Taking The Heat Out Of Formula Processing
One of the more recent concerns of the natural skincare movement has been with the use of heat in processing. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with not only the use of more natural products, but how the natural ingredients in these products are processed and what they go through before being bottled. This is because many ingredients used in both foods and personal care are very heat sensitive, often changing structurally on the molecular level when exposed to temperature extremes. So the processing of skincare formulas is of utmost importance as it can completely alter the effectiveness of a product and make two formulas with identical ingredient lists work in very different ways on the skin.
Many cosmetic and skincare companies regularly heat their formulas for the purposes of creating a stable product, especially to stabilize oil/water emulsions. The heat helps to blend together the ingredients to form a final product that doesn’t separate when sitting on your bathroom counter and that remains “luxurious” feeling when applied to the skin. Unfortunately, such companies often overlook the fact that several active ingredients will break down on a molecular level at higher temperatures and result in a less effective formula. Virtually all peptides, many vitamins, and some botanical extracts are sensitive to elevated temperatures, with different ones breaking down at various points along the heat scale. This can permanently change the structure of these ingredients, and in some cases make them change from beneficial to toxic for use on the skin. So you could have two identical formulas with one being processed using higher heat and one processed at room temperature and they could work in a completely different manner in the skin even though they contain the exact same ingredients. Sadly, you’d have no way of know which is which based on the packaging or ingredients list (there is no label requirement in any country that demands a manufacturer post the highest heat a formula was exposed to during processing).
This is why it is important for consumers to educate themselves on the effects of elevated temperatures used on their food and skincare products, and to demand answers from companies on their processing standards. For our formulas, we do not use heat above regular room temperature to mix ingredients together. We utilize advanced formulating methods that took years of research to perfect that allow the different phases of formula mixing to occur at room temperature, ensuring absolutely no degradation of the compounds contained within them. Even for those products containing both water and oil we have discovered ways to emulsify them at lower temperatures, even when using natural emulsifiers that have traditionally been trickier to work with than synthetic emulsifiers that many other companies use to create stable products.