Organic Acne Products

I was recently asked about organic skin care products for acne (though I’m sure the person making the request is not completely clear as to what organic means in skin care). My response was this:

Most products don’t address the whole of acneic skin. The conditions that make up the whole include; inflammation, stress, anxiety, free radical damage, microbial infection and congestion. An effective formula would include Cox-2 inhibitors to reduce inflammation, like carotenoids, polyphenolics and flavonoids. Good examples are green tea extract and Supercritical extracts of ginger, turmeric and rosemary). Dietary supplements and a healthy diet containing these Cox-2 inhibiting compounds would be necessary as well. Substance-P, elicited by stress, is also involved in the pathogenesis of acne. To reduce Substance-P in the system, reduce the stress. A whole food type holistic product would contain ingredients that reduce stress and calm the nervous system. The best choice here would be stress reducing and autonomic nervous system balancing genuine & authentic essential oils, which are also powerfully antibiotic and anti-inflammatory. The acne formula would also include antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties (lots of botanical and nutrient choices here) and properties known to heal the dermal layer (aloe, lavender or rosemary verbenone type essential oils, and vitamin E). A holistic formulation, designed to address the many symptoms and potential causes will be best for acneic conditions. I discuss product formulation in my book.

None of this is specifically accomplished by using “organic” skin care. It is accomplished by using whole, unadulterated or unrefined extracts, as I state in my whole food philosophy for skin care. Organic is important and recommended to preserve our environment and to ensure a higher nutrient content. Organic is not a full qualifier that the ingredient will provide  effectiveness in skin care, including an acneic formulation. I have developed  organic botanical skin care  that has worked great to relieve inflamed acneic skin conditions, even though they weren’t specifically designed for acne. The reason these formulas work so effectively is because I develop nutritional skin care with a strong focus on holistic care of the skin, using unrefined nutrient-rich (and organic when available) ingredients for therapeutic activity using a whole food philosophy in skin care.

When I look at organic formulated (or organic claimed) products to evaluate their effectiveness, I like to be able to look at the ingredient source, type of extract and the way it’s formulated. Ingredient lists don’t tell the real story since many ingredients, even organic, are not as therapeutically active as need be.