Look younger, erase wrinkles, better than botox...

You’re probably bombarded every day with ads, on TV, in magazines, in your e-mail box, promising you the fountain of youth if you just try their amazing natural, anti-aging skin care products. Pay the postage and you can even try the product for free.

Baby boomers are getting older. Many are desperately trying to avoid looking the part. With the clock ticking on aging boomers manufacturers are playing to their fears of losing their youth. The marketplace is rich with products and procedures that promise to turn back time.

The “green” anti aging generation

This age group is becoming more and more conscious about natural, organic and ecologically friendly products for their cosmetics, skin care and personal care. The major companies producing these goods know this and they want a piece of the action. Many top companies, like L’Oreal and Estee Lauder, are manufacturing their own organic and natural skin care lines. They package them to look like the product is natural, organic and good for your skin, but that’s not always the case. Often, great disparity exists between what you see on the front of the package and what’s actually in the product.

So, the big question is…

Are these anti aging skin care products good for you?

The answer is unknown.

Science is advancing rapidly in the area of high tech cosmetics and skin care products. Bioengineered and nanotech ingredients abound in this merchandise, even in some of the best known so-called natural and organic skin care brands.

Have the miracle ingredients stood the test of time and been proven safe?

No. Definitely not.

Some of the concerns about these new miracle-promising creations…

Many of these products contain bioengineered or genetically modified ingredients, which are not labeled on the package. The only way to determine if a product contains biotech or genetically engineered ingredients is to contact the manufacturer. Long term studies to determine the safety of these ingredients have not been done. The technology is new and the manufacture of products is proceeding far more rapidly than research into their safety.

Nanotech and micronized ingredients are also being rapidly introduced into the skin care marketplace. According to the Environmental Working Group, their use is already widespread. What’s most disturbing about this is that the risks associated with using products with these ingredients are unknown. The most basic research on safety is just being done by the FDA.

How can you tell if a product contains high tech ingredients?

You may be able to identify some of the nano-sacale ingredients if they contain terms like nano, liposomes, quantum dots, fullerenes and micronized.

Nanotech vs. Micronized

There is controversy as to whether micronized ingredients are really nano scale ingredients. Those who use them say they’re not.

Let’s take a look at the difference.

Technically a micron is one millionth of a meter. It’s about one tenth of the diameter of a droplet of mist or fog. A nanometer is 1000 times smaller than a micron. Both are extremely small. For an ingredient to be either micronized or nano scale it must be put through a procedure in a laboratory to achieve that minuscule size.

Are manufacturers labeling these ingredients according to their technical definition? That is unknown. You must call the manufacturer to find out for sure.

Are you a guinea pig?

With the lack of safety research on biotech ingredients, micronized and nano-scale particles and the virtual unknown risk, you are in essence a subject in a large uncontrolled experiment if your anti aging skin care products contain these ingredients, whether they’re called natural, organic or not.

What can you do to help yourself slow the aging process and age gracefully... healthfully and safely?

The key is to recognize that it’s not all about skin care. It’s about whole body care.

• Eat well
• Stay fit
Exercise the muscles of your face in addition to the rest of your body
• Keep a positive attitude
• Get plenty of rest
• Learn to read ingredients lists and know which ingredients are safe and which are not
• Use certified organic natural skin care products with proven safe ingredients, OR
• Make your own anti-aging skin care products with healthy ingredients that nourish your skin, right from your very own kitchen.

In this high tech world where industry greed takes preference over consumer safety, you can still have a natural anti aging program that includes healthy skin care products and a lifestyle that promotes health. The key is to be informed, and act on that information.

Author's Bio: 

© 2009 Christine H. Farlow, D.C., "The Ingredients Investigator" and author of DYING TO LOOK GOOD. Dr. Farlow has been researching ingredient safety since 1991. She gives more information about ingredient safety at DyingToLookGood.com and healthy skin care products at BestOrganicAndNaturalSkinCare.com.