Skin-identical ingredients. Now that’s a skincare word that is ‘real’ sounding, plain English is always a good start ‘ey *wink wink*. Skin identical ingredients sound like a world full of promise, I mean that’s the best pal kinda skincare product right, opposites attract but it’s the similarities that keep you together. Today I thought we would get to the bottom of all that is skin-identical… should you be looking out for skin-identical ingredients, what are skin identical ingredients and what are skin identical ingredients especially good at i.e. are they your skin’s soul mate?
WHAT IS A SKIN IDENTICAL INGREDIENT?
You skin guru, you. You have properly sussed this out already. Skin identical ingredients are just that. Ingredients that are exactly identical to your skin. It’s like meeting your identical skin twin in a bottle. You could even fool your old high-school teachers by switching out for your skin twin on April fools!
A ‘skin-identical’ ingredient could only be called skin identical if it is naturally found in your skin. Skin identical ingredients work on the theory that skin ‘knows what it’s doing’. Skin is super GOOD at what it does, skin knows how to lock in moisture, skin knows how to make the BEST barrier to bacteria, viruses and anything else that fancies a challenge. Skin is your very own nature given raincoat, skin is your personal 24/7 on-call body guard, skin is just awesome. So with skin being so awesome ‘n all, maybe we have a thing or 2 to learn from IT!
If your skin is swinging either way from normal, and likes to flirt with the likes of ‘dry’ and ‘oily’, then the balance of these ‘skin-identical, naturally in your skin ingredients’ has taken a detour from optimal.
WHAT MAKES UP SKIN?
I bet your already one step-ahead of me! ‘These skin identical ingredients sound like something to look out for, so what is skin made from?’
The outer most layer of your skin, the one that keeps your skin hydrated is made up of 3 types of ingredients – Ceramides, Fatty acids and Cholesterol. These are the 3 ingredients that say ‘hey water, let’s hold onto you!’. These ingredients will help keep your skin looking bouncy, glowy and just full on radiant. #HolyMoly.
There are other skin identical ingredients, that are found more deeply within skin, after you get through the 3 ingredient barrier. These include ingredients like Hyaluronic acid, Glycerin, Lecithin and some pretty tongue-twister sciency sounding words.[If you want to get a tad more savvy about which KEY skincare ingredients are great for your skin type, grab a copy of my free skincare guide which will get you sorted on a top 3 for your skin.]
SKIN IDENTICAL INGREDIENTS – FATTY ACIDS
So how do we look out for these guys? The first group is the easiest. Fatty acids are found in all natural oils, butters and waxes. So take your pick, Shea butter, Apricot kernel oil, Borage oil, Flax seed oil, there are a ton of skin lovelies to choose from here! This is one reason why balm and oil cleansing is like a ‘bottle of sunshine’ for skin, it uses skin-identical ingredients to cleanse. That means after cleansing, skin is left softened, soothed, supple and most importantly with its natural makeup which allows it to stay hydrated and handcuffed to water!!
Creams containing Fatty acids: There are a HUGE amount. Facial oils are the ‘full dose’ of fatty acids, Trilogy has a good blend with this booster oil, although there is fragrance in there (which goes against the skin-identical ingredient theory, there is only a small amount, so if you do like fragrance and your skin is ok with that, then you’re fine on this one, sensitive skin types will want to avoid). Its super hard finding well balanced facial oils without fragrance (which is known to be an irritant and allergy promoting) but this Juno facial oil from Sunday Riley does well balanced AND fragrance free.
SNEAK-PEAK: I am working away on a fragrance free facial oil packed full of great fatty acids and antioxidant skin-identical ingredients which make a ‘beautiful skin’ treat. If you like the sound, then sign-up for the newsletter to hear more about this skin lover when its ready.
SKIN IDENTICAL INGREDIENTS – CERAMIDES
Ceramides are a great ingredient for improving the condition of skin. Healthy skin has a lotta these guys, totaling 50% in your skins protective layers. Ceramides are especially good for dry skin types. To seek out these guys in your skincare is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy, they have no covert name to hide behind, they are known as Ceramide, and they handily get a number, like ceramide-3. That is what they will be called in the ingredients list!
Creams containing ceramides: Elizabeth Arden has a whole range dedicated to ceramides. Eucerin also has a targeted dry skin cream with ceramides in the bottle! The Sanctuary have a unique take on a facial exfoliation with this leave on serum which also contains skin loving ceramides! Also First aid, have used ceramides in there Ultra repair cream, which also has the skin loving oatmeal which is oh so awesome for skin!
SKIN IDENTICAL INGREDIENTS – CHOLESTEROL
The third group is cholesterol. That sounds a tad scary ‘ey, that’s the stuff that can block-up blood vessels and cause all sorts of health-gone-wrong things. Well there are both good and bad types of cholesterol and this is one of the good kinds #Yay.
Creams containing cholesterol: No.7 have a couple including this ‘beautiful skin’ cream, it also has ceramides and fatty acids in, and Elizabeth Arden didn’t want to just stop at ceramides with this renewal cream which also contains cholesterol.
SKIN IDENTICAL INGREDIENTS ARE PERFECT FOR ALLERGY SUFFERERS
If you suffer from allergies or have sensitive skin, then your ‘skin-guard’ is on extra high alert. There isn’t anything sneaking through that is not supposed to be there! When you suffer from an allergy, your skin is reacting to an ‘intruder’, something it thinks shouldn’t be there. Turning my Grey’s Anatomy addiction into analogy, skin allergy is like the chance of your body rejecting an organ gifted by another person.
As much as you want to indulge in the super yummily fragranced face balm or skin tonic, your skin is telling you something different. This is a matter over mind kinda set-up, your skin just wants to be listened to and understood *wink wink*.
Using a cream that is full of skin identical ingredients, fool’s your ‘skin guard’. It’s like adding chocolate sauce to chocolate ice cream. Your skin is already awesome, you’re just letting more awesome through.
SKIN IDENTICAL INGREDIENTS ARE GREAT FOR DRY SKIN
Dry skin types will benefit HUGE amounts, I’m talking double portion with extra chocolate sprinkles on top amounts from skin identical ingredients. That is because the outer most layers of your skin, are compromised, the 3 ingredient barrier is ‘down’ and your waterproof jacket has some holes in it that need help! The absolute cherry on-top is that creams don’t have to try too hard to treat the outer most layer of your skin. So when you pick a skin identical cream active for your dry skin, you can be pretty darn certain it’s getting to where it needs to be #Hooray.
Do you watch out for skin identical ingredients?
Cheryl Woodman is a scientist & award winning skincare formulator who’s more friend next door than bow tie wearing professor. As creator of Honesty For Your Skin her aim is to help you care for your skin in the best ways possible. She’s founder of the natural & fragrance free skincare brand Honesty while also hosting 1 to 1 skincare coaching to help you get your best skin yet. Find out more here.