As a beauty writer who's been reading ingredient lists for over 10 years now, seeing some of the blow-back to the clean beauty movement is deeply frustrating. Yes, the term "clean" isn't regulated, and it absolutely should be to prevent companies from preying on shopper trust. Yet a huge body of research supports the findings that some ingredients harmfully disrupt hormones, needlessly sensitize skin, contribute to certain types of cancer, and shouldn't be in products.
Take parabens, for example. A number of social media-famous cosmetic chemists and skin experts say the preservatives are fine, yet on the other side of the coin, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners details the multitude of ways that parabens contribute to an increased risk of breast cancer, with methylparaben in particular decreasing the ability of a common chemotherapy drug to treat the disease.
This might be a hot take, but chemists and dermatologists who know tons about what's good for skin don't always know what's good for our hormone system. They're two different fields — so while a certain gentle cleanser is wonderful for your face, The Endocrine Society warns against the three different parabens it includes.
At the end of the day, everyone has to do their own research, evaluate the risks, and make the decision that's best for them. If you want to make choices that err on the side of caution, the good news is there's now an abundance of options in the clean skincare realm that deliver unparalleled results. And if you're looking for the best anti-aging cream, Alpyn Beauty's PlantGenius Melt Moisturizer wins phenomenal reviews from shoppers searching for help with fine lines, wrinkles, large pores, and flaky skin.
Shop now: $60; sephora.com, amazon.com, and credo.com
"Changed my skin dramatically! My skin is so soft, and my wrinkles and fine lines are diminishing," writes one reviewer. "My face immediately looks tighter and younger when I use it. I'm so happy." Another person in their mid-thirties says the cream goes on like "soft butter," makes their skin feel like silk, and creates a smoother and more elastic texture with less prominent wrinkles.
Those results are thanks to a quartet of powerful ingredients: vitamin C, squalane, hyaluronic acid, and bakuchiol. Bakuchiol is a new-ish ingredient in the skincare world, with a profile that mimics retinol's anti-aging effects without the potential for irritation. It's a downside-free approach, the ingredient shown to improve the appearance of skin texture, photo-aging, and wrinkles, while rejuvenating the expression of collagen in the skin (and it's safe to use during pregnancy).
"Bakuchiol does not chemically resemble retinols and retinoids, but it is shown through lab studies, genetic expression, and clinical application to the skin to induce many of the same anti-aging changes as the vitamin A derivatives dermatologists have loved for decades," board-certified dermatologist Dr. Melanie Palm previously told InStyle.
And according to shoppers, the Alpyn formula gets to work fast. Within two weeks, one person says the fine lines and wrinkles around their eyes plumped up; another says that within a similarly short timespan, their dry skin brightened up and smoothed out.
"I just started using this and I am loving the fast results. I have fine lines and wrinkles around my eyes and forehead that have become less visible, and it's gentle on my sensitive skin," the latter shopper above continues. "My favorite part is how it melts on my skin and doesn't leave me feeling greasy or oily."
In the words of a last shopper, the firming effect is so powerful it feels like Botox, and it tightens pores as a bonus. And since the brand is formulated without hormone-disrupting parabens, phthalates, and triclosan, skin-irritating formaldehyde-donors, sulfates, and fragrance, talc potentially laced with asbestos, deforestation-contributing palm ingredients, and fossil fuel derivatives like mineral oil and petrolatum, using the Melt Moisturizer feels like a powerful choice to support brands doing better by our bodies and the environment.
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