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Are Skinlycious products Halal or Haraam?

Are Skinlycious products Halal or Haraam?

Being in a multi-cultural country, I have been asked by our Muslim friends if our products are Halal. Like many cosmetics products, we are not a full Halal brand. We might consider applying when we grow bigger. I did a little research on the internet and would like to present a summarised version of my findings. Please look at the source and make you own judgement. Even different muslim scholars have different views, so be your own judge.


First and foremost, we do not use any animal-derived ingredients, except for Anti-Acne Wash, which has a protein derived from cow milk. Our products are essentially vegetarian. Our Muslim friends also do not need to worry about any traces of pork or non-halal traces of animal derived ingredients.

What about ingredients, like alcohol, present in Anti-Acne Solution?

You might ask isn’t alcohol, specifically ethanol, haraam? Yes, it is haraam. However, in Skinlycious 

Anti-Acne Solution, we use denatured ethanol/alcohol. As quoted from ummahnews – “Denatured alcohol is an industrial methylated spirit or surgical spirit (contains natural or synthesised ethanol and denaturing agent such as methanol or methylisobutyl ketone). We regard it as permissible for external use.”
In the reference video below, Dr. Muhammad Salah, talks about alcohol in perfume. Our alcohol is the same kind of alcohol used in perfume, which is denatured alcohol. He says it’s not a problem to use such alcohol in perfumes and whatsoever.

Alcohol is a necessary ingredient needed for Anti-Acne Solution to work well. It kills bacteria, helps salicylic acid penetrate into the skin better as well as help to break down hard skin. I’ve written a long blogpost on alcohol in skin care. No, alcohol in skin care will not cause cancer nor does it harm you. But yes, it can dry your skin. That can easily be countered by using hydrating serums. And we use denatured alcohol in Anti-Acne Solution, so that’s not a problem.

All our other products, except Anti-Acne Solution and 7 in 1 Pore Refining Hydrator Serum, do not contain alcohol. For 7 in 1 Pore Refining Hydrator Serum, alcohol is needed to dissolve mastic, an ingredient to shrink pores and for oil control. We are working on another formulation without alcohol for our 7 in 1 Pore Refining Hydrator Serum. For 7 in 1 Pore Refining Hydrator Serum, the alcohol used is not denatured alcohol. Therefore, it might possibly be Haraam.

What about other possible haraam ingredients?

Below, I copied and pasted out the other common ingredients that are listed in Ummahnews and are also found in our products . I have singled out the ingredients that are found in our products in orange.

Phenoxyethanol – Halal

Not ethyl based, therefore Halal.

Dimethicone and Methicone – Halal
Both Silicone based polymers, are also considered halal, and used as antifoaming agents or skin conditioning agents.

Butylene Glycol – Halal
No halal concerns.

Glycerin – Mushbooh dependent on source
Glycerin, also referred as to as Glycerol, is a component of all animal and vegetable fats and oils. It can also be synthesized from carbohydrate materials or from substances such as petroleum. Vegetable derived glycerin and synthetic glycerin are considered Halal. Animal derived glycerin may not be. Not knowing the source makes it doubtful.
We use plant-based glycerin, therefore ours is Halal.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate – Mushbooh dependent on source
It’s stated in Ummahnews that Sodium Laureate Sulfate is Mushbooh (doubtful). We use Sodium Laureth Sulfate in our Anti-Acne Wash. It’s one of the better surfactant that can cleanse properly without disturbing my skin balance. A disturbance in skin balance can cause increase oiliness. Quoted from reference 3 : “Sodium laureth sulfate, or sodium lauryl ethyl sulfate (SLES) and its derivatives, are found in many personal care products and are made by mixing sulphuric acid, monododecyl ester, and sodium salt.  Monododecyl ester may be from coconut oil, palm oil or from an animal source. Because of this, it is considered doubtful or Mushbooh.”

If that’s the case, since our ingredients are plant-based, the sodium laureth sulfate we use is not a problem.

Summary

Although we are not Halal certified, based on the ingredients we used, I would like to possibly conclude :
Only 7 in 1 Pore Refining Hydrator Serum is possibly Haraam because of the alcohol present. All other Skinlycious products are most probably Halal because the ingredients listed are Halal. However, having said that, I would like to add that my knowledge for Islam is limited. I am presenting the information I gathered on the internet for your reference. Be your own judge.

References

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-plzC1cttDs
  2. http://www.ummahnews.co.uk/article.php?id=86
  3. 3. http://behalal.org/consumer/personal-care/personal-care/

 

 

About the Author : Jasmine Kang


Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.

Behind the scenes of formulating Skinlycious Micellar Cleansing Water – Trials on real people with acne-prone skin

Behind the scenes of formulating Skinlycious Micellar Cleansing Water – Trials on real people with acne-prone skin

If you’ve not read about my previous post on how another brand of micellar cleansing water made my skin more oily, you can read it here. It’s also the reason why I wanted to come up with my own micellar solution/make-up remover.

Round 1 – Testing on my own skin

Working with my chemist, we had to try a few versions before we came up with a formulation that doesn’t make my skin oily after use. This took a very long process as every time when I tried something that causes me to oil up, I had to stop, go back to my old routine, and allow my skin at least two weeks to tune back before I try another formulation. This process took me 4 months to find a formulation that I am fully satisfied with and importantly, it doesn’t oil me up. It’s alcohol free, parabens free, oil free and soap free. Let’s call this Version 1.

Round 2 – Getting some friends and top customers to try 


We contacted a few selected customers, who have been consistently using Skinlycious products for quite a while. These are customers, who have had their acne cleared from using our products. I also asked a few close friends, who have normal skin and have been using my serums and sunscreen (suitable for all skin types), to try. I made a batch of 20 samples of Version 1 and sent it out to them.

The feedback that came back was that it cleanses well. A few feedback that smell was ok but many feedback that they didn’t like the smell. My bestie called me up and told me that she didn’t like the smell. When asked if they preferred citrus or flowery smell, most feedback that citrus refreshing smell would be nice. So, we tried an improved version with citrus smell.

Honestly, I am very bad with smell. I think my nose is kinda spoilt. Sometimes, I can’t even smell my baby’s poop. The original version’s smell was acceptable to me. Nevertheless, I was glad that I didn’t launch the original version and gathered some feedback before I launch. More importantly, I wanted to make sure that Skinlycious micellar cleansing water doesn’t cause our skin to be more oily, which would possibly lead to acne.

 

Round 3 – Improving the formula, adding citrus essential oil, getting feedback from close friends  

We also gathered that waterproof eye makeup was not that easy to remove with Version 1. So, my chemist and I worked on it and did an improved version and changed it to citrus smell. Let’s call this Version 2. It did cleanse better than Version 1, especially so on removing waterproof eye makeup. I only made 3 samples of Version 2. One for me and two for my close friends. One was ok with the citrus smell but the other felt that it reminded her of detergent. So, I decided not to use citrus smell. Also, dosing in natural citrus essential oil might cause photosensitivity, so I decided against that. So, not all natural stuff are good. It depends on the dosage and where you use them on.

 

Round 4 – Letting the customers decide, launching what the majority prefer. 

I decided to change and dose two different fragrances in very small quantity to Version Two. 

We came up with two versions of Version Two – GT1 or IV1. Thereafter, we sent out a set of GT1 and IV1 to customers and friends who gave feedback in our first trial.

Surprisingly, majority said they preferred IV1. 18 out of 20 preferred IV1. Many also feedback that it cleanses better than the earlier version. Some of you might ask, why not do away with fragrances totally? I did think of that. But I prefer to have a pleasant smell when I cleanse my face. It’s dosed in such a small quantity that it will most probably not cause problem for sensitive skin. However, for Skinlycious serums, they are all fragrance free. I prefer to have fragrance free serums as they are left on the face.

 

Round 5 – Preparing for launch

The first trial of testing on myself started in December last year. I had wanted to launch this earlier but I am doing this almost on my own. In between, I had to deal with a heartbreaking loss of a mid-term miscarriage and a hospitalisation episode for pain in the abdomen. I am just so glad that Skinlycious micellar cleansing water is going to be launched soon.


While I was finalising the formula for Skinlycious micellar cleansing water, I had to decide on the packaging. Finding a bottle was difficult too. I really like a pump bottle rather than flip cap bottle as it’s so much more convenient. However, there weren’t nice pump bottles that I liked with local Singapore suppliers. I had to order in bulk (thousands) from an overseas factory directly.

We discovered that the labels don’t stick that well on the bottle because it’s not round. All my previous bottles were round, so I didn’t have such issues. Now, we are still trying to solve this labelling issue.

Once that is solved, professional photo shoot and marketing materials to be done. Then, we will be ready to launch our micellar cleansing water. Targeting to launch on 2nd September. Look out for our 20% off launch offer! Full size of 150ml will be retailing at S$33. Samples of 30ml will be retailing at S$9.

 

Lastly, I would like to dedicate this to my bestie. Thank you, Qin Ai De!

Bestie called me and told me she likes IV1. She also noticed that after switching to SkinLYcious micellar cleansing water, her face was less oily. Usually, her face will become oily around 2pm but at 5pm, her face is still not oily. And the sweetest thing is that she pre-ordered two bottles from me. She has been a great supporter of my products since SkinLYcious was launched. I have helped her and myself save a lot of money too, since both of us were using our hyaluronic acid serum from my aesthetic doctor, which cost 3 times that of Skinlycious hydrating serum (hyaluronic acid serum). Her sister and mum are also using my products. The initial phase before gaining traction was the most difficult and she has been there supporting me all these while. Thank you, 亲爱的!

P.S. All screenshots above have been reproduced with consent by the relevant parties.

 

 

About the Author : Jasmine Kang

Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.

How best to use Skinlycious Anti-Acne Solution effectively

How best to use Skinlycious Anti-Acne Solution effectively

Before I go into the reactions, let me start off with the most important tip.

1) How to avoid skin peeling on your fingers?

Some of you have asked me about peeling fingers after you have used a cotton pad with Skinlycious Anti-Acne Solution. It will happen because Anti-Acne Solution is an exfoliant, meaning it works by speeding up skin cell turnover and causes peeling for some. To avoid that, you can use a cotton bud. But if you are like me, who prefers the cotton pad, this is what you can do.


Take the four corners of the cotton pad and pinch it together. It will look something like the picture. Drip the Anti-Acne Solution on the flat top part of the cotton pad. Spread it on your acne/pimples/whiteheads/blackheads and even those marks left when your acne is healing.

After using on one side of the face, you can inverse/flip it over and use it on the other side of your face. This helps to minimise bacteria spreading too.

This way, the solution does not comes into contact with your fingers and thus will not cause your fingers’ skin to peel.


2) How to store your Anti-Acne Solution?

This is our latest design of bottle. It comes with a stopper to help minimise the evaporation and crystallisation. Please do not throw this stopper away. Always cap it again after use.

3) What are some of the normal reactions you might experience when you first use Anti-Acne Solution? And how you can overcome them.

a) Slight stinging/biting sensation
– For some users, there might be some slight biting sensation when you first started using it, especially on areas where your skin is broken, e.g. an acne that is oozing pus.
– You can overcome the biting sensation by quickly applying hydrator serum on your skin. It helps to remove the biting sensation.

b) Peeling of skin
– Our main ingredient is salicylic acid. Salicylic acid helps skin cells turn over at a faster rate, thus some people might experience peeling of the skin. Initially, it might be visible peeling but after a longer usage, you will not experience visible peeling but instead, micro-peeling occurs.
– If you think that the peeling is excessive, you can cut down to once a day at night instead of using it twice a day. Then after visible peeling has stopped, you can slowly increase to twice a day on alternate days and then after which increase to every day twice a day.

c) More pimples/acne initially
– Some people might experience more outbreak. This purging phase typically last about 7-21 days. Salicylic acid is oil-soluble. It exfoliates not only on the surface of skin, but also inside the pore lining. This can result in bringing pimples, that were forming before you started using Anti-Acne Solution, to the surface. The outbreak you see would have shown up eventually, or simply would have remained deep in the pore, keeping it clogged and enlarged.
–  If you can bear with it, bear with it. If not, we suggest you cut down on Anti-Acne Solution to once a day usage at night and continue to use Step 1(Anti-Acne Wash) and Step 3(Hydrator Serum) twice daily. For any big acne, hold the cotton pad longer on the acne so that more is absorbed. Give this a try for another couple of weeks before deciding whether or not it’s suitable for you. If it seems to be too much for your skin, decrease the frequency of use of the Anti-Acne Solution(once every other day). It’s highly likely that the “purging effect” is only temporary, and that you’ll begin seeing smoother, clearer skin.
– If it’s more than 21 days and you are still having more outbreak that you initially had before using the product, stop using.

4) What’s NOT a normal reaction?

a) Experiencing Itch

b) Red spots that are not acne

If you experience the above, you may be allergic to salicylic acid. If you are allergic to aspirin, you have a higher chance of being allergic to salicylic acid.

If you think you might have a chance of being allergic to salicylic acid, you can do a patch test first. Just test it on a small area of acne skin and observe.

You should stop using Anti-Acne Solution and consult a doctor if necessary if you are experience the abnormal reactions.

5) Some people have their acne cleared and only use the anti-acne solution once in a while when they have the occasional acne. After storage for a longer period or if you do not cap it tightly, this is what you may see.

a) Some crystals forming in the bottle. It’s normal and you can slow down the formation of crystals by shaking the bottle every now and then instead of letting the solution sit there. With our new bottle, crystallisation is less of an issue now. The crystal formation does not lead to significant decrease in efficacy of the Anti-Acne Solution. You can still continue to use the solution. The dripper should prevent crystals from landing on your cotton pad/bud.

b) Darkening of the solution from clear to pale yellowish-brown. This is normal as resorcinol will discolour after a certain period. However, this does not affect the efficacy of the Anti-Acne Solution.

c) Liquid level of the solution dropping even though you didn’t use it. Again, this is normal. This is because our product contains alcohol and alcohol vapourises very easily. So, make sure that you cap on the stopper and screw the cap tight on your bottle to minimise evaporisation. With our new bottle packaging, evaporation is pretty minimal.

And if you have questions, feel free to email us at hello@skinlycious.com.

 

 

About the Author : Jasmine Kang

Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.

Acne Treatment during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Acne Treatment during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Can I treat my acne while I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

That’s a pretty common question that I get from customers. I, too, asked myself the same question.
Initially, I avoided anti-acne products during my
pregnancy, but my skin got worse, especially after adding soy to my diet. It can be pretty depressing to be battling acne while pregnant. Pregnancy changes our body, including hormones, which can trigger acne, and cause mood swings.

Take note that Isotretinoin (Accutane) and Tretinoin (Stieva-A, Retin-A, Renova, Avita, Retacnyl) are not recommended for pregnant women or even women who want to try for baby.
I was using Stieva-A  in my daily routine then. I did not know I was pregnant until my baby was 4 weeks old. I stopped using Stieva-A after I found out that I was pregnant but I still had a nagging doubt if those 4 weeks of Stieva-A usage would affect my baby. I should have stopped Stieva-A earlier but I had totally forgotten about it as it’s already so entrenched into my routine that I did not review it. I was devastated when I lost my baby at 8 weeks.
Although I really do not think that Stieva-A was entirely responsible for my first miscarriage, I was extra cautious with what I applied on my skin thereafter. I got pregnant again 3 months later and gave birth to a healthy boy. He’s now a few months shy of 2 years old. Here’s a cheeky pic of him I took today. Kids grow up really fast.

Are Skinlycious anti – acne products safe to use during pregnancy?

Will it affect the baby?


According to my Obstetrics and gynaecology(OB/GYN), all acne products contain ingredients that are poison to a developing fetus but the level of toxicity also depends on the concentration. We do not know how much is being absorbed into our blood stream and passed on to the fetus. It is not really that these ingredients are proven toxic but rather there is a lack of safety data. To play it safe, my OB/GYN recommended avoiding all anti-acne products as much as possible when pregnant.

According to my dermatologistSkinlycious Anti-Acne Wash is fine as the ingredients are unlikely to affect the fetus. As for Skinlycious Anti-Acne Solution, though it has salicylic acid, its concentration is not that high and thus unlikely to affect the fetus.

Both doctors presented their conflicting views to me and it was entirely up to my personal decision if I wanted to use SkinLYcious anti-acne products. I decided to take my dermatologist’s view and started on my anti-acne regimen again. I could not stand the zits and I started on SkinLYcious anti-acne products again. I was afraid of history repeating itself. I was afraid that my acne would go out of control if I did not nip it in the bud when it was still in the mild stage. I was afraid I would never have clear skin again. I had suffered for 14 years and the fear is very real.

Thankfully, my baby came out healthy.  I also had several pregnant friends and customers who used Skinlycious anti-acne products and delivered healthy babies.

Views from another dermatologist, Dr. Baldwin

This editorial published recently in July 2015 by Dr. Baldwin talks more in depth about why doctors should treat acne during pregnancy and lactation / breastfeeding. I totally agree with this dermatologist’s view.

Essentially, he says that many healthcare providers will by default advise pregnant and lactating women not to take medication to be on the safe side. To many healthcare providers, taking medications, especially for acne, is selfish and vain. However, he begs to differ and have noted that studies show that acne is not trivial and may be associated with suicidal ideations. I know, because I was depressed and afraid when I started having bad acne again when I was pregnant.

In summary, I quote Dr Baldwin,

“Dermatologists have taken an oath to “first, do no harm,” but in the case of acne in pregnancy and especially in lactation, we may need to treat aggressively and push the envelope beyond our current category B medications. Erring on the side of caution may be the wrong approach, especially in lactation where psychological consequences are high and neonatal exposure is minimal.”

Disclaimer

Having said all the above, once again, I would like to stress that I am not a doctor. I am sharing my experience and I will not be liable for your decisions. Do not take this as a medical advice. Do check with your own OB/GYN or dermatologist if you are pregnant, and use all anti-acne products at your own discretion and liability. Your decision is your decision and I will not be liable for any consequences of your decision.

 

 

About the Author : Jasmine Kang

Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.

The Science behind Skinlycious Firm & Lift Serum

The Science behind Skinlycious Firm & Lift Serum

In our previous post, we talked about what happens when skin ages. As we age, collagen in our skin decreases as less is produced and more is degraded, resulting in skin becoming thinner, less smooth, more lax, and more wrinkles.

Soybean, an Ideal Anti-Aging Nutrient for the Skin

Epidemiological studies have demonstrated a link between the Asian diet and a lower incidence of certain cancers, lower cardiovascular diseases and lower age-related changes in the skin. This is due to isoflavones, a group of flavonoids found in soybean and notably genistein which is the most abundant isoflavone in soy.

Skinlycious Anti aging serum, Firm & Lift Serum‘s, key ingredient used is Genistein – an activated form of soy isoflavone.

Genistein is a powerful collagen booster: it strongly stimulates the production of collagen but also prevents its break down. Encompassed in liposomes, it is able to penetrate deep into the skin.

Aging causes the collagen content in skin to be reduced because less is produced and additionally more is degraded. This leads to many changes in the skin which, notably, gets thinner.

Prevention is better than cure. By boosting our collagen content in our skin early, our skin becomes thicker, preventing slackening of skin, thus preventing formation of wrinkles.

Lab Studies Results

In a 3D full skin model, genistein was shown to increase the biosynthesis of collagen IV using immunolabelling techniques. Collagen IV is essential for the structural integrity and function of the basement membrane (stratum basale).

The reconstructed full skin model was prepared from normal human fibroblasts and keratinocytes isolated from skin biopsy. The cultured keratinocytes were seeded on the dermis equivalent in order to obtain a vertical differentiation leading to the formation of the stratum basale and the different layers of the epidermis.

The immunofluorescent staining of collagen IV and cell nuclei (Hoechst) showed a 53% increase of the collagen IV content in the 3D full skin model treated with genistein. The number of cell nuclei was not increased indicating that genistein specifically stimulated collagen IV production.

 

Human Studies Results

In a study conducted on twenty volunteers, where one side of the face was applied with Genistein and the other was not ; twice daily for a month.


The results were very promising. A scoring of wrinkles was performed by a dermatologist. Results showed that Genistein appeared 5 years younger on average based on the reduced appearance of wrinkles.

My Personal Experience

I have personally tried it for more than a month and can feel the firming effect. I started testing it since last year and really found my skin firmer and smoother. I gave birth to my first child at the end of the year and thereafter, I was too tired and busy to even continue my basic skin care routine. Instead of washing twice a day, on some days, I washed only once as I was just too tired. Needless to say, I had an outbreak. The anti-acne wash was my saviour. After using it, my face was less bumpy and acne subsided. The anti-acne solution speeds up the healing of the acnes but I didn’t apply it all the time as I was too tired.

After getting used to having less hours of sleep, I was back at my usual skin care routine. After birth, the facial skin tends to sag (actually everywhere sags) as we put on weight and then loses it, causing skin to slacken. I wasn’t consciously aware that my skin has slacken but after applying the serum for 2 weeks, I realised I had firmer skin. I could feel the difference. I also realised that my pores were less visible! Aging causes enlarged pores. Thus, by building up collagen in the skin, pores become less visible too.

My skin care routine is as follows :
P.S. I mix the Firm & Lift Serum with Hydrating Serum and apply it together on my face.
P.P.S. I stopped using the pore refining hydrator serum after my skin is no longer oily. However, I do add on this serum on days that I know my makeup has to last the whole day or when I feel like my face is oily again.

The above products are all Skinlycious products. As you can see, I formulate products according to my needs. I don’t stinge on the active ingredients as I personally use all the products in my range. Many of my customers have oily/acne/acne-prone skin like me, thus it’s important that this anti-aging serum does not cause outbreaks or increase in oiliness.

Reviews by customers 

Here’s what some customers have to say about Skinlycious Firm & Lift Serum. Before launching it, we let some of our top customers try it out.

Constance said : “I found the serum easy to apply and it absorbs well into my skin. Together with 8 in 1 whitening sunscreen, it somehow seems to make my makeup stay longer too. It’s not oily at the end of the day. My skin feels pumped up and smooth. Fine lines seemed less obvious too. This is after I finished the 5ml sample.”

Mei Kuan said : “After using the cream when I wake up the next day, skin feels smoother and more firm and the cream its non oily which is good. Price is reasonable for an anti-aging product. Just bought 3 bottles to make use of the launch promo offer.”

Kerrin said : ” I personally find that it is not sticky at all which I love it a lot as I do not like to apply any products that is sticky and also I find it that my face somehow look brighter. Lastly, it does not give my face any breakouts and when it launch, I would buy it for my mum to try. ”

 

 

About the Author : Jasmine Kang

Founder of Skinlycious – a one stop skin care solution for acne and acne-prone skin. A science geek, who has struggled with acne for 14 long years. Armed with decades of acne-fighting experience and bioscience / pharmaceutical knowledge, she seeks to find solution for her own acne-prone skin. She also takes immense joy in helping people regain confidence by solving their acne woes. Her secret ambition is to rid the world of irritating acne.