Are Common Skincare Ingredients safe?

Are Common Skincare Ingredients safe?

It’s pantomime season and with the news that online searches around common skincare ingredients and their relative safety are dramatically increasing we wanted to shed light on the misleading aspects of the skincare world, the other side of the coin, the side that marketing departments of large skincare companies don’t share.

We unapologetically sit outside the traditional skincare industry. We, (founders Karen and John) don’t have commercial backgrounds, we are not marketing people, we are scientists and formulators who have studied the science of skincare and ageing for decades alongside senior Academics and university Professors of Human Cell Research.

When we look at products, we look from a biological viewpoint, we want to alleviate skin issues in the safest and healthiest way possible. This means we are often the lone voice against the trends and the multi-million-pound marketing budgets, the buzz words and the marketable content. Controversial sometimes, but we stand by what what leading scientists are concluding in their research rather than what is promoted as good skincare but is not!   

 Is Hyaluronic Acid safe?  And would we use it?

No is the short answer!

  • Dehydrating - If you’re not using in a humid environment it can actually draw water/hydration out of your skin leaving it dryer and tighter than ever before
  • It can be irritating, many products use a low molecular weight of HA to help it get into the skin, however, this low molecular weight has been shown in studies to be inflammatory for some skins, leading to redness, soreness and irritation 
  • The production process that HA goes through to get to this molecular weight renders it a totally different substance to that which is found naturally in the body, we’d rather stick to naturals thanks

 Is Vitamin C Safe? And should we use it?

We love vitamin C in skincare as part of a natural organically derived formulation; it can brighten the skin and is an antioxidant that protects the skin BUT the majority of products on the market who use synthetic unnatural potencies so the answer is no:

  • It can cause oxidisation for the skin - yes! The opposite of what you are told it does. Synthetic vitamin C can react very easily with other molecules, including oxygen, when this happens it can lead to acne, collagen and elastin loss, inflammation and irritation

 What do we recommend instead:

 Use natural sources of Vitamin C which occur within natural oils combined with other antioxidants and fatty acids to protect, repair and help rejuvenate the skin from damage and skip the irritating synthetics.

Are Retinols Safe?

 One word, No. They are not. We go into much more amount of detail as to exactly why they aren’t here.  In short, please don’t use them! They damage the skin, the skin barrier and can alter your molecular biology all for a short term gain with long term dangers   Many of the studies showing benefits to retinol are flawed.

What do we recommend instead:

 Support healthy cell renewal and skin brightening with our Holistic Facial Oil Or for an antiageing powerhouse try The Immortal Oil

Are Silicones safe?

 The use of silicones in skincare baffles us, the only benefit it brings to any product is ‘slip’ - the way the product feels, it gives  a velvety texture which then is transferred to the skin, so the skin can look smoother but there’s no actual skin benefit - yet another example of products being developed by marketing departments. In short, we don’t like them because:

They have zero therapeutic benefits to the skin

Silicones repel water so they are really hard to remove from the skin and so they create a barrier. A barrier that can trap oil, dirt and debris to the skin causing irritation and breakouts

Silicone impacts cell renewal. Our skin renews itself every 28 days, silicones have been shown to have an effect on this process but interfering with and slowing down this process. This has a biological impact and can also lead to dull, flaking skin

And the biggest reason for us is that they are bio accumulative, once you finally manage to rinse they go down your drain and build us as pollution in our waterways, they don’t breakdown and this micro-pollution is an environmental disaster happening under our noses

What do I recommend instead:

 Our Blending Cream  is made from 100% natural plant extracts and is especially designed to seal in the therapeutic benefits of our facial oils. It provides a smooth base for makeup application and protects from environmental aggressors without the irritation or damaging effects of silicones. 


  • We were first to show the connection of breast cancer to Parabens over 20 years ago
  • Highlighted the damaging chemicals in sunscreens over a decade ago. 
  • We work with university scientists and there labs to develop and create truly incredible personal care without all the harsh petrol or syththc chemicals.


    Natural Elements Skin Care