Lately, we have found the trend towards ‘natural & organic’ Environ Skincare a little confusing and in light of the recent report from the Soil Association regarding the harmful chemicals found in organically labelled products, we decided to look a little closer at the synthetic market vs the natural choice.
The International Institute of Anti-Aging (iiaa) are the official UK distributors of Environ Skincare, Jane Iredale natural mineral make-up and the Advanced Nutrition Programme (ANP) beauty supplements, so we visited their Skin3 salon in Swiss Cottage, London and began trialling their range.
Environ Skincare declares the inclusion of chemicals and parabens in their list of ingredients but we have come to the conclusion that just because an ingredient grows out of the ground or is found in nature doesn’t make it automatically good for skin; and just because it is synthetic doesn’t make it bad.
The ‘natural’ trend advises us to avoid parabens, move away from chemicals and opt for natural ingredients to care for our skin, yet many of these ingredients, like mango, cucumber, tea-tree and strawberries, still contain naturally occurring parabens.
Throughout, our continuing skincare trial has revealed that even on our sensitive skin, not one of the Environ products we are using has caused any immediate reaction. Nothing has burned, itched or caused a flush or rash.
The overall appearance of our skin seems to be improving; fine lines and open pores appear diminished and we are certainly benefiting from the added sunscreen included in the range.
Skin3 Environ Skincare pride themselves on getting great results and their trained therapist is on hand to help with problems and give advise on finding the right products for your skin. Everyone is treated as an individual, with personal attention to your specific needs.
The Skin3 approach is designed to improve skin quality and we would expect it to be completely non-comedogenic but unfortunately in our case some products seem to have increased acne break-outs, with both testers experiencing an increase in spots and blackheads throughout the first six weeks of the trial.
We were advised that this could be caused by the toxins being flushed out from deeper layers but we feel it is about finding the right products to suit us; even within a range of this quality there will still be trial and error while discovering the right products for our skin.
The Environ Skincare Sebuwash seemed a little drying at first, so coupled with a sudden change in vitamin intake and some of the Jane Iredale products containing beeswax* it is little wonder that our skin may have become slightly unbalance for a while. (*There is some disagreement regarding the use of beeswax for acne-prone skin).
Luckily the trained therapists at Skin3 are on hand to make adjustments to the products we are using and can tailor our regime to suit our skin.
In our trial we used: –
- Environ B-Active Sebuwash – twice daily. This is ideally suited for those people with problem skin. A mild gel cleanser containing tea tree oil, salicylic acid and a special oil absorbing ingredient. Initially we found this made our skin feel a little dry after use.
- Environ C-Quence Eye Gel and AVST Eye Gel – twice daily. Both products have returned noticeable results and are still in daily use.
- AVST 1 – twice daily. These daily moisturisers are produced in five varying strengths of vitamin A. Great results, reduced pore size, smoother skin.
- Environ RAD SPF 15 – once daily. Provides thorough protection from both UVA and UVB irradiation. Re-apply every two hours when out in the sun. This is quite a thick sun cream but absorbs easily. Offers very good sun protection but may be too rich for some skins and could cause congestion and breakouts.
With the ANP beauty supplements we were given between 6-8 vitamin tablets to take every day, in order to give us a broad spectrum of vitamins essential to a healthy diet. Since many food produce available today do not contain good quality vitamins and minerals, it can be an advantage to ensure you are getting the RDA of vitamins needed to maintain healthy, clear skin and this course of vitamins is a general start point to the regime.
We noticed that some of the vitamins passed quickly through our bodies and were filtered out into our urine – which turned bright green!
There appears to be two schools of thought on this. One being that we were taking more vitamins than our body needed so our kidneys were simply filtering our what we didn’t need. The other thought that our kidneys were being over loaded and therefore working harder without reason because we could not process and absorb the vitamins this way and we would do better to ensure that we ate a healthy diet to obtain our RDA of vitamins in a way our body could utilise more effectively.
The vitamins certainly didn’t seem to do any harm for the month, aside the urine changes, but we did notice that the packet carried a warning on taking too much vitamin C (in excess of 1000mg) as it may cause upset stomachs in sensitive individuals. With the packet containing this upper limit, any vitamin C in our diets could potentially cause this reaction over an extended period. Vitamin B6 was also at the maximum RDA.
The quality of the vitamins is exceptionally high and are intended as a temporary adjustment while working out the best regime tailored to individual needs – so after the introductory period we would be looking to remove or reduce the artificial vitamins which we already consume in our food diet and only add in any we felt we were really lacking.
Another caution on the packaging advises that the beauty supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. It is very easy when taking supplements to forget to follow a balanced diet, feeling that the vitamins are a good replacement but in reality they only offer support while you are adjusting your eating habits.
To find the correct supplements for your individual lifestyle we would recommend talking to an ANP’s nutritionist or Skin3 specialist to ensure you are on the right course for you.
Aside from the improvement to our skin, the best thing we have taken away from this trial is the introduction to the complete range or Jane Iredale skincare makeup. With many products in the range being gluten-free and suitable for vegans we feel this is the makeup of choice for the future. The quality is amazing, the coverage second to none and the skincare benefits proven.
With all skincare and makeup products we think less is more; less ingredients to juggle together, less pro
duct application and less worry over problem skin.
In conclusion we are noticing improvement with the Skin3 programme but we need to discuss our regime with the Skin3 clinic and look at changing which products we are using to stop further break-outs, so we will review this again in a few months to tell you how we are getting on.
For more information on any of these products or to speak to an advisor visit Skin3 or the iiaa.