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The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts: Why Formulas Are More Important Than Ingredients

The Whole Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts: Why Formulas Are More Important Than Ingredients

Everyone’s obsessed with what’s in — or not in — their beauty products. But to your skin, it’s more complicated than an ingredient list. What makes a pore clear or clogged can be in how multiple ingredients interact. Even ingredients we believe to be “safe” can go wrong in combination with other ingredients. Hair care companies rarely do comedogenicity testing on finished products, which is testing to see if the products clog pores. But we do. At SEEN, we believe that ingredients and how they work together are both important. 

As consumers, we’ve been trained to avoid certain ingredients, steer clear of known skin offenders and to shop the natural section of our favorite beauty departments. But what if that’s only part of the story? Even organic or natural ingredients (we see you poison ivy…) can clog pores, leading to breakouts, or irritated skin. Some botanicals are, in fact, common irritants (SEEN co-founder Greg Maged gets itchy from lavender in products). SEEN uses formulas that are safety and skin-tested. Our products are formulated without parabens, phthalates, sulfates, silicones, and dyes. Instead, we’ve constructed formulas from a carefully curated list of individual ingredients, whether made by man or nature, that combine together to create formulas that won’t clog pores or irritate the skin. It took us a long time to get (our now-patented) formulas right but we were committed to creating products that deliver beautiful skin and hair.

While all the products we use in our day-to-day regimens should ideally be non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) and non-irritating, the reality is many are not. This can wreak havoc on our skin, leaving users sensitive and breakout prone.

Our founder and Harvard-trained Dermatologist Dr. Iris Rubin says, 

Many people focus on ingredients that clog pores. Ingredients definitely do matter – though how ingredients interact matters too. 

For example, a “safe” ingredient could be fine on its own, but when combined with another ingredient, it could potentially occlude (block) the follicle, leading to breakouts. Or a "safe" ingredient could become problematic if it combines with an irritating ingredient that increases the penetration into the skin.

It’s really the finished product that matters. We can all go to the grocery store and get the best ingredients. Those ingredients could combine to make a divine and tasty cake – or one that is not so tasty. How the ingredients mix together for the finished product is what matters.

At SEEN, we believe in evaluating the formula as a whole, not simply the component ingredients. It’s harder work but, like with so many things in life, we believe the results are worth the extra effort. That’s why we’ve applied fundamental skin care principles to designing our hair care products. All our formulas are rigorously tested and clinically proven to be non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores) and non-irritating. Because who wants breakouts from clogged pores?

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