Now here’s a new claim: this moisturizer (which is completely unsuitable for daytime use by itself because it does not contain sunscreen) is supposed to protect your skin from indoor lighting. Bioelements maintains the antioxidant lutein shields skin from “potentially damaging” blue rays emanating from artificial lights. Before we discuss why that isn’t possible or even necessary, it must be stated that if Bioelements is concerned about preventing skin damage with this product, it makes no sense (and is actually contradictory) that they included several irritating fragrant plant oils. Sage, clary sage, lavender, and neroli may smell wonderful when blended together, but all of them have constituents that are a problem for anyone’s skin. For that reason alone, this product is impossible to recommend.
Back to the protection from artificial light issue: the company is most likely referring to standard fluorescent lighting as seen in stores and offices, because incandescent lighting does not create ultraviolet radiation. The light that radiates from fluorescent lighting is what creates illumination visible to the human eye. The range of UV light emitted has the potential to damage skin, but the light bulb’s fluorescent coating prevents the radiation from reaching our skin. This coating absorbs the short-wavelength UV light and re-emits the absorbed energy as longer-wavelength UV light. In addition, the glass that fluorescent light bulbs are made of helps keep the UV light inside. Think about it this way: no one is getting sunburned (UVB rays) or developing a tan (UVA rays) from sitting under fluorescent lights in their office or while shopping. Even if the fluorescent bulbs in your environment don’t filter the UV radiation well on their own, the amount of exposure is considered trivial when compared with sun exposure, and your sunscreen would handle the impact.
As for where lutein got the figurative gold star for being able to protect skin from artificial light, I haven’t a clue. There is a good amount of research proving lutein’s protective effects against sun-fueled UV radiation when consumed orally, and less research concerning the same effect when applied topically. It is a very good antioxidant, but of little use to skin when it’s combined with the irritants that Bioelements added to this product (Sources: Archives of Dermatological Research, October 2007, pages 373–379; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, April 2007, pages 199–210; and Skinmed, November/December 2004, pages 310–316). And keep in mind that there are plenty of other antioxidants that have the same potential for helping skin ward off some amount of UV assault from any source.
Advanced antioxidant. Protects against indoor environmental assaults. Contains golden-yellow lutein extracted from marigold petals to filter out the potentially damaging blue rays from artificial lighting. Provides high impact hydration and restores skin's protective barrier.
Water, Prunus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetyl Alcohol, Saccharide Isomerate, Dimethicone, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Xanthophyll (Lutein), Sodium Carboxymethyl Beta Glucan, Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Salvia Officinalis (Sage) Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary Sage) Oil, Citrus Aurantium (Petitgrain Cordillera) Oil, Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Oil, Zea Mays (Corn) Oil, Vegetable Oil, Lavendula Hybrida (Lavendin) Oil, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerine, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Tromethamine
Bioelements is a spa-and-salon sold skin-care line that was founded in 1991 by makeup artist turned aesthetician, Barbara Salomone. An interview with Salomone in the January/February 2006 issue of Renew magazine had statements from her indicating that aestheticians will soon be recognized as true skin-care professionals and her advice to newcomers is to get as much education as you can. To that end, Bioelements has seven education centers across the United States. However, if they're teaching established and upcoming aestheticians about Bioelements products, we are worried. Few spa lines subject skin to the irritating ingredients dispersed through well over half of the products this line offers. If that isn't bad enough, Bioelements ignores some fundamental aspects of skin care. That means no well-formulated AHA or BHA products (it's not a good formula if it subjects skin to needless irritation), and sunscreens rated below the standard SPF 15 recommendation (sun protection products are vastly outnumbered in this line by moisturizers and serums), not to mention the need to keep light- and air-sensitive ingredients, such as retinol, stable.
Company literature states that at Bioelements "We mean what we say. No gimmicks, no hype, and no false promises. We're professional skin care experts dedicated to keeping skin clean, clear, calm, and younger-looking." That sounds great but barely a word of it is true. This line definitely has its share of hype and false promises, from claiming that probiotics are a youth elixir, to regular references to what the line refers to as "Bioelements Adaptogens" and aromatherapist oils.
It's those very oils that causes havoc for skin, though in a spa experience their aroma can be pleasant. Skin-care experts would know better than to use any of Bioelements' numerous problem products, especially since, with so many irritants in most of the products, clear, calm skin is far from becoming a reality. Any company can establish its own education center, but what's key is the type of education provided and how the information is discussed. We have received countless letters from disheartened aestheticians bemoaning the "education" and classes they sit through, only to be spoon-fed information about skin-care products and practices they know are unhelpful and untrue. They ask me where to turn because they have a sincere interest in helping people take the best possible care of their skin, and are conscientious about the products they recommend. I hope this book helps such aestheticians, because Bioelements and many other spa-oriented lines are not creating products that epitomize state-of-the-art skin care, though they'd love for you to believe otherwise.
For more information about Bioelements, call 800.433.6650 or visit www.bioelements.com.