Â Lipidol is a company with a mission to re-educate consumers about the physiology of the skin and how our daily routines could be disrupting this.Â
â€śOur skin is made up of water and it needs oil to keep it in,â€ť says Justin Letschert, CEO and co-founder of Lipidol, a new oil-based brand created by himself and brother David, also the duo behind global bestseller Bio-Oil.
Letschert believes that oil-based skincare will be a major part of the beauty industry of the future and itâ€™s easy to understand why. At the recent launch of Lipidol, Letschert showed a time-lapse video of two beakers filled with water, one topped with oil, the other neutral.
What happened over the course of several days was impressively simple: the beaker with the thin oil layer kept a full retention of water, the other had dried up considerably.
When oils â€“ which closely resemble the skinâ€™s in-built moisturising fluid, sebum â€“ are applied to the skin, they are absorbed directly into the top layers of the epidermis, where they instantly go to work improving the lipid barrier function and preventing moisture within the skin from evaporating.
The result of a replenished lipid barrier is that skin tends to feel less â€śtightâ€ť and is more smooth and glowing.
â€śThe skin has its own natural oily layer known as the lipid barrier,â€ť explains Letschert. â€śThe problem is that every time we shower [with soaps and gels], we strip away this important layer. Then we use a moisturiser, but you canâ€™t put moisture on the skin â€“ moisture comes from within the skin. By the time the skin has built back its own natural oily layer, we shower again.â€ť
In centuries gone by, when daily washing was unheard of, harsh soaps may have been necessary to cut through a weekâ€™s worth of grime. But as indoor plumbing improved, humans began to wash more frequently and today most people wash once, sometimes twice a day, often with products containing harsh surfactants that can strip the skin of natural oils.
Exposure to elements, such as the sun, cold and air-conditioning, also has a detrimental impact on our lipid barrier. â€śIn addition, as you get older the lipid layer also thins, which is why skin tends to be dryer as we age,â€ť Letschert says.
As a result of all this abuse, the founders of Lipidol would have us overhaul our skincare regime by using products they say will help maintain, rather than strip away, the oily lipid barrier of the skin.
As Tony Dweck, former president of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists and consultant to Lipidol points out, modern consumers spend vast amounts of money on creams to replace lost moisture. Such products are a mixture of oils and water, with the addition of active ingredients and emulsifiers, to make the oil and water mix together. â€śBut water has no activity on the skin, and most cosmetic creams contain up to 90 per cent water,â€ť says Dweck. If you find this hard to believe, look at the lotions found in your bathroom. You will find â€śaquaâ€ť at the top of most ingredient listings, meaning itâ€™s the key constituent of the product â€“ ingredients are required to be listed from greatest amount used to the least.
The Lipidol range carries six different oil products, including a Cleansing Face Oil and After Shower Oil, all priced at $9.95 from Farmers. This month readers who purchase their March issue of MiNDFOOD magazine from select Paper Plus storesÂ will receive a free Lipidol After Shower Oil, while stock lasts.