PRESERVATIVES, PARABENS, FRAGRANCES
Synthetic preservatives like parabens are commonly used in all kinds of personal skincare products. Preservatives prevent the growth of bacteria in products with high water content. They discourage bacterial growth and reduce the risk of infection. However, they also have a serious downside:
“Allergy to preservatives is one of the main reasons for contact eczema caused by cosmetics. As development and elicitation of contact allergy is dose dependent, the over preservation of cosmetics potentially leads to increased incidences of contact allergy,” says Dr. Lundov, a prominent researcher.
There are about 50 approved preservatives to keep cosmetic products “bacteria-free”, but the market is dominated by just a handful: parabens, formaldehyde, formaldehyde releasers, metylchloroisothiazolinone, and methylisothiazolinone. That is bad news, since these chemicals may be among the most irritating preservatives.
“Approximately 6% of the general population has a cosmetic-related contact allergy mainly caused by preservatives and fragrances,” says Dr. Lundov, and allergies to formaldehyde are as high as 9% 4.
Most people know that parabens can irritate the skin and cause allergic skin reactions. Recent research also suggests a possible association with breast cancer after finding high paraben content in breast cancer cells 5. The National Cancer Institute has rubbished these claims but the general public continues to have safety concerns. Many people are now calling for the re-evaluation of their use in cosmetic products. For this reason, InviCible does not contain any parabens.
InviCible is water-free and does not need preservatives. It also avoids all fragrances.
Fragrances can irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions like dermatitis in up to 29% of users 27 .
Though hydroquinone is an effective agent to lighten abnormal discoloration, it is not sold in some countries 28 because of its long-term use dangers. Hydroquinone can lead to a condition called ochronosis, even at its over-the-counter strength (2%). This is permanent hyperpigmentation with sooty darkening of the skin. Ochronosis may also cause loss of skin elasticity and impaired wound healing. Other side effects include contact dermatitis (rash, redness, itching and flaking) and nail discoloration. Some researchers have questioned whether hydroquinone and related compounds may cause cancer. As a result of these fears, hydroquinone is only available by prescription in Europe and it is highly regulated in Asia. Texas authorities recently passed a ruling that prohibits shipping of 4% hydroquinone products in the state. The skin-lightening effects of hydroquinone decrease with prolonged use and with sun exposure.
Like hydroquinone, kojic acid is effective in lightening dark scars, brown spots and even melasma. Unfortunately, some studies suggest that skin exposed to kojic acid on a regular basis becomes more sensitive. Skin sensitization is bad because it can lead to allergic contact dermatitis. Like hydroquinone, kojic acid does not improve any other aspect of scarring other than the dark pigment and has no other rejuvenating effects.
InviCible is hypoallergenic because it does not contain preservatives, fragrances, hydroquinone, or kojic acid.