Facts and Fantasy
Credit to Dr Baumann UK
For people who care
The wrong skincare will have consequences for your customers. It will cost them a lot of money, without providing what the skin needs. Inappropriate or incomplete products could cause their skin to develop an allergy, age prematurely, or simply be “under-fed”. As a professional, you can help your customers to see through the common illusions employed by the cosmetics industry and make the right decisions based on accurate information. We hope that the following articles will be of use to you.
- Contact allergies caused by skincare products
- The importance of skin-identical substances
- Hydration of the skin with liposomes
- Mineral oils
- AHA fruit acids
- Oxygen in cosmetics
- Skin and sun
- Active ingredients
- Essential oils
Contact allergies caused by skincare products
Anyone who has experienced an incompatibility reaction knows how distressing it is. Allergies have increased in recent years, and the cosmetics industry is partly to blame. According to our findings, cosmetic products contain too many allergenic ingredients. Cosmeticians therefore have a particular responsibility to be well-informed and to use their expertise to critically scrutinize products to ensure that they are the safest possible products for their clients. Scrupulous professionals should know the background of allergic reactions in order to avoid them as far as possible and be able to advise their clients accordingly.
How do allergic reactions occur? In principle, any substance that the human body regards as foreign can trigger an allergic reaction. The more foreign the substance is to the immune system, the greater the likelihood is of such a defensive reaction. Conversely, the more similar a cosmetic ingredient is to substances that are native to the body, the less likely is an allergic reaction. Epidemiological studies have clearly shown which ingredients in cosmetic products most frequently trigger allergies and which are compatible with the skin. Medical textbooks and academic articles on dermatology state that perfume and chemical preservatives are amongst the worst allergens. Unfortunately, these are also the most commonly used substances in cosmetics. Given that these substances are carried into the skin and break through the protective barrier of the stratum corneum, the exacerbated allergies caused by cosmetics are not surprising. It is important to remember that the first stage of a skin allergy (the sensitization phase) is not visible. Even when the skin seems to tolerate a product with perfume and chemical preservatives, the allergic process (sensitization) could have already begun in the immune system. It often happens that a product is tolerated by the skin for a long time and then suddenly is no longer tolerated. This phenomenon is not surprising to experts on allergies. The sensitization phase, the time it takes the body to react to an allergen with an allergic reaction, can take days, weeks, months or even years. Thus, if one regularly applies a cream containing perfumes and/or chemical preservatives, an allergy may already be developing even if the product seems to be compatible. The problem only becomes apparent when the allergic reaction finally occurs. The result is sick or prematurely old-looking skin.
There are no preservatives that do not carry this risk for skin health and beauty. The dermatological journal “Der Hautarzt” (The Skin Doctor) published an article in 2003 called “Kontaktsensibilisierungen auf Externa” (Contact sensitization to external agents) by Dr. S.M. Erdmann and Dr. H.F. Merk from the Aachen University Skin Clinic. Here are some important extracts from the article:
“Especially skincare products, due to their frequent use and broad distribution, are a great cause of sensitization. Perfumes and preservatives, especially in cosmetic products, are a common trigger for contact allergies world-wide” and “It has to be put on record that to date no microbiologically satisfactory preservative has been found that is guaranteed not to trigger a sensitization process (neither for topical dermatics nor for cosmetic products).” (Topical dermatics are medicinal prescriptions for the acute treatment of the skin)
However, it is easy to protect your customers from this danger. The packaging of any skincare product lists all the ingredients (INCI system). Here are the most common preservatives found in cosmetics: methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, triclosan, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, chlorhexidin, methylisothiazolinon, dibromodicyanobutan, sorbic acid, benzoic acid, DMDM hydantoin, polyaminopropyl biguanide, phenoxyethanol, chlormethylisothiazolinon, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bronopol), quaternium 15, and iodpropinylbutylcarbamat.
Sometimes marketers try to disguise the presence of chemical preservatives by claiming that a product contains “only natural preservatives”. What they do not say is that the “natural preservatives” are no different from “chemical preservatives”. Please note: natural – chemical – synthesized. There are in fact miniscule traces of the most commonly used chemical preservatives such as parabens, potassium sorbate, and sodium benzoate in nature, which is how the marketers justify calling them “natural”. However, for use in cosmetics these substances are chemically synthesized in factories on an industrial scale. In any case, when it comes to allergy hazards, it does not matter where the substance comes from. To the immune system they are foreign. Preservatives have a strong allergic potential for everyone.
To achieve the best possible compatibility and tolerance it is obvious that the most common allergens should be excluded from cosmetic products. However, it requires particular effort in research to achieve products that smell good or neutral without perfume and that keep without preservatives. The Dr. Baumann’s Exclusive Bionome Skincare research team has been successful in developing not only creams but also liposomes that smell very good without perfume and keep for a long time without chemical preservatives.
The compatibility of a cosmetic product depends on every individual ingredient. A product can be incompatible if it contains even one single allergenic ingredient. Just as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, a product with many good ingredients and one incompatible substance can trigger an allergy.
Often, advertisers claim that a product is “dermatologically tested” or “clinically tested”. But what do these tests reveal? The advertisements do not disclose the results of the tests. Perhaps the product was dermatologically tested and found to be incompatible. For example, some products are advertised as “dermatologically tested” and “hypo-allergenic” even though they contain chemical preservatives and have not been tested for allergies. In any case, a single test is not enough to determine whether or not sensitization is caused by a product and its ingredients; many repeated tests must be carried out over months and years.
With Dr. Baumann’s Exclusive Bionome Skincare products, which contain no perfume and no chemical preservatives, you and your customers can be assured of being safe from incompatibility reactions to the two most common sources of allergies. Even so, there is no guarantee of 100% safety: even otherwise compatible active ingredients can cause a reaction in a person with an exceptional disposition towards allergies. In such exceptional cases, a reaction may develop even from a Dr. Baumann’s Exclusive Bionome Skincare product. However, because Dr. Baumann’s Exclusive Bionome Skincare products are characterized by a very high and good compatibility, people who have difficulty finding a compatible skin cream are amongst our most loyal customers. For people who have not had such problems in the past, Dr. Baumann’s Exclusive Bionome Skincare is the best way to avoid a problem in the future.
Although the classic DR. BAUMANN products offer a nearly perfect protection, those with exceptional sensitivity can also choose from the new Dr. Baumann SkinIdent® series. All products of this series offer 100% security against allergic skin reactions.
To explain how this is possible, we need to take an even more concentrated look at the anatomy and physiology of the skin.
The skin (cutis) consists of the epidermis and the dermis (corium). The skin is approximately 1.75 m2, and is the largest “immune organ” of the body. The epidermis contains keratinocytes and immune cells called Langerhans cells. In the dermis there are lymphocytes, mast cells (mastocytes), monocytes and macrophages. The job of the immune system is to recognize and attack foreign bodies in order to protect the organism. It does this by differentiating between “self” and “other”. This differentiation allows the immune system to recognize foreign bodies (antigens) such as bacteria and viruses and employ its special defense mechanisms to render them harmless.
If foreign allergens breach the skin’s natural barrier (stratum corneum), they come into contact with the immune cells of the epidermis, the Langerhans cells. These cells use their dendrite appendages to form a network in the epidermis to take up the antigens or allergens and process them. The Langerhans cells then present the processed antigens to the lymphocytes, which react by becoming active and proliferating. For this reason, the Langerhans cells are also known as “antigen-presenting cells”. The lymphocytes migrate to the area where the antigens have invaded and release inflammatory substances, causing the typical signs of inflammation in the skin (example: allergic contact dermatitis).
An immunological tolerance towards tissues and substances which are native to the skin is vital. Otherwise the body would destroy itself, which only happens in the case of some very rare autoimmune diseases. The tolerance towards substances which are native to the skin exists from embryonic development and is accomplished through complicated interwoven, yet unknown, mechanisms.
The immunological defense against foreign intruders is essential for the body’s survival. However, hypersensitivity reactions in the form of allergies harm the organism and relevant organs considerably. “Approximately 80% of all allergies happen in the skin and surrounding mucous membranes”. “Eczema is the most common skin disease, with a 20% prevalence world-wide”. “Allergic contact eczema is the most common type of eczema” (from the textbook “Dermatology” by Dr. E.Jung).
The frequency of allergies in industrialized countries is on the rise. Therefore, knowledge about allergies and their prevention is of great importance, particularly to cosmeticians and skincare users.
Other than the immune defense against pathogens, the first contact with an allergen within the framework of allergy development is clinically silent. In other words, when the skin first comes in contact with a substance, no allergy can develop in the skin. A complicated chain of metabolic processes – the so-called sensitization process – must take place in the body before an allergy can appear. The process of sensitization takes at least 5 days, and more often weeks, months, years or even decades. Given the many complex metabolic mechanisms and cells involved, it is easy to understand why it takes so long for allergies to arise. An immediate allergic reaction to a substance means that there was previous contact with the substance and the process of sensitization has already occurred. The following paragraphs describe the sequence of sensitization and the triggering of allergic reactions.
The sensitization phase: Haptens (foreign, low-molecular weight molecules such as preservatives, and fragrance) attach themselves to carriers in the skin such as protein molecules to become full antigens. These antigens are taken up by the Langerhans cells, processed and presented (antigen-presentation) to the T-lymphocytes (special immune cells). The Langerhans cells also release the chemical signal (cytokine) interleukin-1 which activates the proliferation of T-lymphocytes in the regional lymph nodes. These specifically sensitized lymphocytes arrive in the skin and the rest of the body, so that the progress of sensitization is engaged in the whole organism. This sensitization normally remains for life.
The sensitization phase (according to “Dermatology” by Dr. E.Jung) depends on the duration and intensity of the contact with the allergen, the sensitizing power of the allergen, the barrier function of the skin, and probably a genetic predisposition.
Then begins the activation phase: By this time, the body is already sensitized, but no skin allergies are in evidence. These only become noticeable when the sensitized organism comes into contact with the same antigen it was sensitized against. The concentration of allergens plays no role in this. Even the smallest quantities can trigger an allergic reaction. On renewed contact between the sensitized T-lymphocytes and the allergen (which previously initiated the sensitization) lymphokines are discharged (which are chemical messengers). These lymphokines attract so-called mononuclear phagocytes (macrophages) with the purpose of eliminating the allergen. From the various inflammatory cells a so-called mediator substance is discharged which results in the clinical inflammation.
Acute contact dermatitis: All of the indications of active inflammation are visible: redness, swelling, blisters which burst and weep, dry out, form scabs and drop off as flakes. There is violent itchiness.
Chronic contact eczema: Rough thickening (lichenification) of the skin, callusing (hyperkeratosis) and deep cracks in the skin characterize this condition.
The distribution phenomenon: If the allergens are not removed, the inflammation can spread from the area of reaction to healthy surrounding areas and other areas which are in contact. In extreme cases the entire surface of the body can become inflamed (erythrodermy).
Medical therapy: To abstain from and avoid contact with allergy-inducing substances and cortisone treatment are the choices for medical-dermatological therapy.
Prevention – the most import challenge: Lately the question has been asked, whether it is sensible on medical grounds and justifiable on ethical grounds to allow an allergy to develop through the use of known allergens only to require medically treatment later. Is it not more sensible and in people’s best interest to avoid known allergy triggers in cosmetics? What are sensible strategies to prevent allergies from cosmetics? There are two possible strategies:
Very good strategy: Limiting the number of non-skin-identical foreign substances
– The products consist of as many ingredients as possible that are native or endemic to the skin.
– All other foreign substances used as ingredients are very compatible according to dermatological classification.
– The most common allergy triggers such as fragrance and preservatives are excluded.
Practical realization: The classic Dr. Baumann range (with the exception of a few products which contain essential oil, necessary for some therapeutic results).
Best strategy: Excluding all non-skin-identical foreign substances.
The products consist exclusively of ingredients and vitamins which are native or endemic to the skin, because under normal conditions the immune system does not work against the body.
Practical realization: The Dr. Baumann SkinIdent® range.
The importance of skin-identical substances
Allergies are caused by substances which are foreign to the body, but the immune system considers substances which are native or endemic to the body and the skin to be appropriate and therefore does not attack them. Only in the case of specific autoimmune diseases does the immune system attack substances and tissues normally present in the body, which often results in life-threatening disease patterns. Substances which are native or endemic to the body are not attacked by the immune system, so the goal of Dr. Baumann’s Exclusive Bionome Skincare research from the beginning has been to develop products with as many endemic ingredients as possible. The highest goal of Dr. Baumann’s Exclusive Bionome Skincare research however has been to use only ingredients which are native or endemic to the body. This has led to the development of the Dr. Baumann SkinIdent® line, the first of its kind in the world.
At the time of publication of this information, Dr. Baumann SkinIdent® is the only skincare line in the world to consist exclusively of ingredients and vitamins that are endemic and/or native to the skin and body. This new concept has direct visible and tangible benefits for the skin.
Dermatological facts which directed the development of Dr. Baumann SkinIdent®:
– Only substances foreign to the body trigger allergies in the skin.
– Substances native to the body do not cause allergies (with the exception of certain autoimmune diseases).
– Allergies are constantly increasing and are causing a problem.
– A skincare product can only be optimally effective if it is optimally compatible.
It is possible to prevent dermatological problems such as those caused by allergenic ingredients by following a daily skincare routine which ensures optimal effectiveness through the best possible compatibility. As the development of allergic reactions and related skin diseases is unpredictable, the first logical step is to avoid the worst allergy triggers (according to dermatology) of fragrance, preservatives and other allergenic foreign substances.
The Dr. Baumann’s Exclusive Bionome Skincare research team has achieved success with something previously not considered possible in its new Dr. Baumann SkinIdent® skincare line:
– All the products in this line consist exclusively of skin-endemic active substances and vitamins.
– All products last for at least 30 months without preservatives.
– All products have a pleasant scent without the addition of perfume.
The right concentrations of the all-important active ingredients guarantee optimal effectiveness. At the same time, the use of ingredients and vitamins native to the skin ensures the best possible compatibility. From a dermatological point of view, compatibility and effectiveness are the most important characteristics of a skincare product: this is the basis of Dr. Baumann SkinIdent®.
Dr. Baumann’s Exclusive Bionome Skincare also places a special significance on ethical aspects such as the protection of animals and the environment.
– Animal-friendly: No animal ingredients.
– Environmentally-friendly: No wasteful wrapping and outer packaging.