According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, M.D., of the Dr. Oz Show fame, you should save your money on the "fancy" creams, and buy St. Ives Facial Moisturizer Timeless Collagen Elastin ($5.99, amazon.com) instead. Unfortunately, while I have the utmost respect and admiration for Dr. Oz, I have to disagree with him on this one. Here's why:
Research demonstrates and concludes certain ingredients in skin care are more efficacious than others. Efficacious ingredients currently available over-the-counter with a plethora of research relevant to the skin include retinoids (5414 PubMed hits), vitamin C as L-ascorbic acid (1293 hits), niacinamide (290 hits), alpha hydroxy acids (295 hits), and, of course, sunscreen (3079 hits). These ingredients have been proven to do everything from fight existing signs of aging to stimulating collagen production. You can read more about them on our Cosmetic Ingredient Glossary. Unfortunately, St. Ives Facial Moisturizer Timeless Collagen Elastin only has one function backed by scientific research: hydration. There are no superior anti-agers in this formula, such as the retinoids, L-ascorbic acid and other antioxidants, alpha hydroxy acid, sunscreen, and other potent, proven age-fighters.
Collagen and elastin in a skin care product only serve as a hydrators, unless they are injected into the skin. The reason is that both collagen and elastin are larger than 500 Daltons, and only molecules of size 500 Daltons can penetrate skin (Cosmetic Dermatology). So, while St. Ives Facial Moisturizer Timeless Collagen Elastin won’t boost collagen production, it will rehydrate your skin. It's a wonderful thing for winter, for sure, but it's not a definitive selling point.
Unlike many other online sources, I do agree with Dr. Oz in supporting a product with a high concentration of cosmetic-grade mineral oil. Mineral oil gets a bad rap because many people believe it is comedogenic (pore-clogging) and is impure. In addition, mineral oil is derived from petrolatum, a non-renewable source. However, it is not technically comedogenic. Mineral oil is an occlusive agent, meaning that it essentially traps water and other ingredients against the skin. So long as you use mineral oil with other non-comedogenic ingredients (or alone), you will be fine.
According to the cosmetic chemist Rebecca James Gadberry, chairman and co-CEO of YG Laboratories, mineral oil on its own is not pore-clogging. On a rating of zero-to-five, with five being highly pore-clogging, Gadberry says that tests of the cosmetic grade of mineral oil usually grant a one or two, depending upon the methodology of the test.
Cosmetic-grade mineral oil is also purified according to FDA standards. So despite the internet rumors, you are not putting your health at risk from using it. In fact, you are granting yourself a superior source of moisture: A study in the journal Dermatitis found that mineral oil was more effective in preventing water loss from the skin than a solution with 15% linoleic acid, a fatty acid known for its hydrating abilities. Considering mineral oil is the second ingredient to water in St. Ives Facial Moisturizer Timeless Collagen Elastin, this means it's a superior hydrator.
I have the utmost respect for Dr. Oz, but I hope that he has a dermatologist who knows formulations inside and out on his show in the future. Ideas from my end include Dr. Leslie Baumann, M.D.; Dr. Jeannie Downie, M.D.; and Dr. Jeannette Graf, M.D., all of whom regularly speak to the press about products, correctly referencing the scientific research backing their ingredients, formulations, delivery systems, and packaging.
Ingredients in St. Ives Facial Moisturizer Timeless Collagen Elastin Water (Aqua), Mineral Oil (Paraffinum Liquidum), Propylene Glycol, PEG-100 Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate, Stearic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum), Ethylhexylglycerin, Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Coumarin, Geraniol.
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