The second you twist open your serum or cream, the clock starts ticking: Oxygen, heat, and light begin to seep in and degrade active ingredients, explains Shari Marchbein, a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. You can blame the water in liquid formulas, which facilitates this breakdown when mixed with oxygen. Because powder products are waterless, they can stand strong against air degradation. This is particularly important for unstable ingredients, like vitamin C.
Not only does this help maintain the efficacy of your products, but “these powders can contain higher concentrations of active ingredients,” says cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson. “Without water— which can be a breeding ground for bacteria — little or no preservatives are needed.” You’re just getting the good stuff, which is a good thing, but something to be aware of if you have sensitive skin. “These little concoctions can pack a big punch,” says Gohara. That said, “You can control the dosage you want, depending on your needs at the time,” Robinson explains.
And there’s also a greater good: taking water out of the equation shrinks the water and carbon footprints of any skin-care product. “Waste from water [in skin care] sits on a retailer’s shelf, [perhaps] only to get thrown away after its shelf life expires,” says Tina Hedges, founder of LOLI Beauty. “By impacting the planet, we directly impact people.”
Here, six powder skin-care products to consider sprinkling into your beauty routine.
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