How much good stuff is too much stuff in my face cream?


We live in an era of souped-up super-creams promising complexion transformation, one cream does all if you can multi-task, so can your cream!

These super creams are causing more and more women to suffer from skin sensitivity, skin allergies, redness, and worse – eczema, dermatitis and other skin immunity issues.

Some creams have 60 or 70 different ‘active ingredients’ in it. Add emulsifiers and synthetic ingredients to create a luxurious feeling product, fragrance……….. you get the idea – no wonder we are reacting to it!

But the question is – do we really need all of these ingredients to create results? I personally do not think so, I know from my client’s skins that these concoctions do not improve their skins at all.

I spoke to Biochemist Louise Hoban from David Deans Cosmeceutical Skincare to find out why their products work so quickly to repair sensitive skins, and turn back the clock on mature skins. You can read the contents in their skincare products and actually know what each ingredient is. Why do they get such amazing results with so few ingredients?

David Deans only us the highest quality ingredients in all of their products, all of their products have been tested on family and friends, therefore creating honest feedback as to the products results which you cannot get from testing on animals (which should be stopped, but is still used by many of the top cosmetic and makeup companies).

Louise sent me the following information:

To explain why you can only have so many peptides or actives in a cream you have to address why they are a fundamental component when formulating a cream.


When formulating a product you have to look at two levels; one is the activation level and the other is the irritation level.

If you get either one of these levels wrong, the cream becomes inactive.  

  • Activation level: The ingredient has to be above the activation level in a cream to produce a result, that’s really simple in theory but difficult in reality.  

You have to do extensive research into the concentrations of the ingredient needed for activation. This is a process done for all ingredients in every single cream (and this takes a long time!) Every single ingredient added into a David Deans product is calculated and designed to be there.  This is one of the reasons it took 9 years for the DD range to be developed. 

– if you have an ingredient that does not reach the activation level, then a result is NOT seen ( isn’t seen at its full capacity).

  • Irritation level:  This is when you added too much of the ingredient and it becomes an irritant to the skin. This can result in a client not being able to use the cream at all. 

Therefore the aim of the game is to get all ingredients above the activation level but below the irritation level. You have to hit this spot every time with all the ingredients. 

It is also important to not waste space in your cream. You only have a certain percentage of space available to add ingredients before the cream breaks. So by having the ingredient well above the activation level, you won’t get any more benefit from the ingredient and you are wasting space for another ingredient and its benefits. 

So why can you not have heaps of peptides in a cream??

Simple: There is not enough room. 

Peptides need a larger percentage of space for activation level than most other ingredients. Generally speaking, if you have more then 3 peptides ( depending on the peptide activation level) most likely not all 3 types of peptides are biologically active in the cream. 

You also don’t want a cream base and then a pile of peptides in it. This does not make for a good cream. You need to ensure the peptide penetrates, activates, and then maintains the results, and this takes up space in your cream. 

This brings us to Perfect Partners or the Insurance policy

Example: Tripeptide 5 

This peptide activates collagen. That’s great, so now as a formulator, I need to answer the following questions.

1. What is its activation level and irritation level, now make the peptide concentration in- between them. 

2. What will assist its penetration? Beta-glucan, Kakadu plum, water, water in oil emulsion, etc. (These take up space in my cream) 

3. Support the benefits of the peptides, therefore, supporting collagen production. 

To achieve this we need to add:

           Kakadu plum – which is a natural source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a critical component in collagen production and therefore is needed for the tripeptide to produce its function. Kakadu plum is an excellent antioxidant, therefore you are adding an extra benefit to the cream whilst supporting the tripeptide.

           Hyaluronic Acid – is a major component of the extracellular matrix where collagen sits. It hydrates all cells and collagen and has also been shown to increase fibroblast activity. 

To make a good cream everything has to work together for a common goal. Ideally, the desired goal is that all ingredients should have double or triple benefits.  So, therefore, a cream with just peptides is not good enough, or a cream with 60 or 70 ingredients is not good enough either as Louise has pointed out – not all of them can work in conjunction with one another to achieve ultimate results.

Use this code MU054 when ordering online at David Deans for your free full-sized product gift worth up to $90



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