Why there is no such thing as a mega cream?
Skin care usually sold as a one size fits all, or a “one is all you need” type of product. As if any one cream could possibly be for every one’s skin. Boy do we wish that were true! The truth is, your skin changes every single day. Yep you heard right. Every. Single. Day.
You don’t eat the same food every single day because your body might need something different depending on how much sleep you got, how much water you drank, how much alcohol you partook, how much exercise you didn’t get, etc.. It’s the same with your skin. It is constantly shifting, changing, aging, drying out, replenishing, healing wounds, rebuilding, darkening, lightening, repairing sun damage, filtering out pollution, replacing skin cells, kicking out dead ones, and a zillion other tasks we don’t give it credit for. How could we possibly think one product, even a great one, would be all it needs to be at its healthiest?
Active ingredients such as Vitamin C or retinols can be damaging if used everyday and if they are in your only moisturizer the you are stuck with it everyday. And you don’t wear sunblock if you are staying in all weekend. But your moisturizer has sunblock in it you say? Then for sure it has less of the moisturizing ingredients.
From the oldest spas in Europe, to the secret beauty rituals of Asia, where taking care of one’s skin is an art passed down for generations, no one would ever dream of using an all-in-one product. It is a strictly American trend where we prize quick and convenience over everything else. There is only so much room in one product, so if you want efficacious amounts of vitamins and moisturizing, you cannot fit in the sunblock. If you want a sunblock, you have to take away a lot of oils or butters that make it moisturizing. I did not fully appreciate this until I went back to school for advanced cosmetic science. But I get it now… If you want the best products filled with enough active ingredients to actually work, you must use a fully effective toner, separate moisturizer, and separate sunblock. Anything else and you are not getting beneficial amounts of anything. Period. You are just getting a bit of this and a bit of that, which makes for a very average at best product.
The last reason there can never be a mega cream, is because all ingredients work with different preservatives and surfactants. Formulation design is a complicated process, and not a matter of throwing every ingredient you ever wanted into one bowl and mixing it up. That would be easy. But your cream wouldn’t work. Some ingredients are more sensitive than others and need different temperatures and pH to activate.
We design formulas to work at different layers of the skin as well, and some ingredients target the surface while others are able to penetrate to a lower layer. This knowledge is what is missing from the DIY blogs with recipes to make your own. When a professional formulator reads those blogs, they can’t believe how much misinformation is out there, but that is a topic for another article.
We pay a doctor for their knowledge because we didn’t study medicine like they did. Yet we think we can design skin care products as good as professionals who study cosmetic science for years. People are under the impression that you can make just as good skin care at home. You can, but only if you studied formulation design or are well versed enough in the science. Otherwise you are just throwing a bunch of ingredients in a bowl and mixing it up.
In a future article I will share a formula for well designed skin care products you can make at home and you will see the difference between them and the DIY blogger recipes that don't understand the science.
xo, Jacci & Laura