Beauty

By Maria Fernandez

Our skin is the largest organ in the human body. What goes on the skin, goes through the skin. Makes sense doesn’t it? Our skin is like a sponge. The top layer is the epidermis, the middle layer is the dermis and the bottom layer is the subcutis. Your pores, on the top layer of the skin, absorb substances and draw them down to the dermal level where the blood vessels, lymph vessels, hair follicles, and sweat glands are located. From there the substance could enter the blood stream or lymph vessels. Ok, ok, enough of all that technical stuff. Basically, that fragranced foundation or lipstick you just put on and thought would stay put, well … most likely will not!

Is it hazardous, you ask? Well that depends on your view. The FDA (Federal Drug Administration) has been tracking reports on fragrance related health concerns for quite some time. That should give a clear indication that while although buy makeup that smells pretty may sound nice, it may not be so nice for our skin. So while we are trying to beautify ourselves with lipstick, powders, foundation, we could actually be doing harm to our skin. This is of the most concern for those of us with sensitive skin. You know who you are out there. For those of you that don’t, how can you tell if you have sensitive skin? If you’ve found that your skin is reacting to some skin products and showing signs of irritation, or redness, you probably have sensitive skin. Stop! Whatever you’re using, toss it out. Help you say?

While most make up companies don’t feel it’s that important to remove fragrances from their products, there is one that stands out above all, Estee Lauder. Lauder has been around since 1946. The company has a reputation for being innovation, research and quality. Today, the Estee Lauder collection of skincare, makeup and fragrance exemplifies the best that art and science can achieve. Most importantly Estee Lauder prides itself on it’s strict policy of fragrance free beauty products. That’s right ladies, there is a solution out there.

“In the industry there had been a few unsuccessful attempts to deal with the problem (of sensitive skin) by producing cosmetic and treatment products from which known sensitizing agents were eliminated. The results looked and smelled medicinal.” (Estee Lauder: A Success Story) Women, with sensitive skin, were yearning for a company to satisfy their needs.

In walks Leonard Lauder, in 1968 with an innovative new idea. His thought of developing “a hypoallergenic line, that would be chic and would contain no known allergens”, was the birth of none other than Clinique. With the efforts Leonard, Carol Phillips, Managing Editor of Vogue, and the resources of Dr. Norman Orentreich’s research facility, many women’s prayers were answered.

Leonard, Carol and Dr. Orentreich managed to not only develop a line that was sensitive skin friendly, but generate one of the most classic product lines out there. From the French name of Clinique (“suggesting freshness and a clinical approach”), to the subtle pale green packaging and the classy silver “C” that’s embossed on the outside of each package. Clean, sleek and timeless.

“100 PERCENT FRAGRANCE FREE, 100 PERCENT ALLERGY TESTED” is the motto that Clinique lives by to this day. The line was developed to be hypoallergenic and still beautiful. Clinique’s thought was not only were they selling dermatologically based products, but also glamour. Although cosmetics can help us feel more beautiful, obviously those with fragrances can cause skin irritations or allergic reactions. Clinique’s sciencetists, and executives have worked to develop an exciting new line of foundations, lip sticks, liners, mascara that will make us feel beautiful and be healthy for us as well. Your lips, eyes, cheeks have never had it so good!

Most foundations contain fragrances that can cause your skin to end up feeling red, itchy and swollen. If you look at the label on some of today’s popular foundation, you might actually find phenol as one of the ingredients. Phenol happens to be a poison. Although the amount contained in foundations might be minimal, would you really want to have poison on your face? Clinique has developed a foundation that is fragrance and allergy free and actually improves the appearance of your skin. Superbalanced makeup is oil free moisturizing makeup that actually improves the texture and appearance of your skin. The foundation absorbs oil and moisturizes where needed. It’s like vitamins for your skin.

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Most fragrances lipsticks can make your lips red, irritated and chapped. The skin on your lips is extremely thin and happens to be the most delicate on your face. All the funky fragrances that are added to make the glosses and lipsticks smell good, might be doing more harm than anything else. Having dry, chapped lips can cause the color to run and flake off. Clinique’s Colour Surge Butter Shine Lipstick does just the contrary. Fragrance free and allergy tested this lipstick glides on buttery soft and drenches your lips in moist, lush colour. You can even use this to cure chapped lips!

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Clinique has managed to make it so that you can be fragrance free from your head to your toes, literally. Most nail polishes contain chemicals that can dry and yellow out your nails. At times the polishes can even irritate your cuticles. Clinique’s Glosswear Nail Enamel is a non irritating formula that is formaldehyde and toluene free. Now your nails be healthy polished or not.

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From the distinctive silver packaging, right down to the best ingredients that money can buy, and dermatologists can test, this makeup is not only gentle to your skin, but actually good for your skin. Using these products can dramatically make a difference to the way you look and feel.

Clinique cosmetics can be conveniently purchased on line at www.clinique.com or are easily available at such fine department stores, such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Macy’s.

Originally published February 2006
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