Nude Skincare

Nude Skincare At-A-Glance

Strengths: Good water-soluble cleansers.

Weaknesses: Expensive; most of the products contain fragrance ingredients known to cause irritation; no sunscreens; no daily-use AHA or BHA products to exfoliate skin; no products to address the needs of those with acne or skin discolorations; the Replenishing Night Oil doesn't replenish anything; some products will see their natural ingredients become ineffective due to jar packaging.

United Kingdom–based Nude Skincare has made quite a splash in that part of the world. It was founded by "eco-entrepreneur" Bryan Meehan, owner of the U.K.'s Fresh and Wild organic grocery stores (their American parent company is Whole Foods). Now, in addition to selling healthy foods, he mixes them into cosmetics and sells them as well, which was a natural (pun intended) next step for Meehan. After all, it was only a matter of time before he noticed and took advantage of the fact that natural skin-care products sell well in health food stores, just as major grocery stores sell mass-market product lines. Thus, Nude Skincare was born, and according to Meehan, Nude Skincare is "the first luxury skincare line that is free from the chemicals your body would rather avoid." Regrettably, the only luxurious parts of Nude Skincare products are the prices.

The endless parade of natural or organic product lines and their endless claims of how pure and healthy their products are is exhausting and more fiction than fact. Much like antiwrinkle and anti-aging claims, the hype and misleading information about natural ingredients appear time and time again. It is important to reiterate that there are good and bad ingredients in both the natural and the synthetic realms. Plus, labeling something "natural" doesn't mean it is. But of course that didn't stop Nude Skincare, a company that claims to be all natural, but isn't. Regardless, this line claims to be all you need for skin, which isn't true either.

One look at Nude Skincare products' ingredient lists make it abundantly clear that the ingredients in their products are not all natural. Like many cosmetics companies, Nude Skincare attempts to get around the synthetic aspects of their ingredients by putting the natural source of their chemical-sounding ingredients in parenthesis. Describing dicaprylyl ether or lauryl alcohol as coming from coconut doesn't mean you can take that ingredient and make a piña colada; those ingredients are not found in nature. We're not saying that those ingredients are bad for skin, but misleading claims don't add up to good skin care; what counts is what works on your skin. Of course, plants have a place in skin care, but they also have drawbacks, although the latter fact seems to fall on deaf ears among those converted to natural and among those fear mongers who love to make women afraid of anything synthetic. Ironically, however, Nude Skincare also includes several natural ingredients that, unfortunately, have published, peer-reviewed research showing that our skin is better off without them!

Other than the high prices and the sleek, modern packaging, one aspect of this brand that has captured consumer and media attention is the claim that Nude Skincare products contain prebiotics and probiotics (i.e., microorganisms) designed to normalize the microflora of skin. In a cosmetic, neither the prebiotics nor the probiotics will stay alive and they must be alive to have any impact, at least that's the case when they are digested (i.e., yoghurt has live strains of bacteria). What is more significant is the limited research showing that topical application of bacteria strains has any effect on skin, for better or worse. Nude Skincare claims they have conducted clinical trials that show these products were highly successful, but we were told they weren't available for review. The company wouldn't send us any information to verify their study, so we have no way of knowing the details of their clinical tests.

What we know so far (again, from limited research) is that topical application may reduce skin inflammation brought on by immune system disorders and help skin grafts on burned areas heal faster, but that was sourced from living strains, not applied in a cosmetic skin-care product (Sources: International Wound Journal, February 2009, pages 73–81; and Der Hautarzt, Epublication, August 6, 2006).

For more information about Nude Skincare, call 1-855-375-1610 or visit www.nudeskincare.com.

Note: All prices are listed in United States currency.

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