Yves Saint Laurent Youth Liberator: Glycan…or glycan’t?

Last weekend, I took lovely Mother WITS out shopping for her first foray into the world of high end beauty. Our first stop was the YSL counter in Debenhams, where we were almost instantly approached by a fairly persistent  heavily made up counter lady. ‘Here we go’ I thought….I asked which products she would recommend, and her hand moved at the speed of light to the YSL’s Youth Liberator Serum.

YSL_Forever_Youth_Liberatorblog review

IT WAS £90.

£90!

I played along, and thought it was worth at least hearing the sales speel. I asked the counter lady if the ingredient referred to on the box as ‘GLYCANS’ was actually Glycolic Acid. No, I was told that these were ‘like little robots that sent messages to the skin to look young again’. Oh right.

Exit stage left.

It did get me thinking…and then researching. So here’s a little post detailing everything I now know about YSL Youth Serum, and its mysterious ingredient ‘glycans’.

SO…what are Glycans then?

‘Glycan’ is actually the name for the sugars found in the tissues in our skin. They are also known as ‘poly saccharides’. Glycans also send messages to the skin to boost collagen production, which is what keeps our skin plump looking and wrinkle free.

SO, if i’ve got them already….why do I need to pay £90 for some more?

Well, as you get older, glycans breakdown and stop communicating with the skin, which has the knock on effect of reducing the production of collagen and increasing the chance of developing wrinkles. YSL claim that the Glycans in their Youth serum will be absorbed by the skin and stimulate the production of collagen.

Is that true though?

Studies into glycan and glycobiology is still in the early stages, and as of 2012 a study of only 600 woman had been undertaken to study the results of using a glycan based cream. It is worth pointing out that YSL employed the services of Professor Peter Seeberger, one of the most eminent scientists in the field of Glycobiology, so it would appear that glycans and aren’t another flash in the pan. Harpers-Bazaar also put the product to a panel test and most users raved about the brilliance of the cream, an opinion that was matched by the BBC programme Horizons when they investigated YSL’s claims, and the image below is pretty exciting!

Before and after the use of YSL Youth Liberator

Before and after the use of YSL Youth Liberator

Prof. Seeberger does however admit that Glycans are a small piece in the very complex arena of anti-ageing skincare, and investigation into whether the use of Glycans in cosmetics will actually provide long term anti ageing effects is in its early stages.

So all in all, we’re pleasantly surprised, and may even consider giving one of cheaper Youth Liberator products a go.

What do you think? Have you tried these products? Comment below and let us know.

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Mineral oil….as good as it sounds?

Mineral based makeup has exploded onto the cosmetics scene in the last 5 years, so why shouldn’t mineral oil be just as applauded…? Well, it’s not quite as earth sourced and nourishing as it sounds and really only gets its title by virtue of the fact that it’s neither animal nor vegetable. Allows us to explain….

mineral oil

Mineral oil is a general name or umbrella term for lots of different types of oil from a non vegetable source, and is otherwise known as white oil, liquid paraffin or liquid petroleum. Mineral oil is a by product in the manufacture of gasoline, and is produced when petroleum is distilled.

The World Health Organisation classes untreated mineral oil as a ‘group 3 carcinogen’ – carcinogens are any type of product which is involved in causing cancer. Not sounding too good so far huh? Treated mineral oils aren’t thought to be harmful to humans, however the World Health Organisation doesn’t consider their to be enough research into untreated mineral oils to class them as harmless.

There is also evidence that mineral oils prevent the absorption of certain vitamins into the body, and some mineral oils are thought to be comedogenic…which means they cause or aggravate acne!

So what is mineral oil used for?!

Rather a lot actually! Mineral oil is used in IVF, veterinary vaccines, beekeeping…and cosmetics. It can also prevent brittle eyelashes, and a thin layer of mineral oil on the skin will prevent the loss of moisture and obviously has benefits for dry skin.

Mineral oil also goes by another name….Vaseline!

Vaseline

Along side many a beauty queens handbag favourite…mineral oil is also found in literally hundreds of everyday products, Baby Oil, L’Oreal eye shadow, La Roche Posay (not Effaclar Duo though!), Olay products,

So if L’Oreal use it….it must be ok…right?

Hmmmm…well, actually, no. When applied to the skin, it clogs pores and hinders the skins abilities to eliminate toxins that cause spots and acne breakouts. As if that isn’t scary enough…once it’s been broken down and absorbed into the body, it passes through to our intestinal tract and absorbs all the good vitamins that live in our guts. Cheers Vaseline! On top of all that, some studies have shown links between Pneumonia and mineral oil which can decrease lung function if absorbed orally.

Oh. That doesn’t sound so good….but it’s in so many products…how do I avoid it?!

Wellllllll….we like to take the hard work out of avoiding the bad stuff, so here’s a handy link showcasing all products that contain mineral oil, and the ones that don’t. You are welcome!

http://www.goodguide.com/ingredients/37424-mineral-oil

We hope you found this post interesting….please leave us a comment below, share with your friends, print this article out and sleep with it under your pillow…you know, all that fun stuff.

Love, WITS x

Silicone….a silly con?

From 2008 to 2010, here at WITS we refused to deviate from Pantene….we’d have put it above sliced bread. It made us swoosh our hair about as though we were starring in….well…a Pantene advert. We could almost hear Natasha Bedingfield serenading us as we sashayed along the high street.

Until we told our hairdresser.

The P word was uttered, her jaw was on the floor, and she was giving us the kind of look that we thought was only found on death row.

After hearing that we might as well be coating our locks in strychnine because of the high level of silicone in Pantene, we forlornly turned our backs upon it….but recently we’ve been beginning to wonder if the rest was still unwritten.

Silicone is a much maligned hair ingredient…but why? Let’s find out!

What is silicone?

Silicones are synthetic compounds made from silicon, oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and other elements. Silicones are not waterproof, but repel water and make excellent water tight seals, which is why they have such diverse uses. You can find silicones being used in practically every industry from dry cleaning to contact lenses to aquarium joints and cookware.

…so why does everyone hate using hair products that contain silicones?

Here’s where things get a little complicated, but don’t worry…just like MC Hammer, we’ll break it down.

Firstly, silicone is an umbrella term for lots of different compounds with varying characteristics. There are two types of silicones used in hair products water soluble and non water soluble. Both types coat the hair and give it that much longed for L’Oréal swoosh, whilst preventing moisture loss. Water soluble silicones can simply be washed away with water; however non water solubles need to be washed away with sulphates, which also strip the hair of moisture. So if you’re looking to retain moisture we’d advise using a water soluble silicone.

but how do I know which one is which?!

Well, we like to look after you…so here’s a quick reference guide (you’re welcome!)

Water Soluble Silicones
Dimethicone Copolyol
Lauryl Methicone Copolyol
Hydrolyzed wheat protein (Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane)
Any Silicone with PEG as a prefix

Non Soluble (not water soluble)
Trimethylsilylamodimetheicone
Dimethicone
Phenyl Trimethicone
Cetearyl Methicone
Dimethiconol
Amodimethicon
Stearyl Dimethicone
Cyclomethicone
Cetyl Dimethicone
Cyclopentasiloxane
Behenoxy Dimethicone
Stearoxy Dimethicone

So, after a bit of scratching our heads, and reading lots of complicated words that we can’t even begin to pronounce, we think that silicones aren’t as deserving of the bad name they’ve been given thus far. We think that with a good clarifying shampoo and sporadic use, water soluble silicones aren’t the worst thing we could put on our hair.

What do you think? Will you be reconsidering the S word for a one off swoosh?

If you want anymore info on silicone or any other posts, you can tweet us @weareWITS or email us at whatsinthatstuff@gmail.com

Finally, happy mothers day to all you lovely WITS Mums out there!

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo – beauty hype or marketing tripe?

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A Google search of Boots brand La Roche Posay brings up a bristling plethora of superlatives from the blogosphere. Some are calling it the best cream they’ve ever used, others ‘a miracle’ and some have even ditched their usual 7 cream daily routine for this one tube of £15.00 cream….but why?

A quick read of the marketing blurb refers to 4 active ingredients, so we dug a little deeper to find out…just whats in that stuff?

Ingredient number one….Niacinamide.

Niacinamide is part of Vitamin B3 and can be found in meat, fish, yeast, milk and eggs. It is also used in the treatment of alzheimers, cancer and anxiety.

…but why is it in my face cream?!

Well, in short, niacinamide…or nicotinamide as its otherwise known, works as an anti inflammatory and is particulary effective in treating acne when applied directly to the skin. It also blocks inflammatory iodides which cause or worsen acne. So if you have persistent breakouts, this might be why Effaclar Duo works for you.

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Ingredient number two…Linoleic Acid

Linoleic is derived from the words ‘linon’ for flax and ‘oleic’ which translates roughly as ‘derived from olive oil’. Linoleic acid is part of a group known as essential fatty acids or ‘EFA’s’.

Linoleic acid is added to quick dry oils, and is also the good part of olive oil when it comes to skin care.

…again, why is it in my face cream?

Well, linoleic acid is essential to our bodies but isn’t made naturally by our cells. It is anti inflammatory, so works together with the niacinamide to reduce acne and breakouts. It is also important to cellular repair, and can help facilitate the penetration of other skincare ingredients. Gold star for linoleic acid!

“Ingredient number 3…come on down, what’s your name and where do you come from?”

“My name’s Selenium and I’m from the periodic table of elements”

Selenium or ‘Se’ as it’s known to science geeks, is responsible for tissue elasticity…so you can probably begin to see how this one’s going to work. It’s also connected with reduction of breast cancer and protects the skin from harmful UV rays.

Anything else I need to know?

Yes! Selenium, also prevents cell damage. You can up your daily selenium intake by eating 3-4 brazil nuts per day, or a diet rich in fish, eggs and brown rice.

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Now, the 3 ingredients above probably go some way to proving that La Roche Posay is a bit of a wonder serum however; we’re reserving judgment. Why? Because the fourth ingredient is listed as ‘piroone olamine’ and after extensive research we have not even the slightest clue what this little number is. It could be cyanide for all we know. It probably isn’t. ..but come on La Roche Posay…just what IS ‘piroone olamine’ ?

Until we find out, we suppose we can give Effaclar Duo a very reserved thumbs up…

Do you know what Piroone Olamine is? Are you impressed by a product but want to know why? Comment below or send us an email: whatsinthatstuff@gmail.com