How to Make Your Own Hyaluronic Acid Product with EGF!

In April 2017, we offered a limited run of our Hyaluronic Acid Serum with EGF as a Bonus and we received tons of great feedback. Although we are unable to add this to our line-up of great products, we think you’ll find that it’s super easy to make for yourself!

If you are just looking for an anti-aging product that contains both Hyaluronic Acid and Epidermal Growth Factor (EGF), then we still recommend our Collagen Serum. Collagen Serum is our best anti-aging product and contains these ingredients and many more to help promote healthy skin. However, those of you who are looking for a light, water-based moisturizing serum with some added benefits should look no further.

All of the products in our Hyaluronic Acid Line can be customized with EGF, or other water-soluble actives. Here are a few suggestions:

Hyaluronic Acid Serum with EGF – Give this serum an anti-aging boost with EGF.
Mix the EGF with the saline solution per the instructions. Use the included pipette to take out a quarter (0.5 ml) of the EGF/saline solution. Squeeze the EGF/saline solution into the Hyaluronic Acid Serum. You can either stir with a clean utensil, or place the lid back on the serum tightly and slowly invert the bottle back and forth. Store the remaining EGF/saline solution in the fridge. Enjoy your custom moisturizer!

Hyaluronic Acid Cream with ROS Terminator – Add more antioxidant protection to this nutritive cream.
Use the small scoop provided to take out approximately one quarter (1.25 ml) of the ROS Terminator solution. Add this gel-like mixture to your Hyaluronic Acid Cream and use the spatula included to stir until completely combined. Store the remaining ROS Terminator in the fridge. Enjoy your custom cream!

Hyaluronic Acid Gel with dePuff – Create a cooling under-eye gel to soothe puffy eyes and dark circles.
Use one of the pipettes provided to take out about a quarter (1.25 ml) of the dePuff solution. Add this solution to the Hyaluronic Acid Gel and stir with a clean utensil, or place the lid back on the gel tightly and slowly invert to mix. Store the remaining dePuff in the fridge. Enjoy your custom eye gel!

December Promo

December Promotions


It’s time for our End of the Year Clearance Sale! All the products included are either discontinued or this lot will expire within approximately 6 months. For those products coming up on expiration, the expiration date is included so take that usage date into consideration before purchase. 50% OFF available on the sale page ONLY! Discount already applied. Supplies limited.

Holiday Products

Holiday Scented Products
Available Starting Now Through December Only!

This holiday season we will be creating some decadently scented body care treats. These year’s scents will be Snow Globe (Vanilla Mint Cream), Orange Cocoa Truffle (Rich Chocolate Orange), Warm Gingersnap (Gingerbread Cookie). Not only are we creating three tasty scents using our rich Body Cream, but this year we are trying something new: Shower Gel!

Each of this year’s three scents will be available in a set containing an awesome gel body wash and a luscious body cream. We will also make a fourth set available for those who want to try all three creams at once. These sets make great gifts! But just like the holiday season, these tasty scents won’t be around for long. So get them while you can to stock your bathroom for holiday guests, fill your family’s stockings, or just keep them all for yourself.

Orange Cocoa Truffle Ingredients:

Rich Chocolate Orange Body Cream – Water, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Sorbitol, Octyl Palmitate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Sodium PCA, Polysorbate-20, Allantoin, Carbomer, Fragrance, Citrus Sinensis Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide.

Rich Chocolage Orange Shower Gel – Water, Sodium C14-C16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Acrylates Crosspolymer-4, Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate (and) Calcium Gluconate, Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Citrus Sinensis Oil, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Hydroxide. 

Snow Globe Ingredients:

Peppermint Vanilla Body Cream – Water, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Sorbitol, Octyl Palmitate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Sodium PCA, Polysorbate-20, Allantoin, Carbomer, Fragrance, Mentha Piperita Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide.

Peppermint Vanilla Shower Gel – Water, Sodium C14-C16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Acrylates Crosspolymer-4, Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate (and) Calcium Gluconate, Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Mentha Piperita Oil, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Hydroxide.

Warm Gingersnap Ingredients:

Gingerbread Cookie Body Cream – Water, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Sorbitol, Octyl Palmitate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Kernel Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Sodium PCA, Polysorbate-20, Allantoin, Carbomer, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hydroxide.

Gingerbread Cookie Shower Gel – Water, Sodium C14-C16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Acrylates Crosspolymer-4, Gluconolactone (and) Sodium Benzoate (and) Calcium Gluconate, Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Potassium Hydroxide. 

SPF_Social_Media Boost-06

40% OFF Our New Daily Defense Anti-Aging, SPF 30 Day Cream

Skin Actives Scientific is proud to unveil a cutting-edge product three years in the making!

Skin Actives’ new Daily Defense delivers the powerful anti-aging activity that our customers have come to recognize and expect. We’ve combined these anti-aging and antioxidant ingredients with an SPF 30 sunblock that is light and silky enough to be worn daily.

We’re bringing you this amazing new product in a stylish box and airless pump jar. The lively presentation on this product is great for gift giving, or for taking a second to treat yourself.

Skin Actives is now offering this scientifically proven new product at a deep discount of 40%, but only for a limited time! Check out our webpage for more information and make sure to get your hands on a jar as soon as you can!

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Stocking Stuffers:
Nail Care Duo
Liquid Rainbow
Anti-Aging HydraMist
Anti-Aging Wish List:
Anti-Aging Set
Daily Defense Anti-Aging Cream with SPF 30
Bright-I Serum
Acne Wish List:
Acne Control Set
Alpha Beta Exfoliant Solution
Pore Refreshing Mask
Dry Skin List:
Dry/Sensitive Skin Set
Dream Cream
Rosehip Seed Oil
Body Care Wish List:
Holiday Treats Body Care
Desert Salt Scrub
Body Cream
For Him:
Skin Soothing Serum
Vitamin A Serum
Salicylic Wash
DIY Wish List:
Make Your Own Cream with EGF Kit
The Scientific Revolution in Skin Care Paperback
Formulation for Beginners Kit

Need help finding the perfect gift?
Email or call 480-813-5633

Brightening Oil Serum


  1. Take a clean, heat safe container and wipe it down with 70% isopropyl alcohol. Add the desired amount of base, like Jojoba Oil, to this container.
  2. You will need to choose a heating method for the oil to dissolve some of the actives. In order to fully dissolve, the Kojic Acid Dipalmitate needs to be heated to approximately 70 degrees Celcius (158 degrees Fahrenheit) and the Tetrahydrocurcuminoids will need to be heated to approximately 90 degrees Celcius (194 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s best to use a hot plate and a stir bar, but an alternative is a double boiler set up on the stove. A microwave can be used, but it will heat the oil unevenly.
  3. Once you have chosen a heating method, add the Kojic Acid Dipalmitate and Tetrahydrocurcuminoids into the Jojoba Oil while stirring constantly. When everything is dissolved at 90 degrees Celcius you will have a mostly clear oil. The serum will increase in opacity as it cools down.
  4. Allow the serum to cool down to room temperature before adding the Bisabolol (alpha).
  5. Keep the serum in a cool, dark location to extend the shelf life. The serum will need to be inverted before applying to keep the actives evenly dispersed. Changes in temperature can cause the actives to fall out of solution. Heating can reincorporate, but it may break down the Bisabolol (alpha) that was added at cool down.


Below are the percentages of each active that we recommend.

Kojic Acid Dipalmitate: 1 – 3%

Tetrahydrocurcuminoids: 0.1 – 0.5%

Bisabolol (alpha): 0.1 – 0.5%


Advanced User Tip: For those users who know how to make emulsions, this can be used as the oil phase of a homemade cream to create a custom brightening cream or lotion.

Understanding Elastin for Advanced Home Formulators

The effects of solar elastosis

One of the most recognizable and striking signs of skin aging is actinic elastosis. You know what it looks like: thickened, leather-like, deeply fissured skin seen on the back of the sun-exposed neck, but in some people it is also on their faces. These are the most striking wrinkles because they are deep and large. The little wrinkles we complain about are nothing when compared with these huge valleys and mountains in the skin of people who have exposed their faces and necks to UV damage for decades.

Do you know what is going on in actinic elastosis?  Probably not, but you don’t have to. It does matter when people who design skin care products don’t know either. One example of this is the use of sh-polypeptide 50 in skin care. The first problem with this ingredient is that it can be almost anything. In an annoyingly vague International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) definition, it seems that it can be almost any length and any sequence.

In some company’s advertising they talk about this peptide being proelastin, a soluble protein precursor to the very insoluble elastin, which is a giant molecule of incredible complexity (proelastin has a MW of more than 60,000, with more than 600 amino acids). Whatever they are using in their products, there is no mention in the scientific literature that adding proelastin can increase synthesis of elastin in the skin. And this is not surprising if we look at how elastin is actually made in the skin. Please bear with me as I describe this complex process as briefly as I can. If you think that collagen synthesis is complicated, then elastin synthesis is crazy complicated.

Elastin production

The fibroblasts are a major group of cells in the dermis involved in making elastin, a process that occurs in the dermis. During this process, the tropoelastin monomer is synthesized on the rough endoplasmic reticulum of the fibroblast and undergoes intracellular post-translational modification. In this phase, the elastin-binding protein associates with tropoelastin monomers to form a complex before being released on the cell surface. This association of elastin-binding protein and tropoelastin monomers is responsible for the elastin stability.

elastin synthesis

Figure. Synthesis of elastin in the skin.

As for all proteins, the first step in the synthesis of elastin occurs inside the nucleus of the fibroblast where the gene is transcribed into messenger RNA. Polypeptide formation from this messenger RNA to form tropoelastin occurs in the endoplasmic reticulum, but several other proteins are also involved. Inside the cell, the elastin-binding proteins associate with tropoelastin monomers to become a complex that will be released from the cell surface (number 2 in figure above). During the formation of elastic fibers, microfibrils’ components function as a scaffold where elastin will deposit. Several other molecules are involved in the process, such as the enzyme lysil oxidase, fibrillin, microfibrils-associated proteins, decorin, fibulins, and more. The mature elastin (number 3 in figure above) is then formed by cross-linking of lysine and tropoelastin, mediated by enzyme lysyl oxidase.

How NOT to repair elastin

Elastosis is also a complex process, where elastin fibers become a mess and the structure of the elastin fibers is completely different from what it should be. From the biochemical point of view, actinic elastosis consists of accumulation of degenerated elastic fibers.

The take home message? That actinic elastosis does not happen because of the scarcity of elastin but because the elastin present is “faulty.” There are two main causes for this problem: 1) normal elastin is modified in a number of ways and 2) newly formed elastin is made “wrong.” Both happen in elastotic skin.

There is no (scientific) reason to believe that adding tropoelastin to aging skin will solve the problem. Indeed, there is no reason to believe that increasing supply of this component of elastin, normally produced in the dermis, will cause it to incorporate into new elastin.

Moreover, because of the complexity of the whole process, we can assume that by adding tropoelastin, or whatever sh-polypeptide 50 may be, elastosis can be aggravated. There is no proof that it helps and no proof that it hurts because no research has been published in scientific journals. The experiment is being done on the consumers, in a gigantic project where the guinea pigs are paying millions of dollars to be used as research subjects in a completely uncontrolled experiment.

The experiment started decades ago when partly hydrolyzed elastin from the neck tendons of young calves was used on women’s skin; an experiment that was granted a patent without any published research to prove benefits to the subjects. The use of elastin pieces received a very small grant from the government because it was suggested that these pieces could be made into a scaffold that may be used in vitro for experiments. The structure of this hypothetical scaffold has no relation whatsoever with the highly organized elastin we have in our skin. I don’t think this was dangerous, because small peptides, if they penetrate the epidermis, will be degraded and used as amino acids by the skin. Yucky? Yes. Dangerous? No.

Don’t let the industry use you to try an undefined ingredient of any molecular weight and amino acid sequence.

-Dr. Hannah Sivak

Reference: Weihermann, A. C., Lorencini, M., Brohem, C. A. and de Carvalho, C. M. (2017), Elastin structure and its involvement in skin photoageing. Int J Cosmet Sci, 39: 241–247. doi:10.1111/ics.12372

Protect your skin this Halloween

Halloween makeup products are considered cosmetics and are therefore subject to the same regulations as other cosmetics, including the same restrictions on color additives. Products made in the USA should follow those rules and should be safe. But, if you are thinking of buying those colorful Halloween makeup sets sold in stores and supermarkets, think again. The FDA has not approved them. The FDA may not even know that those makeup sets exist. Did you know that the FDA has 6 inspectors for 3 million shipments of imported cosmetics? Please remember that cosmetics are not a priority for the FDA, prescriptions medications are, so it is up to you to be vigilant (caveat emptor).

Here is what we know (from the NYT, 8/2/17) “Of the three million imported cosmetics shipments, the agency physically inspected just 9,871, or about 0.3 percent, last year. 15 percent of those inspections resulted in what the F.D.A. calls ‘adverse findings.’ Laboratory tests were conducted on a smaller sample of those shipments — a total of 364 last year — and 20 percent of those led to adverse findings. The agency found bacterial contamination, illegal color additives that can cause skin or eye injuries, ingredients that were not on the label as required, and unsafe chemical substances like mercury, the agency said.” This is why you have to be vigilant.

What should you fear?

Bacterial contamination, illegal color additives that can cause skin or eye injuries, and unsafe heavy metals like lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium or antimony. Our bodies can certainly deal with small amounts of these toxic substances, but not when their concentrations exceed certain values.

What can you do?

Ignore claims of “hypoallergenic.” The word may sound scientific but there is no such category of products, it is just one more of the many advertising claims that have no real (or legal) meaning.

If you’re decorating your skin with something you’ve never used before, you might try a dab of it on your arm for a couple of days to check for an allergic reaction or irritation before you put it on your face. This is essential if you tend to have allergies. And allergies only get worse; you will NOT build “tolerance” by applying more of a product that provokes an allergic response.

Helpful tips to protect your skin this Halloween

Make your own face paints! You can use food coloring (may stain clothes and skin but they are safe) or use washable paint for children from a reputed brand like, Crayola.

You can wear an Italian Carnival mask, or something similar. They are beautiful and will make a great wall decoration after Halloween is over.

Check that the product has been made in the USA or it is distributed by a company in the USA. If something goes wrong, these companies will have to respond to your complaints and to the FDA if their products cause damage.

Follow all directions carefully.

Don’t apply products to your face that aren’t intended for your skin.

If your face paint has a bad smell, this could be a sign that it is contaminated. Throw it away and go for another one.

Some products may be okay on your skin, but not near your eyes. Check the label: some face paint or other makeup may say on the label that it is not for use near the eyes. Be careful to keep makeup from getting into your eyes. Even products intended for use near your eyes can sometimes irritate your skin if you use too much of them.

And most important: please remember to take off the paint before you go to bed! Don’t use products that contain alcohol to do this, it will irritate and dry your skin. Use a good oil-based cleanser, like our Cleansing Oil or Creamy Cleanser.

Remember to take care of your skin before and after applying makeup as well. Use a base that will be good for your skin before applying makeup or face paint, like our Cranberry Moisturizing Serum. And, of course, always moisturize after you remove your make-up with a nutritive product, like Dream Cream or Hyaluronic Acid Cream. There is no harm in participating in the fun and theatrics of playing dress-up, but don’t sacrifice the long-term health of your skin in the process. Play it skin safe this Halloween with Skin Actives!

-Dr. Hannah Sivak

Behind the Scenes at Skin Actives’ SPF Photo Shoot

In September, Skin Actives partnered up with Photographer, Noemi Gonzalez, to shoot photos for our Daily Defense SPF 30 launch! We are beyond lucky to work with Ms. Gonzalez and our lovely models!

Here is a behind the scenes shot featuring our models (left) Jessie Marman, (right) Adaria Gonzalez-Brown, and our Creative Director, Claire Thomas.

About Noemi Gonzalez:
“Daughter of Mexican immigrants, I was the first-born in the US and thus was born the first Xicana in the household – whose first words were a combination of Spanish and English–never an expert in one, always struggling and gracefully tumbling my way through the binary of two cultures.

When not glued to my computer or photographing those around me, you can find me 3,000 feet in elevation at Yosemite or lost in the hills of Superstition Mountains.”

See more of her photos at:

Make a Difference with Skin Actives!

Make A Difference

Help those affected by the recent storms just by purchasing from Skin Actives. Starting today, all proceeds from the purchase of 1 oz Firming Collagen Cream will be donated to ShelterBox.

ShelterBox is a global organization dedicating to providing shelter to families who have lost their homes due to conflict and natural disaster. They are still working to help those families affected by Hurricane Harvey and have sent out response teams to help with Hurricane Irma as well.

Join us to help in this worthy cause and provide some emergency shelter and tools to families in need. Our Firming Collagen Cream as a great anti-aging product that many of you already enjoy, but you can enjoy it more knowing that your purchase has made a difference.

Help Now

Post-Summer Anti-Aging

What causes wrinkled skin?

What you see in the mirror are wrinkles. What happened to the anatomy and the biochemistry of your skin that makes it look this way? Many, many changes happened.  Skin aging causes subcutaneous fat reduction, increased accumulation of damaged elastin in the upper dermis, destruction of the skin fibrillar structure, accumulation of inflammatory infiltrate, and more.

The epidermis becomes thinner during aging. Although this happens throughout the epidermis, this thinning is more pronounced in the deepest portion of the wrinkle and is sometimes accompanied by a reduction of the number of cellular layers. The dermis and hypodermis become atrophied during aging, with a decrease in collagen content, certain glycosaminoglycans, and in the fat tissue of the hypodermis. Conversely, there is an increase in elastin, often with a distorted structure and impaired function.

There is a lot more to the skin than “just” the cells. The changes in cell morphology and biochemistry are accompanied by major structural and functional changes that occur in the dermal extracellular matrix where fibrillar collagens, elastic fibers and proteoglycans provide tensile strength, resilience and hydration, respectively.

As time passes, skin proteins get glycosylated (sugars are attached to the amino acids), modifying structure and function.

The number of blood vessels reaching the skin (vascularization) decreases, and this causes a decrease in the supply of nutrients to the skin. This is why Skin Actives products contain so many nutrients (including vitamins, amino acids, hyaluronic acid, etc.) in order to compensate as much as possible for this loss.

What is an age spot?

Synthesis of melanin and its accumulation in the epidermis is a complex process. Many proteins participate in this process and when one or more of these proteins are effected by mutations in the DNA of the genes which code for them, you can expect changes in the pigmentation of your skin. Mutations accumulate as we age, and are accelerated by exposure to UV radiation and to ROS* (radical oxygen species), including those present in polluted air. In the areas of our skin most exposed to the sun we end up with areas of hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation, depending on which proteins have been affected.

UV and aging skin

As we all know by now, UV radiation makes intrinsic aging worse. Think about the tanning that happens when you are in the sun for a while. What happens when UV reaches your skin? UV contains energy that can be absorbed by chemicals in the skin. UV light reaches human skin and leads to inflammation, DNA mutations and more. UVA and UVB radiation also induce reactive oxygen species (ROS*) in the skin and contribute to the deleterious effects of skin damage by sunlight. ROS* promote lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation, protein cross-linking, enzyme inactivation, and DNA damage. These effects of ROS* result in decreased cell viability and biological function, increased degradation of the dermal extracellular matrix, skin carcinogenesis, and aging.

The visible result of UV exposure may be, at first, inflammation and redness. The ultimate affect, after all those chemical reactions are over, are wrinkles, sun spots, and “crepey” skin. It may take months or years until you see the final result, but the changes start as soon as you go out into the sunlight.

Independently of the damage caused by UV radiation, some changes are intrinsic to aging and happen all over the body, not just in the skin. Cells age, mutations accumulate, mitochondria age, cells divide more slowly, metabolism slows down, and the turnover of macromolecules slows down as well.

The good news is that it is never too late. Using sunscreen and Skin Actives products will help you repair and protect your skin. Just as proteins and cells were damaged, they can also repair themselves if you give them the right tools.  Wearing sunscreen and protecting yourself from UV radiation will allow your skin to repair itself. Your skin, not matter how old it is, can make new, fresh proteins and glycosaminoglycans. Your stem cells, protected and deep inside your pores, can make new cells.

An SAS program to reverse skin aging.

To get your older skin to look smooth and glowing, you can’t treat it as you would an old, cracked wall. Why? Because your skin is alive, and the wall is not. If you try to sand your skin the way you sand a wall, bad things will happen. Don’t go for experimental procedures, at home or in medical spas, which go for abrasive or high energy damage to the skin as a way to get some kind of “rebirth.” Often the results are new or increased scarring and hyperpigmentation.

Both the perfections and the imperfections you see in your skin are the result of biochemistry, with live cells making proteins, carbohydrates, and more, and changing their structure as the old cells die and new ones take their place.

It is okay to clean your skin, but not if you are going to remove most of what makes the skin a good barrier against the environment. Applying a cream with ceramides will not be enough to compensate for damage done by alcohol or detergents. Instead, try our Cleansing Oil or Creamy Facial Cleanser; they will remove dirt without removing the complex skin barrier.

Use a sunscreen. It has been shown that even without doing anything else, use of sunscreen allowed the skin to repair itself to some extent, as shown by a decrease in wrinkles and irregular pigmentation. We recommend using an SPF 30, like our SPF 30 Advanced Protection Sunscreen.

Remember to include antioxidants, including SAS proteins. ROS* have been implicated in aging and disease, including skin disease. Go for actives that work: epidermal growth factor, vitamin A, nutrition (including essential fatty acids), actives that strengthen the immune response, mitochondrial components, etc.

Use our anti-aging products that actually work. Look at some of our ingredient-packed products like our Vitamin A Cream, Antioxidant Day Cream, Collagen Serum, Every Lipid Serum, Anti-Aging Cream, and Revitalizing Night Cream. These products will provide you with the actives your skin needs to help repair itself, with none of the harsh ingredients that would only cause more harm.

In short, you have in Skin Actives’ products a resource that was not available 10 years ago. Use it to your advantage!

-Dr. Hannah Sivak

Put Your Best Face Forward: Getting Rid of Acne the Skin Actives Way

acne drawing

You’re back from vacation with a nice suntan and you look in the mirror to see the acne is worse. That is because ultraviolet (UV) light is another factor that affects acne. It will promote the formation of free radicals and inflammation. UV rays are not your friend.

Now it’s almost time to go back to school. What to do? Even more important, what NOT to do?

First, remember that acne is a very common condition. So, breathe deep. But just because a skin condition is common, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t serious. What happens to one’s skin happens in front of the world, and acne is a good example. Acne affects a large proportion of the population, but again, just because something is common, that doesn’t mean it isn’t serious. Serious acne can ruin a teenager’s life.

Though acne is a normal skin condition, what’s significant about it is that it makes us unhappy. And while ads promise superhuman results, the companies that produce these advertisements clearly stand to benefit by painting pretty pictures to ensnare desperate people.

Let us speak frankly with each other here: there are no such marvels to be found in the real world. There is no easy solution, or cure, for acne. The good news is that we know enough about acne to control it, and this is a great achievement.

The skin care industry continues to introduce “new” products, but whatever the name of the new products that will perform “miracles” on your skin, it always comes back to salicylic acid and/or benzoyl peroxide. So the old saying is fitting: nothing new under the sun. Usually, there is a stinging ingredient (menthol or a derivative) added to make you think that something is happening. These stinging ingredients can only make things worse. Stinging has no beneficial effect on the acne lesion and at high concentration these ingredients can increase inflammation.

If there is a danger in the usual anti-acne products – it’s that fast buck companies don’t care about the long-term health of their clients’ skin. They will use benzoyl peroxide even if repeated use of a product with this ingredient will aggravate acne. Benzoyl peroxide decimates the natural bacterial flora of the skin and ages skin by flushing it with a strong oxidant that will promote DNA mutations, a very bad idea.

Don’t go for fast and furious solutions advertised on TV and elsewhere. Benzoyl peroxide is not your friend either. It is a strong oxidant, so it will promote the formation of free radicals and inflammation just like UV. Because it is a strong oxidant, it will also cause bleaching of fabrics and can dry and irritate the skin. You can buy new clothes but your skin has to last for many decades.

Beware of products containing strong essential oils, as they may cause allergy and irritation. Beware of products containing alcohol as a main ingredient, as the skin will be dry and will not be able to fend off infection by the acne bacterium, Propionibacterium acnes.

If a product seems to increase irritation, produce a burning sensation, or otherwise upset the skin, stop using it. Ask your doctor if there are alternatives.

What can Skin Actives do for your skin? Our products will help control the acne without damaging your skin in the long term. Our products contain no strong oxidants and the retinoid we use is not irritating. We choose actives that decrease sebum production without drying the skin. We target all aspects of acne, starting with inflammation, and we don’t forget the strong hormonal component.

In order to maintain a leading edge in the skin care industry – I’m constantly evaluating products and ingredients that are marketed as “new” and “innovative.” I have three main sources of information regarding ingredients. The ingredient lists for thousands of products on the market (while reading thousands of ingredient lists is boring, it’s also reassuring because it shows that we’re still the best). Scientific publications that report on how chemicals, synthetic or natural, affect processes related to acne, are also consulted. And our own clients and forum members who write to me suggesting new actives are the final source. Nobiletin was brought to my attention in this way.

What works for acne?

Fucoidan, wild yam* and niacinamide* have anti-inflammatory properties.

*Wild Yam Diosgenin may also help stabilize hormonal microenvironment.

*Niacinamide also helps decreases skin sensitivity.

Salicylic acid, salicin*, and retinyl acetate* normalize keratinization.

*Retinyl acetate (vitamin A) will also accelerate skin renewal to help keep pores clear.

*Willow bark extract (salicin) is also anti-inflammatory.

Nobiletin, coleus, galangal and granulysin* diminish acne bacteria.

*Granulysin is a special active developed by Skin Actives to target blemish prone skin. It is a member of lysosomal proteins and it will help keep at bay the bacteria, Propionibacterium acnes, by creating holes in the tar­get cell membrane.

Zinc, nobiletin and EGCG* help decrease sebum secretion.

*Green tea extract (EGCG) also helps keep pores open and is an antioxidant.

Yeast beta glucan is an immune response enhancer.

Saw palmetto, zinc, and EGCG act as inhibitors of 5alpha-reductase activity.

Using these ingredients, and plenty of other nutrients to promote long-term skin health, we have created a system of acne products better than any of those fast fix products. Using the products in our Acne Control Kit and exfoliating with Alpha-Beta Exfoliant Solution once weekly will help keep your skin clear AND healthy.

So, whether you are headed back to school, starting a new job, or are just tired of dealing with those annoying and sometimes painful breakouts, Skin Actives has got you covered. We will help you beat your acne without beating up your skin.

Acne Control Kit

acne kit

T-Zone Serum Ingredients: Seakelp (Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate) Bioferment, Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate, Water, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), Niacinamide, Nobiletin, Fucoidan, Porphyridium Polysaccharide, Arthrospira Extract, Propylene Glycol (and) Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Methylparaben (and) Propylparaben.

Acne Control Cream Ingredients: Water, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Sorbitol, Sea Kelp (Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate) Bioferment, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Niacinamide, Serenoa Serrulata (Saw Palmetto) Fruit Extract, Salix Alba (White Willow) Bark Extract (Salicin), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), Disogenin (Wild Yam), Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Retinyl Acetate, Oleanolic Acid, Beta Glucan (Yeast), Sodium Hyaluronate, Nobiletin, Arthrospira Extract, Fucoidan, Porphyridium Polysaccharide, Polysorbate 20, Dimethicone, Carbomer, Citric Acid, Aminomethyl Propanol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Zit Ender Ingredients: Sea Kelp (Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate) Bioferment, Salix Alba (White Willow) Bark Extract (Salicin), Water, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), Kaempferia Galanga (Galangal) Root Extract, Oleanolic Acid, Zinc PCA, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Galactoarabinan, Fucoidan, Beta Glucan (Yeast), Beta Glucan (Oat), Opuntia Ficus Indica (Prickly Pear) Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Pectin, Arthrospira Extract, Porphyridium Polysaccharide, Coleus Forskohlii Oil, Granulysin, Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol (and) Sorbic Acid.

Salicylic Wash Ingredients: Seakelp (Lactobacillus/Kelp Ferment Filtrate) Bioferment, Water, PEG-10 Sunflower Glycerides, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, PEG-16 Macadamia Glycerides, Salicylic Acid, Zinc PCA, Propylene Glycol (and) Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Methylparaben (and) Propylparaben.

-Dr. Hannah Sivak