How we select ingredients for our IN-ON-UNDER approach:
Healthy skin is achieved via healthy body and mind. Our food supplements provide the necessary support to balance and boost the health, which then improves the health of the skin. Our skincare improves the skin barrier integrity, and supports the longevity of healthy skin cells under its surface with antioxidants.
The most important factor in selecting ingredients for food supplement is their bioavailability, in other words, how well they are absorbed by the body. The absorption rate of micronutrients is much more efficient if they are taken with supporting molecules. For example, our vitamin C in Acne & Stress makes up 25% of the Acerola cherry that also contains bioflavonoids to help its absorption. The absorption rate of the synthetic ascorbic acid is estimated at 20% compared to almost 100% of our food form vitamin C.
For skincare products to be effective, the ingredients need to negotiate through the skin barrier first. We present a quick explanation on the workings of the skin, followed by how our ingredients work around this barrier.
Skin Barrier Vs. Ingredients
The skin (the outer layer of epidermis) performs a critical job in our body - that of barrier and defence. The defenders are made up of 'bricks and mortar', as they are popularly referred to. They are many layers of flattened skin cells (the bricks) 'stuck' together by the intercellular lipids (the mortar). Together they fight against the elements trying to get in, some of which are bad (like pollutants, allergens, pathogenic bacteria) and some of which are good (nourishing ingredients). On the other side of this gatekeeping role, the skin keeps hydration from escaping. This is why the integrity of the skin barrier is primordial in skin health.
The 'mortar' is lipid-based so the skin will naturally absorb oil-based ingredients better than water-based ingredients. For example, Vitamin C is a water-based ingredient and so its efficacy depends on a high dosage and/or a very low pH, both of which can be irritating for the skin.
At Skin Diligent, ingredient selection has to meet the following 4 criteria:
1. 10 conditions for skincare formulation:
Improve appearance of skin, improve skin health, provide cellular protection, respect the skin microbiome & skin pH, never irritate, never sensitise, free of endocrine disruptors, free of photosensitivity, free of side effects, and natural. In other words, all our ingredients respect the health of the skin barrier, its microbiome, and the skin cells.
2. Ethical & sustainable botanical ingredients:
Our rare but proven botanical ingredients are sourced directly from the cooperatives of farmers who practice Pierre Rabhi’s agro-ecological philosophy. This is the case for our Lannea microcarpa, rich in anthocyanins and protector of lipoperoxidation. In Cameroon, we work with hunter-gatherers who collect Ceasalpinia sappan, a powerful cellular repair and protector. At the mouth of the Amazon River, we work with an ethnobotanist to collect Protium heptaphyllum, a strong anti-inflammatory to provide quick soothing. More about our ethical and sustainability credentials here.
We also work with local ingredient labs that upcycle molecules from the agri-food industries in France. This is the case of our Theobroma cacao extract. Our up and coming new products will contain more upcycled ingredients.
At Skin Diligent, our preferred method of efficacy is the intelligent delivery systems that help active ingredients reach the skin cells. This way, the skin irritation, damage, or skin sensitising are not possible. In our Acne-Prone Skin Kit, the advanced delivery system is a modified bentonite clay. Humble but mighty. This clay looks just like the brick and mortar of our skin, with the lamellar sheets of bentonite looking like the flattened skin cells and the active ingredients sliding around the sheets looking like the mortar.
Once applied on the skin, it forms an invisible, breathable film on the skin. This is our "Second Skin" technology. It absorbs the oxidised sebum produced by the skin and replaces it with the active ingredients throughout the day. The Second Skin protects the skin and any breakouts from dirt and pollution. You can find this technology on our Multilayer Serum and our Regulating Cream.
Another advanced system we use is a lysate that plays the role of a quorum sensor. A molecule that has been extracted from the Noni plant and grown in a biotech lab, 100% natural, has the ability to control the population of certain bacteria on the skin without decimating them.
We also use encapsulation method to protect fragile ingredients like the fermented pioneer probiotic strain. Our formulas also contain technical ingredients like the extremely rare lipid-based vitamin C, the Ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate. This is an oil-based vitamin C that is easily recognised by the skin and works with the skin's balanced pH. It is not photosensitising nor irritating to the skin.
4. The NO List
We have opted not to use the popular preservative ingredient phenoxyethanol, which single-handedly replaced the parabens since several forms of them have been banned. Phenoxyethanol is present in everything, from shampoos to serums to body creams, and is now considered to be toxic. At Skin Diligent, we have developed a unique natural preservative system instead of adopting the industry's norm. Our products are:
Free of phenoxyethanol or parabens
Free of sulphates
Free of silicones, dimethicones or other petroleum-based ingredients
Free of denatured alcohols
Free of benzoyl peroxyde
Free of retinoids
With Skin Diligent, even if you don't understand the technicalities of all our ingredients, we wanted you to simply enjoy the benefits of our products while we got your back.