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Dyes - Avoid them in your cosmetics

December 8, 2008 Reviewed by admin 8 Comments
Dr. Carl Thornfeldt, President, CEO, and Chief Scientific Officer of Episciences, Inc., the company behind Epionce skin care line thinks so. And that's the line that I'll be trying out over the next two weeks. From now until then, I'll be using their Gentle Foaming Cleanser, Purifying Lytic Toner, Lite Lytic Lotion, and Renewal Facial Lotion to determine if he really has a point.

I must say, there's a lot of research behind this theory. Most recently, the Doctor published an article in the peer-reviewed Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology entitled, "Chronic Inflammation is the Etiology of Extrinsic Aging." (Thornfeldt, CR. Chronic Inflammation is the Etiology of Extrinsic Aging. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2008; 7: 78-82.)

There, he establishes that...

"The linking of chronic inflammation to multiple cutaneous and systemic diseases, including malignancies and skin aging, was first suggested over a century ago. The cellular and molecular mechanisms of destructive chronic inflammation have now been established. Chronic inflammation as the final common denominator for a variety of diseases and conditions provides the reason why anti-inflammatory medications are effective treatments for seemingly diverse skin diseases, cancer, and extrinsic aging. Recent publications suggest destructive chronic inflammation can be reversed and/or prevented by food, oral supplements, and topical skin care regimens consisting of anti-inflammatory and/or antioxidant ingredients."

It follows that "preventing and reversing chronic inflammation should be a primary strategy of physicians who treat and prevent mucocutaneous diseases, aging, and cancer," he says. Sounds alright to me. After all, chronic inflammation has been linked to a wide range of diseases including heart disease, amongst others.

In his opinion, the ideal skin care regimen would consist of skin care products with anti-inflammatory and/or antioxidant effects applied topically, coupled with products that optimize the stratum corneum (outer most layer of the skin) permeability barrier. For him, this regimen could be supplemented by the use of exfoliating procedures, such as AHAs and retinoids, as long as these treatments are coupled with products using formulas with anti-inflammatory/barrier optimizing properties.

And that's what his line claims to do.

I used the entire line for the first time last night and this morning, and I must say... I did notice a rather glowing effect in the mirror both times. One thing that I found peculiar, and which I think might not be to everybody's taste, is the inclusion of menthol in the toner. While it's kind of refreshing (good for waking you up in the morning), it has a really strong mentholated effect that can be a bit overpowering.

I was also turned off by the super-artificial minty color--it just looked so fake. We have dyes Blue #1 and Yellow #5 to thank for that. And I really wish they would reformulate this toner without them.

Yellow #5, or tartrazine, is banned in Norway and was banned in Austria and Germany, before European Parliament and Council Directive 94/36/EC lifted the ban. Still, studies have shown that synthetic colors such as this come from coal tar that deposits toxins onto the skin, causing skin irritation.

Don't get me started on Blue #1. Research indicates some serious concerns, including: cancer links in workers and users, suspected mutagen, allergic reactions, skin penetration capabilities, and increased skin irritation.

Well, that's a little discouraging... More posts to come as I try it out over the coming weeks.
  • January 9, 2010

    by marta

    Gail, Here are some of the mineral makeup products we like:

  • January 9, 2010

    by Gail Craft

    What kind of mineral makeup do u recommend or suggest

  • December 16, 2008

    by claire

    Thanks for your comment, Krista. I want to believe in Epionce, I do... but I've been using the cleanser, lytic lotion and moisturizing lotion for a week now and have not noticed a thing... In fact, whether related or not, my skin has been breaking out more than usual. As such, I'm handing over the Epionce line to Copley to continue reviewing since her skin type may benefit more from these products than mine. I'm interested to see what her results are... Keep posted.

  • December 16, 2008

    by Krista Bourne

    Hi Lori, in response to your comment, "the toner was for dry/sensitive skin, I believe," the Epionce Purifying Lytic Toner is formulated for oily/acne-prone skin, not for dry/sensitive skin.

    I have been a firm believer in the Epionce line of skin care products since 2004, when I brought it into the plastic surgeon's office where I worked as an esthetician. It is sold by professional recommendation through medical spas and physician offices, after a thorough skin analysis and consultation by a skin care professional -- it is not a product regimen where one picks the products she is going to use, since many times an average consumer may inaccurately self-diagnose or pick the wrong product!

  • December 9, 2008

    by claire

    You guys are quite right. I'm becoming a bit dubious about this line now that I've been trying it out for about a week. In fact, I've given up using the toner--I just can't stand to put all that dye on my face. But I'm determined to give the line the old college try. Look for my review about the Lytic cream soon.

  • December 9, 2008

    by Lori

    I have to agree with the poster above -- menthol? And the toner was for dry/sensitive skin, I believe. Yowee.

    And good old petroleum shows up in quite a few products.

  • December 9, 2008

    by Trinh

    The brand promote anti-inflammation yet it added menthol??? Hmm...

  • December 8, 2008

    by Niall

    Well, this is Dr. Perricone's position as well, right? I think it leaves one big question unanswered: How do Epioce's - or Perricone's - products address/reverse the problem? And what is the scientific evidence backing up these claims.

    Remember, Perricone touted DMAE as the cure all, yet it turns out DMAE actuall kills skin cells. I guess that's one way to cure inflammation.

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