Let’s be blunt, Ophthalmological (I hope I’ve spelt that right!) is a bit of a mouthful, but if like me you can’t spell (or say) it, you can blame the Greek for that! The word comes from the Greek “ophthalmos”, meaning (shock, horror) eye, and “logos”, meaning thought. Together, the term literally means “the science of eyes”. (Wikipedia)
The term (please don’t make me type it again), should be found on all products that are used around the eye area, so thing like:
- Eye Creams
- Eye Gels
- Eye Drops
should all be Ophthalmologically Tested, which means that they have been certified safe to use around the delicate area around the eye.
My Bourjois eyeliners are actually the first products that I’ve noticed this on, which makes me wonder how many beauty products really are tested effectively as safe, because I don’t know about you guys, but I always worry about the health of my eyes, especially since mine are so sensitive.
SLS stands for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It is typically found in beauty products, such as shampoos, soaps and cleansers, and is what makes your favourite fancies foam, thanks to its emulsifying and foaming agents.
SLS has received a lot of press recently, some of it exaggerated, and some if possibly true, and as is the case with Paraben, it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine what is Fact and what is Fiction. And the reason for the frenzy is down to the fact that SLS can cause skin irritation, as well as allergic reactions.
I don’t know how high the chance is of getting irritated, because I’m not an expert, but there are certainly growing amounts of companies that have jumped on the scaremongering bandwagon, by promoting themselves on them being SLS-Free. Also plenty companies legitimately don’t include SLS, so there are plenty of products that should be safe to use.
If a product states that it is “Hypoallergenic”, this simply means that it is less likely to contain ingredients that could cause an allergic reaction, so by theory, Hypoallergenic Products should be suitable for most people.
However, it’s important to remember that Hypo comes from the Greek word meaning “below normal”, so it can not be entirely ruled as 100% safe, especially if you are particularly sensitive to allergens, and often suffer allergic reactions, such as rashes, breathing difficulties (typically asthma-related), then it is still important to be very careful whenever possible.
Non-Comedegenic – Say what now? To me, this sounds like my foundation doesn’t come with comedians in it…which I am actually quite grateful of! Non-Comedegenic basically means that the products does not contain any kind of oil. This is specifically good for anyone with oily skin, or who is prone to break outs (Perfect for me then). The fact that the product isn’t oily, means that it won’t block your pores. Blocked pores produce comedomes, or black- and white-heads to you and me, so comedomes are definitely not a good thing!
Paraben – Parabens are a type of preservative used in most beauty products to make sure that they last as long as possible. They’ve had some pretty bad press in the past few months, following suggestions that parabens could cause illness in users.
Popular beauty company Simple, who pride themselves on creating harsh chemical-free products suitable even for the most sensitive skin, proclaim that parabens have been in use for over 50 years, having been certified as safe by several legitimate organisations. They also point out the fact that although the majority of modern parabens are manufactured, it’s important to remember that parabens also occur naturally.
Paula Begoun agrees with Simple’s reasoning, and backing up the notion that many media outlets are “scare mongering”, has proclaimed that Parabens are indeed safe for use:
“Group of preservatives, including butylparaben, propylparaben, methylparaben, and ethylparaben, that are among the most widely used group of preservatives in cosmetics. It is estimated that more than 70% of all cosmetic products contain some form of paraben. Parabens are believed to cause less irritation than some preservatives and offer broad antifungal and good antibacterial activity.
Parabens have become a stigmatized group of preservatives due to their alleged relation to breast cancer. The Paula’s Choice team has researched this issue extensively and come to the conclusion that parabens are not harmful ingredients consumers should avoid.”
**Updated by Kat M 01/05/2011**
SPF – Most of us know that SPF means that the product will protect our skin from sun damage, but I really have no idea what SPF actually stands for. SPF basically stands for Sun Protection Factor, and the higher the number SPF (eg SPF 15), the more protection the product will give your skin against the sun’s harmful rays.
Paula Begoun had the following to say, regarding SPF:
“Most commonly seen as SPF, it is a number that is assigned to a product that identifies its ability to protect the skin from sunburn or to protect the skin from turning pink or red when exposed to sun. SPF numbering is regulated by the FDA, and is a measure of the amount of time a person can stay in the sun without getting burned if a sunscreen is applied. Because sunburn results from UVB radiation, not UVA radiation, SPF is primarily a measure of UVB protection. At this time, there is no numbering system to indicate the level of protection a sunscreen can provide from UVA radiation, which affects the deeper layers of skin.”
**Updated by Kat M 01/05/2011**
Dermatologically Tested – Derma relates to the skin, whilst a Dermatologist is a Scientist that specialises in treating skin rashes, burns, irritations etc. Therefore, something that has been
Dermatologically Tested, has been tested on skin, by a professional Dermatologist, who has deemed the product safe for use.
There is, however, some speculation, about how vague the term is, and many believe that is unclear as to whether something that has been Dermatologically Tested was tested on human or animal skin.
Cassia Complex – Cassia is a plant, originating from East Asia, that is closely related to Cinnamon, and commonly used in medicine. It produces senna which is a mild laxative (note to self: make sure not to eat new Pantene Shampoo or Conditioner!!) Although Pantene use it as a scientifically enhanced active ingredient, in their new collection, they don’t really give much away as to what exactly the plant does naturally, that is so good for your hair.