All major supermarkets and beauty stores stock some form of facial cleansing products. They come in the form of scrubs, gels, and lotions which vary in application (from in shower, to apply daily without rinsing). Many of these are not marketed towards clearing acne or other legitimate dermatological problems. The claims these products make tend to include: reduction of dry/oily skin, neutralizing skin PH levels, and clearing pores. I am unsure if any of these terms are reflective of a real problem, or if the products can even even help said issues.
Therefore, this is a three-part question:
- Do facial cleansing products actually do what they claim?
- If so, what is their mechanism of action (i.e., how do the ingredients work)?
- If not, what do the ingredients in the product actually do to human skin?
Examples of such products and associated claims:
Example ingredients from the Neutrogena product above:
Water, Glycerin, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cellulose, Lauryl Glucoside, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Synthetic Wax, Methylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide, Menthol, Disodium EDTA, Polyquaternium-7, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Ultramarines, Blue 1
Do facial cleansing products actually do what they claim?
This dermatologist-tested cleansing gel formula lathers into a bubbly foam removing surface dirt, oil and makeup, while energizing exfoliators sweep away dead skin cells.
So essentially, they are claiming that it is a foaming soap.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate is a detergent, Lauryl glucoside is a surfactant, so it is a good bet that the product is effective as soap. There are a bunch of other compounds that modify how it forms films, so it probably also foams.
If so, what is their mechanism of action (i.e., how do the ingredients work)?
Similar to any other soap. They make non-water soluble things on the surface of you skin (such as oil, make up, dead skin cells, etc) more water soluble so that it dissolves when you wash your face.
Some of the other you linked also have moisturizers, so they probably put another oil back in the place of the ones you removed to keep the skin from getting too dry.
I am unsure if any of these terms are reflective of a real problem, or if the products can even even help said issues.
Or do they work better than normal soap of comparable strength? Probably not much, although having them labeled as use for your face is nice in that you have a reasonable idea that it won't be too harsh or irritating, whereas if you tried dish soap on your face that might not go so well.
Cosmetic Chemistry and the Esthetician
The ever-evolving esthetic industry is consistently being introduced to new and exciting ideas for improving the skin. With all that is available, it can often be difficult to determine which products will be effective. Superior formulations are out there however, many of the industry&rsquos most popular and beneficial ingredients are unstable and sensitive to breakdown. Although laboratory testing is needed to truly evaluate a formula&rsquos efficacy, a basic understanding of cosmetic chemistry assists the esthetician in identifying the product components that contribute to its stability, penetration and activity.
One common misconception regarding topical products is that the results come from one ingredient. In actuality, the formulation as a whole leads to a product&rsquos ability to deliver results. Cosmetic products consist of several components, including the following.
Active ingredients. These determine a product&rsquos greatest topical benefit. Examples include retinoids, vitamin C, peptides, antioxidants and sunscreen agents.
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Skin conditioning agents. These improve the skin&rsquos surface and provide a soft, smooth appearance. Examples include glycerin, urea, natural oils, sodium PCA and silicones.
Functional ingredients. These create the end product, such as a cream or serum, and act as vehicles&mdashor carriers&mdashfor the active ingredients. Examples include surfactants, emulsifiers, thickeners and preservatives.
Multifunctional ingredients. These provide some topical benefits and also assist the vehicle. Examples include sorbitol, cetyl alcohol, glycol stearate, phenoxyethanol and benzyl alcohol.
Each of these components is essential to a product&rsquos function and benefit. Product performance depends on the active ingredients&rsquo biocompatibility, the use of appropriate product vehicles and delivery systems, and the stability of all of the ingredients within a formulation.
Pollution and Skin
Pollution in different forms and media can cause skin distress. Examples include pollen, smog and/or smoke in the air UV and other light radiation from natural sources or technology thermal stress from heat/air conditioning etc. Such pollution can lead to visual dullness and signs of aging, or cause various skin disorders. 3 In ground water, heavy metals can be injurious to health, let alone skin halogen acne, chemical depigmentation, connective tissue diseases and skin cancer are some common skin diseases caused by pollution. 7, 13
In the air, pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), oxides, particulate matter (PM), ozone (O3) and cigarette smoke can negatively affect skin. Specifically, particulate matter at sizes of approx. 2.5&ndash10 microns (PM2.5 and PM10) seems to be the main threat to skin health. 5 These fine particles are coated with PAHs, heavy metals and other contaminants, and, being up to 20× smaller than pores, are capable of penetrating into the deeper layers of skin. 3, 9, 14
Within skin, they break down collagen and elastin and release free radicals. This causes signs of aging, inflammation, dehydration and other allergic skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis or acne&mdashultimately, even skin cancer. 6, 7 And although human skin acts as a biological shield against oxidative chemicals and physical air pollutants, prolonged or repetitive exposure to high levels may have profound negative effects.
Zoe Draelos, M.D., consulting professor of dermatology at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, explained: 3 &ldquoPollution breaks down collagen and the lipid layer in the skin, which impairs skin barrier functions.&rdquo Indeed, ozone, the basic element in smog, has been shown to quickly strip vitamin E from the topmost layer of the skin. 13, 15
From a skin aging standpoint, air pollution particles can speed up the process. 8 For example, while loss of skin moisture and elasticity is a natural part of aging, pollution can starve the skin of oxygen and dry out its natural oils. In fact, 90% of visible aging&mdashe.g., wrinkles, rough patches, loss of elasticity, discoloration, dark spots and dryness&mdashis caused by environmental factors such as sun exposure and pollution.
In relation, research conducted by L&rsquoOréal pointed to a link between atmospheric pollution and premature skin aging, especially in individuals with sensitive skin. According to the study, those living in populous cities had lower levels of vitamin E and squalene in sebum compared with those living in rural areas. 8, 16
Particulate matter coated with contaminants penetrates skin, where it breaks down collagen and elastin, and releases
Retinoids: a mode of action
Retinoids, as compounds that are sparingly soluble in body fluids (lipophilic compounds), need specialized proteins to transport them (complex with Transthyretin – (prealbumin) is a retinol binding protein (vitamin A). Results of the study by Hyung et al. proved new applications of RBP and retinoids as stabilizers of transthyretin . These are proteins such as RBP and CRBP. Cytosolic retinol binding protein (CRBP), which is present in cytoplasm, shows affinity for retinol, while cytosolic retinoic acid binding protein (CRABP) has affinity for retinoid acid. There are two subtypes of both groups of receptors: CRBP I and II and CRABP I and II. Intracellular concentration of retinoids depends on their binding to cellular CRABP I and II. Studies show that CRABP II (it is the main form present in the epidermis) is much more abundant in the skin than CRABP I (modulates the level of retinoic acid in different tissues) . These proteins activate appropriate nuclear receptors, thanks to which retinoids exert their biological effect on particular tissues, organs and cells. Retinoid nuclear receptors (RNR, which represent a steroid thyroid hormone receptor) include:
RA receptors (RAR), its natural ligand is retinoic acid (RA), and
Retinoid X Receptors (RXR), its natural ligand is 9-cis-retinoic acid.
Within these receptors, there are three types of isotypes: α, β and g (RARα, RARβ, RARγ). They may be further divided into isoforms. The human skin mainly contains RXRg and RARα. Retinoids activate receptors in the form of dimers which in turn bind to the appropriate RARE element, i.e. the domain of the DNA response. They are located near the gene promoter sequences regulated by retinoids. Receptor expression is not regular and is described in only some tissues and organs, including the epidermis, dermis, sebaceous glands and hair follicles, or in cells of the immune system.
Vitamin A and its derivatives are involved in embryogenesis. Retinoids take part in development of the nervous system, liver, heart, kidneys, intestine, eyes and limbs. Two-step oxidation occurring in the target organ cells results in conversion of retinol to its active form – retinoic acid. After entering the cell, retinol dehydrogenase (RDH) or alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) catalyse the oxidation of retinol to retinal. This reaction may be reversed by the same enzyme because oxidation of retinol to retinoic aldehyde is a reversible process. Moreover, many enzymes can catalyse the reverse reaction, i.e. the conversion from retinamide to retinol. It indicates the presence of an additional mechanism which regulates the local retinol concentration in the tissues . Subsequently, retinol is oxidized to retinoid acid by retinaldehyde dehydrogenase (RALDH) or some enzymes of the CYP family (belonging to the cytochrome P450 family). This reaction is irreversible the product formed is a natural ligand of nuclear receptors and it reflects the activity of vitamin A. Further oxidation of the retinoic acid by CYP26 enzyme results in obtaining inactive vitamin A metabolites.
Vitamin A and its derivatives, particularly retinol, are among the most effective substances delaying the process of aging. Fat-soluble retinol penetrates into the stratum corneum and, to a small extent, into the dermis. It is important to increase penetration of retinol, thus increasing its spectrum of activity, and to control a potential action in laboratory tests, and then to enhance the procedure effectiveness. Retinol, after reaching keratinocyte, penetrates into its interior and binds to an appropriate receptor. Cytosolic retinol binding protein receptors show high affinity for retinol [5, 6]. In epidermis, retinoids may influence secretion of transcription and growth factors. They are responsible for proliferation of the living layer of the epidermis, strengthening of the protective function of epidermis and reduction in excessive transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Moreover, retinoids protect against degradation of collagen and inhibit activity of metalloproteinases, enhances angiogenesis in the papillary layer of the dermis [9, 10]. The irritant effect of vitamin A and its derivatives and their instability are factors limiting their use in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Intracellular penetration is the main way of transport during which molecules move through the intercellular cement structure composed of ceramides, sterols, phospholipids and fatty acids. Intercellular cement has a lamellar structure, the lipid layer and hydrophilic layer are arranged alternately [8, 11]. Further studies on retinol activity in various cosmetic formulas are required in order to select the one that is best tolerated by the skin and to determine whether the concentration significantly influences the effect it exerts on the skin. Natural retinoids have a positive effect on the skin parameters. They are characterized by good absorbability (they are fat-soluble) which improves the skin function. Retinoids boost production of epidermal proteins and accelerate the process of keratinization, forming a layer of keratin which is more developed. Retinol penetrates into the basal layer of the epidermis (composed of living (nucleated) cells that are constantly producing new cells) as well as to a small extent, into the dermis and marginally to the subcutaneous tissue. In the case of retinol applied topically, there is an interaction with specific nuclear receptors. Retinol makes the connections between epidermal cells more loose and facilitates keratosis. What is more, it enhances epidermis turn-over and accelerates proliferation of the basal layer of epidermal cells and the stratum corneum. In keratinocytes, proliferation AP-1 transcription factor, exposed to various stimulants, growth factors and cytokines, plays a major role. In retinol-treated aged human skin, AP-1 complex is comprised of c-Jun/c-fos and c-Jun transcription factor was increased . Due to the fact that retinoids exert anticomedogenic effects, they regulate the process of shedding within sebaceous glands ducts. What is most important, retinoids decrease activity of enzymes participating in lipogenesis and block differentiation and cellular divisions of sebocytes . Moreover, they reduce discoloration of the skin, reduce its pigmentation by about 60% and contribute to a proper distribution of melanin in the skin. Topically applied retinoids also influence the function of melanocytes, providing regular arrangement of melanin in the epidermis. They also block transport of melanin to epidermal cells and diminish the activity of stimulated melanocytes. An increase in synthesis and activity of tyrosinase, disturbances in subsequent steps of melanogenesis or a decrease in the amount of melanocytes is related to inhibition of melanogenesis. Retinoids are also commonly known as biologically active anti-aging molecules. Retinol stimulates fibroblasts to synthesize collagen fibres (stimulates the activity of fibroblasts and increases their number), improves skin elasticity (removes degenerated elastin fibers) and promotes angiogenesis . Some studies indicate that retinol also enhances production of elastin fibres . Moreover, retinol inhibits matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and enhances synthesis of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) . Changes within collagen and elastin fibres are associated with photoaging. It leads to occurrence of wrinkles and loss of the skin firmness and elasticity. Collagen fibres atrophy is caused by an increased expression of collagenases (MMP-1), gelatinases (MMP-2) and stromelysin-1  as well as enhanced expression of elastase and MMP-9 associated with degradation of elastin fibres. Retinol counteracts development of precancerous conditions as a result of hampering the activity of atypical cells, which has been proved by the results of studies . ECM-producing cells in the skin are activated by retinol and cause its production in the aged skin. Activation of fibroblast production is stimulated through TGF-β/CTGF pathway. Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) including immunostaining of TGF-㬡, which is the regulator of ECM homeostasis, is increased by retinol . By reducing the amount of sebum secreted by the skin, retinoids reduce the tendency to form blackheads . Excessive degradation of the stratum corneum and keratosis of hair follicles is associated with vitamin A deficiency. Regulation of secretion within sebaceous gland ducts make retinoids produce an anticomedogenic effect. Retinoids decrease the activity of enzymes participating in lipogenesis. Moreover, they block cellular division of sebocytes and differentiation . They are widely used externally in the treatment of acne, psoriasis, excessive dryness, skin keratosis and hair and nail disorders [13, 20].
Do antibacterial towels work?
Some allege that Norwex doesn’t work, or that the antimicrobial claims are not true. They say this because either the towels smells develop a mildew smell, or because the surfaces they clean can still harbor mold and bacteria.
People misconstrue the BacLock claimed benefit, which is that it’s “an antibacterial agent for self-cleansing purposes only.” That means it works for inhibiting new bacteria and mildew growth within the towel itself. It does not not kill bacteria or viruses on other surfaces you wipe clean, such as countertops and cutting boards.
Ag+ represent silver ions. Diagram by Carolyn Meyers [CC by SA 4.0]
Unlike chemical sprays which typically kill bacteria within seconds minutes, the time it takes for a silver-infused cloth takes longer from one hour to a day. Even though it doesn’t kill the bacteria on contact when wiping a counter, many or most of the microbes will adhere to the microfiber cloth. Then as time passes, those on the cloth will die off. That’s how BacLock works.
The antimicrobial properties of this molecule are well documented, both scientifically and historically.
Before people even knew microorganisms existed, water jugs made of silver were prized because people seemed to be less prone to sickness when drinking from them. It was used in wound dressings, right up ’til the invention of antibiotics in the 1940’s. (1)
There are numerous lab experiments and studies which demonstrate how silver inhibits bacterial growth, when in proper concentration and in a solution or on a material that allows for direct contact.
The above photo shows cultures of Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis and Escherichia coli after being exposed to fabrics infused with silver nanoparticles for one hour. On the rayon fabric, there is a 97% or better reduction. On the cotton gauze, there is a 100% reduction. (2)
Yes, BacLock really works, though not in the way many believe. It inhibits bacterial growth within the cloth. It’s not suitable for sanitizing your kitchen or bathroom.
Which kind of vitamin C is best for skin? Episode 31
3D printing comes to cosmetics! This week we discuss the pros and cons of the new MINK makeup printer.
Question of the week: What kind of vitamin C works best on skin?
Illdiko (from Hungary) asks..I really love vitamin C serums, but I would like to use them properly. Do vitamin C products really need a special low pH? And what about their derivates, like Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate and others? Which vitamin C ingredient is the best?”
What’s the deal with Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is a chemical called ascorbic acid that is naturally occurring in skin. It is known to play a role in collagen production. In addition, when topically applied it is thought to help heal acne, increase the barrier function of skin to decrease moisture loss, protect from UV radiation, and prevent age spots.
Sounds too good to be true, huh? Well there is a downside – it’s difficult to deliver VC to skin in a form that is stable, effective and non-irritating.
There are something like 7 or 8 different forms of VC that are used in cosmetics and there’s a LOT of noise out there about how the different versions work, how much to use, what kind of formula is required to deliver the ingredient, and so forth.
So, today, we’re going to try to get to the bottom of that mess by reviewing the best scientific data available on each ingredient. And we’ll do that using the three Kligman questions format that we’ve used before. Randy, want to describe that again for our readers?
How to prove an anti-aging ingredient works – the Kligman questions
1. Based on the chemistry of the ingredient, is there any scientific mechanism that could explain why it would work?
2. Does it penetrate to the part of the skin where it needs to be in order to work?
3. Are there peer reviewed, double blind, placebo controlled studies demonstrating the ingredient really works when applied to real people?
Our assessment is based primarily on a paper which reviews the technical literature on Vitamin C through 2012: “Stability, transdermal penetration and cutaneous effects of ascorbic acid and its derivatives” from the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 2012.
Let’s start by discussion the mechanism. Remember the active form is ascorbic acid so all the derivatives must be converted to ascorbic acid on the skin.
Is there a mechanism that explains how Vitamin C works?
Remember that unlike many other anti aging ingredients, Vitamin C is naturally found in skin (mostly in the epidermis, some in the dermis) and it’s role in skin biology is well documented. For example…
Protecting from UV damage
Although VC is NOT a sunscreen but it protects skin from the free radicals that are caused by UV exposure. It’s been shown to reduce lipid peroxidation, limit the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, protect against apoptosis (or cell death) and to reduce redox-sensitive cell signaling. All this means that VC reduces many of the nasty effects of sun exposure.
Increasing collagen to reduce wrinkles
As you know collagen collapse is a major cause of wrinkles. Vitamin C regulates the synthesis of collagen and it does this by hydroxylating collagen which makes it more stable and improves the way it supports the epidermis.
Reducing skin pigmentation
VC not only reduces melanin production but it also reduces oxidation of the melanin that is produced. It’s also thought to reverse the conversion of DOPA to o-DOPA quinone (which is a skin pigment).
So, as you can see, the effects of VC in the skin are well understood. Now let’s look at the other properties of each ingredient and what kind of data is available to prove that they work.
Ascorbic Acid (AA)
Is it Stable? Stable at pH less than 3.5 in aqueous solution and it’s stable in anhydrous systems
Does it penetrate? Ex vivo testing proves it penetrates as a solution or micro particles
Does it convert to Ascorbic Acid? No conversion required.
Protects from UV damage: Yes, human in vivo testing.
Increases collagen synthesis: Yes, human in vivo testing.
Reduces skin pigmentation: Yes, human in vivo testing.
So this ingredient is the gold standard for Vitamin C. However because it’s often used at very low pH it can be harsh to skin which has lead to the development of other versions of AA. For example….
Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (SAP)
Is it Stable? Stable at pH 7
Does it penetrate? There is limited ex vivo animal testing which shows it penetrates.
Does it convert to Ascorbic Acid? There is no data showing it converts to AA.
Protects from UV damage: Yes, human in vivo testing shows is protects but less effective than AA.
Increases collagen synthesis: Yes, in vitro testing only and it’s less effective than MAP.
Reduces skin pigmentation: Yes, human in vivo testing (but from trade journal only so the data may be less robust.)
Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP)
Is it Stable? Stable at pH 7
Does it penetrate? Yes it penetrates, but data is limited to ex vivo animal testing.
Does it convert to Ascorbic Acid? In vitro testing indicates it converts to AA.
Protects from UV damage: No data.
Increases collagen synthesis: Yes but only in vitro testing. Apparently equally as effective as AA.
Reduces skin pigmentation: Yes, human in vivo testing.
Ascorbyl Palmitate (AA-PAL)
Is it Stable? Same stability issues as AA (requires low pH or anhydrous system.)
Does it penetrate? In vivo animal testing shows it penetrates but it’s very dependent upon the formula.
Does it converts to Ascorbic Acid? No data showing that it converts.
Protects from UV damage: Yes, animal in vivo testing shows it protects from UV.
Increases collagen synthesis: Yes, but in vitro testing only.
Reduces skin pigmentation: No data showing that it works.
Ascorbyl Tetra-Isopalmitate (VC-IP)
Is it Stable? It’s stable at pH less than 5.
Does it penetrate? According to a trade publication, human ex vivo testing shows it penetrates better than MAP.
Does it converts to Ascorbic Acid? In vitro testing shows it converts to AA.
Protects from UV damage: Yes but in vitro data only.
Increases collagen synthesis: Yes but in vitro data only.
Reduces skin pigmentation: Yes, human in vivo testing (according to trade journal.)
Ascorbyl Glucoside (AA-2G)
Is it Stable? Yes, stable at a range of pH.
Does it penetrate? In vitro testing shows it penetrates.
Does it converts to Ascorbic Acid? In vitro testing shows it converts to AA.
Protects from UV damage: Yes, human in vivo testing shows it protects but it’s less effective than SAP.
Increases collagen synthesis: Yes but in vitro data only.
Reduces skin pigmentation: In vitro testing shows it diminishes dark spots.
Ascorbyl 2-Phosphate 6-Palmitate (APPS)
Is it Stable? Stable at pH 7
Does it penetrate? In vivo animal data shows it penetrates.
Does it converts to Ascorbic Acid? In vitro data shows it converts to AA.
Protects from UV damage: No data.
Increases collagen synthesis: No data.
Reduces skin pigmentation: Yes, human in vivo data shows it diminishes dark spots.
3-O-Ethyl Ascorbate (EAC)
Is it Stable? No published data on stability.
Does it penetrate? Ex vivo animal testing shows it penetrates better than AA-2G.
Does it converts to Ascorbic Acid? No published data showing it converts to AA.
Protects from UV damage: No data.
Increases collagen synthesis: No data.
Reduces skin pigmentation: Human in vivo data shows it works against dark spots.
Tip #1 for finding the best product: Ask for Ascorbic Acid
This much is clear: of all the Vitamin C derivatives, Ascorbic Acid has the best data to prove that it really works for all three main functions. So, if possible, why wouldn’t you use AA?
That doesn’t mean that ANY product with AA on the label will be best. There are other factors at play…Which brings us to tip #2…
Tip #2 for finding the best product: Concentrate on the concentration
So how much AA should a product contain?
According to the Pauling Inst. the maximum skin absorption occurs at 20%. Higher concentrations actually have less absorption. Which is good since high concentrations are also more irritating.
Should you go lower? Paula Begon says that a proven range for vitamin C effectiveness is generally between 0.3% and 10%. 0.3 is a LONG way from the maximum absorption of 20% so that seems low.
If you can stand the irritation, 10% or even 15% should give better absorption.
Tip #3 for finding the best product: Watch out for water
AA can begin to oxide (which causes it to be used up) as soon as it’s dissolved in water. Look for products where water is NOT one of the first ingredients. That gives you a better chance of finding a product that will really work. That means looks for serums instead of cream based products.
Also, if water is present, look for products that use stabilizing agents – Paula’s Choice is good for this.
Tip #4 for finding the best product: Look for low pH
As we noted, AA is unstable above 3.5 or so. Look for low pH products. Of course pH is only meaningful if water is present so it’s less of an issue in the kinds of water free formulas we just discussed.
Tip #5 for finding the best product: Purchase proper packaging
Any Vitamin C ingredient must be properly packaged to protect it from excess light and air.
Look for pump packaging (or individually sealed single use capsules) to protect from air. I would even avoid products in plastic tubes unless you know they’re used some kind of laminate to act as a barrier to oxygen transmission.
Avoid clear packages to protect from light. If it’s a glass jar make it dark.
Watch out for irritation
As we said, AA can cause redness and stinging. Be prepared to switch to another type if irritation is to great. The alternative may be less effective but you’ll be likely to use it more often if it’s gentle to your skin.
Don’t rush it!
After applying a VC product you should wait a while before applying any other products.
That’s because other ingredients can trigger oxidation and if they’re applied on top of the AA before it can be absorbed into your skin it could become inactive.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
So based on the data we’ve seen, ascorbic acid is the best version of Vitamin C to use in an anti-aging product.
But, just having ascorbic acid on the ingredient list doesn’t make a product “the best.” A well formulated product based on other derivatives could be better than a poorly formulated product based on ascorbic acid.
You need to keep in mind that the efficacy of any vitamin C based product depends on not only the type of Vitamin C, but also the concentration, the other ingredients in the formula and the packaging.
But following our 5 tips should help you pick a product that’s more likely to work at a price you can afford.
Buy your copy of It’s OK to Have Lead in Your Lipstick to learn more about:
- Clever lies that the beauty companies tell you.
- The straight scoop of which beauty myths are true and which are just urban legends.
- Which ingredients are really scary and which ones are just scaremongering by the media to incite an irrational fear of chemicals.
- How to tell the difference between the products that are really green and the ones that are just trying to get more of your hard earned money by labeling them “natural” or “organic.
Thanks for an informative article. I understand that the formulation is important when it comes to delivery and stability in the bottle. However, I’ve heard there is some concern that once applied, vitamin c can oxidize on the skin when it is exposed to sunlight, possibly leading to skin damage. Is this true?
Since vitamin C is naturally occurring in skin this seems unlikely but if you have a reference to where you read this I can check it out.
he following five types of vitamin C are commonly used in cosmetic formulations today. Make a note of their chemical names and check for them on your product’s ingredient list. If you’re not sure about what your ingredient list means,email FeleciaRose or leave a comment and I’ll advise you ASAP.
1. L-ascorbic Acid aka Ascorbic Acid (AA)
AA is the water soluble, biologically active form of vitamin C found in nature. This is the form the body uses to build skin, repair wounds, and protect itself from disease and disorder. Be careful of any vitamin C serum that turns from clear to yellow, tan or brown. It contains AA that’s being oxidized by air and light. Some manufacturers color their solutions orange to hide what’s going on.
2. Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (MAP)
Ascorbic Acid Phosphate (AA2P)
These are different names for essentially the same derivative of AA formed by adding magnesium phosphate in a process known as esterification. The addition of the phosphate raises the pH level ascorbic acid remains stable in when in solution.Sodium ascorbyl phosphate is another vitamin C derivative synthesized to deliver the same benefit.Ascorbic acid naturally occurs at a pH of around 3.5 which is fairly acidic. Its acidity creates problems in emulsions. Emulsions are carriers like lotions and creams formulated to make products look and feel nice. The addition of a phosphate group to ascorbic acid, whether magnesium or sodium, raises the pH level it can survive in to greater than 7.
3. Ascorbyl Palmitate aka Ascorbic Acid-6-Palmitate (AA6P)
This is another ester of AA using palmitate (palmitic acid) to form an oil-soluble molecule. The idea behind creating an oil-soluble derivative is to enhance penetration through the stratum corneum (SC). The SC contains a large number of lipids (fats) by Nature’s design to help keep out pathogens. Lipid soluble (oil soluble) derivatives are proven to penetrate more readily, however there are major problems with making an AA derivate oil soluble. See our post “Why it can be Disastrous to use the Wrong Vitamin C” for details. In the meantime, if you use a product containing ascorbyl palmitate, be sure to stay out of the sun. Under UV exposure, ascorbyl palmitate is toxic to skin cells and contributes to disease states including skin cancer.
4. Ascorbyl Tretaisopalmitate (ATIP)
Ascorbyl tretaisopalmitate and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate are two names for the same molecule. The first (ATIP) is the chemical name while the second (tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate) is the marketing name. It is likely the marketing name was chosen to disassociate it from “palmitate” which as discussed above, is toxic to skin cells under sun exposure.
5. Liposome Vitamin C
Encasing a molecule in a liposome is a technique devised by cosmetic chemists to impart stability and penetration properties to AA and other molecules. The molecule is wrapped in a bubble of lipids (the liposome) making it oil soluble which is a really bad idea when it comes to vitamins. Worse, chemists use ascorbyl palmitate when making liposome vitamin C. The addition of more lipids (the liposome) may only worsen the ingredient’s toxicity. Please see our post “Why it can be Disastrous to use the Wrong Vitamin C” for details.
The safest form of vitamin C
For the naturalists amongst us, it will come as no surprise that the safest form of vitamin C is ascorbic acid
I’ve been seeing homemade formulations vitamin C serums for years now. Can they be an effective alternate to expensive (and sometimes ineffective) store bands? This one is a really popular recipe.
I checked out the recipe and it looks pretty reasonable. There are just a couple of watch outs:
1. The formula appears to be about 30% ascorbic acid. We know that at concentrations above 20% skin absorption is reduced so this is somewhat of an issue.
2. She says to use distilled water but that’s not pure enough because it may contain trace organics which could destabilize the mixture. You should use deionized water which is more pure.
3. When mixing vitamin C products at home you need to make sure you’re not using any utensils that could contribute anything that could destabilize the mixture. For example use glass bowls instead of metal.
This is why you people should not be doing this stuff at all especially not at home.
None of you have a chemistry degree(yes I do). Water is more of an oxidant than air is to vitamin C. So no matter how “clean” your water is it will still oxidize!
for the guy who has a chem degree. can u pls explain why water has a greater oxidizing power than air and what do you think phrama use to dissolve it: ethanol? the solubility of vita C in water is 33g/100ml and that is slightly higher than the most concentrated vit C available out there (20 -25%). also do not assume people’s credentials. what degree do u have in chem? I worked with people who had a PHD in chem , they were not expert in all chem matters. I hold a PhD as well but in Bio.
Can u pls explain why water has a greater oxidizing power than air?
We don’t really do basic chemistry tutorials but you should be able to find out by searching for “oxidation/reduction potential” or something similar.
What do you think phrama use to dissolve it: ethanol?
It depends on which product your talking about. You can check the ingredient list to see if it contains ethanol.
What degree do u have in chem?
I have a BS in Chem, Perry has a Masters in BioChem.
Epidermal growth factors- do they work and are they safe?
This morning my routine took a little more thought than usual. In my mind were epidermal growth factors, EGF, the active ingredient in the Bioeffect serum that I have been using for several months, and in the Regeniskin cream that was recommended recently by Julie Kay. The Bioeffect is nearly empty, so I must decide whether to buy a new one (I have been using a free sample), and I need to consider two questions: does it work and is it safe?
The first question is easy to answer from a personal perspective. My skin is looking great and on that basis alone, I would have no hesitation in forking over my own cash for a new bottle. But what about on a more objective basis - do EGFs improve the appearance of skin, and if so, how?
According to an article published in The Surgeon in 2008, the first growth factor was isolated over 45 years ago, and since then “growth factor therapy has progressed into clinical practice in the treatment of wounds” (source). As a cat-owner, I was fascinated to find that Dr Mike Longaker in the Department of Surgery at Stanford points out that animals lick their wounds because their saliva includes a high concentration of EGF.
There are numerous clinical trials demonstrating that EGF accelerates wound healing, such as this 2006 study on rats. What is less clear, however, is the mechanism.
For example, I spent some time looking at the impact of EGF on collagen production and found the research to be contradictory. There is research that concludes that EGF has a positive effect: EGF “stimulates fibroblasts to secrete collagenase” (source) and “continuous topical application of epidermal growth factor (EGF) to granulation tissue increases the rate of collagen accumulation” (source).
Against this, I came across a confusing (to me anyway) study from 1987: “The proportion of collagen to protein synthesized decreased markedly with increasing concentrations of EGF.” But then the same study also stated that EGF “significantly increased” an enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of collagen. Ultimately, this study concluded, “the results suggest that the stimulation of wound healing and collagen production by EGF is due to increased fibroblast proliferation, and not to increased expression of type I and III procollagen genes” (source).
While I don’t profess to understand EGF’s mechanism, I took three things away from what I found: it may, or may not, be helpful for collagen it stimulates fibroblasts and heals wounds. So far, fairly good.
However, Skin Biology (a company that makes copper peptide-based products, including Folligen) says that clinical studies on EGFs have been stopped due to “toxicities.” I have not been able to corroborate that. I did find one study on horses' eyes that used a “high dose of EGF” and concluded that the inflammatory response outweighed beneficial responses. On the other hand, a study on humans in 1993 concluded that the “tolerability of EGF was always excellent. These results indicate that EGF is safe and effective in reducing the healing time.” Overall, as far as I can tell, EGF as a wound therapy seems to be alive and well and still under study.
Anyhow, this seems to be a good place to segue to the second question: are EGFs safe? Most certainly not, according someone who has been very actively commenting on Truth In Aging and on my review of Bioeffect. This person said: "EGF is potentially carcinogenic" and "cancer cells use EGF to create tumor growth."
These statements are very scary and obviously I don’t want to be slathering a carcinogenic gel over my face. I do want to try to get to the bottom of EGFs and their relationship with cancer, and have been reading as much on the subject as I can. This is what I, as a lay person, in summary, make of it all so far.
An overview of EPGs is given by David S. Goodsell, Ph.D, Associate Professor, The Scripps Research Institute, Department of Molecular Biology: “Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a small mitogenic protein that is thought to be involved in mechanisms such as normal cell growth, oncogenesis, and wound healing." (source).
Now, the important role that EGF has in the regulation of cell growth, their proliferation, and differentiation comes about by the EGF binding to its receptor EGFR.
This receptor, the EGFR, can play a role in cancer. As far as I understand it, cell mutations lead to EGFR overexpression (known as upregulation) or overactivity, and these have been associated with a number of cancers. But it isn’t the EGFs themselves that lead to receptor overexpression. It does seem, though, that some types of cancer “have overactive signaling through the epidermal growth factor system. They either create excess amounts of the growth factor or develop mutant forms of the receptor that are unnaturally active.” In both cases, “researchers are attacking this problem by blocking the action of the receptor” (source).
A lot of reading later, it does appear that it is the receptor that can play a role in cancer. This is not triggered by the EGFs and I do not think that putting EGFs on your skin will cause cancer. This is a complex and fascinating area, and I will continue to keep trying to improve my understanding. For the time being, I feel comfortable making the decision to continue using Bioeffect, Regeniskin, E'shee and Hydropeptide, and continuing to sell some of them in the TIA store.
What is Urea and its Benefits in Skin Care?
It often happens in the search for new therapeutic agents that some old stand-by is overlooked, whose lustre has worn off, but which may have useful applications in moments when the miracle drugs falter. In the world of topical therapy, urea is such a drug. Youthful skin with a visible glow – it’s the holy grail of skincare.
What if we told you the key to super-healthy skin and anti-ageing is hydration?
Dehydrated skin causes horizontal lines to appear the type that leads to deep-seated wrinkles, especially if not treated correctly.
That’s right something as simple as keeping your skin plump and moist, can ward off premature ageing for many years to come.
But shhh! There is one little “beauty secret” that not too many people know about.
And that is gorgeous urea, and in our opinion, this ingredient is one of the most effective moisturisers in cosmetic chemistry.
Its role on your skin is quite remarkable at low percentages, it can help maintain a healthy moisture balance.
At higher percentages it encourages cellular turnover, which is why you will often find it in foot products.
In dermatology, urea is used for both its keratolytic and hydrating properties this dual effect gently exfoliates and moisturises at the same time.
It seems ironic to think that as far back as 1957, urea was viewed as a forgotten therapy despite being rediscovered by Dr Kligman, the man behind Retin A.
And yet, even today there is little information about what could be considered, the holy grail of the skincare world.
What is urea?
Urea is a humectant, referred to as hydroxyethyl urea, not to be confused with the preservatives imidazolidinyl urea and Diazolidinyl Urea, we discuss in more detail below.
It is a naturally-occurring substance found on the surface of the skin. It is an active part of our natural moisturising factor (NMF), which functions to keep our skin lovely plump, supple, and working efficiently.
Urea is a natural component of your skin’s tissues. It makes up 7% of our natural moisturising factor, along with 12% sodium PCA and 9% glycerol, all of which are water-binding – which is essential for maintaining the health, function, and hydration of the outer layer of skin.
Like many naturally occurring compounds in our skin, urea decreases with age and trauma from harsh ingredients and environmental pollutants, making the skin more susceptible to dryness, inflammation, and ageing.
From the many thousands of skins we have clinically treated over the years, we believe that inflammation and dehydration is the leading cause of premature ageing, the fact that urea has the potential to treat both of these concerns, it’s no wonder we refer to it as the veritable ‘fountain of youth’.
As if that isn’t enough from this wonder ingredient, when topically applied, those with dehydrated and dry skin can see an improvement in their symptoms of as much as 50%, and in those with eczema, as much as 80%.
There is also evidence to suggest, that urea helps to treat skin conditions such as ichthyosis, dermatitis, psoriasis, xerosis, and even nail fungus – all these conditions share a similar pathological cause — namely, a yeast called malassezia.
Urea’s skin-loving benefits
Hydrophilic: This term means “water-loving”, which gives urea its amazing ability to hold onto water molecules, keeping your skin plump and moist.
Not only does it readily absorb water, but it also has a very high water content, which helps to reduce the amount of water that is lost through your skin.
On a molecular level, urea modifies the structure of amino chains and polypeptides within your skin, which is important for moisturising the skin’s delicate tissues. There is a direct correlation between the skin’s water content and its levels of amino acids. Basically, the more dehydrated and dry the skin is, the lower its share of dissolved amino acids.
Studies suggest that urea’s keratolytic and hydrating effects are due to the breakage of hydrogen bonds in the stratum corneum, the outer layer of skin it is essential to loosen epidermal keratin and increases the water-binding sites within the skin.
Improved barrier function: One of the many ways urea benefits your skin is strengthening and protecting the barrier function and keeping it healthy.
Natural Exfoliant: At higher percentages within a formula urea becomes a natural keratolytic (exfoliator). This, combined with its hydrating properties, makes it a potent skin treatment. Urea works in synergy with other ingredients like lactic acid, which make up the molecular structure of healthy skin, thus enhancing the penetration of other ingredients.
Combined, urea and lactic actively remove dead skin cells and substances from the skin improving cellular turnover, whilst dramatically improving the water-binding capability of the skin, literally rebuilding skin from the inside out.
Fights Acne: Urea improves your skin’s health by metabolising the antimicrobial peptide LL-37, which attacks acne-causing bacteria within the skin. An in vitro study found that urea directly inhibits the yeast Malassezia, which is often the cause of fungal acne.
Possible Anesthetic: Urea has another interesting profile it can create a local anaesthetic effect on your skin and has anti-itch properties. This is really useful in reducing cycles of inflammation and flare-ups, making it our ingredient of choice if you have sensitive skin.
Penetration: Studies have found, that urea plays a key role in increasing the permeability of certain skin care ingredients, working as a vehicle for other performance ingredients, by encouraging them to penetrate the epidermis easily.
Natural Moisturiser: Dry skin can be due to a reduction of urea in your skin’s tissues, leading to tightness and flakiness. Urea is a key component of the natural moisturising factor found within your skin, offering instant relief if you have dry skin.
For this reason, we include urea in H₂O Hydrating Complex and Quench ultra-hydrating water gel, both of which work as a moisture magnet to infuse dry, skin with moisture.
The gentle exfoliating action of urea helps to leave the skin super smooth, especially when layered the skin’s texture is visibly softer, giving it a youthful glow. Our clinic has seen some great results from both these formulas on our clients who suffer from extremely dry, dehydrated skin.
So you have heard it here from us first, ureas laundry list of skin-loving benefits.
But if your still not convinced don’t just take our word for it, here are some of our client’s testimonial who have had great results at varying percentages:
Lorree from Brisbane wrote
I use a cream called containing 5% carbamide/urea. I use it for my dry scalp issues and apply after showering, and it takes away all the dryness/flakiness.
Jane from London wrote
I have a carbamide cream at 10% that also contains Shea and a 30% foot gel for my partner. Both are working exceptionally well and this summarises why urea is such a fantastic ingredient. Thank you so much for writing this article.
Kathy from Auckland wrote
I started using your serum H20 with 1% Urea twice daily on my face. I have then been sealing it with my chosen moisturiser and am really impressed with the results, I am already noticing visible improvements in my skin it feels really hydrated and much smoother and it has its youthful glow back.
So happy that you introduced me to this wonder ingredient Samantha
John from Texas wrote
Initially, I began using a cream with 15% urea peeling but washed it off after 5min because it was irritating. Next, I tried 5-6% and it was still sensitising – small red bumps appeared on my higher cheeks and near the lipline. I switched to 2% and love it, it is really hydrating and I found it helps to prevent the dead skin buildup that often clogs my pores? I have a very sensitive skin, which doesn’t like actives like AHA/BHA and physical exfoliation.
Kelly a client wrote
I have suffered from eczema on my hands and neck and I have been using a 5% urea cream coupled with layering your Fortify barrier repair cream repair, a gentle no foam wash, and no exfoliating products at all. My skin is getting better, the texture is smoother, and not so irritated. I am so pleased with the results, thank you so much, Samantha, I wish you every success in the future and appreciate all you do, I agree it certainly is your calling.
The sciencey skin bit
To understand how urea works, it is important to understand your skin’s structure, so please bear with us as we get a little technical here:
Your outermost layer of skin the stratum corneum – is made up of corneocytes and an intercellular cement which has a high resistance to many chemical agents. Inside the corneocytes is our natural moisturising factor (NMF), here a mixture of substances regulates moisture levels on the surface by binding water molecules.
Whilst applications of emollients and occlusive ingredients coat your skin’s surface to create instant moisturisation it is only a temporary fix, they don’t improve your skin’s ability to create and hold water the way urea does. When applied to your skin, it penetrates the stratum corneum where it readily absorbs and retains water increasing your skin’s capacity to hold moisture and rehydrate.
To conclude, it helps to regulate the cell cycle encouraging natural desquamation or exfoliation, enhancing your barrier function, which in turn regulates the good micro-flora that keeps your all-important acid mantle intact.
The dry skin connection
Dry skin results from a lack of oil and water in the outer layer of your skin thus, your skin can become scaly, cracked, and itchy.
Moisture is normally retained in the epidermis by a surface film of substances, urea is one of these water-holding substances, along with lactic and amino acid.
As discussed previously, reduced levels of urea can lead to a lower water-binding capacity within your skin, which in turn leads to roughness, tightness, flaking, and irritation.
Research has found a link between severe dry skin conditions and drastically reduced urea in the stratum corneum. Urea stimulates the skin components that keep it healthy, which is referred to as ‘epidermal gene expression.’
When applied topically, it increases filaggrin formation an important protein found within your skin keeps everything balanced. It also maintains a healthy barrier function by building up your skin’s defence mechanisms.
Percentages Used in Skincare Products
Less than 10%: This can help with water retention in your skin, helping to bind moisture this is due to its extremely hydrophilic nature, making it a popular choice for its moisturising effect.
Over 10%: This has a light keratolytic effect, making it a great choice if you have dry, flaky skin that requires an extra boost. It is still hydrating at this percentage, but it becomes quite exfoliating, it can be irritating at this percentage when used on the face but is ideal in body preparations.
At higher doses of 20-40%: It becomes a powerful keratolytic (exfoliator), making it great for more serious therapeutic uses, such as treating psoriasis and calloused skin on the feet.
Getting to grips with the types of urea
Urea is often referred to as Carbamide the primary organic solid of urine, which is waste that has been produced by the body after it metabolises protein.
Thankfully, the urea used in the cosmetic industry is made from synthetic sources and is not animal-derived. It is formed from ammonia and carbon dioxide and produced in either a solid or liquid form.
There are three forms of urea found in personal care products: Hydroxyethyl Urea, Diazolidinyl Urea, and Imidazolidinyl Urea. People often get confused by these, but they are, in fact, completely different ingredients.
Diazolidinyl and Imidazolidinyl Urea are antimicrobial preservatives used in the skincare industry to protect personal care products from bacteria, yeast, and mould. They do get a lot of bad press as a preservative since they are proven to release formaldehyde.
Hydrovance (INCI name “Hydroxyethyl Urea”) is a potent humectant and considered safe as a cosmetic ingredient.
Phew! With so many beautifying properties, we appreciate its a lot to take in
For the benefit of those who require a little recap, here are this cool little ingredient’s best bits:
What Are Peptides?
To put it into the simplest terms, peptides are made from short chains of amino acids, usually 2-50 amino acids in length. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, so you can think of peptides as little proteins.
Many of these peptides are naturally occurring in your skin. They make up proteins that are needed by the skin to synthesize collagen or other complex molecules.
Collagen is found all over the body, and in every human cell. Collagen is what keeps skin plump and firm and gives the skin structure– just picture the full cheek of a newborn baby. Collagen is also found in bones, tendons, cartilage, and ligaments. Think of it as the ‘glue’ that holds it all together.
Peptides are also the building blocks for elastin and keratin, which play a part in keeping skin looking smooth and supple. According to The Cleveland Clinic , collagen peptides make up about 75-80% of the dermis, which is the layer of skin below the epidermis. As we age, our bodies don’t produce as much collagen which can lead to wrinkles and sagging skin.
By some estimates, people lose 1% of their collagen after age 30. The sun, pollution, smoking, and a poor diet can also speed up collagen loss. Without peptides, the skin doesn’t look as firm and the texture may not look as smooth.
the good: Peptides can help in a variety of different ways from supporting hydration and collagen production to wound healing. The benefit of the peptides is largely dependent on the type used.
the not so good: Peptides can cause some irritation.
Who is it for? All skin types except those that have an identified allergy to it.
Synergetic ingredients: Works well with most ingredients.
Keep an eye on: Keep an eye on new peptides coming on to the market.
Simple Science: How in the World do Enzymes Clean?
When you hear the word bacteria it can easily conger up images of sickness or danger. But strains of bacteria exist that are beneficial to human health and are helpful for cleaning. “Bio-enzymatic” cleaners—those that are bacteria and enzyme-based—can be safe and effective soil and odor removers, especially for organic types of soil. But how in the world do enzymes clean?
Bacteria and Enzymes … Better Together
To better understand bio-enzymatic products, some simple science about how bacteria and enzymes work in tandem to clean will be helpful. As you may remember from science class, bacteria are microorganisms that are present in most of the earth’s habitats, including soil, water, dust particles—even the human stomach. There are two kinds of bacteria: pathogenic (harmful) and “good” bacteria, such as probiotics that help with digestion and immunity.
Contrary to popular belief, enzymes are not alive. They are produced by live bacteria and pave the way for it to work. Enzymes operate as helpful tools that catalyze (speed up) chemical reactions between bacteria and soils, making the bacteria more efficient. Enzymes work to break down complex waste particles into smaller pieces that bacteria can more easily consume. These smaller particles—organic wastes, urine, grease, stains—become “food” for bacteria to digest and break down into two basic compounds—carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O).
Typical enzymes can be categorized into four main groups, based on the types of soils they react with.
- Proteases break down protein-based soils including blood, urine, food, feces, wine and other beverages.
- Lipases break down fat molecules like oils and grease.
- Amylases break down starch molecules like eggs, sugars, sauces, ice cream, gravy.
- Cellulases are used to soften fabric and restore color to fibers made up of cellulose material. They also remove particulate soil and reduce fabric graying and pilling.
Each type of enzyme is different and will catalyze only one type of reaction (known as a ‘lock and key’ mechanism). They are highly specific to the type of surface or material they can work on and are only active when conditions are correct.
The Magic of Bio-enzymatic Cleaners
Biological cleaning products are live solutions formulated using strains of safe, natural bacteria along with specifically selected enzymes. Both bacteria and enzymes work together to clean, relying on each other to get the job done. When applied to surfaces, soils, stains and malodors are broken down by the enzymes, then consumed by the bacteria. As long as soil is present and surfaces are sufficiently damp, these microscopic “cleaners” multiply, continuing to remove traces of grime and odor from surfaces hours or even days after the initial application.
Enzymes Go Solo
Enzymes can also be used without bacteria in certain cleaning products (although they are initially harvested from bacteria). Enzymes in laundry detergents, for example, work to catalyze the chemical reactions of other ingredients in the detergents. In wash water, they help to break down soils so that water can more easily wash it away.
Getting The Biggest Bang from your Bio-enzymatic Cleaners
When using bio-enzymatic cleaners in your facility, it’s important to select the appropriate product for the type of soil you are cleaning. Bio-enzymatic formulations work particularly well for these four cleaning applications:
The natural cleaning process of bio-enzymatic products can make them a safer, gentler way to keep pipes free flowing. Bactizyme Drain Cleaner/Maintainer is a natural choice for maintaining drains and traps, working to break down organic materials like grease, fats and scum that can clog plumbing and cause odors.
When used as part of a regular maintenance program, the specific formulation of Nyco’s Arrest Uric Acid Eliminator attacks stains and uric acid odors from restroom surfaces including hard-to-reach crevices and grouted areas. Its residual effectiveness means it works long after application to keep high traffic areas smelling fresh and clean for days.
Enzymatic products are often formulated for carpet cleaning applications as they can penetrate soft surfaces without discoloring them. Their near-neutral pH helps ensure these cleaners won’t damage surfaces.
Generally safe for most fabrics, various enzymes will be added to laundry detergents with the intent of removing specific stains. Blood, gravy, fatty foods stains and oily cosmetics are easy targets for enzymes to zero in on.
Always Follow the Directions
Bio-enzymatic products do have a shelf life (usually one to two years), so be mindful of expiration dates. Extreme temperatures may cause them to lose their efficacy. Also, never use disinfectants or products with a high pH on the same surface, as this can neutralize enzyme activity and reduce their cleaning power.
Bio-enzymatic cleaners are a high-performing choice to include in your cleaning arsenal for specific types of surfaces and soils. For cleaning applications like restrooms, drains and malodors, let these tiny organisms do the dirty work in your facility.
Simple Science Enzyme Vocabulary
• Amylases – Type of enzyme that breaks down starch molecules.
• Bacteria – Microscopic, one-celled organisms that can be found everywhere. They can be dangerous or beneficial.
• Bio-enzymatic Cleaner – Formulation that is bacteria based and/or enzyme-based.
• Catalyze – Speed up.
• Cellulases – Type of enzyme that reacts with cellulose material.
• Enzyme – Protein produced by bacteria that are used to speed up chemical reactions.
• Lipases – Type of enzyme that breaks down fat molecules.
• Proteases – Type of enzyme that reacts with protein-based soils.