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Seven things skin care companies don’t want you to know. I couldn’t believe #5!

I am getting SO GOOD at writing these attention grabbing headlines, aren’t I? I could teach classes. Anyway…

I’m not a big TV watcher and I’ve long since given up reading beauty magazines. A few years ago I made a New Year’s resolution not to spend any more time on things that don’t contribute to my well-being. But recently, the TV was on and I heard a skin care company telling me that their cream would “reverse cellular DNA damage.” BULLPOOP. (I saw Book of Mormon recently and the word BULLPOOP was my favorite takeaway).

I’m not trying to be negative. I’m really not. I just believe that the marketing coming out of skin care companies is so unbelievably out of control; somebody’s got to do something about it. And who’s it gonna be? Your dermatologist? Who also sells skin care? Seems like a bit of a conflict of interest to me. The FDA’s been jumping in lately with warning letters to a lot of companies. (Which has sparked a bunch of lawyers to initiate class action lawsuits. So there’s that.)

Enter Milagro.

We’re not here to tell you what kind of skin care to use. We’re here to help you understand enough about how your skin works and how products are formulated to make a decision for yourself, based on your priorities and your life. Easy enough, right? That’s what we thought. But in the last year, we’ve been pretty shocked by the things people believe.

Turns out the billions of dollars spent on marketing by the beauty industry are pretty darn effective. Let’s be honest. Skin care is 100% marketing. And they’ve done this amazing job of selling us products that make us need more products. I’m not a big conspiracy theory gal in general, but the skin care market is self-perpetuating. Which brings us to our list. Here are seven things skin care companies are betting you don’t know:

1. “Skin care” products lead to the need for more “skin care” products. I use quotes because these products are not actually caring for your skin. In fact, many skin problems would be alleviated if we would stop trying to “care” for our skin so much. Nearly everything we put on our skin disrupts its own functions. Which leads to skin troubles. Which leads to more product purchases.

2. Your skin likes to keep water and oil separate. If I were to boil down how your skin works into one simple phrase, it would be this: water underneath, oil on top. Your body is made up of a lot of water and so are the deeper layers of your skin. The top layer is made up of dead cells covered in oil (actually, more like wax) to make a semi-waterproof barrier (read more about this amazing feat HERE.) “Skin care” products of every kind (cleansers and “moisturizers”) use chemical reactions (emulsifiers & surfactants) to mix oil and water (which obviously don’t mix naturally).

3. Your skin uses oil (lipids) to hold moisturize in. This is apparently a completely foreign concept judging by the looks we get when we suggest using oils & butters as moisturizers. I know, I know – we’ve been absolutely indoctrinated with “oil free!” (which actually usually only refers to mineral oil anyway) But if you want to reinforce or enhance your skin’s barrier, maybe try mimicking what your skin does naturally.

4. Applying water based “moisturizers” isn’t very moisturizing. If you are applying a lotion to moisturize dry skin and its first ingredient is water, you are further drying out your skin AND messing with your natural barrier. This is why you have to constantly reapply and, coincidentally, buy more lotion! Rubbing a watery lotion onto your skin feels nice . . . and then water does what water does. It evaporates. Not the most effective approach.

5. Oil does not cause acne. Neither does bacteria. Excessive oil production and bacteria contribute to breakouts, but scientists are still trying to figure out exactly what the initial trigger is for acne. There is considerable evidence, however, that acne is a symptom of inflammation. Most recent studies show that the actual composition of the natural sebum (oil) is different in acne-prone skin, and the causes for the change could range from hormones to UV damage (oxidation of certain lipids). The jury’s still out (no matter what the sales gal at Ulta says).

6. Your skin isn’t dirty. How many times a day do you wash your elbows? Your shins? Your feet? Why do we think we need to wash our face twice a day? Want to know what’s worse than sleeping in your makeup? Washing your face too much. While we’re on that topic: Sweating doesn’t make you dirty. Sweating is how your skin cleanses itself. In fact, here’s my one-step total body detox: sweat. And the awesome thing about sweat? It’s water-soluble. Meaning it rinses off with water. Save your soap for regions prone to stinkiness.

7. The effects of topical skin care products (non prescription) are very, very limited. If you’ve poked around our blog much, you’ve heard this before. Marketers can throw around ingredients (vitamin C! peptides! nanotechnology!) and claims (repairs damage! affects cellular DNA! lightens! brightens! tones! tightens!), but the truth is, it is virtually impossible for topical ingredients to penetrate deeply enough into the skin to have these effects. And if the ingredients are penetrating deep enough to affect the live layers of skin, they would be forced to prove their claims to the FDA and the ingredients would be regulated as drugs. Simple as that.

These are the reasons that we sell very little “skin care” at Milagro. We prefer to use The Maker Counter to educate you about ingredients. If you’re used to visiting a spa for a facial and being sold the entire time, you’ll find quite a different experience at Milagro. We truly believe less is more.

So if you’re seeking simplicity, you’re tired of being told little white lies, you’re tired of spending money only to be disappointed, and you’re tired of emptying your medicine cabinet every year and filling your recycle bin to the brim, come see us. We can set you free.


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