Skin care can be a divisive subject. From couples fighting over enough bathroom cabinet space to fit all of their products in. To some of us wondering why on earth their favourite cleanser is disappearing faster than they’re using it. (We suggest looking at your partner, especially if their skin has been glowing lately…)
Some of us wonder why someone would spend hard earned cash on anything other than soap and a flannel. Whereas others might balk at the idea of going anywhere without their full arsenal of cleansers, exfoliators, toners, serums, day and night moisturisers and targeted extra skin care treatments collectively taking up their own suitcase.
But whatever we think and whatever we use, are there some absolute rules we should stick to when deciding what ingredients, products and brands to use on our skin?
What should we be looking for in skin care as a bare minimum, if we really care about the health and appearance of our skin? Here’s our top tips.
There are so many amazing and effective ingredients now available to skin care manufacturers. So that equals exciting times for us as skin care consumers!
When you’re on the hunt for skin care products, look for those that contain ingredients proven to do the things that you want from a skin care product.
That might be hydrating, exfoliating, nourishing, pore unblocking, plumping or minimising fine lines and wrinkles. There’s a cacophony of products available for all of these things, so do your homework (and see our final point on dedication and research below).
Or it might be that you’re looking for skin care that’s less cosmetic and more medical. Such as if you have acne prone skin, oily or dry skin or a skin condition such as rosacea. These are all skin types that can benefit from a little extra TLC and there are brands and products out there that can help you.
This one is more of a ‘what to avoid’ point rather than what to look for. There are many everyday irritants that can upset our skin. These may include our washing powders, cleaning products and even our jewellery.
But our skin care can also contain ingredients that can irritate the skin, such as harsh detergents, sodium lauryl sulphate, mineral oils, parabens, phthalates and artificial dyes and colourings.
All of these ingredients, in our opinion and that of other experts in the field, should be avoided when looking for skin care products that suit your skin. Especially so if you have particularly sensitive, stressed out or acne prone skin.
Also in the list of things that you may want to avoid is sunscreen. Perhaps sunscreens (or SPFs) are the most debated skin care ingredient and they certainly split opinions. Which is why we decided to leave sunscreens out of our range of skin care products.
We think it’s up to each one of us as individuals whether or not we use SPFs, so if you want to, you have the choice of adding a separate sunscreen to your skin care regime.
Cruelty free skin care
These days, it seems unthinkable that in decades past, creams, lotions, potions and even mascara and lipsticks were tested on animals. Like the message that smoking was “good for our health” or how casual racism and sexism were endemic in 1970s comedy programmes, there’s really no place for animal testing in today’s world.
Some skin care brands will display the Leaping Bunny Standard logo that means that they’ve been certified as containing no ingredients that have been ‘newly’ tested on animals.
In our article, What is Cruelty Free Skin Care, we go into detail about what ‘newly tested on animals’ means. But in a nutshell, most ingredients that we apply to our skin have, at some point in the past, been tested for their efficacy and their safety for use on human skin. Even water.
The point of the Leaping Bunny Standard is that a product can show that nothing in it has been tested since the EU banned animal testing for skin care and cosmetics in March 2013.
Since the testing of any ingredients or products on animals is now banned in the UK and the EU, we’ve made the decision not to become certified by Leaping Bunny. We don’t, never have and never will test on animals. And as we don’t sell our products in countries that insist on their products being animal tested, it’s never, ever a consideration for us.
However, there will still be some brands that sell in countries such as China, who might technically be cruelty free here in the UK. But somewhere in their manufacturing line, they will be testing in order to satisfy the laws of other countries they choose to sell in.
So always do your homework, and if a brand says nothing about being cruelty free or doesn't display the Leaping Bunny logo, you can choose to stay well clear.
Dedication and research
It’s not often these days that you’ll find a skin care brand that doesn’t have at least some kind of social media presence and more than likely, a website too. There’s limited space on the packaging that skin care products come in, and that means that there’s only so much they can tell you about their brand ethos.
And that’s where their website comes in. A slick, well designed website full of promises can mean one of two things - all talk (and marketing) and no action. Or a skin care brand that is so proud of what they do that they want to shout about it from the rooftops.
At Sönd we’re the latter. Natch. We’ve spent a lot of time and dedication working with skin care specialists and laboratories to produce products that truly work. And we love to tell you about that!
Our products contain medical grade ingredients that have been tried and tested on skin that’s contrary, stressed out, prone to acne, oiliness or dryness or that suffers with skin conditions such as rosacea and eczema.
Brands that put so much into their products might have a higher price tag, but we think your skin is completely worth it.
If you agree, then become our next big fan. One try of our products, and we know you’ll be hooked. And we know that because we use them ourselves. In fact, we developed them for ourselves. But once we realised we had such a fabulous range, we just had to share them with you!
This article is not meant to treat or diagnose. Please visit your doctor for advice about any health concerns you may have.