Although I associate John Masters Organics with hair care (I am a total fan of his styling gel), I recently noticed that his ouevre extends to face, body and even pet care (there's a shampoo for pampered pooches). Because the brand is reasonably priced, organic and eshews anything nasty, I was intrigued to give the skincare a try and have started with Vitamin C Antiaging Face Serum ($29.99).

This is one of those rare products that doesn't have water as the dominant ingredient. In fact it doesn't have water at all. The vitamin C (in the form of ascorbic acid polypeptide and many other good things are wallowing in a pool of aloe vera juice, sunflower seed oil and rose flower water. There is yet more vitamin C from acerola berries (also in Ikove's shampoo). These are supposed to be packed with enough vitamin C to put oranges in the shade and in Japan a glass of the juice a day is thought to ward off colds.

Aspen bark is a John Organics favorite and may account for how the brand can avoid harmful preservatives. Aspen bark extract has shown to effectively inhibit the growth of mold, yeast, e coli, S aureus, subtilis, and P aeruginosaNatural preservative systems are limited in that their efficacy is formulation-dependent. The Tinosan SDC silver-based preservative, for instance, cannot be used in highly cationic systems. Other causes for concern in natural preservatives are consistency, color, and odor. Aspen bark does not seem to suffer from these shortcomings, especially if used in formulas that are not water-based. Now we know why there is all that aloe juice! Plus aspen makes skin feel soft and silky.

An antiaging boost comes from phospholipids. These seem to be cropping up all the time and I'm going to have nose around because I don't fully understand their role (I'll try to post after doing more research). For now, I can say that they are a major component of all cell membranes and I found a study that found that a phospholipid cream healed radiation-damaged skin.

Superoxide Dismutase is an antioxidant naturally found in the body, and is a part of a class of “enzymes that catalyze the dismutation of superoxide into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. It is also found in barley grass, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, wheatgrass, and most green plants. Studies have shown that Superoxide Dismutase can serve as an anti-inflammatory as well, and can also prevent precancerous cell changes.

I'll let you know how I get on with it in a few weeks.


Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice,* helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil,* glycerin,* rosa damascena (rose) flower water,* populus tremuloides (aspen) bark extract, ascorbic acid polypeptide, lecithin, phospholipids, superoxide dismutase, malphighia glabra (acerola) fruit extract,* oryza sativa (rice) extract,* spirulina platensis (algae) extract,* tocopheryl acetate, retinyl palmitate, ascorbyl palmitate, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter,* triticum vulgare (wheat) germ oil, rosa damascena (rose) flower oil,* citrus sinensis (blood orange) oil, tilia cordata (linden) blossom oil,* xanthan gum, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract,* sclerotium gum powder, potassium sorbate.