Skin Science

Have you ever looked at the ingredients list on the back of a bottle of body wash or skin cream and wondered what on earth all of those scarily complicated-looking things could be? Or read about anti-oxidants and free radicals without understanding exactly what they are?

Salma Chaudhry certainly did when she began to research what went into the products she used daily on her skin.
To help you navigate the overwhelmingly complicated and sometimes murky world of skin science, we have compiled a short and straight forward glossary of the things that you should look out for when making skincare decisions – and those you should avoid!

Skin Science

Parabens – such as Methylparaben, Ethylparaben and Butylparaben – have been used as preservatives in cosmetics for many years and have been considered to be safe as they were thought to be non-toxic. However, in recent years many studies have surfaced questioning the safety of this family of chemical compounds.

One of the largest areas of concern is the apparent link between breast cancer and the use of parabens. A study identified that parabens were found in the majority of breast tumours examined. A Japanese study also linked parabens with premature ageing of the skin.

Parabens are used in many bodycare products that we use on a daily basis, even though tests have indicated that their use can cause problems for male and female reproductive organs by mimicking oestrogen production. At Halal Cosmetics Company we don’t like parabens and think they have the potential to cause harm, so we have left them out of our products.

According to the Environmental Working Group, Sulphates such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) have shown links to

  • Irritation of the skin and eyes
  • Organ toxicity
  • Developmental / reproductive toxicity
  • Possible cell mutations that can cause cancer

Sulphates have also been shown to have the potential to cause dryness and to promote irritation by sensitising the skin. We have left these chemicals at the door quite simply because they cause more harm than good.

Have you ever wondered what makes your skin prone to ageing? Or why your sister has such different skin to you?

Well, the truth is that there are no definitive answers in skin science – it’s a complicated and ever evolving area of research, influenced by a great many things other than simply our genetic make-up. What is known, however, is that there are there are a number of factors that can contribute to premature ageing and dull, lacklustre skin.

Quite surprisingly the main culprit and cause of premature ageing is the very fact that we are alive in the present age. The very act of breathing, eating, smoking or living in a city or town can subject skin to a variety of environmental damage – which, of course, differs from person to person. The daily exposure to UVA and UVB radiation from the sun also has a dramatic effect on our skin.

All of these factors create a daily rampage of ‘free radicals’ that attack cell membranes and collagen fibres, leading to unhealthy, lifeless skin.So what are free-radicals then? Well, without going into too much detail, free radicals are molecules with unpaired electrons. In their quest to find another electron, they will rob any molecule to quench their need and, at a cellular level, this is what causes the damage.

Antioxidants are vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that protect and repair the body’s cells from the damage that can be caused by free radicals by inhibiting the oxidisation process.

Astaxanthin is an antioxidant. It is one of a type of naturally occurring pigments called carotenoids (beta-carotene is another).You can learn more about Astaxanthin and how we use it by clicking here