushy mess. That’s the time all the things that make a carrot good for you, have gone a bit wrong and it is so definitely PAST its best-by date!
Skincare is exactly the same, it’s the carrots sister. Its aging actually starts well before the lotion, serum or butter is made, as all its ‘individual’ ingredients need to be picked and ‘made’. That’s the moment it starts aging. Aging means less active and less goodness for your skin. Thankfully there are SUPER effective ways to help your skincare last LONGER!
SOME SKINCARE DOESNT REALLY AGE – BECAUSE IT’S NOT ACTIVE
There are some skincare products that don’t really age and can just go on and on for a pretty long time. Kinda like dried fruit. Dried fruit tastes YUMMY (I’m about to burst a bubble) because its FULL of sugar, that’s also what keeps it ‘GOOD’ for ages longer than fresh fruit, high sugar is a preservative. Most of the good vitamins aren’t there anymore as they go-off pretty quick. Skincare that doesn’t really age is like the skin form of a dried fruit.
When it comes to skincare that doesn’t really GO-OFF, you are looking at creams which don’t really have ‘active’ ingredients in them. Mostly this will be BARRIER forming creams which like to hang-out on the VERY surface layers of your skin and stop it from losing water (that’s called occlusive moisturisation). Their job is to just ‘be’, they don’t really interact with ANYTHING, that includes your skin, heat ‘n the air.
The skincare you don’t need to be worried about will mostly be skincare HIGH in mineral oils, paraffin’s, beeswax and silicones.
WHICH SKINCARE SHOULD YOU BE SUPER CAREFUL WITH TO MAKE SURE IT STAYS ACTIVE?
Active skincare is the ‘Jewel’ that sits on-top of our skincare regimes. It’s the bit that is going to MAKE a significant difference to the quality and appearance of our skin. There are 2 main types of ingredients that are going to go-off and are like little ‘alerts’ that the cream/serum/oil needs SPECIAL love and attention.
Natural and precious oils. The more active oils are ones that contain a lot of something called Linoleic acid, this is a really YUMMY ingredient for skin that is PROVEN to improve the quality of skin. These more ACTIVE oils have lots of extra hands to reach out to your skin with and get its bonding and interacting ON with your skin. Those hands can ALSO do lots of interacting with other things like light, heat and air. Here is a trusty pinable of HIGH linoleic acid oils. They are guys like Hemp seed, Rosehip and Evening primrose – but grab a peek at the pinable list to get a good gander of precious oils that need love and attention.
Related: AND did you know eating a diet in Linoleic acid makes skin ALL healthy! ‘How to eat your way to super healthy and radiant skin’
Just plain old ‘natural’ being on the pack. Natural ingredients age like natural anything, food, skin, cotton clothes! Synthetics or petrochemical derivatives are stable like a plastic bag or piece of chewing gum would hang around. Protect your naturals!
Vitamins, like A, C and E. Vitamins are sensitive little beings, that need a LOT of love, care and attention, any cream with these in, needs to be carefully cared for. These guys will be the FIRST thing in your cream that any ‘killing’ forces will get to work on. Sometimes in the case of vitamin E, that is actually IN the cream FOR that reason, it’s the ‘first line of defence’ for the other natural oils in there, it gets attacked and helps preserve your other oil lovelies. Thing Is vitamin E is also a great protector (anti-oxidant) for your skin, so protect it and it’ll do that on your face, not in the bottle. #HappinessAllAround!
4 WAYS TO HELP SKINCARE STAY ACTIVE FOR LONGER
1. If skincare comes in a box, keep it. Its easy to overlook the box as functional because it’s just SOO pretty looking. That trusty box will keep light out of your products way. That means it won’t ‘fade-out’ the active lovelies in your bottle. No light = a much more active product and for longer.
2. Keep skincare products away from sunlight. If your bathroom is windowless then you are onto a winner store for your skincare. Natural light is way, way intense, the artificial kind from a light bulb is NOT. You can tell that because you don’t get a ‘tan’ from a normal household lightbulb, that means it’s just not the damaging kinda light. If you do have windows in your bathroom, don’t put product on the window-sill, keep it out of ‘direct’ sunlight. Products in brown bottles (think Aesop), or ones where you can’t see the product are sure-ways to help stop light attacking your actives.
3. Keep skincare products away from heat. Heat makes things age because it’s basically like putting something in a low temperature oven but for longer. Like when you burn sausages to a crisp and it turns whatever nutrients used to be there into black charcoal carbon. Putting skincare in HOT places is like slowly cooking away its active ingredients. The KEY is to keep products out of windows #Number2and3 #2Birds1Stone. So If you get ready in the morning in front of a window, just make sure the skincare magic, goes back away into a draw. Beware of where the hair dryer points, don’t keep skincare near hot taps and if your bathroom gets super-hot and steamy, then try and move skincare to somewhere coolest in the bathroom.
4. Keep lids on and sealed. Air might be what keeps US living, but its also what kills off the active ingredients in your skincare. Less air means MORE active goodness #YESyesyes. The BEST kinda skincare products are the ones with no lid, they are locked away from the worries of being left exposed to their ‘Kryptonite’, pump type creams, or tubes are winners and products with a removable lid, like a tub are like a knight out without his shining armour!
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN A SKINCARE PRODUCT IS ‘DEAD’ AND SPECIAL INGREDIENTS ARE NO LONGER ACTIVE
It’s going to be pretty super hard to tell without some high tech gizmos and potentially a laboratory in your own home. That’s because a lot of ingredients can ‘die’ without screaming, they just change into something else which is still safe for your skin but not ‘active’ in the promised way. This is why keeping to the 4 tips above will be keep your skin awesome! BUT if any of these 3 things happen below – chuck away and quick…
1. It smells like ‘crayons’ or just a bit different. Natural oils packed with super yummy Linoleic fatty acids for skin will go off, it’s just about time, when they DO, they will make somethings that don’t smell too good. If your product is fragranced anyways this can cover up the smell, if they aren’t this will be much more noticeable.
2. It goes a bit more yellow. Yellow is the colour of cream age. It doesn’t get wrinkles it just seems to get Jaundice! Have you ever squeezed out a tube of cream and got a little mess left on the cap or around the squirty hole? Do you remember seeing that residue stuff a while later and it being probably a bit crispy and much, MUCH yellower? That’s the same kinda colour you want to look out for in your cream.
3. It stops working OR suddenly has a BAD effect on skin. Sometimes this will be hard to tell as a LOT of skincare is preventative, that means its super hard to tell if its having an effect without having an identical twin who is NOT using your special skincare magic. That’s again why you should absolutely follow the 4 rules to keep your skincare in tip-top, skin loving condition! If you do notice that it used to be really good at stopping you getting skin flakes, but now ISN’T, or used to work great with your sensitive or spot prone skin but now… you guessed it DOESN’T, then bin it!