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Darrell Owens of Your Best Face Answers Frequently Asked Questions

Darrell Owens, founder of Your Best Face
April 25, 2017 Reviewed by Holly Dawsey 3 Comments

Your Best Face was one of the first brands introduced to the Truth In Aging shop, and Darrell's products, with each new launch, were quick to become bestsellers within the community. We like to credit this success to his thoughtful formulas and willingness to respond to your questions and concerns — he’s even reformulated a few of his products as a direct result of your feedback. “I want you to have the best possible experience with my products, and so I appreciate the opportunity to be able to connect, share some information and answer questions,” he says. So, here, Darrell answers some of the most frequently asked questions he receives.

Q: I'm not familiar with many of your ingredients. Do you use any chemicals or only natural ingredients from plants, herbs and oils?

A: Throughout my line, you will see a lot of ingredients that appear to have long chemical names, but these are actually specific names to describe the (very good-for-you) ingredients I use. A great example is tetrahydrodiferyloylmethane, which is actually the isolated antioxidant from turmeric. It's an extremely pure and extremely costly ingredient to include in formulas, but is a better option than simply using turmeric extract. This is part of why I don't actually talk about my products in terms of natural versus synthetic. I consider that ingredient to be natural because it comes from turmeric. Someone else though might have the opinion that because it is an isolated ingredient, it is synthetic. So, I choose to not brand myself one way or another.

What’s more, there are several ingredients I use throughout the line that multi-task, providing actual skin care benefits but also work as preservatives to keep the products I make fresh and safe. This allows me to forgo harsh chemical preservatives while enhancing your results. These include leucidal, which is a radish ferment, and a natural moisturizing peptide, aspen bark extract, which helps smooth skin. Glucono-delta-lactone is also a natural preservative, though its main role when you see it in my formulas is to help gently exfoliate (it is considered a poly hydroxy acid and is extremely gentle) and encourage deeper moisturization.

There are only a couple of ingredients I use in my line that I personally consider synthetic, and the only reason I use them is because they are the better and the right choice for that formula. I very much subscribe to the mantra that not everything that's synthetic is bad and everything that is natural is good. There are exceptions on both sides of the fence. In the end, my only motive is to make products that are better for our skin, and I am confident that's what I do.

Q: What ingredients do you find most beneficial in an anti-aging skin care routine?

A: You'll see that across the line I make use, quite heavily, of antioxidants, vitamins and peptides. The antioxidants and vitamins primarily serve the role of protection and prevention, which I believe is important no matter where anyone is with their age or goals. Peptides, up until a few years ago, were mostly intended for use at night as many of them act more as triggers for healing and renewal. There are more specialized options these days that I'm using which are made specifically day or night use. I also seem to find myself focusing more and more on ingredients that naturally brighten or even out the complexion, as well as encourage improvements in elasticity, as I feel that's a very proactive approach to dealing with fine lines and wrinkles.

Q: We’ve always been told to apply a facial oil last so as to seal in other products. In your instructions on Advanced CE (and other products), you say to do the opposite. Why?

A: This is exactly what we've all been taught by the beauty industry. Prior to starting my brand, I had always heard and followed the same instructions — that an oil or an oil-based product should be applied last. Often the reasoning was that the oil somehow sealed in the other ingredients. It turns out that this isn’t quite true, and in many ways, takes away from the experience and efficacy of other products. The beauty industry is indeed slowly course-correcting and re-educating about the science of why applying an oil first nets a better experience and improved results from the products that follow.

Our skin needs oil to be able to absorb and then retain moisture, and it is especially necessary to absorb many active ingredients in our skin care products. If you've ever experienced super dry hands, to the point that water just beads off, this is a very visual example of skin that has become parched of natural oils. Applying an oil first helps recreate the environment in skin that allows it to draw in and lock in moisture. Many active ingredients in skin care products are oil-based, and if they're applied to skin that does not contain enough oils, those actives cannot penetrate deeply or quickly and benefits are lost.

So, the instructions to apply an oil first are well thought out in order for you to have the experience intended with my line. Following this method really does make a night and day difference in how the products apply, how they feel on your skin once applied and how well they work. If you want to see firsthand the difference in how your skin feels following what I think is the ideal application method, wash your face tonight before bed, apply a few drops of a facial oil — massaging in fully — and then follow with a little Advanced CE Concentrate ($50 in the shop) or Hydrate B ($45 in the shop). By morning, you should notice an immediate difference in the tone and texture of your skin.

Q: Why don’t you include sunscreen (SPF) in your products?

A: I believe sunscreen is a critical step to skin safety and in helping to achieve many skin care goals one might have. During formula updates, I have in the past considered taking my product called Defend Daytime Treatment ($130 in the shop) down the path of including SPF. Doing so redefines a product as a drug, according to the FDA, and this opens up an entirely new set of challenges, labeling and testing requirements. Also, having spent a lot of time myself trying to find a sunscreen that I actually enjoyed, I know how personal preference plays a huge role for consumers, including the kind (chemical versus mineral and all of the choices within each of those two approaches) and amount used. These things considered are what drives how SPF plays into my formulation strategy.

In Defend’s case, this resulted in a formula featuring an incredible mix of antioxidants and peptides that are not meant to take the place of SPF, but to play an important role in what makes up a great daytime skin care routine. I’m a firm believer in mineral sunscreens (zinc in particular), and I wanted to find a way to encourage my customers to add SPF, which is why right there on Defend’s bottle I suggest that for ideal results one should follow with a mineral sunscreen. Sunscreen really does makes a difference, especially if you’re fighting discoloration, fine lines or loss of elasticity. The trick is using it regularly — every day — and finding one that works with the other products you already enjoy using.

Q: What is the best skin care routine to get started with?

A:  Start with exfoliation, but only at night. Regardless of the type of product used, this step is important in helping all of the other products in your routine work their best. Exfoliation though does increase sunlight sensitivity and so that's why it's important — especially if skin brightening is a goal — to only exfoliate at night, allowing time for that sensitivity to settle and for the skin to calm. So, within my line, Prep Microdermabrasion ($80 in the shop) is the product of choice. Because the process of exfoliation is also a great time to infuse actives into the skin, I've packed it with so many antioxidants, peptides and brighteners.

Next, I would suggest a great facial oil, regardless of your skin type. To properly absorb other active ingredients and moisture, our skin needs oil. Many folks with breakout-prone skin have been taught to avoid oils and to instead opt for products that dry up excess oil. Parched skin cannot retain moisture, so counter to what we've often been taught, a great oil is indeed a wonder for any skin type. This is why my hope is that everyone using my products has at least one of my Private Reserve Oils. My suggestion is to use a very small amount — just a drop or two — and massage it into skin immediately after cleansing (or following cleansing and exfoliating). This balances and calms skin immediately, but also helps skin better absorb additional actives that follow in the next products applied.

During the day, I would suggest a moisturizer that is packed with antioxidants. Defend and Boost Day Cream ($65 in the shop) are great examples of products where I’ve brought together antioxidants that are specifically suited to protect the skin throughout the day. Always follow with sunscreen. This pairing is a great strategy to protect from fine lines for and actively approach any existing sun damage or spots. At night, I suggest using a product that works to restore the skin. Restore Night Treatment Serum ($130 in the shop) is somewhat of the counterpart to my daytime treatments and is best used at night. The peptides used are centered around the goals of restoring elasticity, tone and brightness.

Do you have a question for Darrell? Leave it in the comments below. 

  • April 28, 2017

    by Darrell Owens

    Hi Pam and Melissa & thank you!

    The way I find that works best in applying the oil and making sure I'm getting coverage that includes the eyelid area -- but at the same time ensures I'm not adding too much oil to the area -- is I'll dispense just a drop or two to the palm of my hand. I'll rub my palms together and work some of the oil to my fingertips...

    ...Then with eyes closed, I'll massage my entire face and the little amount of oil I have on my fingertips, that's just enough to give the coverage needed for the eyes. At the end of massaging in the oil, I'll use the ball of my palms closest to my thumbs to work the oil into my lids and outward toward the corners of the eye and cheekbones. ...But Pam, indeed, when using an oil, I suggest starting with that as your first product application.

    Pam -- I think you've been using the rose oil for some time now, so you know how it works with your skin. The trick for anyone interested in using a facial oil near the eyes is to first know the product you'll be using and how it behaves with your skin -- the eye area is more sensitive, so tread lightly and use the least amount of product to start. The aim isn't to use so much product as it would get into the eyes. I'm a contact lens wearer most of the time and so I'm less likely to use an oil around my eyes at the start of the day...and save that for evenings when I've switched to glasses.

    I hope this helps!
    Cheers and much thanks to everyone here!
    -Darrell

  • April 27, 2017

    by PAM

    I do love application of the YBF rose oil first, prior to other serums and creams! However, I've never used this technique around my eyes. So, my question for Darrell is - do you recommend the same layering technique for the upper and lower eyelids - oil first, absorb, then apply other eye product(s), regardless of how thin the follow-on serum(s) might be?

  • April 27, 2017

    by Melissa D

    Fantastic interview of a true formulating genius! I learned a lot here.

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