What a week—the clock falls back (I can always use an extra hour of sleep), the presidential race finished (phew, no more election commercials), and the marathon of midterms finally finished! No better way to celebrate Friday than volunteering at the Food Bank, practicing my downward facing dog, and trying out my new Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins Mineral Enriched Moisture Cream. This product was recommended by one of my dearest childhood friend who just got married in Pebble Beach. In preparing for her wedding, she told me radiant skin secret was this product.

Because of this project, I now double and triple check ingredients list for all my skincare products before I smear anything on my body. Origins has always been one of my preferred brands because of their business philosophy to create products that are “powered by nature and proven by science”. However, I still consulted Google for a full review of every ingredient on the back label just to be sure they met to my standards (Yes, it definitely took more time than I’d like to admit!).

My first impulse is to verify that the compounds I couldn’t pronounce are considered safe by the Environmental Working Group. After I got those guys out of the way, I couldn't help researching the others. Surprisingly, the ones that caught my attention were the ones that I automatically assume were safe—the citrus oils. While these oils are not considered unsafe, they are phototoxic, meaning that they cause a sunburn-like reaction when exposed to light. Yikes!

Prior to the start of this project, I believed that natural ingredients are synonymous with safe ingredients. However, research has shown that this seemingly logical assumption is actually untrue. Millikan (2001) notes that many natural ingredients can actually be poisonous to the skin and more irritating than synthetic alternatives. Additionally, completely natural sourcing is nearly impossible to ensure batch-to-batch consistency. Given that teensy differences in ingredient concentration can result in adverse skin reactions (especially for people like myself with sensitive skin), it makes it tricky for product formulators to develop the perfect product. So how do you make the choice between natural and synthetic, irritant or effective? Maybe it is not such an easy choice after all.

... Got a little off track--back to the product. Thankfully, this PM specific moisture is only meant for night use, so the potential for the sunburn like reaction is probably pretty minimal. Additionally, I fragrant citrus smell of this product reminds me of my childhood days of stealing, uh, picking my neighbor’s oranges in Florida during the summertime. So, I am going to test this product out this week and report back next Friday!

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