“Anti-Aging” Skincare Gets an Image Makeover
Even with the term “anti-aging” being promoted to shaming status, I’m still constantly seeking the safest, simplest solutions to ensure my skin reflects the brightest, healthiest version of myself at every age. As a beauty industry veteran, I know this means living an anti-inflammatory lifestyle and being exceptionally mindful about what I apply to my skin.
If the covid pandemic taught us anything about beauty it’s that when it comes to skincare, less is more. For decades, there have been conflicting opinions among experts about the long-term downside of some common cosmeceutical and OTC skincare ingredients. But once we started suffocating our skin under protective masks, it became all too obvious that we needed to rethink conventional wisdom.
We have come to understand that many of the harsh ingredients like irritating bleaches, acids, retinoids and granular scrubs, commonly used for clearing skin of breakouts, age spots and wrinkles, can result in low grade inflammation and disruption of skin’s healthy microbiome. Over time, such ingredients may actually accelerate the appearance of dulling signs of skin aging. Many industry experts now agree that the best solution for a radiant tomorrow is to tread lightly on your skin today. And that’s why we’re seeing so many more mineral-based alternatives in our skincare formulations.
Mineral-based ingredients are generally considered to be less sensitizing than plant-based ingredients in skincare. This is because minerals are inorganic and don’t contain proteins, enzymes or other active compounds that can cause skin irritations.
Calcium Sulfate for Your Face?
Calcium Sulfate, also known as Gypsum or Plaster of Paris, has found its way into some popular skincare applications. It is generally used to enhance the application and spreadability of a skincare formulation, but lately calcium sulfate is being added to skincare solutions for its ability to absorb excess oil and sebum, leaving skin feeling fresh and clean. In some products, calcium sulfate is added as a gentle exfoliant to help remove dead skin cells, promoting a more radiant complexion.
Cleanse your Face with Clay
For many years, I’ve been a big fan of kaolin clay for cleansing and have turned thousands on to its incredible detoxifying and skin refining benefits. Kaolin clay is also known for its soothing and calming effect on sensitive or irritated skin.
In full disclosure, it does take a little willingness to invest an extra two minutes for the optimal benefits of clay-based cleansing. That’s because when attempting to use kaolin clay as a creamy cleanser, it’s a bit like rinsing mud off your skin. However, if allowed just a couple minutes to dry, so many good things happen. Impurities are drawn from the pores, dead skin cells are gently lifted from the skin and the dry clay is easy to rinse, leaving skin silky smooth and radiant. Some products, like Solvasa's Golden Harmony Cleansing Mask, also contain additional ingredients like adaptogens and post-biotic lysates that have sufficient contact time to deliver additional benefits while the clay is drying on skin.
Crystals Come in Many Skincare Forms
What could be more romantic than using the love stone to love your skin? In the world of clean beauty, using crystal-based wands, rollers or gua sha stones provide an alternative to exposing skin to chemicals for benefits such as lymphatic drainage and muscle tension relief. But the minerals that make up a crystal can also be of benefit in formulated skincare products. Sodium silicate is a great example of this; it’s a safe and effective alternative to synthetic chemicals that helps to fill in lines and wrinkles.
Sodium silicate can be found in products like Solvasa’s Crystal Blue Smoothing Gel. The silicate particles in the gel self-assemble as crystals on the skin to immediately soften the appearance of lines and wrinkles and firm and flatten under-eye bags. The naturally brilliant blue gel is colorless on skin and can even be applied over makeup to freshen appearance as the day wears on.
Making Nature Work for Your Skin
With the trend towards more natural ingredients in beauty and particularly skincare, I often have to remind people that “natural” does not necessarily mean “safe.” Natural, plant-based products can provide a medium for bacterial contamination if not properly preserved and may be more likely to precipitate allergic reactions. But that’s not to say that plant-based products are not for you or that mineral-based products are always the best solution. Skincare ingredients have different effects on different people, so remember to patch test a little dab on the sensitive skin on your neck just below your ear before applying any new products to your face.
Start with a goal to support your future glow. Avoid exposing your skin to unnecessary inflammatory triggers. Add a little mindfulness to your skincare choices and experience the best that nature has to offer.