If you’ve ever stood for half-an-hour or more scrutinising the skin care products at your local pharmacy, or scrolled endlessly through millions of product pages online trying to find the ideal skincare products to suit your needs, this article is for you. In it, we’re going to demystify the bewildering world of cosmetics and equip you with the knowledge you need to choose your skin care products like a boss.
With so much marketing hype out there, and so many bold promises being made, it’s hard to know which skincare products you can trust. We’ve all experienced the frustration, and, at times, crushing disappointment, of splashing out on a beauty product (or two) that has promised exceptional results only to find that it was all talk and no trousers. That is to say it made no difference at all to your skin or (and here’s where the crushing disappointment comes in) it made matters worse.
So, you end up back where you started in the cosmetics aisle, wondering which product you should spend your hard-earned cash on next. Well, read on and you’ll soon know just how to pick the best products to suit your unique skin condition and type.
Spoiler alert: You want to choose high performing natural skincare products, also known as “performance-based cosmetics”. But, what do we mean by performance-based cosmetics and exactly how do you distinguish these products from the overwhelming number of skincare products out there? That’s what we’re going to find out.
What are performance-based cosmetics?
Born from the idea that anything you apply to your skin should leave it feeling nourished and rejuvenated in the short term, and keep it supple and smooth for years to come, performance-based cosmetics and skincare products are at the leading-edge of the beauty industry. These products are designed to address particular skin conditions and deliver results for specific skin types.
How can we identify performance-based cosmetics?
It will come as no surprise that a skincare product, no matter how well marketed, is only as good as it’s ingredients. So, that’s where we’ll start.
What you’re looking for when seeking out a high performance skincare product is a stellar cast of active ingredients supported by an equally award-winning set of functional ingredients, such as those found in our Environ and Société skincare product ranges. Let’s break that down a little.
Functional vs performance/active ingredients
As you squint down at the long list of unpronouncable ingredients crammed into a postage stamp-sized space on the back of your favourite moisturising cleanser, you’ll be amazed to learn that all these ingredients fit neatly into two (yep, just two) categories: functional and performance (active) ingredients (with a few double agents that fit into both).
Performance/active ingredients are often considered to be the stars of the show because they create physiological changes within skin tissues.
There are hundreds of different active ingredients that can be used in a variety of combinations to create the absolutely mesmerising array of skin care products on the market today. Examples include:
- Hydroxy acids used in anti-aging and exfoliation products
- Vitamin A or benzoyl peroxide used in acne management products
- Polysaccharides present in moisturizers
- Hyaluronic acid which is used in pigmentation reduction products
- Antioxidants which are found in a wide variety of skin care products.
Functional ingredients may be considered “inactive”, but that doesn’t mean they’re not useful or important. They form the vital support crew that helps to preserve the product, gives it it’s consistency and texture, and makes it easy to spread over your skin. They also act as delivery systems encapsulating and protecting active ingredients and facilitating their penetration into the skin. Some very special functional ingredients act as humectants, keeping the skin hydrated by trapping water and preventing it from escaping through the epidermis.
For example, the Société Clarity-BAC Complex is specifically formulated using high performing active and functional ingredients to reduce rough, red, bumpy skin, while providing an invisible barrier to seal moisture in and keep harmful environmental elements out.
This high performing natural skincare product contains a booster complex made up of peptides that have been specifically designed to aid the management of problematic skin. Vitamin C is also included as a performance ingredient due to its high-potency antioxidant properties.
The high performing functional ingredients in this natural skincare product include glycerin which has moisture-enhancing humectant properties. The cast is completed with myriad botanical extracts which provide comfort and refine pores.
Qualities of high performing natural skincare products
What sets high performing natural skincare products apart is that they do not contain high levels of synthetic ingredients (such as formaldehyde, alcohol, or triclosan) that often feature in other less-effective skincare products.
If you’ve ever experienced dryness, itching or irritation after using an off-the-shelf product, it may have been caused by a reaction to the high concentrations of these chemicals. For example, old-fashioned aftershave lotions which contain high-levels of alcohol can dry out the skin leaving it chapped and flaking. With continuous use at high concentrations, these harsh ingredients can lead to long-term problems, including premature aging, skin cancer, breakouts, hair loss, and dry skin.
Instead, high performance natural skincare products provide the ideal blend of quality ingredients with natural active ingredients that nourish, moisturise, and protect skin whilst also performing other functions such as exfoliation, cleansing or toning.
Probably the best-known of the natural ingredients used in high performing skincare products is aloe vera. It is used extensively in cosmetics, such as moisturisers and acne treatment products. Aloe vera acts as a double agent: It is a powerful performance ingredient due to its incredible healing properties and an excellent functional ingredient due to its exceptional ability to assist other active ingredients to penetrate the skin.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are used in exfoliants and anti-aging products as performance ingredients due to their abilities to reduce signs of aging while improving skin texture. Their ability to bind to water and prevent it from evaporting through the surface of the skin means they also work well as humectant functional ingredients.
As the name suggests, our Environ Focus Care Youth+ Concentrated Alpha Hydroxy Toner harnesses the power of AHAs to promote exfoliation in the gentlest possible way, while protecting the natural acidic mantle of the skin. With regular use, this high performance product refines skin texture and reduces uneven skin tones, resulting in smooth, silky, radiantly healthy skin.
This performance-based skincare product is specially formulated to work synergistically with Environ Vitamin A Moisturisers, such as the Youth EssentiA Vita-Peptide C-Quence Serum 1. As the starter product in our premium Vitamin STEP-UP SYSTEM, this serum contains entry-level amounts of vitamins A, C and E as well as antioxidants that help to combat the signs of ageing, and rehydrate and moisturise the skin, resulting in a radiant, youthful complexion.
Peptides are powerhouse ingredients in performance-based cosmetics. They condition and nurture skin and hair. As part of your daily skincare routine, peptides offer strength, texture and resilience to your skin, giving you lasting results. As the building blocks of proteins such as collagen, elastin and keratin, they are essential in creating firmer, plumper, more youthful-looking skin.
Biotin supports the production of fatty acids that nourish the skin and help oil glands function properly. The Société Eye Peptide Gel Mask combines the hydrating effects of biotin with a unique formulation of anti-aging peptides and plant-based stem cells to help revitalise the delicate eye area.
Using an innovative technology called TCD, these incredible gel sheet masks target the three main eye concerns:
- Instantly cooling and revitalising tired eyes
- Minimising the appearance of dark circles and puffiness
- Smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles to restore youthful-looking skin.
Other biological additives and botanicals, such as grapefruit oil, royal jelly, and green tea extract, also act as double agents and are used in high performance natural skin care products to improve the look, texture, and smoothness of skin as well as providing a pleasant fragrance to the product.
Why include high performing natural skincare products in your daily routine?
In addition to those already mentioned above, performance-based cosmetics offer a host of other benefits, which make them an essential part of your daily skincare routine.
Tailor-made products designed to address specific skin conditions and types
When it comes to designing high performing skincare products, there is no room for a one-size-fits-all approach. Each product is scientifically formulated using carefully selected functional and active ingredients that help it to fulfil a particular purpose and ensure that it meets the requirements of a specific skin condition or skin type.
This approach leads to the production of a full range of high quality skincare products that deliver results for a variety of different skin conditions and types. No one does this better than the skincare formulators who create the Environ and Société skincare product ranges.
Take the Environ Focus Care Clarity Sebu-wash gel cleanser for example. This pleasantly fragranced mattifying foaming face wash has been specifically formulated for use on oily, break-out prone and congested skin. Its high performance formula gently removes excess surface oils and grime without drying out the skin, retaining the skin’s natural acid balance. Plus, it combats the appearance of congestion and excess oil and leaves the skin feeling refreshed and clean.
Immediate results PLUS long-term benefits
Performance-based cosmetics are designed not only to make you look and feel better now, but to protect and enhance your skin well into the future.
The Société superfruit enzyme exfoliator provides a great example of this. It has been carefully formulated to gently exfoliate skin, removing dead cells and debris, while at the same time smoothing, clarifying and lightening skin discolourations. Plus, it includes natural moisturisers which calm irritated skin and diffuse redness, leaving skin soft and smooth. This amazing performance-based skincare product also promotes healthy cell turnover, which keeps skin supple and youthful in the long term.
Scientifically proven results you can rely on
High performance skincare products are made from high quality active and functional ingredients that are scientifically proven to yield measurable results. This ensures that each product lives up to the promises made by the brand.
Traditional facial cleansers, for instance, often contained no active ingredients at all. They were made purely from functional ingredients known as surfactants (e.g., sodium stearate) and designed simply to cleanse dirt, grime, and excess oil from your face.
Modern, high performance facial cleansers, like the Environ skin EssentiA mild cleansing lotion, contain high quality foundation surfactants, such as sorbitol, cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate and olive oil PEG-7 esters, to gently cleanse the skin, as well as specially selected active ingredients, such as Simmondsia Chinesis (Jojoba) seed oil, which restore the skin’s natural moisture balance. As a result, this carefully crafted skincare product has the two-way action that characterises performance-based cosmetics – in this case, cleansing and moisturising.
Find your ideal performance-based skincare products
In this article, we’ve just scratched the surface of the multitude of high performing natural skincare products in our Environ and Société skincare ranges. Browse our online store to your new favorite performance-based skincare products. Include them in your daily skincare routine, and you’ll enjoy a healthy, glowing skin and clear complexion for life.