- Free Radicals Explained
- Organic & Natural
- Preservatives Used
- Serums vs. Cremes
- Bottle Sizes & Types
- Combination Of Products
- CFFormula Products
- Ingredient Glossary
- About Aloe Products
Free radicals are now widely accepted by the scientific community as a main cause contributing to aging and age-related conditions. These free radicals can be neutralized both inside, using supplements and the correct food choices and out, using the right choice in skin care products! What is the solution to attacking this free-radical damage? A group of beneficial nutrients we call “antioxidants” directly address this “problem” of aging skin. Many free radicals can be controlled by these nutrients both internally as mentioned by supplementation and externally as presented in Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ nourishing skin care line.
Free Radicals ↑ Back to Top
A free radical is any atom or molecule that is missing an electron in its outer shell. It “steals” an electron from a stable body cell, thus destroying its stability. This process is known as oxidation and prevents the process that promotes soft, supple and resilient skin. Almost all of the damage to our skin is caused by free-radical attacks from UV rays, pollution, poor food choices and smoking. Free radicals turn the oils of our skin rancid which in turn damages the collagen and the “firming strands” called elastin that help to make the skin resilient, firm and less prone to wrinkles. Collagen is the protein in fibers that serve as the building blocks of our skin. In fact, free radicals have even been associated with skin cancer and premature skin aging due to sun exposure.
Antioxidants ↑ Back to Top
Antioxidants are used in skin care products, like Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ to neutralize free radicals before they ravage the skin. Cells produce free radicals and antioxidants remove the free radicals from these cells. In other words, antioxidants assist in protecting and promoting the building blocks of collagen. Topical products containing antioxidants, in effect defend the skin, help in reducing scars and promote healing. Fresh Vitamin C as used in the CFFormulas™ Crystal Serum C not only prevents damage, but also repairs skin and helps in reducing sun/age spots by evening out skin-tone variations. Obvious results with this Serum are seen within 3 days of use and it just gets better over time.
Organic and Natural Ingredients – What does this mean? ↑ Back to Top
Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ ingredients are either “naturally sourced”, meaning their starting place is either in part or whole from a natural or organic source and they are not artificially processed; or the ingredients are organic, meaning they are organically certified. As well, all of CFFormulas™ skin care products are certified vegan which means that all our skin care products do not contain any animal products and are not tested on animals.
Don’t be fooled: By law, a skin care product cannot claim it’s organic unless it has a 95% organic content in its formulation. As well, a skin care product can claim their product is “made of organic ingredients” when it’s only 70% organic content. CFFormulas™ products state their exact percentage of “certified organic” content on the label.
A Word about Preservatives and CFFormulas™ ↑ Back to Top
The “organically preserved bases” used in the CFFormulas™ skin care line are a unique and innovative preservative system. We have combined the properties of rooibos extract, vitamin E, black willow bark extract, rosemary oleoresin and neem oil at specific levels that have created a synergistic preservative system. This preservative system is broad spectrum and stable, however the products require special handling and packaging. Air and light can react with these products. This is why everything is in an airless bottle to protect the product from oxidation or a dark blue, glass bottle to keep the product safe from over-exposure to light. We elected NOT to add any fragrances and keep our formulations scent-free. All the products have a shelf-life of up to 18 months except for the Crystal Serum C that works for only up to 60 days after the powdered C is added. It is the only product I’ve ever used that reduces brown/age/sun spots to almost nothing and evens out skin color variations in all kinds of skin … dark to light. Before the powdered C is added, the serum will keep for up to 18 months. It’s also best to store the powdered C that comes in the little vial before it’s added to the serum in a dark place like a drawer before use as the powdered C can be light sensitive, too.
A word about storing your CFFormulas™ products: All products should be stored in a cool, dark place with stable and consistent temperatures. Typical room temperature is 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) which is the perfect storage temperature for cosmetics and skin care products. When these formulas are stored at higher temperatures, the preservative system can be compromised. A good rule of thumb: one week kept at temperatures higher than 85 degrees F (30 degrees C) will spend three months of most products’ shelf life.
Note: Because the CFFormulas™ skin care products do not have the “usual” fillers and chemical binders, they can separate or liquefy when they get too hot. Leaving the product in a hot car or sitting in a mail box that is too warm can cause this, for example. Not to worry, the product is still viable. Just shake it up a bit or stir it very slowly and it will emulsify back into a cream.
Note: As of September, 2016 we no longer are using EDTA in our formulations. EDTA has been removed from all of our products. It is being replaced with Tetrasodium glutamate diacetate – a multi-purpose, clear, liquid chelating agent and preservative booster that is also biodegradable. Effective, sustainable, and biodegradable checked all the boxes for us, and we’ve started reformulating.
The FDA requires manufacturers to update ingredient decks immediately to include any ingredient changes as they occur. However, we are allowed to use up our labels we’ve already printed. The new info will be on the newest labels.
Serums and Crèmes – What’s the difference? ↑ Back to Top
Serums are more concentrated than crèmes, hence they’re more expensive. Our serums are super-packed with beneficial, nutrient-rich antioxidants and vitamins. They tend to target the deeper layers of skin with these valuable ingredients that heal and regenerate cells. Crèmes target the top layers of the skin and are usually considered moisturizing and protective.
TIP: The RSR and TTS are very, very thick. The serums are wonderful! Serums go a step further than crèmes, and a step further still than lotions in overall richness and nutrients. A serum is a great choice for getting added nutrients deep into the skin; its molecule size is much smaller than a lotion or regular moisturizer. However, they are very thick. If you squeeze the rubber top of the dropper and very slowly release it, this will allow the serum to flow into the glass pipette, slowly. Give it a try. Otherwise, you can also use the dropper as a dip stick for a quicker way of getting the serum out of the bottle. .
Why does CFFormulas™ sell their skin care products in bottles of a particular size and type? ↑ Back to Top
Skin care products are most effective when the ingredients are fresh. Since CFFormulas™ skin care line is completely natural and mostly organic we want you to be aware that these super rich nutrients have a limited shelf life from 12 to 18 months. Many of the products are in airless bottles that greatly reduce the products exposure to the air and therefore protect them from air-exposure oxidation. Therefore their shelf-life is greatly extended and their viability, too. The super concentrated serums are light sensitive and are in protective heavy blue bottles. All these products have a shelf life of up to 18 months this way. While the powdered Botanical Masque is viable even longer, the Crystal Serum C is the only product best used within 60 days and this only after being mixed with its vitamin C powdered base. Therefore, we only sell it in the half-ounce size. Furthermore, the serums both come with a hand dropper pipette for dispensing the highly concentrated product precisely. Each product is packed thoughtfully for giving you the best result and making sure you get your money’s worth this way!
It’s the combination of skin care products that gives you the look you want ↑ Back to Top
Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ skin care line is packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and the latest technology for giving you the healthiest and most radiant skin possible. For example, DMAE is one ingredient used in many of the Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ skin care products. Since DMAE literally tightens the skin, layering skin care products with DMAE will give you a firmer, tighter and therefore younger-looking skin over time. In other words, DMAE becomes more effective with use. Other antioxidants, for instance, like rooibos or white and green tea extracts also have more effect as antioxidants, the more you use them. You will find this layering effect to your benefit the more you use the CFFormulas™ products. These antioxidants as well as vitamins and other nourishing nutrients are found in many of the formulations. All of the CFFormulas™ products are scent-free.
Furthermore, we’ve devised a schedule that you can use, showing you how to layer these products for the most radiant, healthy, firm and youthful skin possible while using the least amount of product for maximum results. As well, upon purchase of any of the CFFormulas™ products, you will receive simple facial exercises that you can use in front of the mirror when applying these creams and the results will be obvious – firmer, more youthful, dewy-looking skin and a toned face.
BALANCING FACIAL CLEANSER – vitamin-rich, cleansing crème with super antioxidants – 93% organic ingredients:
Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Olea europaea (Organic Olive) Oil, Lavendula angustifolia (Organic Lavender) Extract, Emulsifying Wax NF, Aspalathus linearis (Organic Rooibos Tea) Extract, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), Calendula (Organic) officinalis Extract, Camellia sinesis (Organic White Tea) Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Ester), Panthenol (Vitamin B Complex), Retinol Palmitate (Vitamin A) Oil, Polysaccharide gum (Xanthan Gum)
Skin types: Mature, dry, normal, sensitive, damaged and combination. pH: 4.5 – 5.5. Scent-free
Note: This Balancing Facial Cleanser does not contain the typical surfactants that most cleansing gels contain. It is composed of oils and fats which are mild and effective cleansing agents. The cleanser has a perfectly balanced pH level so you do not need to follow with a toner.
BOTANICAL MASQUE – fabulous, nutrient-rich skin therapy masque ingredients:
Kaolin Clay, Bentonite Clay, Curcuma longa (Turmeric) Root Powder, Beta vulgaris (Beet) Powder, d-Calcium Pantothenate (Pro Vitamin B5), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Ester)
Skin types: Suitable for all skin types. Scent-free
CLEANSING SCRUB – gentle, antioxidant exfoliating crème – 85% organic ingredients:
Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe Vera) Juice, Cocos nucifera (Organic Coconut) Oil, Aspalathus linearis (Organic Rooibos Tea) Extract, Emulsifying Wax NF, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Olea europaea (Organic Olive) Oil, Palm Stearic Acid, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Wax Beads, Simmondsia chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Oil, Persea americana (Avocado) Oil, Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Xanthan Gum (Polysaccharide gum), Salix nigra (Organic Black Willowbark)
Skin Types: Mature, dry, normal, sensitive and combination. pH: 4.5 – 5.5. Scent-free
CRYSTAL SERUM C – vitamin-rich serum infused with fresh vitamin C – 70% organic ingredients:
Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe Vera) Juice, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Hibiscus sp. (Hibiscus) Flower Extract, Emulsifying Wax NF, Rosa mosqueta (Rosehip) Seed Oil, Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE Bitartrate), Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Phenoxyethanol, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Ester), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Calcium d-Pantothenate (Pro-Vitamin B5), Beta Carotene (Pro Vitamin A), Lecithin, Xanthan Gum (Polysaccharide Gum), Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Oleoresin, Azadirachta indica (Neem) Oil, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid
Skin Types: Suitable for all skin types. pH: 4.5 – 5.5. Scent-free
One vial of dry-packed vitamin C: L-ascorbic acid (to be mixed with base upon use)
GLOWING SKIN THERAPY MIST – Refresh. Hydrate and boost the skin’s radiance factor. Ingredients:
Aqua, Aspalathus linearis (Organic Rooibos Tea) Extract, Camellia sinensis (White Tea) Extract, Camellia sinensis (Organic Green Tea) Extract, Phenoxythenol, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Dimethlaminoethanol (DMAE Bitartrate), Sodium Hyaluronate Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid
Skin Types: Skin Types: Perfect for all skin types, including oily, sensitive, normal and combination skin. pH 4.5 -5. Scent-free.
HYDRATING CRÈME MASQUE – moisturizing masque for cell regeneration – 91% organic ingredients:
Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Olea europaea (Organic Olive) Oil, Simmondsia chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Oil, Emulsifying Wax NF, Organic Lavandula x intermedia “super” Extract, Palm Stearic Acid, Organic Calendula officinalis Extract, Camellia sinensis (Organic Green Tea) Extract, Aspalathus linearis (Organic Rooibos Tea) Extract, Oenothers biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Camellia sinensis (Organic White Tea) Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Rosa mosqueta (Rosehip) Oil, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), Polysaccharide gum (Xanthan Gum), Citric Acid
Skin Types: Mature, sensitive, dry and damaged. pH: 5-6. Scent-free
MOISTURIZER PLUS – rich, antioxidant crème for the eyes, face and neck. Ingredients:
Aqua (Water), Vitis vinifera (Grapeseed) Oil, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Emulsifying Wax NF, Palm Stearic Acid, Oenothers biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Phenoxyethanol, Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel), Xanthan Gum (Polysaccharide Gum), Salix nigra (Organic Black Willowbark) Extract, Mannan, Azadirachta indica (Neem) Oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Oleoresin, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid
Skin types: Nourishing for all skin types: Mature, dry, normal, and combination. pH: 4.5 – 5.5. Scent-free
Note: You may notice that some of the ingredients in Moisturizer Plus are organic, although it’s not stated on the label. CFFormulas™ only states organic content above 70%.
MOISTURIZING SULFATE-FREE SHAMPOO (Hair Repair) – a gentle sulfate and paraben-free shampoo with enhanced conditioning properties making it perfect for everyday use – 78% organic ingredients:
Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Lavendula angustifolia (Organic Lavender) Distillate, Anthemis nobilis (Roman Chamomile) Distillate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Vegetable Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, dl-Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Rosa mosqueta (Rosehip) Seed Oil, Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid
Hair types: Since our shampoo does not contain citrus oils that can strip the color from the hair, it is also the right shampoo for anyone with color-treated, mature or dry, brittle hair. It has the perfect balance for curly and thick to straight and fine, hair as well. pH: 5.5, scent-free
REJUVENATING SKIN REPAIR2 – An amazing, healing serum for all skin types – 75% organic ingredients:
Organic Aloe Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Carrot Seed Oil, Avocado Fruit Oil, DMAE Bitartrate, Emulsifying Wax, Vitamin E, Sunflower Seed Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Vitamin A Ester, Vitamin B3, Vitamin C Ester, Rosehip Seed Oil, Organic Evening Primrose Oil, Tamanu Oil, Organic Neem Seed Oil, Organic Rosemary Leaf Extract, Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate
Skin Types: Mature, sun-damaged, oily, dry and combination skin types.pH: 4.5 – 5.5. Scent-free
THERAPY HAIR-CARE CONDTIONER (Hair Repair) – an intense restorative treatment for youthful-looking hair – 91% organic ingredients:
Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ricinus communis (Castor) Oil, Stearalkonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, dl-Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Cocos nucifera (Coconut RBD) Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Limmnanthes alba (Meadowfoam) Oil (Refined)
Hair types: Helps to revitalize all hair types from curly and thick to straight and fine. Helps to preserve and revitalize color-treated, mature or dry hair, as well. pH: 3.5-4. Scent-free
TOTAL THERAPY SERUM – revitalizing antioxidant serum – 88% organic ingredients:
Aloe barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), Simmondsia chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Oil, Aspalathus linearis (Organic Rooibos Tea) Extract, Emusifying Wax NF, Camellia sinensis (Organic Green Tea) Extract, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Camellia sinensis (Organic White Tea) Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Sodium Hyaluronate, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Salix nigra (Organic Black Willowbark) Extract, Polysaccharide gum (Xanthan Gum)
Skin Types: Suitable for all skin types. pH: 4.5 – 5.5. Scent-free
Glossary of Ingredients ↑ Back to Top
ALOE VERA (Aloe barbadensis-Certified Organic) has remarkable healing abilities. Expressed from the aloe vera plant, the leaves store large amounts of water. It is an effective cellular renewal ingredient with anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties added to many skin care products, including Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™. It has a composition similar to human blood plasma and seawater with the same pH as human skin. It is known to be extremely soothing and protecting for all skin types. Chemical analysis has shown the presence of mucopolysacharides, a natural moisturizing factor.
Aloe vera is composed of water, the enzymes catalase and cellulose, minerals, calcium, aluminum, iron, zinc, magnesium, sodium, 20 amino acids and carbohydrates. It also contains the “youth mineral” potassium. It has astringent abilities, as well. Used by ancient people like the Egyptians and Native Americans, it is one of the “oldest” medicinal plants known to man. The Greeks, Chinese, Roman and Arab herbalist recommended aloe for burns and rashes. In the 1930s a radiologist discovered that aloe vera is effective in treating radiation burns. True aloe vera is watery and thin. The products that you see on the marketplace that are thick have been chemically thickened and highly diluted.
There is a great deal of confusion regarding aloe products ↑ Back to Top
The number one point of confusion relates to the viscosity of aloe products. Consumers expect aloe juice to look and feel like aloe jelly. Many consumers believe that the thick jelly on the market comes straight from the plant itself. But in reality, the jelly like product is made by adding a thickener. The most common thickening agent is a combination of Carbomer (a.k.a. Carbopol) and TEA (Thiethanolamine). When combined, they create a “jelly”. A few on the market use a gum like Xanthan or Guar Gum.
This viscosity confusion, I believe, is created by two factors. Consumers are most familiar with the clear or green aloe gel products commonly sold on the market. The front of the label says that it is aloe gel, however not everyone reads the ingredient list. Secondly, if you ever cut a piece of an aloe leaf, the inside (fillet) appears to be gelatinous and thick. This thickness comes from the pulp and fiber being removed when aloe is processed. Even if the fillet is left intact with the pulp and fiber, the required preservation method would thin-out the finished product. Therefore, be aware that there are also some thick aloe gel products which contain acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylates Crosspolymer in addition to Carbomer and TEA. Be sure to read labels and ask questions.
Pure aloe juice has the same consistency and viscosity as water
Aloe juice is created by reconstituting freeze-dried, cryo-dried, or spray-dried aloe powder with deionized water to a single strength equivalency (SSE). Once the aloe powder is reconstituted, the finished product requires preservatives in order to remain stable. Mostly, aloe juice on the market that is simply pressed is unstable and not thick like aloe jelly. A fresh unpreserved aloe juice needs to be treated like any other food grade juice that you purchase at the grocery store. It requires refrigeration and it has a short shelf life. This short shelf life makes it unfriendly for cosmetic purposes.
The lab we use has tested the preservative-free aloe juice products on the market and they tested positive for bacteria and mold. If you make a product using this unpreserved aloe your product becomes unstable, despite preservatives added to the finished product. They have run tests using many different methods of preservation with this unpreserved aloe juice. All of them have failed. The simple fact is that you must start your formulas with stable ingredients. The only way around using preserved aloe juice is to formulate using aloe powder, aloe oil or aloe butter and then use a preservative system that is stable and acceptable to you for your finished product. Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ preserves our aloe juice with Potassium Sorbate and Citric Acid (to adjust the pH). We believe that this is the safest and gentlest method we could use. Be aware that there are other aloe juice products that contain glyceryl polymethalcrylate and propylene glycol.
Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ uses only fresh, stable aloe juice that has the correct SSE
Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ makes our products from 100% pure aloe vera that is IASC Certified. IASC Certification is done by the International Aloe Science Council which is a third party verification process that insures purity of aloe products. The aloe that we use comes from freshly harvested leaves of the aloe vera barbadensis miller variety of aloe. The inner gel (a.k.a. fillet) is carefully removed to minimize disruption of the Aloin layer. The resulting gel is processed to remove the pulp and fiber. The gel is then pasteurized to maintain its effectiveness. It’s then concentrated using low temperature evaporation. The gel concentrate is then freeze dried without the use of a matrix, preservatives or any other additives. The finished concentrate allows our lab to follow an exact formula to reconstitute the aloe to a single strength equivalency (SSE) aloe juice.
You may NOT be allergic to aloe, after all
There are hundreds of different formulas and processing methods in which aloe is available on the market. It is no wonder that there are many people who believe they are allergic to aloe. In reality they are most likely allergic to an added anti-caking agent, preservative or thickening agents used in different forms of aloe. There are no ingredients on the market today that are 100% hyper-allergenic because allergies are complex and varied. With that said it is still more likely that people are allergic to something other than the pure aloe. If you wonder if you are truly allergic to aloe the very best method to determine if aloe is the culprit is to snip off a piece of an Aloe leaf and do a patch test.
Our lab manufactures our own aloe juice (standard and organic), aloe oil (standard and organic), aloe butter (standard and organic) and aloe jelly, therefore we are fully and completely aware of what it requires to create a stable, safe and effective product. For many years our lab has manufactured their own aloe products because they wanted to avoid the unlisted ingredients that are common in such products.
ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS (AHA) are commonly found in different concentrations in many products. The most commonly used alpha hydroxy acids are glycolic, lactic, malic, citric and tartaric acids. These mild acids serve to remove the outer layer of dull skin and leave skin with a rejuvenated appearance. Some of these acids are derived from fruit sources, particularly citrus fruits, apples and grapes. Some of the alpha hydroxy acids, such as glycolic acid, are found in sugar cane. Others, such as lactic acid, are found in milk.
Based on industry-sponsored studies, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel — the industry’s self-regulatory body for reviewing the safety of cosmetic ingredients — concluded that products containing the AHAs glycolic and lactic acid are safe for use by consumers if:
The AHA concentration is 10 percent or less.
The final product has a pH of 3.5 or greater.
The final product is formulated in such a way that it protects the skin from increased sun sensitivity or its package directions tell consumers to use daily protection from the sun.
Malic acid, an alpha hydroxy fruit acid, can be used in skin care products to rejuvenate and improve skin conditions. Malic acid is a natural constituent of many fruits and vegetables that are preserved by fermentation. This acid may be broken down during fermentation by certain bacteria into lactic acid and carbon dioxide. The malic acid found in our Rejuvenating Skin Repair serum is used as a balance in our organically based preservative system. It is under 1% concentration and while beneficial to the skin, cannot be considered a main ingredient in this serum or a danger for increasing the chances of sun burn.
AVOCADO OIL (Persea americana) is an emollient oil derived from the pulp of the avocado fruit. It is a rich, heavy but penetrating oil that is full of nutritive and therapeutic components. Avocado oil contains more than 20 % essential unsaturated fatty acids. It contains vitamins A, C, D and E, proteins, beta-carotene, lecithin, fatty acids and the “youth mineral” potassium. It is high in unsaponifiables (sterolins) which are reputed to be beneficial in reducing age spots, healing scars and moisturizing the upper layers of the skin. Avocado oil is easily absorbed into deep tissue and is a very rich, moisturizing treatment for the hair and skin. It has some natural sunscreen properties as well. For this reason it is an ideal ingredient to include when formulating for people with dehydrated, sun or climate damaged skin, as it is an extremely good moisturizing and nourishing compound, assisting in the regeneration and rejuvenation of the skin.
In a study done at the Department of Food Engineering and Biotechnology, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in 1991, it was found that avocado oil significantly increases the amount of collagen in the skin – which normally is under attack as we grow older. It is often used for clients with dry or mature skins, or people suffering from eczema or psoriasis, and is very useful when treating sun or climate damaged skin that is dehydrated and undernourished, as it is said to help with regenerating the skin and softening the tissue.
This same study found that treatment with avocado oil significantly increases the water soluble collagen content in the dermis, which effects the age of the skin. Avocado is used in many folk medicines as an aphrodisiac. Avocado oil is an emollient and very stable. According to the AMA’s committee on Coetaneous Health it helps make the skin feel softer and smoother and reduces roughness, cracking and irritation of the skin. It may possibly retard the fine wrinkles of aging. They also said it helps protect the skin from ultraviolet rays.
BEET POWDER (Beta vulgaris) is extremely rich in iron, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin B5 improves the moisture retention capacity of the skin and stimulates skin regeneration. It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effects.
BENTONITE CLAY is a combination of montmorillonite and volcanic ash. It is a highly absorbent clay that pulls oils and toxins from the skin. It is well suited for oily skin. Bentonite is also a good clay for shaving soaps and for use as an oily hair and scalp treatment. It is used in the Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ Botanical Masque along with Kaolin Clay (good for dry skin) for the most effective and gentle “mud” masque that literally feeds the skin.
BETA CAROTENE is also known as pro Vitamin A. This is found in plants and many animal tissues and is what causes carrots to have their orange tint. It is also used as a coloring agent in several cosmetics. It is a precursor to Vitamin A. Research has suggested that it may be possible to shield the body’s immune system from harmful UVA rays and reduce the risk of skin cancer by supplementing the diet with beta-carotene. It’s a fabulous anti-oxidant. See Vitamin A for more information.
BLACK WILLOW (Organic – Salix nigra) tree is found in the eastern part of the North American continent. It is famous for its dark brown, ridged bark. The fresh bark is rich in tannins and salicylic acid-like materials. The extract has been reported to have analgesic, antiseptic, astringent, anti-pyretic and anti-inflammatory properties. Black willow bark has been shown to possess potent antimicrobial properties. Testing has shown that the extract has activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Propionibacterium acnes, two of the skin flora implicated in the formation of acne.
When added to cosmetic formulations, the extract/tincture can also increase the cell renewal capabilities of cosmetic formulations. Black willow bark is a safe way to get the benefits of a B-hydroxy acid without the risk of irritation. When compared to salicylic acid the extract/tincture is better able to increase turnover of the stratum corneum and also has more in-vitro antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Propionibacterium acnes. Coupled with this increased effectiveness, it has less irritation potential than salicylic acid. The effects of black willow bark are mostly attributed to the salicin naturally occurring in the plant. Salicin is the precursor of salicylic acid, which prevents or counteracts inflammation and is an analgesic. Studies have found that it is also an antioxidant. The salicin component has anti-inflammatory effects. The tannin content of black willow bark has an astringent property, as well.
CALCIUM d-PANTOTHENATE (Pro-Vitamin B5) See Panthenol and Vitamin B5
CALENDULA (Organic – Officinalis) Extract(a.k.a. marigold) is best known for its wound-healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Calendula has antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, healing, and soothing properties for all skin types. German health authorities recommend it for topical use in minor wounds and ulcers because it is believed to increase collagen metabolism. As an anti-hemorrhage, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, fungicidal, it is useful for burns, cuts, eczema, oily, greasy skin, bruises, soothing skin inflammations, insect bites, rashes, wounds, cracked dry skin and varicose veins. It alleviates stretch marks and diaper rash while regulating the menstrual cycle. It is immune boosting, alleviates fluid retention and is anti-viral.
It’s said to affect dreams and sleep. Calendula has been shown in laboratory tests to induce granulation, which is an integral part of the healing process for wounds. Not to be too redundant, but to give the source, according to the PDR for Herbal Medicines Calendula flowers “are antimicrobial due to the terpene alkaloids, lactone and flavones contained in the essential oil. Flavonoids isolated from flowers of Calendula officinalis demonstrated positive antimicrobrial activity against Staphylococcus aureus … Kebsiella pneumoniae, Sarica lutea and Candida monosa”. It goes on to say that “topical application of Calendula has been shown to enhance the granulation and epithelialization (wound healing) of damaged skin.” (Kloucheck-Popova et al., 1982)
CARROT SEED ESSENTIAL OIL (Daucus carota) is revitalizing, toning and nourishing for skin. It increases elasticity, aids in the healing of scars, boils, ulcers, acne, irritated skin, rosacea, dermatitis and eczema while it revitalizes the basal skin layer. It aids in the regeneration of cells. It contains vitamins, minerals and beta-carotene. It’s rejuvenating and it reduces scarring. It’s rich in Vitamin A, which can easily be absorbed into the skin.
Vitamin A and beta-carotene are antioxidants. Carrot seed essential oil has extraordinary skin protection and conditioning benefits derived from the high quantities of extract soluble carotenoids. Carotenoids are a class of easily assimilated antioxidants, which are most abundant in carrots. Antioxidants protect human cells from harmful free-radical attack. . The combination of ingredients in our Rejuvenating Skin Repair serum and especially the addition of Daucus carota (Carrot) Oil, makes this serum one of my favorites. RSR serum rejuvenates the skin from all kinds of irritations, including sunburns to rashes while at the same time imparting a beautiful finishing glow!
CITRIC ACID is a weak organic acid used as a “natural” exfoliate and pH balancer in the Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ skin care products. Widely used in the cosmetic industry it is derived from citrus fruits by fermentation of crude sugars. It is used as a preservative and to adjust acid-alkali balance. Citric acid is said to have antioxidant and toning properties, as well.
COLD PRESSED oil is oil which has been produced with the use of a low heat technique controlled to ensure that it does not exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius). A paste is first made from grinding the nuts, seeds or fruits being used and then this paste goes through a malaxation process – a slow stirring which encourages the oil in the paste to clump. The oil is then forced out of the paste when pressure is applied. Usually an oil stone alone is used to remove the oil. The result is an oil that retains its original high quality properties. Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ uses only this method of extraction for its oils in all of the skin care products.
COCONUT OIL (Organic – Cocos nucifer) is the premium of coconut oils. Virgin coconut oil is cold-pressed, pure, natural and unrefined. Our virgin coconut oil is extracted from freshly harvested coconuts using a “wet milling” process that uses neither chemicals nor high heat. Virgin Coconut Oil is a great ingredient for lotions and hair treatments as well as soaps. It is naturally full of antioxidants. It’s a very good carrier oil for dry, itchy and sensitive skin. It will not clog pores. Coconut oil is a “gift” to the soap making industry. It resists rancidity and contributes to making a good, hard soap with a wonderful fluffy lather. It is a great oil for general moisturizing. It serves as a protective layer, helping to retain the moisture in your skin. It also acts as a mild oil suitable for those with inflamed and irritated skin, as well as those with skin sensitivities. Coconut oil is, without a doubt, the number one lather-producing agent used in soaps today. Our organic coconut oil is certified organic, refined, bleached and deodorized. The process of refining, bleaching and deodorizing uses clay and demetrius earth. No solvents or other chemicals are used in the process.
DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol) is made from fruit acid, a synthetic Version in the CFFormulas™ skin care products. It is an organic compound. It is known to instantly tighten the skin and penetrate easily and readily into both skin and hair. The more often it is applied topically – this tightening effect is made stronger. The skin therefore becomes softer and more elastic with repeated use. DMAE is found in many of the CFFormulas™ products, giving you this more youthful result by layering the skin care products. With its anti-inflammatory effects, DMAE can soothe irritated skin, effectively aid in the healing of wounds and is successful for hydration of the skin. When applied to the skin DMAE stimulates acetylcholine release which triggers a response in the muscles of the face. This activity creates a firmer facial tone and less sagging. As well, Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ offer facial exercises for “free” when you buy any skin care product that also assists in firming up the muscles and therefore the skin of the face and neck. DMAE is used topically to reduce fine lines and wrinkles showing a noticeable difference within 20 minutes of application.
EMULSIFYING WAX NF (National Formulary) is a plant-based product, used to create a bond between water and oil. It’s a critical ingredient in lotions and creams since there is no other natural product that can create such a smooth texture. An emulsifier is a chemical compound that joins oil and water and forms a stable mixture called an emulsion. The molecular structure of an emulsifier molecule is able to attract both a water and an oil molecule at different sites at the same time. Emulsifiers manufactured from plant fats have one or two fatty acids removed leaving one or two hydrophilic sites vacant on the glycerin molecule. The vacant locations on the glycerin molecule have a high affinity to water while the remaining fatty acid tails attract oily compounds. Emulsifier molecules act as an intermediary to bind water and oil. The resulting compounds are called monogycerides and diglycerides which represent an important class of natural emulsifiers. Usage varies based on the combination of thickeners but normal usage rates are between 3% and 6% of the total weight of most recipes used in the CFFormulas™ skin care products.
ESSENTIAL OILS are highly concentrated and potent oils extracted from plants, leaves, flowers, roots, buds, twigs, rhizomes, heartwood, bark, resin, seeds and fruits. Essential oils are found in special secretor glands or cells within plant life. The aromatic substances are formed and stored in certain organs of a plant as a by-product or because of its metabolism. Each essential oil has its very own blueprint that is absolutely unique. The combination of the plant’s blueprints, the energy of the sun, soil, air and water gives each particular oil its individual perfume and beneficial healing properties. The same species of plant can produce an essential oil with different properties depending on whether it was grown in dry or damp earth, at high or low altitude, or even in hot or cold climates.
According to the International Organization for Standardization, an essential oil is a “product made by distillation with either water or steam or by mechanical processing of citrus rinds or by dry distillation of natural materials. Following the distillation, the essential oil is physically separated from the water phase.” Unlike vegetable oils expressed from nuts and seeds, essential oils are not actually oily. Some essential oils are viscous; others are fairly solid and most are somewhat watery. Worldwide there are 3000 different essential oils with only about 300 commonly used. Essential oils are the most concentrated form of any botanical. It takes at least one pound of any given plant to create one drop of essential oil.
EVENING PRIMROSE (Oenothers biennis) oil is taken from the seeds of the evening primrose. The name comes from the fact that its flowers blossom in the evening and wither away during the day. It is high in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA is an essential fatty acid) making it an exceptionally nourishing oil. The human body does not produce essential fatty acids such as linoleic and linolenic acids, therefore it is important to get these nutrients through diet and skin care products. Essential fatty acids inhibit bacterial growth and allow our systems to defend against infection and inflammation. GLA is vital for the synthesis of prostaglandin, an important function in the body, especially for the skin. Linoleic acid is said to rejuvenate skin cells. Evening primrose is full of vitamins and minerals, as well. It also repairs damaged skin, keeps skin healthy and helps repair sun-damaged and mature skin. Evening primrose oil is an emollient. According to the AMA’s committee on Coetaneous Health, it helps make the skin feel softer and smoother. It reduces roughness, cracking and irritation of the skin, as well. It may possibly retard the fine wrinkles of aging, too. This oil is highly recommended for dry skin problems.
EXTRACT AND TINCTURES: An extract consists of a certain percentage of true essence or its chemical imitation in an alcoholic, water or oil solution. A majority of natural essences are obtained by extracting the essential oil from the blossoms, fruit, roots, etc., or the whole plants, through four techniques:
Expression is when the oil is very plentiful and easily obtained, as in lemon peel
Absorption is generally accomplished by steeping in alcohol, as in vanilla bean
Maceration (soaking) is used to create smaller bits of the whole, as in making peppermint extract, etc
Distillation is used with maceration, but in many cases, it requires expert chemical knowledge and the erection of costly stills
Herbal extract is a liquid solution of herbs and water, oil or alcohol. The dried or fresh herbs are combined with the liquid and then the solid matter is removed leaving only the oils of the herbs mixed with the liquid. This process is called extraction, hence the name, herbal extract. For example an extract made from peppermint and alcohol would be called “peppermint extract.” Alcohol extracts are commonly called tinctures whereas extractions done by water or oil are called extracts.
All of our Tinctures/Extracts are extracted using organic grain alcohol for extraction and de-ionized water. These extracts are designed to be used for their cosmetic properties and NOT for internal use. Additionally, they are not for scenting products. Essential Oils (natural) or Fragrance Oils (synthetic) would be used for scenting a product. All of Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ products are scent-free. The ingredients we use are either “natural” (no synthetics used in processing) or certified organic.
GRAPESEED (Vitis vinifera) extract oil is made from the seeds of wine-producing grapes. The lightest of oils and virtually odorless, it contains vitamins and minerals. It’s high in polyunsaturates and protein. Grapeseed oil is wonderful used around the eyes and neck. It is widely used in hypoallergenic natural products because it does not often cause allergic reactions in the highly allergic. It is rich in the powerful plant-based antioxidants called proanthocyanidins. These antioxidants can help protect against the effects of internal and environmental stresses. Studies have indicated that grapeseed extract may help ward off skin cancer due to regular exposure to the sun. UV induced oxidative stress has been linked to the initiation of skin cancers, while proanthocyanidins have had a countering antioxidant activity. This oil is rich in vitamins, minerals and linoleic acid.
GREEN TEA EXTRACT (Organic – Camellia sinensis ) is well known for its antioxidant properties. These properties prevent the degradation of cell membranes by neutralizing the spread of free radicals. Green tea has 20 times the antioxidant properties of Vitamin E and 6 times the antioxidant effectiveness of black tea. Green tea suppresses inflammation and reduces irritation. Scientists at the University Hospitals of Cleveland (UHC) and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) found that ingredients in green tea decreased the direct effects of sunburn. It also reduces the puffiness around the eyes and has astringent properties due to the tannic acid content.
Three different teas are produced from the same Camellia Sinensis plant. White tea is produced by cultivating the silvery-white down young leaves and buds of the Camellia Sinensis plant that are then bake dried. Green tea is produced by steaming the fresh cut Camellia Sinensis, which inactivates the enzymes that would otherwise oxidize the plant material. Black tea is produced by allowing the leaves to oxidize. Of the three teas, black tea contains the least active compounds due to the oxidization process used to create it.
HIBISCUS FLOWER EXTRACT (Hibiscus) is a natural source of Vitamin C and malic acid. Hibiscus grows in tropical areas throughout the world and has been used medicinally for centuries. Historically, it was used by the Chinese to treat dandruff and stimulate hair growth. Hibiscus has also been used to treat wounds. Recent research has shown that Hibiscus may have antibacterial properties.
It is also used for various allergic eczemas and other skin conditions. It has possibilities due to the I-hydroxy-acids, anthocyanocides and mucilages contained, as the I-hydroxy-acids act on the toughest layers of the skin, to reduce the cohesion between the corneocytes, which affects the thickness of the layer and increases skin moisture. This improves skin flexibility and elasticity, as well as creates higher moisture levels in the skin. The anthocyanocides again have astringent, anti-inflammatory, and free-radical scavenging, as well as enzyme inhibition properties – and is especially useful to inhibit elastase and hyaluronidase. Finally, the high mucilage content enhances the retention of the skin’s hydric content. It was already known that the aqueous-extract of Hibiscus had a relaxing effect on the smooth muscle fibers and consequently exerted anti-hypertensive actions. Researchers assessed the antioxidant properties of Hibiscus by comparing its activity with those of BHA and b-carotene. The results showed that the Hibiscus extract had stronger antioxidant activity than BHA and b-carotene.
HYALURONIC ACID (Hyaluronic acid or Sodium hyaluronate) was discovered by Karl Meyer in 1934 and has been successfully used in personal care and wound healing. It is naturally found in the extracellular matrix of human tissue. Topically applied hyaluronic acid forms an air permeable layer that allows penetration into the dermis, thus boosting the elasticity and hydration of the skin. This protective breathable barrier on the skin locks in moisture which gives the skin a youthful appearance. The “cuticular” layer of the skin normally contains 10-20% water, however as we age it can drop to below 10%. Hyaluronic acid comes to the rescue with its unique ability to hold more than 1000 ml of water per gram of hyaluronic acid, which is a key factor in allowing the skin to retain more water. Amazingly, hyaluronic acid adjusts its moisture absorption based on the relative humidity in the air. Meaning it is the ideal ingredient in skin care products as it adjusts to the skins need for a moisturizing effect depending upon the relative humidity of the given area. Hyaluronic acid also protects the epidermis by scavenging reactive oxygen species generated by ultra violet light which would normally cause sun/age spots. Until the 1990’s the only method of producing hyaluronic acid was extracting it from rooster combs. Currently there are two forms of hyaluronic acid on the market; one derived from rooster comb and the other derived by the fermentation of yeast. Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ only carries the 100% vegan approved material.
Note: The majority of the Hyaluronic acid on the market today contains Phenonip and Water. A full disclosure of that ingredient list would be: Aqua (Water), Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben. This undisclosed information would cause a major problem for a company that believes they are paraben-free. Our lab ran several tests in order to find the mildest, safest method to preserve our Hyaluronic Acid solution. They chose to preserve our Hyaluronic Acid Solution with Potassium Sorbate and Citric Acid (to adjust the pH) which created a stable, effective and paraben-free product. There were many different preservatives that could have been used. They could have put out our Hyaluronic Acid 1% Solution on the market without the full disclosure of the ingredients which is standard practice, but we felt strongly about allowing consumers to make educated decisions with ingredients that are fully disclosed.
JOJOBA OIL (Simmondsia chinensis – certified organic) oil is cold pressed from the nuts of the jojoba tree. Jojoba is pronounced “Ho Ho Ba”. Native Americans have been using jojoba for centuries. The first record of jojoba is from 1701. Father Junipero Serrra found that Native Americans were using Jojoba to treat sores, cuts and burns. They were also using it as a conditioner for all-over skin and hair treatments. Jojoba is technically not an oil, but a liquid wax ester with long unsaturated carbon chains. Chemically it resembles sperm whale oil or spermaceti oil. In the past, it was a popular ingredient in creams. In the 1970’s the United States banned all sperm whale products because they were contributing to the extinction of sperm whales. In 1977 domestic commercial jojoba oil cultivation began because it is the natural substitute for spermaceti, which in other cases has been replaced by synthetic products.
Jojoba esters are composed of straight chain alcohols. The acid and the alcohol portions have 20 or 22 carbon atoms and one unsaturated bond. It resembles human sebum which is the natural coating our body produces to protect the skin and keep it supple. Jojoba oil is skin therapy. Our skin loses sebum with age, sun, wind, cold, and the stresses from the environment. It contains protein, minerals and a waxy substance that mimics collagen. Containing a natural source of vitamin E, it can regenerate tired-looking skin, regulate the outer protective layer and stimulate the re-growth of skin cells. It contains myristic acid which is anti-inflammatory making it a good oil for the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism. It is an antioxidant and can extend the shelf life of other oils. Jojoba is perfect for any skin type as it has a large molecular structure. It can help both dry or oily skin. If your skin has an over production of sebum, jojoba oil will dissolve clogged pores and restore the skin to its natural pH balance. Another reason jojoba oil works so well is that it actually penetrates the skin. That is, the skin accepts it as sebum.
Although jojoba oil is very expensive it does have a long shelf life; it will never break down or go rancid. Jojoba is expensive because it can take up to 1200 nuts to get one pound together, which then has a 50% yield of oil. Because jojoba has very little scent it works as a wonderful natural perfume base. Jojoba is not greasy and absorbs right into the skin. JMC Technologies has conducted scientific research proving that jojoba oil can increase skin softness by up to 37%, reduce superficial lines and wrinkles up to 25% upon application and up to 11% after 8 hours. Jojoba oil is hypoallergenic and pure. Jojoba oil is in many of the Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ skin care products.
KAOLIN CLAY or white kaolin, also known as China or white clay, is basically kaolinite and is the mildest of all clays. It is suitable for sensitive skin. It helps stimulate circulation to the skin while gently exfoliating and cleansing it. It does not draw oils from the skin and can therefore be used on dry skin types. It’s great for alleviating insect bites and stings. Composed of silica, iron, magnesium, calcium, sodium, zinc and other minerals, this clay removes old sebum that is clogged in the pores of the skin. It also removes environmental poisons left in the skin. White clay has electromagnetic qualities and attracts oils and particles left in the skin, as well.
LAVENDER EXTRACT (Organic – Lavendula angustifolia) has been called the wonder plant of the aromatherapy world. As a tincture it is versatile in many topical applications to treat skin inflammation, dermatitis, eczema and wounds. It is also known as an antiseptic. Lavandula x intermedia ‘super’ is considered one of the best plants of the lavandins, maintaining most of the same properties of the mother plant, called “ true lavender”. It has good antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties too.
LECITHIN is derived from egg yolks, soybeans and corn. It has a softening and soothing effect on skin. It is a natural antioxidant and emollient. Emollients make the skin feel softer and smoother, while reducing roughness, cracking and irritation. Lecithin is a super skin restorative agent and moisturizer. It has the ability to penetrate the epidermis and carry substances to the right cell level. It also can form cell-like structures called liposomes. A liposome is formed when a group of phospholipids are placed on the skin; they spontaneously arrange themselves to match their water loving heads together and their oil loving tails together to form a microscopic sphere. These spheres are similar in construction to an actual cell membrane. They are then able to pass through the epidermis and act as a carrier of substances that attach themselves.
Phospholipids in studies were found to be hygroscopic, which means they attract water from the surrounding air and hold hydration in place. They help increase hydration levels in the skin without modifying the water loss rate of the skin. Phosphatidylcholine, which is one component of lecithin, has a high percentage of unsaturated fatty acid chains, 70% linoleic acid and 6% linolenic acid, which in Europe is referred to as Vitamin F. Vitamin F has been found to be critical for fat metabolism and for the release of fat from fatty tissues. A recent German study concluded that linoleic acid is one of the most valuable ingredients in cosmetics. The study found that a shortage in linoleic acid increased acne formation. Also they found that the water loss from skin is inversely proportional to the linoleic acid content of the skin.
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is a naturally occurring nutrient found in plants, meats, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables. MSM is therefore found in the normal human diet. It is an odorless, tasteless, white, water soluble, crystalline solid in its purified form. MSM supplies sulfur to the body which allows it to heal itself. It produces muscle relaxation and reportedly a whole host of other beneficial qualities, as well. It has been used with great success in eliminating chronic back pain and muscle pain in addition to repairing cut, scraped, burned and damaged skin. MSM is known for eliminating wrinkles, brown spots, skin tumors and spider veins. It is being used for burn victims and repairing scar tissue in the medical field. Many people report relief from allergies after using MSM. Other reports indicate that MSM will remove parasites from the body and help the body to detoxify itself.
MSM is anti-inflammatory and it is anti-microbial. It feeds the formation of collagen and elastin while preventing and reducing cross-linking between cells, which is the primary cause of wrinkles and scar tissue. MSM is a natural sulfur compound that contributes to healthy skin, hair and nails. It has been used orally and topically to aid skin disorders. When used topically, in the form of a cream or lotion, the sulfur is helpful in treating skin disorders including acne, psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, dandruff, scabies, diaper rash and certain fungal infections.
MANNAN is derived from the plant konjac. It is used as a “thickening agent” in cosmetics.
MEADOWFOAM OIL (Limanthes Alba) seed is extracted through the cold-pressing of the seeds. It produces an antioxidant rich oil with amazing skin softening and moisturizing properties. The oil has a texture like jojoba oil in that it’s very similar to the sebum in one’s own skin. It’s easily absorbed into the skin, so it locks in moisture and helps other ingredients to penetrate deeper. Because it also has many antioxidant fighting properties, it’s great for all skin types and especially mature skin. It’s known to help fade stretch marks. It’s fantastic for your hair as it’s hydrating for both the hair and the scalp. It’s said to fight dandruff and prevent hair loss.
NEEM( Azadirachta indica) oil is used widely in India as an antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiseptic and anti-parasitic agent in toiletries, soap, toothpaste and skin/hair care products. It is used to treat skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, ringworm, scabies, syphilitic sores, chicken pox and more. It can be used to get rid of lice and control dandruff. In toothpaste it helps relieve swollen and bleeding gums and kills the bacteria that cause gingivitis. Neem powder can be used in a foot bath powder to kill fungus and bacteria. Mixed with clay, it makes a great facial for those with acne and other skin problems. Added to liquid soap it can be used as a base for an antibacterial hand soap. It is used in bug repellant lotion bars to keep the bugs away. It is used in pet soaps to kill and repel fleas and to treat hot spots. Neem oil can be sprayed on plants to keep insects from devouring the leaves.
NIACINAMIDE is the biologically active form of niacin, aka, Vitamin B3. Topical application of niacinamide has been shown to increase ceramide and free fatty acid levels in skin as well as prevent skin from losing water content (Source: British Journal of Dermatology, September 2000, pages 524–531). Niacinamide increases the rate of skin exfoliation and increases moisture barrier repair. Studies have shown it to be useful in increasing the synthesis of collagen and lipids, inhibiting the transfer of melanosomes and decreasing inflammation. “Niacinamide is one of the vitamins that I believe we’ll hear more and more about in the coming years. According to Dr. Draelos, “Already, topical 4% niacinamide has been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of papular and pustular acne in a 4% gel, as well as the improvement of skin cancer and its anti-tumor characteristics,” SOURCE: American Academy of Dermatology. Niacinamide is an amazing antioxidant that works for aging and problematic skin.
OLIVE OIL (Organic – Olea europaea) has been used since ancient times as an emollient for conditioning and softening the skin. It is especially helpful for dry and chapped skin. The oil is retrieved by crushing and pressing the fruit of the olive tree. The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean area. Highly nutritive and stable, it contains protein, minerals and vitamins. In addition to having acidic and antioxidant values, olive oil has superior penetrating powers. It is high in unsaponifiables (cannot be corrupted), which are a large group of compounds called plant steroids or sterolins. These compounds not only soften the skin, they have a superior moisturizing effect on the upper layers of the skin and they can reduce scars.
ORGANIC CERTIFICATION refers to the way agricultural products—food and fiber—are grown and processed. Organic food production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes soil fertility without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides as well as fertilizers. Organic foods are minimally processed without artificial ingredients, preservatives or irradiation to maintain the integrity of the food. “Certified Organic” means the item has been grown according to strict uniform standards that are verified by independent state or private organizations. Certification includes inspections of farm fields and processing facilities, detailed record keeping and periodic testing of soil and water to ensure that growers and handlers are meeting the standards which have been set. All of Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ products that say “organic” are certified organic.
pH Level is an acid-alkaline measurement . Everything has a pH level – the air, the water, the soil, the soap, your skin, etc. The pH level is a number scale that identifies whether something is neutral, acidic or alkaline. It works on a scale of 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Acids measure less than 7 and alkaline substances measure greater than 7. Healthy skin ranges from pH 3 to 5.5. All of Carolyn’s Facial Formula™ skin care products are formulated to have the best possible pH factor for your skin.
PALM STEARIC ACID is a vegetable derivative used to stiffen and stabilize lotions and creams. It occurs naturally in vegetable fats. It is a white, waxy, natural fatty acid. It is naturally derived from palm oil. It helps to bind and thicken creams. It’s also used in soap and candles. Palm oil (Elaesis guineesis) is obtained from the fruit or seed of the Palm tree. It’s a rich source of Vitamin A.
POMEGRANATE (Punica Granatum) falls into the “superfruit” category because of its exceptional nutrient value and antioxidant properties. It contains ellagitannins, which are powerful polyphenols, valued for their exceptional free-radical scavenging abilities.
Dr. Farrukh Afag, lead Researcher at the University of Wisconsin said, “For the first time, we have clear evidence that pomegranate extract possesses anti-skin-tumor-promoting effects. With such a variety of pathways inhibited by the topical application of the natural supplement, we are confident of its therapeutic value.” Pomegranate fruit extract has been extensively used as a folk medicine by many cultures. It contains several polyphenols (such as catechins, gallic and ellagic acids, as mentioned above) and anthocyanidins (such as delphinidin, cyanidin, and pelargonidin) and its antioxidant activity is said to be higher than that of red wine and green tea.
PANTHENOL (Pro-vitamin B5 – Calcium d-Pantothenate) improves and increases the moisture-retention capacity of the skin. Dry skin stays supple and elastic longer. It’s anti-inflammatory, has an anti-itching effect and counteracts bacteria. It stimulates skin regeneration. Small wounds, scratches and blisters heal better. It makes hair easier to comb and reduces hair splitting while improving the condition of damaged hair. It also thickens the hair and provides sheen. Panthenol greatly increases the water retention capacity of the fingernails, increasing their flexibility and stability. See Vitamin B5 for more information.
PHENOXYETHANOL is a paraben-free, formaldehyde-free cosmetic preservative. It provides a broad spectrum anti-microbial activity against either gram-negative or gram-positive bacteria – yeast and molds. It is often used in cosmetics as a preservative as it is considered to be less irritating than similar types of preservatives that are often used in skin care products. It has been tested on the skin and eyes and it is non-irritating and non-sensitizing at levels of 2.2% or lower. Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ uses phenoxyethynol at 1% or less.
PRESERVATIVES – Some might wonder why we use preservatives at all. The water portion of a product is the perfect breeding ground for mold, fungus, bacteria and yeast. It is only a matter of time that all unpreserved cosmetics will go bad. What is frightening is that the product might look and smell just fine, but be filled with micro organisms that are dangerous for your skin and health. Some products may look fine on the outside, but when we run them through micro tests, the bacteria, yeast, fungus and mold count is off the chart. Other times, the signs of contamination are more obvious. Possible signs of a product going bad can be a bad smell, separation and visual evidence of mold. An unstable, unpreserved product can be contaminated by the water in the product, spores in the air, even unseen contaminates in your packaging and the germs on your hands. A good stable preservative system can keep your product safe and free from these microorganisms for years.
The “organically preserved bases” used in the CFFormulas™ skin care line are a unique and innovative preservative system. We have combined the properties of rooibos extract, vitamin E, black willow bark extract, rosemary oleoresin and neem oil at specific levels that have created a synergetic preservative system that will revolutionize natural products. The preservative system is broad spectrum and stable, however the products do require special handling and packaging. Air and light can react with these products. This is why everything is in an airless bottle to protect the product from oxidation or a dark blue, glass bottle to keep the product safe from over-exposure to light. All of the products are designed to be stable with only the addition of essential oils or fragrance oils. We elected NOT to add any fragrances and keep our formulations scent-free. All the products have a shelf-life up to 18 months except for the Crystal Serum C that works for only up to 60 days after the powdered C is added. It is the only product I’ve ever used that reduces brown/age/sun spots to almost nothing and evens out skin color variations in all kinds of skin … dark to light. Before the crystal C is added, the serum will keep for up to 18 months, as well.
ROOIBOS (Aspalathus linearis ) is a powerful player in the team of antioxidants when used in creams for your skin. Consumed as a health-promoting “tea”, rooibos has a history of being used to help skin problems, such as eczema or acne. Rooibos extract has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and free-radical scavenging properties, based partly on its unique flavonoid composition including Aspalathin. Rooibos shows anti-allergenic and anti-microbial effects and protects the skin against oxidative stress. It is also known to prevent eczema, teeth and mouth mucous membrane inflammations, relieve diaper rash and reduce swelling and inflammation in muscles and joints.
These health properties are ascribed to the high level of antioxidants, minerals and polyphenols in rooibos. Polyphenols act as pigments and sunscreens, as insect attractants and repellents, and as anti-microbials and antioxidants. Laboratory studies have found that rooibos tea contains polyphenol antioxidants, including flavonoids and phenolic acids that are potent-free radical scavengers. Flavonoids – the polyphenol antioxidants identified in rooibos, include the monomeric flavonoids aspalathin, nothofagin, quercetin, rutin, isoquercitrin, orientin, isoorientin, luteolin, vitexin, isovitexin, and chrysoeriol.
Applied topically it has a soothing effect on the skin. Rooibos tea is low in tannins and high in minerals such as calcium and fluoride. The most important aspects of rooibos are its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Recently, Japanese scientists found that Rooibos tea contains a mimic of the enzyme “Super Oxide Dismutase” (S.O.D.) which is an antioxidant that attacks the free radicals and limits their damaging effects on the skin. Rooibos is used in several of the CFFormulas™ products making for a very soothing and healing experience for the skin while acting as a strong antioxidant at the same time.
ROSEHIP OIL (Rosa mosqueta) is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. It is used in face blends for maturing skin or in blends for damaged skin where regeneration of new skin cells is needed. It’s extracted from ripened fruit of a hybrid, thorny, wild rosebush native to South American countries. It’s considered a healing oil that is said to regenerate the skin and counteract the effects of aging. Rose hip oil is a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It is high in gamma linoliec acid (GLA) and vitamin C. Rose hip oil is often used in products made for stretch marks, burns, scars and mature dry skin. It helps in preventing the formation of thick keloid scar tissue. That is the over thickening and formation of fibrous tissue of the skin when scar tissue forms. It is an emollient and strengthens the hair shaft.
Research done by Dr. Bertha Pareja and Dr. Horst Kehl found that daily applications of rose hip oil helped with wrinkle reduction, as well as fading sun-damaged areas of the skin. Twenty women between the ages of 25 and 35 years were used as test subjects over a four-month period and all reported a visible improvement to the skin.
According to the AMA’s committee on Coetaneous Health, emollients of rosehip oil help make the skin feel softer and smoother, as well as reduce roughness, cracking and irritation of the skin. It may possibly retard the fine wrinkles of aging, as well. It penetrates the skin very quickly, making it a good moisturizer and with all the other positive properties, and its tissue regeneration action, it is easy to understand why it is also described as the “oil of youth”.
ROSEMARY LEAF EXTRACT: Is extracted without chemical solvents in a special process using CO2 at high pressure but with low temperature. This is less damaging than steam distillation and the resulting extract resembles the original chemical make-up of the Rosemary Leaf more closely than an essential oil. It could even be considered to contain a fuller spectrum of constituents from the plant than any essential oil. While it’s a powerful anti-oxidant, it also has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and skin toning properties.
ROSEMARY OLEORESIN (Rosmarinus officinalis) Extract (ROE) is not to be confused with the essential oil of Rosemary. ROE is used as an anti-oxidant in formulations. Rosemary Oleoresin has been demonstrated to have anti-microbial characteristics, as well.
SUNFLOWER SEED OIL: The CFF Certified Organic Sunflower Oil is expeller pressed, refined, bleached, deodorized, and winterized from certified organic sunflower seeds per the National Organic Program (NOP) standards and does not contain additives or preservatives. It is rich in vitamins and is very high in essential fatty acids which help to moisturize and nourish the skin. Has an almost non-existent scent. It is rich in Vitamin E and is specifically related to improving the skin health and regenerating cells. It can better protect against damage from the sun as well as fighting free radicals in the body. It can help to reduce scars and helps in would healing. It makes for a healthier, natural glow to your skin, making it popular for use in skincare products. It also has other health benefits, reducing inflammation for those afflicted with Asthma and other respiratory diseases. It helps to boost energy and is thought to be a cancer preventative.
TAMANU OIL: contains three unique and powerful compounds: calophyllic acid, calophyllolide, and lactone. These compounds drastically improve the appearance of scars, and skin blemishes. The effects are so powerful that natives believed the tamanu tree to be a sacred gift of nature and that gods hid in its branches. Fiji islanders call the oil dolno, which translates to “no pain.” Tamanu oil originates from a nut grown from the Ati tree in the South Pacific called the tamanu nut. It has been used for hundreds of years to clear up essentially any skin condition. The oil holds a unique process called cicatrization or would healing. It’s been successful in treating acne, fading stretch marks, relieving razor burn and ingrown hairs, reducing the appearance of scars, healing rashes and poison ivy, soothing dry skin, treating Rosacea, eczema and more.
TETRASODIUM EDTA is added to cosmetics to work in synergy with preservatives and to improve product stability. Edta is derived from sodium salts. It is used as a chelating agent. The Greek root of the word chelate is chele which means “to claw”. The root of the word creates a great visual image of what Edta as a chelating agent does. Edta “claws” or “binds” minerals.
In cosmetics, Edta is not only a great additive to create a stable product, but it also pulls heavy metals from your skin when you apply the cosmetic. Edta is widely used for chelation therapy, which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for removing lead and heavy metal poisoning from the body. An estimated one million people in America use chelation therapy for this purpose. We are now using Tetrasodium glutamate diacetate – a multi-purpose, clear, liquid chelating agent and preservative booster that is also biodegradable. See below.
TETRASODIUM GLUTAMATE DIACETATE As of September, 2016 we no longer are using EDTA in our formulations. EDTA has been removed from all of our products. It is being replaced with Tetrasodium glutamate diacetate – a multi-purpose, clear, liquid chelating agent and preservative booster that is also biodegradable. Effective, sustainable, and biodegradable checked all the boxes for us, and we’ve started reformulating.
The FDA requires manufacturers to update ingredient decks immediately to include any ingredient changes as they occur. However, we are allowed to use up our labels we’ve already printed. The new info will be on the newest labels.
THIOCTIC ACID (Alpha Lipoic Acid) may very well join the ranks of Vitamin C and E as part of your first-line of defense against free radicals. Known as the “Universal” Antioxidant, it was discovered in 1951, but it wasn’t until the late 80’s that researchers realized that ALA had been overlooked as a powerful antioxidant. It neutralizes free radicals in both the fatty and watery regions of cells, in contrast to vitamin C (which is water soluble) and vitamin E (which is fat soluble). It directly recycles and extends the metabolic lifespans of vitamin C and Coenzyme Q10, and it indirectly renews vitamin E.
TUMERIC ROOT POWDER (Curcuma longa), derived from Turmeric root, has long been used in medicine as a natural anti-bacterial to treat skin infections, boils, wounds and burns. Traditionally it was pounded into a paste and applied to the skin.
VEGAN – All of Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ skin care products are considered “Certified Vegan”. This means that all our cosmetics contain no animal products and are not tested on animals. You will see this symbol on all CFFormulas™ skin care products.
VEGETABLE GLYCERIN (Kosher USP) is obtained by adding alkalies to fats and fixed oils. Glycerin is a soothing, humectant (a substance that absorbs or helps retain moisture) which draws moisture from the air into the skin. Glycerin is an emollient, which makes the skin feel softer and smoother, as well as reducing roughness, cracking and irritation of the skin. Glycerin has a high hydrophilic (water) factor and a low lipophilic (fat) factor. It is nontoxic, nonirritating and non-allergenic.
VITAMIN A (Retinol palmitate) oil is an antioxidant. Retinol palmitate is also a constituent of some topically-applied skin care products. After its absorption into the skin, retinyl palmitate is converted into retinol, and ultimately into retinoic acid (the active form of vitamin A present in Retin-A). Vitamin A helps form and maintain healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucous membranes and skin. In cosmetics, vitamin A derivatives are used as anti-aging chemicals. Vitamin A is absorbed through the skin and increases the rate of skin turnover. This gives an increase in collagen production, making a more youthful appearance. See Beta Carotene for more information.
VITAMIN B3: See Niacinamide.
VITAMIN B5 (Pantothenic acid) is very effective for hydration and wound healing. It improves the moisture-retention capacity of the skin and stimulates skin regeneration. Dry skin stays supple and elastic longer. It has an anti-inflammatory and anti-itching effect. This naturally derived ingredient is widely used in hair care products and emollients. There is no known toxicity and it is non-sensitizing. It improves and increases the moisture-retention capacity of the skin. Dry skin stays supple and elastic for longer. It stimulates epithelization (skin regeneration). Small wounds, scratches and blisters heal better. It makes hair easier to comb, reduces hair splitting and improves the condition of damaged hair. It thickens the hair and provides sheen. Panthenol greatly increases the water retention capacity of the fingernails, thus increasing their flexibility and stability, as well. See Panthenol for more information.
VITAMIN C is a natural antioxidant. There are basically two forms of vitamin C used in skin care products. L-ascorbic Acid or Ascorbyl Palmitate. They both help to promote the production of collagen and assist in healing inflammations as well as aiding in the growth of collagen. Collagen is a protein that forms the basis of connective tissue – the most abundant tissue in the body. This has a firming effect upon the skin. Additionally, vitamin C is essential in the prevention of collagen break down. Topical vitamin C may help lighten solar lentigos and melasma. These brown spots are often euphemistically called “sun/age spots”. Some studies have shown that topical vitamin C provides additional protection against the harmful effects of the sun. Duke University found that adding Vitamin C and E to sunscreens protects against UVB radiation.
L-ascorbic acid is a water soluble form of Vitamin C. It’s also known as topical vitamin C and is available in many skin care products. While scientific data have shown that Vitamin C will help increase the amount of collagen production in the skin, it is also a natural anti-inflammatory that helps in reversing some of the effects of sun damage to the skin. By increasing the amount of collagen in the skin, fine lines will be reduced.
Ascorbyl palmitate , aka Ester C is a salt and a fat-soluble form of ascorbic acid, or vitamin C. Consequently ascorbyl palmitate can be stored in cell membranes until it is required by the body. Ascorbyl palmitate is an effective free radical-scavenging antioxidant which promotes skin health and vitality. Ascorbyl palmitate working at the cell membrane level, has been shown to provide antioxidant action potential comparable to or even greater than that of vitamin E. It also acts synergistically with vitamin E, helping to regenerate the vitamin E radical on a constant basis.
Note: In our Crystal Serum C product, we use pure Vitamin C in the form of L-ascorbic acid. There are no stability problems given when you use this product this way because the Vitamin C powder is added “freshly” to the premix base upon use and will stay fresh for one to two months. Exposure to light oxidizes the product. Therefore, Crystal Serum C and for that matter, Total Therapy Serum are packed into dark blue glass bottles to ensure freshness and protect them from light exposure. You cannot get a timelier and therefore fresher batch of Vitamin C than you can with this presentation. Using these dark blue bottles assures you a much longer shelf-life for these two products.
VITAMIN E (Tocopheral) ensures protection against ultraviolet radiation. The supplement of vitamin E in cosmetics has a gentle effect on the smoothness and moisture content of the skin. Both of these factors are strongly associated with the operating ability of the skin barrier. Vitamin E effects also help in the construction of red blood cells and facilitate the use of vitamins A and K and the trace mineral selenium. Some studies have also shown the favorable effects of vitamin E in cosmetics for acne and scar treatment as well as for promoting healing of eczema, burns, and other skin ailments. When vitamin E-containing products are applied to the skin, they are believed to promote curing. That is, protecting cells by reducing itchiness and protecting cells from free-radical damage. Many people today use vitamin E cosmetics to ensure the most favorable skin health and to inhibit the oxidation processes and therefore the signs of aging. Vitamin E is known to re-hydrate the skin and even out skin-tone color, too. Carolyn’s Facial Formulas™ Vitamin E is derived from soy.
WHITE TEA EXTRACT (Organic – Camellia sinensis) is the rarest and most expensive version of Camellia sinensis on the market today. Out of the three different teas produced from the same Camellia sinensis plant, white tea has the highest level of polyphenols. Oregon State University researcher Roderick H. Dashwood, Ph.D. recently said, “Our theory was that white tea might have equivalent or higher levels of these polyphenols than green tea, and thus be more beneficial.” Chemical analysis confirmed their theory when they found that white tea contains the same types of polyphenols as green tea, but in different proportions. “Those present in greater amounts may be responsible for white teas enhanced cancer-fighting potential” said Dashwood.
Scientists at the University Hospitals of Cleveland (UHC) and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) recently proved that topical application of white tea is effective in boosting the immune function of skin cells and protecting them against the damaging effects of sun exposure. White tea was found to protect the skin from oxidative stress and immune cell damage. Elma Baron, MD, is Director of the Skin Study Center at UHC and CWRU. “We found the application of white tea extract protects critical elements of the skin’s immune system, Dr. Baron says. “Similar to the way oxidation causes a car to rust, oxidative stress of the skin causes a breakdown in cellular strength and function. The white tea extract protects against this stress. This study further demonstrates the importance of researching how plant products can actually protect the skin.”
Researchers believe that the antioxidant property of white tea is what makes it effective as an anti-aging ingredient in cosmetics. Kevin Cooper, MD, chairman of the department of dermatology at UHC and CWRU said, “We know that younger skin tends to be able to resist the oxidative stress associated with exposure to the destructive rays of sunlight. The white tea extract also appears to build the skin’s resistance against stresses that cause the skin to age.”
WITCH HAZEL (Hamamelis virginiana) was widely used by American Indians as a medicinal plant. The bark was used by the Osage to treat ulcers of the skin, sores and tumors. The Potawatomi placed the twigs on the hot rocks in a sweat lodge to bathe and soothe sore muscles with the steam. The Menomini boiled the twigs in water, and then rubbed the decoction on their legs to keep them limber. They used it to treat a lame back. Among the Iroquois, witch hazel had many uses including being drunk as a strong tea for dysentery, treating colds and coughs, being used as an astringent and being used as a blood purifier and even more. The Mohegans used a decoction of the leaves and twigs to treat cuts, bruises and insect bites.
Witch hazel’s antioxidant, radiation-protective and anti-inflammatory activity have been confirmed. Strong antioxidant activity against superoxidem, which is a highly reactive form of oxygen, is released by several enzymes during the inflammatory process. This action may play another role in witch hazel’s anti-inflammatory effects. In a recent study, Japanese researchers sought plant compounds that protected cells in skin tissue from damage against harmful forms of oxygen. Witch hazel was found to have had strong activity against reactive oxygen in skin tissue, as well. The scientists proposed that witch hazel extracts should be further researched for their potential application in anti-aging or anti-wrinkling products to apply to the skin. It is also known to tighten pores and relieve irritated skin.
XANTHAN GUM ( Polysaccharide gum) is also known as corn sugar gum, a polysaccharide used in cosmetics as a thickener, emulsifier and stabilizer as a natural ingredient. Our xanthan gum is non GMO. It is derived from the bacterial fermentation of wood pulp polysaccharides and not corn which is the usual standard. Our xanthan gum is certified non GMO as per the NOP rules of the USDA. It is manufactured using ethanol, not isopropyl alcohol.