A new day, a new cleanser. Honestly, it feels like every time I turn around these days there is a new product that claims to do it all and then some. The IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser was developed with plastic surgeons and claims to be a “breakthrough one-step skincare solution that gently cleanses and moisturizes while leaving your skin feeling soft, refreshed, and perfectly balanced.” Let’s take a look.
Ceramides are an ingredient used often but rarely discussed. They are lipid molecules that are naturally occurring in the skin and can be found in the cell membranes of the upper layer of the skin (they make up about 40% of the lipids in the stratum corneum!). Ceramides provide the skin with protection and help to lock in moisture. They also act as a barrier against bacteria and environmental pollutants. Ceramides are naturally reduced in people who suffer from dry to very dry skin (Acta Derm Venereology). While it is known that the amount and integrity of ceramides decrease in the skin naturally with age, it has been proposed recently that ceramide-degrading enzymes (ceramidases) may be a part of bacterial infection as well (Clinical and Skin Immunology).
Whatever the cause, it is known that using ceramides on the skin may help with moisture retention. When used in skincare products, they replenish the natural lipids that are lost due to exposure to harsh environmental factors, the use of drying products, and aging. They help to restore moisture to the skin and reinforce its natural barrier in order to protect it from environmental factors.
That all sounds great, right? Well, the issue here with using them in the IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser… you’re not going to get the benefits of them because they are on your skin for only a short period of time before getting washed down the drain. Ceramides are great in serums and moisturizers, but you just won’t get the same effect in a cleanser.
Are There Any Benefits to Topically Applied Collagen?
As a skincare blogger, I hear a lot of claims. Newest ingredient, best technology, latest innovation — combine heavy use of scientific sounding-terms and fluffy marketing, and you end up with a lot of snake oil out there.
One of the biggest examples of this is when most companies put collagen into skincare. The collagen that is used in most skincare products is supplied as large 15000-50000 Dalton molecules. However, this means topically applied collagen is too large to fit through the stratum corneum [uppermost layer of the skin], as molecules only 5000 Daltons or less can penetrate the skin (Cosmetic Dermatology). So topically applying collagen will not make your skin firmer or supplement any loss of collagen that occurs with age. Instead, when collagen is in most skincare products, it merely lays atop and hydrates your skin.
Most skincare companies that put collagen in their skincare products do so because, theoretically, putting collagen back into your skin would be like discovering the fountain of youth. Collagen is found in various types throughout your body and your skin, and it is the most abundant protein in your skin. However, collagen production decreases by approximately 1 percent with each year of age after maturity (at about age 21), leading to a loss in firmness and elasticity of the skin. What’s more, the collagen that is produced as you age tends to be weaker and at times even cross-linked improperly, which further leads to signs of aging.
So, much like the ceramides mentioned earlier, the collagen is not going to do a whole lot for you in this IT Cosmetics cleanser. At best, it may be slightly hydrating and that’s about it.
Colloidal oatmeal is one of the few skincare ingredients that is regulated by the U.S. FDA. From the Avena sativa L. plant, colloidal oatmeal is simply oats ground into an extremely fine powder. It is known for soothing and calming the skin, as studies have shown it improves barrier function, cleanses, soothes, and even contains soothing antioxidant vitamin E (Cosmetic Dermatology supplement).
Colloidal oatmeal also relieves pain and itching by inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis in a mechanism similar to that of the drug indomethacin.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and soothing nature, studies published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology suggest using colloidal oatmeal as a first-line treatment to alleviate the symptoms of psoriasis, eczema, and atopic dermatitis. It is suggested that the use of colloidal oatmeal to treat these conditions may allow for the reduced need for topical drugs like corticosteroids or calcineurin inhibitors, which have more known potential side effects than colloidal oatmeal.
Colloidal oatmeal is one of the ingredients in this cleanser that I feel is actually worthwhile! If you have sensitive, reactive skin, this makes for a great addition to a soothing cleanser.
Bottom Line on IT Cosmetics
This cleanser is perfectly fine but not really anything to write home about. The ingredients that they advertise (ceramides, collagen) are not very effective when used in a facewash as they don’t have time to be absorbed into the skin to work their magic. The only ingredient that is effective here is the colloidal oatmeal which is great for those with sensitive skin.
The IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser has a nice citrus scent, didn’t leave my skin feeling tight or dry, and removed most of my makeup (but not any waterproof mascara). It’s a fine product but at that price point, you can find something much more effective. It’s a pass for me for that reason.