A Chemists' Guide to Navigating "Retinol Alternative" Skincare
Retinol’s popularity has only continued to grow in the past few years with no signs of slowing down. And for good reason! Of the actives out there, it comes with quite a resume of data behind it for reducing wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and even a little acne assistance. However, with that popularity comes a lot of confusion. Choosing the right retinol product can already be complicated, but on top of that, there’s a whole slew of “retinol alternatives” available on the market. In fact, if yo...Read more
Everything you need to know about silymarin in skincare
There’s an ingredient that's probbbaaabbbly not quite on your skincare radar yet - but we think it’s worth considering. The ingredient is called Silymarin (sih-lee-mae-rin), and comes from the extract of milk thistle. You'll find it on the ingredient list as "Silybum Marianum Fruit Extract", usually in a handful of clinical brands such as Skinceuticals, PCA Skin, and Dr. Dennis Gross…. And most recently our very own Mr. Reliable 2.0! Silymarin is a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory pr...Read more
Our Double Play Retinol Clinical Testing Journey
We always talk a lot about the value of clinical tests in skincare and how helpful they can be in making a purchasing decision. Needless to say, we're doing celebratory dances over here because we finally completed our first clinical, designed with all the bells & whistles that we wanted. After 12 weeks of testing our Double Play Retinol Eye & Face Treatment, we’re excited to finally share the results. This has truly evolved into one of our more elaborate projects that took 2+ years to formul...Read more
An Enrichment to Cleansers: Any Scientific Takeaways Here?
In this blog post: How helpful are acne cleansers? Is there such thing as over-washing? Cleanser Formulation for Dry Skin Cleanser Impact on Rosacea Why Personal Cleanser Preference is Valid Chemists' Skin Type & Cleanser Preferences Takeaways References It would be nice if there was some scientific formula that could tell us what cleanser would best suit our skin. Most of us have spent a fair part of our adult (and young adult) lives jumping from one brand to another, hoping to find the magi...Read more
Sustainability vs. Beauty
In this (packed!) blog post: Ingredient Sourcing: a closer look at palm oil A Brand's Carbon Footprint Sustainable Packaging (plastic, glass, aluminum) Key Takeaways References Here at Chemist Confessions, we don’t avoid complex or loaded topics. And there are few topics as complex and as loaded as sustainability. The difficulty in coming up with solutions for a global problem with so many moving parts and people involved is enough to boggle even the brightest minds. Even if we were just addr...Read more
Controversy Corner: Do We Absorb Sunscreen Filters Into Our Bloodstreams?
In this blog post: Headlines or Clickbait? Real life vs. Laboratory Conditions What we know today - Truth isn't always satisfying Key Takeaways References for your... Reference Every year, as things start to heat up, our thoughts turn once again to sunscreen. What SPF do I need? Mineral or chemical? Is this going to make me stickier than an ice cream on a hot day? How much should I use? (Hey Tiktok, it’s more than 2 fingers’ worth.) To add to the noise, sunscreen often gets caught in the cros...Read more
Actives Pairings With Clinical Testing Behind Them
*Updated as of 5/17/2022 When you start dabbling in actives, you’ll easily fall into the rabbit hole of what you can and can’t layer. One of the complicated aspects of trying to figure out actives layering and why brands may not even be able to give clear answers is simply the fact it hasn’t gone through enough testing to truly know. Not to mention, the formulas these actives sit in can add another layer of complexity. The good thing is there are some active combinations that have been looked...Read more
Bakuchiol - A "Retinol Alternative" Worth Trying?
Good old anti-aging retinol promises so many benefits. Yet for many (Gloria included!), it’s a temperamental little guy that can wreak havoc on your carefully maintained skin barrier. This means there are always new, buzzy ingredients promising the same glitz and glam of retinol without the snake molting, angry skin onboarding phase. One of the hottest ingredients in this category is bakuchiol, often marketed as “plant-based retinol alternative”. So! What does the science say? Can it ACTUALLY...Read more
Introductory Guide to Skincare Fundamentals 101
Welcome to the Chemist Confessions Blog! We started this blog back in 2018, what was supposed to be our final hurrah to the industry. (Little did we know…) The blog was started with the hope that we could share our insider knowledge of skincare formulation, helping consumers find better products. As skincare users ourselves, we found the skincare world was overwhelmingly saturated and confusing to navigate. Additionally, everyone has their personal skin quirks that don’t fall within the dry/o...Read more
2022 Community Poll Compilation *Updated 5/11/2022
Here we'll update all the results of our #lazypolls we've ran in 2021. All of these are general snapshots and products are in no particular order. We highly recommend browsing the poll comments to get personal takes and use experiences. The #lazypoll has been running for the past 3 years and we've enjoyed the evolution of this series. You'll find users helping lost souls, sharing all sorts of detailed experiences, and discovering all sorts of new products. *To help readers learn more about pr...Read more
AHAs, BHAs...PHAs?! What's a PHA & How to Use
In our final podcast episode of 2021, we dedicated the meat of the episode on a chemical exfoliants update. That’s the alphabet clan of PHAs, AHAs, and BHA, and it resulted in a lot of curiosity about PHAs. Though PHA research is still relatively new and not as well-studied as classic glycolic acid, there’s still some really exciting data that validates it’s use as an exfoliator. In fact, we like gluconolactone so much we use 30% of it in our Baby Steps exfoliating treatment! So let’s do a de...Read more