A. MINERAL OIL – This ingredient is derived from petroleum and is used industrially in machine shops as a cutting fluid and lubricating oil. Used in cosmetics as a moisturizer, mineral oil may form a film that repels water and keeps moisture locked in the skin. This is called the “saran wrap” method.By holding water in the skin, it is believed that older, dried skin will become softer, smoother and younger looking. The mineral oil film not only can trap in moisture, but also toxins, carbon dioxide, wastes and by-products the skin is trying to eliminate. Conversely, it may also keep oxygen out. The skin is a living, breathing organ and it needs to respire. When toxins and wastes are trapped in and oxygen is kept out, the skin is forced into an unhealthy state.

In the skin, a cell is produced and begins an evolutionary migration to the surface where it flakes off and is shed. This process takes as little as 20 days in younger people and as much as 70 days in older skin. During this migration from the basal (lowest) level to the surface, the skin cell undergoes changes in structure and composition. These changes are necessary for the skin to remain healthy and fulfill its role as a barrier and protector of the body.

By sealing off the skin and flooding the metabolic pathways with large amounts of unnecessary moisture and toxins, studies indicate the skin is made unhealthy. The cells do not grow and mature in a normal manner. Cells on the surface are not developed and cannot perform their barrier function properly.

Consequently, the skin cracks and dries easily – becoming irritated and sensitive. If growth rate slows, the skin becomes weaker and thinner. Natural repair processes slow. Harsh environmental elements damage the skin easily.

In short, the skin acts older, begins to wrinkle faster, becomes thinner, is more easily irritated and becomes sensitive. Actually, moisture is the answer to dry skin, but incorrect methods of moisturizing are very damaging and may create older-looking, rather than younger-looking skin.

In the manufacture of mineral oils, carcinogens have been found to often be present and in strong concentrations.

PETROLATUM – A petroleum-based grease, petrolatum exhibits many of the same potentially harmful properties as mineral oil. While attempting to hold moisture in the skin, it also traps both toxins and wastes and keeps oxygen out.

PROPYLENE GLYCOL – Commonly used in moisturizers as a humectant. propylene glycol binds moisture to itself and is believed to hold moisture in the skin – keeping it soft and young. Proponents quote and maintain studies showing it to be a safe, effective ingredient. However, NEWAYS believes that propylene glycol is potentially harmful to the skin because of the following reasons:

1. Propylene glycol is used as industrial antifreeze and as hydraulic brake fluid. On the skin, it gives a smooth, greasy feel, but it does so by replacing important components necessary for healthy skin.

2. While binding moisture, propylene glycol also acts as a replacement for water. The skin cannot utilize it. The skin functions with water, not antifreeze.

3. MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS (MSDS) on propylene glycol indicate that contact with the skin can cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage. In many cosmetics, propylene glycol makes up 10% to 20% of typical product formulations. (Note: on most ingredient-content statements, propylene glycol is often found near the top of the list, indicating its strong concentration.)

GLYCERIN – Studies have shown that unless the humidity in the air is over 65%, glycerin will draw moisture from the skin and hold it on the surface rather than pull it from the atmosphere. This dries the skin from the inside out. Sucking moisture from healthy, living cells to moisturize dead cells on the surface makes little sense.

COLLAGEN – This naturally-occurring substance makes up the structure network of our skin. As we age, it is believed that collagen begins to deteriorate and causes the skin to become thinner and sag. Collagen used in cosmetics is derived from either bovine (cattle) or avian (bird) sources. Using these forms of collagen can be potentially harmful for the following reasons:

1. The large size of the collagen molecule (molecular weight of 300,000) is too large to penetrate the skin. Instead of being beneficial, it sits on the surface of the skin, plugs the pores and retards moisture dissipation similar to mineral oil-based formulations. It’s like trying to play golf with a bowling ball.

2. Collagen used in cosmetics is either scraped from cow hides (bovine sources) or obtained from ground-up chicken feet (avian sources). Even if they were able to penetrate the skin, these types of collagen have the wrong molecular structure and biochemistry to be used effectively on the skin. (Note: when collagen injections are given by plastic surgeons to plump up wrinkles, the body treats it as an unidentified alien substance and systematically removes it within a year. Additional collagen injections are needed every six to twelve months to maintain the look.)

ELASTIN (Not to be confused with cross-linked elastin) – This substance provides the matrix that holds individual skin cells in place. It is believed that with age, the skin’s elastin breaks down and causes wrinkling. In an attempt to replenish the skin, many cosmetics now contain elastin. As with collagen, elastin is derived from bovine sources and has the same effect of filming and suffocating the skin due to its high molecular weight. It is unable to penetrate the skin and even if injected into the skin by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, elastin is unusable due to its molecular structure.

Human elastin is very different in structure than that from animal sources. There are some chemically reduced forms of elastin called “cross-linked” elastin. Still, these altered elastin molecules are too large to penetrate the skin and are structurally incompatible.

Only one form of cross-linked elastin NEWAYS has found is both compatible with and able to penetrate human skin: a chemical and enzyme-reduced extract of cross-linked elastin called Desmosine and Iso-desmosine.

HYALURONIC ACID – This is one of the latest buzz words of cosmetic ingredients. Hyaluronic acid from plant or animal sources is the same as that of human skin and can be used if injected by physicians or applied in low molecular-weight form. In most cosmetics, it has an extremely high molecular weight (up to 15 million) and cannot penetrate the skin. It sits on the surface and functions much the same as collagen.

SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS) or SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE (SLES) – This inexpensive detergent is commonly used in cosmetic cleansers, hair shampoos, bath and shower gels, bubble baths, etc. We believe it is probably the most potentially dangerous ingredient used in skin and hair-care products. In the cleaning industry, SLS is used in garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers, car wash soaps, etc. It is very corrosive and readily attacks greasy surfaces.

SLS is used throughout the world for clinical testing as a primary skin irritant. Laboratories use it to irritate skin on test animals and humans so that they may then test healing agents to see how effective they are on irritated skin. A recent study indicated that SLS penetrated into the eyes as well as brain, heart, liver, etc., and showed long-term retention in the tissues. The study also indicated that SLS might keep children’s eyes from developing properly and could cause cataracts to develop in adults.

Another extremely serious problem is the connection of SLS and SLES with carcinogenic dioxins and nitrate contamination. SLS can react with many types of ingredients used in skin products and form nitrosamines (nitrates). SLES can react with ingredients to form both nitrates and dioxins.

A variation of SLS is SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE (Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate- SLES). It exhibits many of the same characteristics and is a higher-foaming ethoxylated variation of SLS. Clinical studies show that it could cause hair loss when applied to scalp and has irritant properties.
AHA’s (ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS) (i.e.: glycol acid, lactic acid and others) – This is the breakthrough of all time according to the skin care cosmetic world. AHA’s work by exfoliating (sloughing off) the dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. This leaves only fresh young cells on the surface. The skin looks less wrinkled, fresher and younger.