This serum's main ingredient is witch hazel water, which can be irritating (though it's not as potent as witch hazel distillate). It also contains enough alcohol to cause further irritation, which is a problem for oily skin (see below). Making matters worse is the inclusion of fragrant oils, including lavender, which can cause skin cell death and enhance oxidative damage (explained below). In short, this serum offers little hope for blemish-prone skin and could quite possibly make matters worse. Contrary to claim, it is not calming nor can it balance oils. If anything, the irritants can make oily skin more of a problem.
Applying irritating ingredients to oily skin stimulates excess oil production at the base of the pores, so skin ends up being more oily and pores become (or stay) enlarged. If you want to see improvements in oily skin, the best approach is to treat your skin gently with effective products designed to absorb excess oil, exfoliate inside the pore, and help normalize pore function (Sources: Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366; and Dermatology, January 2003, pages 17–23).
Research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Lavender leaves contain camphor, which is a known skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant, and this enhanced oxidation increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is the most potent form, and even small amounts of it (0.25% or less) are problematic. It is a must to avoid in skin-care products, although it's fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
Powerful bioactives deeply calm, balance oil and keep pores purified.
Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Aqua (Water), Alcohol Denatured (Grains), Glycerin* (Vegetable), Polysorbate 20 (Plant), Salix Alba (Willow) Bark Extract, Montmorillon-ite (Clay Minerals), Yogurt Extract (Milk), Retinol, Fructooligosaccharides (D-Beta) (NutraFlora®), Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil*, Totarol (SCO2 Totarol™), Panthenol (D) (B5), Niacinamide (B3), Pyridoxine HCI (B6), Biotin (D) (B7), Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit Juice, Collinsonia Canadensis (Stone Root) Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder* (Aloe Leaf), Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Limonene (Citrus), Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Phytic Acid (Rice), Citric Acid, Maltodextrin, Xanthan Gum (Fermented Sugar)
Colorado-based MyChelle is sold in many health food, specialty supplement and vitamin shops, and spas. It was started by Myra Michelle Eby, an entrepreneur whose background includes years working in the natural products industry. Eby's background was mostly in sales and she translated that talent into creating MyChelle.
Like many lines that heavily emphasize natural ingredients, MyChelle spurns synthetic ingredients as always being bad or toxic. The company's catalog provides an ingredient dictionary that glorifies every natural ingredient they use as having multiple benefits for skin, but it leaves out any of the negative research proving that many plant (i.e., natural) extracts can have a negative effect on skin. Once again consumers are being fed a pipe dream that a natural product is the answer to their skin-care concerns. Depending on the MyChelle product you choose, you could be putting your skin at considerable risk for irritation, free-radical damage, and potentially phototoxic reactions when skin is exposed to sunlight. As is often the case with new skin-care companies promising the world, MyChelle has over a dozen moisturizers and serums proclaiming their lifting antiwrinkle properties, but it sells only one sunscreen, which they identify as being for the body not the face. None of that adds up to great skin care.
Ironically, while MyChelle products have lots of missteps, many of the products also contain several proven beneficial ingredients for skin alongside the irritating ones. Antioxidants, retinol, peptides, and skin-identical ingredients are often included, but when these great ingredients are mixed with ingredients that cause irritation, destroy skin cells, and cause collagen breakdown, they are fighting an uphill battle to provide your skin with any benefit.
Please don't misunderstand: we're all for natural as long as it doesn't make matters worse for skin, but that's simply not the case with the majority of products in this line. As for the "Dermaceuticals" portion of the name, well, that's just one more meaningless marketing term to look past, as there is nothing dermatologic or pharmaceutical about any of these products.
For more information about MyChelle Dermaceuticals, call (800) 447-2076 or visit www.mychelle.com.