March Promo

March Promotion

FNF Sale

Friends and Family Sale!
It’s time again for Skin Actives’ Friends and Family Sale. Order this weekend and get 20% off your whole order! That’s right, 20% off SITE WIDE!!!
Friday, March 16th through Sunday, March 18th

Use Code FNF20
to get 20% your entire order!

*Discount applied before shipping*
*One coupon code use per customer*

Introducing Six New Products!

New Products text

New Products

New Masks and Anti-Aging Vegan Line

Skin Actives is very excited to bring you three new masks! With these additions and our existing Pore Refreshing Mask for oily skin, there is a mask option for everyone. Hydrating Gel Mask will refresh combination skin, Overnight Replenishing Mask will hydrate dry/sensitive skin, and Restorative Cream Mask will revitalize aging skin. Now you can add the best mask treatment for your skin type to your healthy skin routine from Skin Actives.

Although we already have quite a few Vegan products in our Animal Free section, we felt there was a lack of anti-aging product options. To solve that concern we have created Vegan versionsof some of our most popular anti-aging products. Try our new Collagen Serum (Vegan)Every Lipid Serum (Vegan), and Hyaluronic Acid Serum (Vegan). See Dr. Sivak’s blog about the creation of the Vegan Collagen Serum HERE.

This is exciting: science works!

Maybe I should have written the title in ALL CAPS! It should be obvious but it is nice to show you pictures of eyelashes growing and of what were before empty areas of scalp, now regrowing hair.

I had a medical procedure last year that ended with me losing  a lot of hair, adding to the misery of months of recovery, but our SAS hair serum worked and I am now back to my usual hair.

So go and get our KGF containing products, they work. As for me, it is nice to do the right thing and succeed, and helping people on the way. And it is nice to have my hair back!

Rosacea update 2018

Rosacea update 2018

New scientific evidence has shown that rosacea’s diverse features may be part of a progression of inflammation, which initially may not be visible to the naked eye but can be detected by looking at the changes in the anatomy, physiology and biochemistry of the skin. It starts with the common presentations of flushing and then stable face redness, and then it may progress to include papules and pustules, and potentially lead to development of external nodules and swellings called phymas.

Research on rosacea has intensified over the last 15 years and it suggests that there will be no simple answers. It seems that, underlying rosacea there is a complex system of disease-causing pathways that include defects in the immune system. Scientific progress in the elucidation of the mechanisms underlying rosacea will continue, but for the time being (and in the near future) there are no easy solutions and rosacea can only be controlled, and not “cured”.

What can you do for yourself?
I know this answer can be annoying for the sufferer of any chronic condition: try to avoid the triggers. The triggers for rosacea are various and changing with time for each person, and many are unavoidable during daily life. Try to avoid hot, crowded spaces, especially if there is cigarette smoke.

What can Skin Actives do for you?
Taking into account the complex causes of rosacea, you can try the following products that address one or more of the factors know to affect rosacea. We hope one or more of these products will help you.

1) Ameliorate inflammation using our Olive Anti-Inflammatory Cream.
2) control redox stress by using our Antioxidant Serum or Antioxidant Cream
3) use our Redness Reduction Serum (rosacea control serum) containing epidermal growth factor
4) see if our Anti-Aging HydraMist (celestite spritz) helps prevent flushing as a response to heat or smoke stress
5) ELS, our “every lipid serum” will help with skin dryness and accelerate recovery

Gallo, Richard L., Granstein, Richard D., Kang, Sewon, Mannis, Mark, Steinhoff, Martin, (Tan, Jerry, Thiboutot, Diane. (2018) Standard classification and pathophysiology of rosacea: The 2017 update by the National Rosacea Society Expert Committee. J. American Acad. Dermatology, 78: 148-155

Holmes, Anna D., Spoendlin, Julia, Chien, Anna L., Baldwin, Hilary, Chang, Anne Lynn S. (2018) Evidence-based update on rosacea comorbidities and their common physiologic pathways J. American Acad. Dermatology, 78: 156-166

From real to fake to faux to man-made to ecological to vegan

Your vegan hand bag is made of plastic. What is the plastic used to make your “vegan leather” handbag?

From Wikipedia: “Plastics are typically organic polymers of high molecular mass and often contain other substances. They are usually synthetic, most commonly derived from petrochemicals, however, an array of variants are made from renewable materials…”

Plastic is used to replace leather as an inexpensive alternative. What is remarkable is the changes in nomenclature used to sell it. Maybe in the past buying fake leather may have made you feel “cheap”. But buying vegan leather may make you feel virtuous, and you may be willing to pay more for vegan than for fake,

Be aware that the same advertising techniques are used in advertising for skin care products, except that lying is easier. Why is that? Trying to sell you plastic as leather would be illegal. But selling you “naturally derived” synthetic ingredients is not going to break the law, because “naturally derived” means nothing.

Don’t buy products containing preservatives consisting of “grapefruit seed extract”. Grapefruit seed has not enough antimicrobial chemicals to make it an effective preservative, so somebody is lying to you. Maybe the grapefruit seed paste was used as raw material to synthesize chemicals that have antimicrobial power (grapefruit seeds don’t), or maybe the real extract has been adulterated. Scientific studies found that when something sold as “grapefruit seed extract” had antimicrobial effect, it  contained benzethonium chloride, or other synthetic preservatives (other commercially available products contained triclosan, benzalkonium chloride or methyl paraben). If it didn’t, it had no preservative activity.

There are many roles for plastics and for all kinds of synthetic chemicals and I have no objection to them. But I do object to selling plastic as vegan leather or synthetic ingredients as “naturally derived”. Everything on earth is naturally derived, by definition, even if the chemical at the end is unrecognizable. I don’t like it when advertising tries to fool me. There are no white lies in advertising.

Are you an apple or a human?

If you can read this, you are probably a human.

Next question. What is a stem cell? “It is a an undifferentiated cell of a multicellular organism that is capable of giving rise to indefinitely more cells of the same type, and from which certain other kinds of cell arise by differentiation.”

We have stem cells in our skin that will be able to heal your skin if the part of your skin in charge of renewal (stratum basale) gets damaged. Your stem cells have your DNA. If you have been careful (wear sunscreen!) your steam cells’ DNA is intact and non-mutated.

What are apple stem cells? Just like your own (undifferentiated cells of a multicellular…”) but with the DNA of an apple. They would not benefit an apple either, except for the amino acids, sugars, etc. that they probably contained when they were prepared.

Can you replace your stem cells with somebody other people’s stem cells? No, your body will see those cells as foreign and will battle them.

What can apple stem cells do for you? Nothing, but you are welcome to eat apples, they taste good and contain stem cells. Applying apple stem cells to your skin will do a bit less for you, because those in cosmetics have been dead for month, or, most likely, for years.

On the other hand, I prefer apple stem cells to those from the wrong tissue (see below).

From the NYT
Patients Lose Sight After Stem Cells Are Injected Into Their Eyes

Three women suffered severe, permanent eye damage after stem cells were injected into their eyes, in an unproven treatment at a loosely regulated clinic in Florida, doctors reported in an article published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.
One, 72, went completely blind from the injections, and the others, 78 and 88, lost much of their eyesight. Before the procedure, all had some visual impairment but could see well enough to drive.
The cases expose gaps in the ability of government health agencies to protect consumers from unproven treatments offered by entrepreneurs who promote the supposed healing power of stem cells.

The women had macular degeneration, an eye disease that causes vision loss, and they paid $5,000 each to receive stem-cell injections in 2015 at a private clinic in Sunrise, Fla. The clinic was part of a company then called Bioheart, now called U.S. Stem Cell. Staff members there used liposuction to suck fat out of the women’s bellies, and then extracted stem cells from the fat to inject into the women’s eyes.

The disastrous results were described in detail in the journal article, by doctors who were not connected to U.S. Stem Cell and treated the patients within days of the injections. An accompanying article by scientists from the Food and Drug Administration warned that stem cells from fat “are being used in practice on the basis of minimal clinical evidence of safety or efficacy, sometimes with the claims that they constitute revolutionary treatments for various conditions.”

Kristin C. Comella, the chief science officer of U.S. Stem Cell, said in an interview that the clinic did not need F.D.A. approval because it was treating patients with their own cells, which are not a drug. She said the stem-cell treatments were comparable to patients’ receiving grafts of their own skin — a procedure not a drug.

Two of the eye patients sued the clinic and settled, but it has faced no other penalties. Ms. Comella said it no longer treats eyes, but continues to treat five to 20 patients a week for other problems like torn knee cartilage and degenerating spinal discs.

All three women found U.S. Stem Cell because it had listed a study on a government website, — provided by the National Institutes of Health. Two later told doctors they thought they were participating in government-approved research. But no study ever took place, and the proposed study on the site had no government endorsement. Clinical trials do not need government approval to be listed on the website.

Legitimate research rarely, if ever, charges patients to participate, scientists say, so the fees should have been a red flag. But many people do not know that.

Promising stem-cell research in eye disease and other conditions is taking place. But researchers and health officials have been warning for years that patients are at risk from hundreds of private clinics that have sprung up around the United States and overseas, offering stem-cell treatments for all manner of ailments, like injured knees, damaged spinal discs, neurological diseases and heart failure. Businesses promising “regenerative medicine” have multiplied, with little or no regulation.

Stem cells, which can develop into many different types of cells, are thought to have tremendous potential to repair or replace tissue damaged by disease, injury or aging. But so far, the F.D.A. has approved only a few stem-cell products to treat certain blood disorders.

The women in Florida suffered detached retinas, in which the thin layer of light-sensing cells that send signals to the optic nerve pulls away from the back of the eye — a condition that usually needs prompt surgery to prevent blindness. Doctors who examined the patients said they suspected that the stem cells had grown onto the retina and then contracted, pulling it off the eyeball.

One woman had such high pressure inside her eyes — about three times the normal level — that it may have damaged her optic nerves. Doctors operated quickly to relieve the pressure, but she became blind.

“The really horrible thing about this is that you would never, nobody practicing good medicine would ever do an experimental procedure on a patient on both eyes on the same day,” said Dr. Thomas A. Albini, an author of the article who saw two of the patients, at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Standard practice, he said, is to treat one eye at a time, usually the worse eye first, so that if something goes wrong at least the patient still has one eye left with some vision.

Dr. Albini said his team alerted the F.D.A. after the second patient showed up.
“They did send an investigator who took statements from us,” he said. “They apparently wrote up a report, which as far as I know is still not finished or available for public consumption.”

Andrea Fischer, a spokeswoman for the F.D.A. said the agency could not comment on whether an investigation had been conducted.

Two of the women were not available for interviews because their lawsuit settlements in 2016 included nondisclosure agreements, according to their lawyer, Andrew B. Yaffa, of Coral Gables, Fla. He also was barred from discussing the case, but a publicly available complaint he filed in July 2016 details one patient’s story, and states that the injections were performed by a nurse practitioner who was introduced as a physician.

The third patient did not sue, but did not respond to a request for an interview made through her doctor. (The patients were not named in the journal article.)

Ms. Comella, from U.S. Stem Cell, said that an independent review board had approved the proposed eye study, including the plan to treat both eyes at once. She said a total of three patients ever received eye injections at the clinic, and were not part of a trial. She declined to confirm that they were the same three patients described in the journal article, but the article links the women to the clinic.

Stem cells from fat tissue. Staff members at U.S. Stem Cell used liposuction to take fat out of three women’s bellies, and then extracted stem cells from the fat to inject into the women’s eyes. Credit Riccardo Cassiani-Ingoni/Science Source

Ms. Comella said a trial never did begin, because the first three cases “ended the way they ended, so we decided not to go forward with any additional patients.”

She declined to discuss the cases further, citing the nondisclosure agreement. But she said that U.S. Stem Cell had successfully treated thousands of patients for other conditions, and that it was misleading to draw attention to “a handful of adverse events.”
U.S. Stem Cell also makes money by training doctors to extract stem cells from fat. And in a blog post on Tuesday its chief executive, Mike Tomás, said the company expected to open clinics throughout the Middle East, in Kuwait, Dubai and Qatar.

But the company, which is a penny stock, is struggling financially, and as recently as last fall warned investors that its poor financial situation put it at risk of going out of business.

Clinics like U.S. Stem Cell that extract stem cells from fat fall into a gray zone. Regulations say stem cells do not have to be F.D.A. approved if they are the patient’s own and are “minimally manipulated” — but some clinics may stretch that term to suit their own purposes.

The F.D.A. website has a page that warns “the hope that patients have for cures not yet available may leave them vulnerable to unscrupulous providers of stem-cell treatments that are illegal and potentially harmful.”

The F.D.A. article in The New England Journal of Medicine suggested that adverse events from stem-cell treatments “are probably much more common than is appreciated, because there is no reporting requirement when these therapies are administered outside clinical investigations.”

Like the Florida patients, people who consult may assume that the studies listed there have been approved by the F.D.A. or the National Institutes of Health, but that is not necessarily the case, Renate Myles, an N.I.H. spokeswoman, said.
In an email, Ms. Myles said, “The information on is provided by the study sponsor or principal investigator and posting on does not necessarily reflect endorsement by the N.I.H. does not independently verify the scientific validity or relevance of the trial itself beyond a limited quality control review.”

Ms. Myles said that the site urges patients to consult their own doctors about joining studies and includes caveats in multiple places.
“However, we agree that such caveats need to be clearer to all users and will be adding a more prominent disclaimer in the near future,” she added.

Is it possible to make a vegan collagen serum?

The answer is “no” if you are talking about a serum with collagen. Only animals make collagen.

The answer is “yes”, though, if you are talking about Skin Actives “let’s make collagen serum” (LMC serum), the original name of our collagen serum. LMC serum was too complicated, so its name was shortened. But the objective of our product was always the same: to promote collagen serum synthesis and to preserve the structure and function of existing skin collagen. And a vegan version of this serum is possible and we are making it. How?

Collagen is an insoluble protein, so it can’t be used as such in a serum. What we have in the LMC serum are collagen peptides: collagen that has been broken into small pieces (peptides) that are soluble in water.

Our vegan version of the serum has simply gone a step further: we use the amino acids (made my fermentation and not extracted from animals) in the proportion required to make collagen. These amino acids will be taken up by your skin to make its own collagen. The other ingredients of the LMC serum are the same, and they will do their job: support your skin collagen and keep your skin healthy.

Making “natural” into a dirty word

It is true that there is no legal rules about what skin care companies (or food, or anything) can call “natural”. But we all know what we call natural: a substance that has not been modified chemically to became something different from what it was before.

But “natural” is one of those words that make us go soft and buy a product, so companies keep using it to make us buy something that it is not natural. Other words that make us go soft are: green, honest, pure, organic, etc. Beware when you see these words, they are used just to make us go soft and buy something that we would not buy otherwise..

The latest product to make me angry? Consonant Skincare – HydrExtreme Hydration Booster Serum, advertised as “natural”. There is even a glowing review about how marvelous that there is a skin care product with just two ingredients. Except that the ingredient list is impossible: Cassia Angustifolia Seed Polysaccharide, Vegetable Glycerine.

Why impossible? This mix would be a sticky powder, not a serum. The polysaccharide is a powder, and glycerol is a viscous liquid. The result of mixing them would be a sticky mess. So, what is missing from the list? Water and phenoxyethanol, the preservative. Nothing wrong with them, except that the advertising is false.

So what are you buying when you pay $60 for 10 ml of this “100% natural” serum? An aqueous solution of seed gum. It is used in Japan as a thickener, although it has not been approved yet in the USA for this use. One possible reason is that Cassia gum (similar chemically to guar gum and tara gum, all of them galactomannans, polysaccharides made of galactose and mannose) may contain anthraquinone.

Why use Cassia angustifolia gum? Because it can be advertised as “new”.
It is also advertised as a “botanical” hyaluronic acid, but of course it isn’t, because plants don’t make hyaluronic acid. The hyaluronic acid we use in Skin Actives products is made by bacterial fermentation and, just like our own hyaluronic acid, it is a polysaccharide made of long chains of N-acetyl-D-glucosamine alternating with glucuronic acid. In our skin. Hyaluronic acid stabilizes the intercellular (in-between cells) space in the dermis, and contributes significantly to cell proliferation, migration, and skin repair; all activities essential to skin health.

While hyaluronic acid applied to your skin will not enter your cells as such, it can be modified by your skin and its sub-units will be used to make your own hyaluronic acid, and that’s good. Hyaluronic acid will also help retain water on your skin. And yes, Cassia gum can also do this, especially with glycerol in the serum, but there is no magic in there and no special benefits. So don’t pay for magic, even if it sold as natural.

What is microblading?

Microblading is a fancy name for permanent makeup of the eyebrow area. It is meant to be permanent and it is not hair, it is ink deposited deep inside your skin.

Anybody older than 15 knows that make-up fashion changes every year, and even every season, influenced by a variety of factors including what the big makeup companies want to sell. New make-up styles will make redundant all the make up products people bought last season and that will be an infusion of cash for the industry.

People older than 20 know that the price of plucking eyebrows is the eventual loss of eyebrows. I have seen women with the eyebrow area lacking any hair and painted to look like eyebrows. It is not pretty so why they do it? They do it because after months or even years of plucking their eyebrows they lost all the hair. Remember that skin is alive, and the cells that make hair are alive, and it is possible to kill them.

Don’t pluck your eyebrows to follow a fashion trend because the fashion will change but your eyebrows may not regrow to follow the new fashion. The thin eyebrows that were fashion once are not anymore.

If you lost eyebrows to an accident or a youthful wish for thin eyebrows, you can still try to re-grow them with Skin Actives eyebrow and eyelash serum. If your cells still have the capacity to regrow hair, they will do so with Skin Actives products.

You will, I hope, live many good and happy years and will see fashions come and go. Don’t let fashion change your face in a permanent way, in a couple of years you may wish you didn’t, but you may be stuck with a microbladed face.

Tattoos are expensive and painful to erase, and some inks are practically permanent. Try to think long term because fashion changes and we change too.

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Give your sweetie the gift of healthy skin
This year, spoil your Valentine with something special that will keep them looking and feeling great. Whether your Valentine is your significant other, your best friend, or a beloved family member, we have got the perfect product for them all.
Daily Defense Anti-Aging Cream with SPF 30 is the perfect product for any age, skin type, or skin care routine. We all need SPF and antioxidants to protect and maintain healthy skin.

Revitalizing Night Cream will be a great cream to add to any anti-aging or age prevention routine. Featuring our exclusive Mitochondrial Booster, this luxurious cream will help to boost skin health.

Lip Collagen Serum provides nutrients and proteins for smoother lips and an improvement in overall feel and health of lips. Follow with your favorite moisturizing lip product, like Soft Lip Balm.

Check out Tombstone For Men to reward the man in your life with some extra growth and conditioning power for his beard. After just a couple weeks of use his facial follicles will look fuller and feel softer than ever before. Tombstone accessories, like the beard brush and comb, will make taming those unruly beard hairs a breeze.