Lumene Sensitive Touch Serum ($19.99) is a milky serum intended to help those with sensitive skin, redness, and irritation. The main ingredient is arctic linen seed, but keep in mind, just because something thrives in harsh environments doesn’t mean it will make your skin do the same. However, Lumene’s studies shown promise and other ingredients, like canola oil work very well to repair skin and improve barrier function.
Lumene sent over their serum for us to try and I found that while it was pleasant to use, there are products better formulated for sensitive skin.
Is Arctic Linen Seed Effective?
Arctic linen seed is a fancy name for flaxseed. The “arctic” trend is part of the misleading and false suggestion that plants that flourish in a harsh environment will imbue your skin with those properties. Just because you put “arctic” lined seed on your face doesn’t mean your face will suddenly be as resilient as this plant. But there are other benefits from flaxseed.
Two of those are the two omegas: Omega-3 and Omega-6. Research on these essential fatty acids and their positive impact on the skin comes primarily in studies were participants consumed them where they’ve been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, and potentially even collagen-boosting properties (University of Maryland Medical Center, Journal of Cellular Physiology). Eating flaxseed will have a more profound effect in terms of omega absorption than putting it on your face.
[Read More: Spotlight On: Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids]
In vitro studies show that flaxseed lignans contain antioxidants and phytoestrogens (Mayo Clinic). And supplements of flaxseed have been shown to improve barrier function and reduce sensitivity of the skin (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology). Lumene’s study that demonstrated that when using their product, 95.4% of women felt their skin was soothed, 88.4% saw a reduction in redness, and 97.6% felt that hteir skin was moisturized (Lumene). Unfortunately, there aren’t very many non-industry studies to show the effectiveness of topically used flaxseed and without more information, it’s impossible to say how beneficial it is.
Is the Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate Safe?
The word “aluminum” tends to get hearts racing — is this aluminum as potentially dangerous as those found in deodorants? Aluminum is used in deodorants because it causes a chemical reaction that lessens sweating. And while there are some fears that aluminum in beauty products might cause cancers, most doctors have no acknowledged these claims (Journal of the National Cancer Institute).
But don’t let the name similarity fool you — just because “aluminum” is a part of the name doesn’t mean you need to be concerned about safety. In fact, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate is widely considered to be quite safe. Studies have been done on t
he dangers of aluminum starch octenylsuccinate when ingest and injected and none have found it to have systematic, reproductive, or developmental effects (International Journal of Toxicology). On ocular tests with rabbits, it was not found to cause irritation or toxicity.
Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate is an anti-caking agent, that prevents powders and foundations from caking. As an aluminum starch, it also will absorb oil and sebum from the skin’s surface. For acne-prone and very oily skin, this effect may not last as long as for those with mild to medium level oiliness in the T-zone. Reapplication may still be required for acne-prone and oily skin types.
Canola Oil Isn’t Just for Cooking
Who knew that kitchen staple was actually beneficial to your skin?
One barrier test study found that canola oil helped to protect and repair the skin barrier after sodium lauryl sulfate was used to irritate it (British Journal of Dermatology). The study found that lipid containing moisturizers like canola oil, which has unsaponifiable lipids, helps to reduce irritation when irritants come into contact with skin.
Another study hypothesized that canola oil is beneficial to the skin because it contains sterols (British Journal of Dermatology). In fact, it’s even been shown to help improve barrier function for those who suffer from atopic dermatisis (British Journal of Dermatology).
Personal Use and Opinion
Lumene Sensitive Touch Serum has a thin, milky consistency that absorbs quickly into skin. I found the smell, which is a bit grain-like, to be unpleasing; but it went away fairly quickly. After using the serum, my skin felt softer and more hydrated and when I put my moisturizer over top I found that it worked well to enhance it.
I’m not certain how well it would work on inflammed skin — canola oil improves barrier function but there isn’t much information on flaxseed oil. It’s quite possible that further studies will back up Lumene’s claims. But overall these ingredients haven’t been shown to cause any major irritation.
Lumene Sensitive Touch Serum gets its power from arctic linen seed, which is a special name for flaxseed. Don’t think that just because this plant flourishes in the arctic that it will work to make your skin the same way — though it does have Omega-3 and Omega-6. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been well tested. Don’t let the presence of Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate concern you; this ingredient has been found safe by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review. But good old canola oil actually has some surprising skin soothing benefits.
Water, Biosaccharide Gum-4, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Silica, Isohexadecane, Biosaccharide Gum-2, C12-13 Alkyl Lactate, Aluminum Starch Octenyl Succinate, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Canola Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Arachidyl Alcohol, Creatine, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Behenyl Alcohol, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Propylene Glycol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Allantoin, Ethylhexyglycerin, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Extract, Maltodextrin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides).