Cosmetic manufacturers spend billions of dollars developing newer and better products. They also spend billions of dollars promoting these products to people who are told they need them. And indeed it seems consumers have come to believe this, judging by the huge sums of money that are now spent on cosmetic products. Not only that, but people it seems are only too willing to believe cosmetic companies who claim that at long last a great breakthrough has occurred. All major developments in skin treatment, however, come from dermatological circles. These advances are later incorporated where possible by cosmetic companies and are marketed aggressively to the general public.The big breakthrough of the 1970s and 1980s was the use of Retin-A as an anti-ageing preparation. There is no doubt that Retin-A is effective for protection against and treatment for photoageing. Retin-A, however, makes the skin more sensitive, so many cosmetic companies have developed new ‘Retin-A compatible’ products. Some companies are incorporating a Retin-A derivative, called Retinal, into their products. Retinal is weaker and less effective than Retin-A, however, and you are likely to pay a lot more for it.The most important trend in cosmetics this decade is the use of sunscreen chemicals in moisturizers and foundations, since it has been conclusively demonstrated that regular use of broad spectrum sunscreens will prevent photoageing of the skin. Although incorporating sunscreens into cosmetics is a logical step, for some reason cosmetic manufacturers have chosen cinnamate as their sunscreen. Cinnamate is a weak sunscreen which blocks out only ultraviolet В light, and is not as good as much cheaper sunscreens which contain butyl methoxydibenzoyl methane and titanium dioxide.There is also a trend towards using ‘natural’ ingredients in cosmetics. Some natural ingredients, such as silicone, are useful, but others, such as allantoin and aloe vera, have no proven benefit. Anti-oxidants are also increasingly being incorporated into cosmetics. These apparently ‘mop up’ free radicals which are thought to be responsible for skin damage. Whether or not anti-oxidants are useful is not known, however they are a useful marketing strategy.Cosmetic manufacturers have also begun to produce creams for different regions of the face. You can now buy a special cream for your cheeks, another for your eyes, another for your nose, another for your mouth and still another for your throat. There is no proven value in such a regime, except to cosmetic companies who sell you five or six creams instead of one or two.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, May 29th, 2011 at 3:18 pm and is filed under Skin Care. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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