THE ECZEMA PODCAST SEASON 2, EPISODE 4 TRANSCRIPT:
Abby: Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Eczema Podcast. Today, I’m here with a very special guest. He’s a skin expert and he’s been formulating skin care products for 33 years, which is amazing. I like to present you Ben Fuchs. He’s a registered pharmacist, a nutritionist, and a cosmetic chemist. He’s full of knowledge when it comes to skincare and especially because he’s made his own products as well, which I’ll let him talk about in a second.
But he also has a daily radio show called Bright Side. And if you want to check out more about him, you can go to his website, PharmacistBen.com. Thank you so much Ben for joining this show today.
Ben: Thank you for having me. I love that you have a show. A video podcast?
Abby: Yes, a video podcast.
Ben: Super cool.
Abby: Thanks so much and I’m really excited to have you on. Why don’t we start by just learning more about you, and why don’t you tell us how you got into skincare and involved in the skin business?
Ben: I’m a registered pharmacist, as you said. I was trained by the guy who invented Blistex, who was one of my professors when I went to pharmacy school and I learned how you made skincare products at a very early age. From a medicinal chemist, that’s what Dr. Jones was. He had invented Blistex as a pharmacist. He went and got his PhD in medicinal chemistry.
And his thing was understanding how you manipulate the body in terms of topical products; using topical products to actually change the skin. Basically, that was his specialty. And for four years, when I was in pharmacy school, I trained under Dr. Jones learning how you create topical products, how you work with ingredients. I was the guy who made all of his formulations. My job was to come in after class, and go in, and he had a stack of formulas. This was in the pre-computer days, everything was all typed.
We have a stack of formulas that he had typed up, and my job was to go to the shelf and pull all the ingredients and make his products for him, in addition to testing the products, and researching the products, and doing animal testing which is a whole other story. That was a horrible experience.
I left pharmacy school with this background in skin care, and I left pharmacy school with this understanding of how you make skin care products. And long story short, I started to make skin care products in the pharmacy, for individuals when they have problems. I developed a skill called compounding, which people know about today, but back in the 1980s it was unheard of.
And I became a compounding pharmacist for the skin. And I made it my specialty to be a compounding pharmacist for the skin. And this was actually in the pre-aesthetician days. Today, we have aestheticians, where if you have a skin problem, you got to an aesthetician. But in 1986 and 1987, there were no aestheticians. 1989 and 1990, there were no aestheticians. And while I was developing this art of my skills as a compounding pharmacist and learning the art of compounding pharmacy, there was this whole new profession that was growing at the same time.
That was the profession of aestheticianship. I kind of grew as a compounding pharmacist for the skin along with the profession of aestheticianship, and it wasn’t very long before aestheticians started coming to me and I started to merge my skills with this new profession. And I became a pharmacist for aestheticians; I became a pharmacist for the clients and customers of aestheticians and awareness of skincare was starting to expand.
So I developed a proficiency in making skin care products in the pharmacy setting, as well as making skincare products for aestheticians and also for lay people. I actually started a skincare company. And all the while, through these 33 years, I was learning my craft; learning how the skin was, learning about ingredients, and learning how you make products and what products for.
And I was developing some serious skills, some major skills in fact. I started a company which I just sold a couple of years ago that was around for 23 years. I started it and for 23 years it’s still around, and it had a reputation for being a skincare line with skincare products that really made a difference in people’s skin.
What ended up happening was, being a good pharmacist, a good chemist, but a lousy businessperson, I got myself involved with people who cared more about the business side than they cared about what I wanted to do, which was therapy and working with people’s skin. So I ended up selling the company and I started a new one that was really my life’s dream and my life’s vision, and also the culmination of 33 years of experience; the culmination of everything I learned about what works, what doesn’t work, what you should have on your skin and what you shouldn’t have, and I call it The Truth because it is the truth.
Abby: And I have it here.
Ben: Right. The truth is, you don’t need a lot of ingredients; the truth is, you don’t need a lot of products; the truth is, there’s only a couple of things that are going to make a difference in your skin; and the truth is that there’s a way to treat the skin. There is a way to treat the skin that will allow you to leverage the inherent healing and health properties that the tissue has.
The body is a healing system. We know this every time we cut ourselves, this miracle occurs where collagen fibers kind of wind themselves to the cut and close the cut and skin cells seal everything up. And two days later, you don’t have a cut anymore; it’s disappeared. What I started learning when I worked with Dr. Jones and the Blistex Corporation, and what I continued to learn in 33 years is that you can access and leverage this inherent healing property with topical ingredients if you know what you’re doing.
And if you can stimulate, and enhance, and amplify healing in the skin, you’ll get anti-aging, you’ll get more beauty, you’ll get more moisture. It turns out that the whole thing, whether you’re talking about healing a cut or talking about having beautiful, soft beautiful skin all involves the same processes.
Which is why if you can put a nutritional product or a topical product, and your skin has got nutrients in it, and it will heal the skin, that’s a product that you want for anti-aging and that’s exactly what you get for The Truth. You can use all those products after you shave, you can use them as anti-irritants after you soap, you can use it when you come in from the sun.
You’ll get benefits for any healing benefits that you want from a topical product, you’re going to get with these anti-aging and general purpose health products. And to me, that’s the essence of minimalism; you don’t need no bunch of products. That’s why we have only four products.
Abby: That’s awesome. I’m just going to hold up your products here so that viewers can see it. I have four of your products here. Why don’t you tell us? You’ve been in a skin care pharmacist for about 33 years. I’m only 30, so that’s three years longer than I’ve been alive.
Ben: It’s a long time.
Abby: I know. How did you move from — you used to work for Blistex, so how did you move from working with conventional skin care products to moving into the natural side and seeing how that helps?
Ben: Because it works. I don’t even like the word ‘natural’. First of all, ‘natural’ is irrelevant. Poison Ivy is natural, right? You’re not going to rub Poison Ivy all over your face. Cow manure is natural, you don’t wash your hair with cow manure. So natural is not the appropriate criteria. The appropriate criteria, to me, is ‘does it work?’ But not just does it work. See, I think first of all, ‘does it work?’, that’s important right there.
When you go to the pharmacy to get your medicine, what’s the one thing you want your medicine to do?
Abby: Hello, right? You don’t care what it looks like, you don’t care what it smells like. You have a cold, “I want the medicine to work.” I need birth control, “That stuff better work.” I need to lower my blood pressure, “That stuff better work.” What it smells like is not my concern. What it looks like, what the package is like, the model who endorsed it, or the movie star who endorsed it: none of that matters. I want to know is that antibiotic or antiprotons, is it going to work?
I come from that world. My concern is ‘does it work?’ Natural is meaningless to me. What I want to know is, is it going to have an effect on the skin? However, it can’t just have a written effect on the skin. Drugs will have an effect and drugs will kill you, too. Just because something has an effect doesn’t mean it’s going to be necessarily good. What I’m looking for is a combination of gentleness and effectiveness.
I want to have something that’s going to be benign and non-toxic, and at the same time it’s going to be effective. So in my mind, when I was working with ingredients, I was thinking, “What kind of ingredients would I choose that would be both effective and gentle?” That’s what I’m looking for: effectiveness and benign.
Effectiveness without toxicity. Even if they’re stimulating, they still aren’t going to be toxic. So where would you go? As a lay person, or as a woman who is in the skin care business, where do you think you would go to find an ingredient that was effective – because that’s important, I’m a pharmacist – and gentle, non-toxic, benign, not going to be mean or hostile to the skin? Where would you go, do you suppose? Where’s the one place you would go?
Abby: Food is close. Food is close, but we know there’s things in food that aren’t necessarily going to be effective topically. Food is a good place, but it’s harder to do with food because of instability issues, but food is a good place; but there’s an even better place.
Ben: Natural pharmacy.
Abby: No. I mean, you go to a natural pharmacy. Well, let me answer the question: In the body. The body is a rich source of active ingredients that work, because they’re in the body, they’re biochemicals and they got to do something. They’re not even there randomly. They’re doing something. And because they’re in the body, they’re not going to be toxic.
Because they’re in the body, they’re something you’re making. They’re something that’s functional in your body, so it’s not going to be toxic. I developed a word for the kind of ingredients that I wanted to work with. I invented a word. Now today, that word has been corrupted and adulterated as is with words. We have a culture that through marketing messes words up.
But when I invented the word, nobody was saying this. The word I invented describes perfectly the kind of ingredients I use, and the kind of ingredients I honor, and the kind of ingredients I respect: biogenic. Bio for biology, genic for beginning, genesis. The perfect place to find an ingredient is in your skin. Biogenic ingredients are already in your skin. In your body, but specifically from the skin.
So I looked to the skin. I want to see how the skin is moisturizing itself. How is the skin healing itself? How is the skin repairing itself? How is the skin protecting itself? And I want to know what molecules, what biochemicals are doing the work, and that’s what I choose to use. So all of my products utilize/leverage the power of these biogenic ingredients, and that allows me to be effective without having to worry about toxicity.
It’s a step above natural. That’s why when I hear the word ‘natural’, ‘are your ingredients natural?’, that’s gibberish to me. That’s meaningless because there’s lots of things that are natural that aren’t going to do anything to your skin, and there’s lot of things that are natural that aren’t going to be toxic on your skin. I don’t care about natural. I don’t even know what the word ‘natural’ means. Everything is natural.
If it’s on the periodic table: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen – what, it’s not natural? You say, “Oh, I made it. It’s not natural. It came in the factories.” Well, a factory is a part of nature, too. Everything is a part of nature. It’s all part of the universe. It’s an artificial distinction. And when I hear an artificial distinction, I either hear ignorance or manipulation; either you’re using this artificial distinction because you don’t know any different – I don’t mean in a bad way, I mean you just don’t know – or you’re manipulating the term for marketing reasons because it feels good to people to hear the word ‘natural’.
I come from a world of science so I don’t play games like that. I need to know, really, what’s happening in the skin. I need effectiveness. Why would I be in the business if I was making a product that wasn’t effective? I also need to know I’m not hurting anybody. And biogenicity gives you that; it gives you effectiveness without toxicity. It’s a real word.
Natural is a phony word. Natural is a made-up word. Natural is an ambiguous marketing word. It doesn’t really mean anything. Biogenic means something. Biogenic means you’re going to get effectiveness, you’re not going to have toxicity. And so, with my other company which I just sold, I use biogenic ingredients with The Truth, only biogenic ingredients.
Those are 100% biogenic ingredients in the sense that they either duplicate and mimic something that’s in the skin, or they are already in the skin.
Abby: That’s great. As you’re talking, I’m going to open up some of the products and just show them up on the screen. I know you’ve worked with a lot of the ingredients, so how else makes your ingredients different from others? I know that you have experience working with eczema too, so how have you seen the effectiveness of it on people who have eczema?
Ben: Eczema, like all skin health issues, it’s an inside-outside process. Which one is that?
Abby: That’s the retinol one.
Ben: The Truth bottle is the white one on your hand. Vitamin C is known as the primal panacea. I see you’ve been digging in there. Is that the Omega-6?
Abby: Yes, that’s the Omega-6.
Ben: You like the Omega-6, how you put your finger on it?
Abby: And it smells good.
Ben: And it smells good, too. The Omega-6… All my products feature Vitamin C. Vitamin C is the primal panacea, meaning it’s good for everything; primal meaning ‘basics’. It’s a basic nutrient that all living organisms need and use. In fact, you know only human beings, and gorillas, and guinea pigs, and the fruit bat – they’re the only animals that don’t make their own Vitamin C.
All other animals make their own Vitamin C. Vitamin C is not a vitamin to a dog, or to a cat, or to a cow, or to sheep, or a giraffe, or any other animal. Vitamin C is not a vitamin. They don’t need it; they make it. We have to make our Vitamin C, and there’s some certain reasons. Or we had to use our Vitamin C supplementally, and there are certain reasons for that.
But the point is that the Vitamin C is good for almost everything. Almost every biochemical reaction in the body will benefit to some extent from Vitamin C, but the skin is especially dependent on Vitamin C for its health. Eczema is a condition of a destabilized skin system. The immune system is hyped up.
Vitamin C has a calming effect on the immune system. It strengthens the immune system and it calms the immune system. It’s a protective and calming vitamin. This has applications across the board for burns, for abraded skin, for eczema skin, for psoriasis skin, for acne or rash skin. The calming effect of Vitamin C is extremely important.
The second aspect of treating eczema is not topical, it’s internal. I should tell you one more nutrient that’s important to the skin, and that’s Vitamin A. In fact, if you go to the dermatologist for eczema, they will very often give you a Vitamin A cream for your eczema. I don’t know if you had a dermatologist that would give you a Vitamin A or a Vitamin A derivative for your cream. There are various prescription forms of Vitamin A. They’re usually prescription forms and they recommend them for eczema.
So Vitamin A and Vitamin C are the two primary vitamins for the skin, topically if you’re dealing with eczema. Zinc is a mineral and Selenium is a mineral that can also be helpful sometimes topically for eczema and for dermatitis. In fact, Head and Shoulders, dandruff is a kind of skin problem. It’s a scalp problem, and Head and Shoulders is zinc. The active ingredient in Head and Shoulders is zinc, and the active ingredient in Selsun Blue is selenium.
Selenium and zinc are also very important for restabilizing the skin system, in addition to Vitamin A and Vitamin C. But eczema, and in fact all skin conditions that are chronic and long-term, need to be addressed primarily at the level of the intestine and at the level of the gut. Number one, strengthening the intestine and the gut, so toxins don’t begin at leaky gut syndrome; but also improving the absorption of Vitamin A, and zinc, and selenium.
Nutrients that help the body process or help the body deal with skin problems such as vitamin A, and selenium, and zinc require a very healthy digestive tract. A lot of people who are dealing with eczema are not only dealing with leaky gut syndrome, or from toxins that are entering into the bloodstream, but they are also dealing with nutrient deficiencies, particularly around zinc, selenium, and vitamin A.
Abby: It’s interesting, because I heard from one of your videos where you were talking about if people do lack – or if people are nutrient deficient in certain areas like what you mentioned, you can actually put nutrients on your skin topically to help it.
Ben: That’s the skin.
Abby: Yes, which is what your products are.
Ben: That’s the point. But here’s the thing, and this is really interesting, Abby, and you should know this as a woman. You have about 70 years of skin care buying product experience that you have up ahead forward, so I’m going to give you a little lesson right now. See, we look at the skin and it looks like one thing. It doesn’t look like it’s complicated at all but it turns out that it’s layered: many, many layers. Three main layers, but lots of sublayers.
The surface of the skin, which is microscopic so you can’t see it, is made up of like a fingernail, like your fingernail. It’s got like a hard fingernail-like coating on the surface of the skin. That’s very important, that fingernail, that microscopic fingernail because it keeps water in and it keeps water out.
That’s a good thing. We evolved in the ocean and we came out of the ocean and we became terrestrial beings. And when that happened, we had to have some kind of surface that kept the water in and kept the water out, or we would dehydrate. So nature evolved a very tiny, thin fingernail-like material on the surface of the skin. This is very, very important when it comes to skincare, and I’ll tell you why here in a second.
Underneath that fingernail-like material, that hard, fingernail-like material. That’s very much like a deer’s antler or a rhinoceros’ horn. Underneath that, you have cells in various degrees of livingness. So you have a surface layer, and then you have multiple layers underneath in various degrees of aliveness. At the bottom, they’re very alive. As they rise to the top, they become progressively more and more dead until they reach the surface.
And then when they’re at the surface, there’s just that microscopic layer of fingernail-like layer. And this is how your skin grows, from the time you’re born to the tiny dot. Cells are born at the bottom, they call that the basal layer, and they migrate to the top. And as they are migrating to the top, they are becoming more and more dead until the very surface where they’re a carcass of just dead shell, and that forms this hard, fingernail-like layer.
Here is the important point: the living cells are underneath. They’re not on the top. And I should tell you this before I even continue. Underneath all of that, you have a deeper layer, a third layer, and this is where the bulk of the skin is. This is where the collagen is, and this is where the blood is, and this is where the moisture factors are, and this is where the beef of the skin is, the polysaccharides, the thickeners.
Everything that gives your skin substance is down here. Here’s the take home message. The surface is – they call that the stratum corneum. That’s made up of the fingernail-like shells of dead cells. The layer underneath that is called the epidermis. Technically, the stratum corneum is part of the epidermis, but because it’s so distinct, I separate the two out. Underneath that, you have the dermis. That’s where all the bulk is. It’s like an iceberg. If you look at an iceberg, it’s like you have this little top on that of the water, but you have a mountain underneath.
90% of the iceberg is underneath, and we see the 10%. Skin is the same way. 90% of your skin is underneath. That is where the action is in the skin, between this underneath layer, the deep layer, the dermis, where the collagen, and the moisture factors, and the spongy-like material that keeps the skin beefy is; and the bottom two layers of the epidermis, they call it the basal layer and the squamous layer.
In fact, if you have skin cancer, you have basal cell cancer or squamous cell cancer. There’s only two skin cancers you have at that level because those are the only two layers where the cells are alive. After that, the cells become dead and more and more dead. Here is the take home message: If you want to be effective in skincare, Abby, for the rest of your 70+ years on the planet, you want to make sure you’re working at the level of the dermis and the lower epidermis.
And because this surface of the skin is dead, and its job is to keep things in and out. If you put your skincare product on the surface, there’s very little likelihood that you’re getting any effect from your skin. The dirty little secret of skincare is no matter how much you spend on your skincare product, the chances are pretty good all you’ve got is soft, dead skin. That’s all you’ve done with your skincare products.
Now, when I studied pharmacy school and with Blistex as well is how you traverse, how you get past the stratum corneum and get to that epidermis – the lower levels of the epidermis as well as the dermis.
Abby: And most of us make the mistake because we think that we only have to moisturize the outer layer to help heal it and save it.
Ben: The stuff is dead. You’re not moisturizing anything, you’re plasticizing it. And by the way, there’s no such thing as moisturization because moisture is what – what is moisture? One thing: What’s moisture?
Abby: Keeping the barrier sealed.
Ben: No, water.
Abby: Water, okay.
Ben: Moisture is water, right? So how can you have a moisturizer? It’s a stupid word when you think about it. How do you moisturize? So they say, “Oh, well you seal it.” Well, that’s how they work. That’s the theory. This comes from Helena Rubenstein, who I’m sure you have no idea who Alina Rubinstein is, but she’s the mother of skincare and she started the skincare business at the turn of the 20th century.
You should read a book called Hope in a Jar.
Abby: I’ve heard of that book.
Ben: Yes, it’s a great book. It’s the Helena Rubinstein story. I got to love Helena Rubenstein. She was the woman who understand that there was a relationship between skin and womanhood. And so, she highlighted or focused on women and being beautiful, and you can wear makeup, and you can make yourself more beautiful, and you can put softeners, and she mixed stuff in her kitchen.
She makes skincare to this romantic business and this romantic aspect of health, which it’s not. I mean, it may be, but its’ more important than that to me. So, our understanding of skin comes from this romanticization of skincare. “Oh, it feels nice”, “Oh, it smells nice”, “Oh, it’s such a pretty business”, “Oh, it’s such a pretty box” and “Oh, we get the model who shows us that.”
And we don’t get into the science of it or the health of it. Because really, the skin is an organ of the body. It deserves better treatment than this romantical idea of, “Oh, it feels nice”, “Oh, it smells nice.” It deserves the same kind of treatment as a heart medicine does, or a liver medicine does, or a lung medicine does.
If you had a bad heart and I said, “Here’s your heart medicine”, doesn’t it smell nice, Abby? Doesn’t it look pretty? Isn’t this a pretty heart medicine? You’re like, “I don’t care about pretty. I got a bad heart here. I need my heart to be healthy.” So why should the skin be different? It’s because we’ve developed this industry and we’ve developed these marketing strategies for delivering a product to people that came from a time when we didn’t know what the skin was.
We started delivering a product in this fashion, at the turn of the 20th century, we had no idea about the skin. We didn’t know how to access different cells like fibroblast, and what the difference was, and how you grow them, and how you stimulate them. We didn’t really understand these things until the 1980s, until the 1990s, but the world of skincare is still stuck in this model, this belief that Helena Rubenstein built up.
And even before that, you know when the skincare product was really invented? By this guy named Galen. You ever heard Galen? He was a Roman physician in the year 300 and he mixed a little almond oil, and a little beeswax, and a little rosewater, and he blended it all together and he said, “Oh, here’s a cream!” And that was today, even to this point today, we’re still using Galen’s vehicle from the year 300 to dispense our skincare products.
And then Helena Rubenstein came, and she romanticized the whole idea. So we are still living in ideas that were relevant at the turn of the 20th century or even before, and it doesn’t serve us because we’re still using the same products that Helena Rubenstein made, and that Galen made, but our skin isn’t getting any better for the most part.
People are dissatisfied with their products for the most part. People aren’t getting the changes they deserve in the skin for the most part because people hadn’t – because we hadn’t as chemists and as people in the skincare business, we haven’t brought the 21th century into the world of skincare, or brought the skincare world into the 21st century, and that’s basically what I’m trying to do with The Truth.
Abby: I have two questions. What about people who make their own products or maybe trying to make all-natural, like as you mentioned, beeswax…
Ben: I encourage people to make their own products. But if you’re not a scientist and you don’t understand the chemistry… If you don’t understand the science of how a skin cell works, of how to leverage the activities of the cell, of how to make the keratinocyte migrate to the surface, to encourage differentiation which is a very important biochemical process, to stimulate a fibroblast to make collagen, you’re just throwing things against the wall and seeing what sticks.
And that’s great, and I encourage people to make stuff in their kitchen. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re not going to necessarily get a good product. But it’s still fun. It’s still enjoyable and you should always interact with your medicine. But don’t expect to get any really great benefits if you’re applying, if you’re reading the formulas off the internet, or you’re reading them in a book, or you’re doing things that you like that you think might work.
Unless you know how to access the fibroblast, you’re not going to make your own collagen. And unless you know how to stimulate the differentiation of a keratinocyte, you’re not going to be growing skin cells. So you can do it, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to have a great product.
The best thing to do is what you alluded to earlier, which is use food. If you want to do your own skin products, put food on your face. And that’ll get you at least some of the active ingredients that you need. But if you don’t have the ingredients that encourage transdermal penetration, that stratum corneum, fingernail, microscopic like layer on the surface of the skin is going to provide a barrier. It’s going to represent a barrier to keeping you from doing what you want to do.
And even if you do get past the stratum corneum, getting things past the epidermis, the surface of the epidermis to the lower levels of the epidermis, and even more importantly into the dermis… I’ve been studying for 32 years. I had a textbook on transdermal penetration that is like 1200 pages filled with text, and science, and articles, and pictures. I mean, this is not something that you just do in your kitchen; this is something that you have to study for years and I’ve been studying it for years.
At the same time, I always encourage people to make their own products, or make their own medicine. We should. I mean, we shouldn’t have to go outside ourselves to buy things or to use things, but just don’t expect it necessarily to have a great effect on your skin unless you kind of know the science of what’s happening in the skin.
Abby: Got it. My other question is: What do you think about people who recommend products like Cetaphil and Aveeno for eczema?
Ben: Well, it depends. If they recommend it, they should know better. If they’re a healthcare professional and they recommend that you rub preservatives on your skin, I got a problem with that. If they’re an average person and they recommend it, that’s just the average people. They shouldn’t be recommending things that they don’t know anything about.
Look, if you don’t understand an ingredient deck – and I always tell people, read your ingredient deck. That’s key. If you don’t know what you’re putting on your skin, why would you recommend it? Just for a perfect example, we talk about preservatives, right? When I used to work with preservatives in the pharmacy or in the laboratory, I’d wear a mask.
And I wouldn’t want to touch it on my hands. I wear gloves. I wouldn’t want it on my hands. And that’s the same stuff you’re rubbing on your skin every day, twice a day, three times a day. Now, I know it’s a very tiny amount in a product, right? Still, it’s cytotoxic by definition. Cyto means cell. It’s cell toxic by definition because you’re killing bacteria. That’s what a preservative does, it kills bacteria.
A bacterial cell is not all that different from your cell. You’re rubbing something on your skin when you rub a preservative on your skin that is actually killing your cells Even though it’s true it’s not killing them like mass, why would you ever do that? Same with the sunscreen. Why would you ever put sunscreen on your skin? “Oh, I need to protect myself from the sun.”
Do you know how toxic sunscreens are? If you were to drink the sunscreen, you would die. Like a concentrated sunscreen, you would die. “Oh, well, it’s only 2%. It’s only 5%.” I don’t care. There’s no percent that you want rubbing something that’s going to kill you if you drink it on your skin.
So understanding skincare and understanding skin care products is not just a matter of beauty; it’s a fundamental question of health. If you don’t want to go do the research, use The Truth because I took care of it for you. But I suggest everybody does the research themselves. And these days, fortunately, with the internet, and with books, and research that people have done, there’s a lot of research that’s out there.
Abby: Sorry, on the topic of products, like the eczema recommended ones like Cetaphil and Aveeno, what are your thoughts on those?
Ben: Aveeno and Cetaphil are wax and oil, and emulsifier, and preservative. I don’t know if Cetaphil is but I’m pretty sure Aveeno has it. Aveeno has a little bit of oat extract in it, and maybe a couple other things. If you read your ingredient deck, I know you know this Abby, you will see that the ingredients are listed from order of highest concentration to lowest concentration.
The highest concentration is going to be the first ingredient. Remember, you always want to do reading all of these days even though some of them are impossible to pronounce even for me. You want to at least try so at least see what you’re putting on your darn skin. If you look at an ingredient deck, the first ingredient you’re going to typically see is what? Water. But I noticed sometimes they’ll put ‘agua’, or ‘aqua’, because they don’t want you to know it’s water.
Abby: I’ve seen that too, yes.
Ben: Right? Why? You speak Latin or something? No. They don’t want you to know what it is. Or sometimes they’ll say aloe vera gel if they’re really, really sophisticated; or they’ll put an herbal tincture, ‘contains tincture of’ or ‘extract of’. They won’t say tincture because that’s alcohol, but ‘extract of’. It’s like a tea. For the most part, it’s 90+% water. And then you go down the list.
The second ingredient is probably going to be some kind of oil or fake oil, some kind of a synthetic propylene glycol-like material, or something like that. But basically, it’ll be an oil or a fake oil. Ace, they like using isopropyl myristate; sometimes you’ll see… The third ingredient may be glycerin, another humectin.
The fourth ingredient is probably an emulsifying agent, something that brings oil and water together. Sixth ingredient may be sunflower oil, or safflower or corn oil. And then you go… Right there at that point, you’re probably at 90% of your product, 85% to 90% of your product. And then if you’re lucky, you might get into an active ingredient, but probably not. Not in Aveeno or Cetaphil. Not the cheap stuff.
And in a department store product at that point, you’ve already got 90% of your product now. At that point, you might have an active ingredient, and it’s probably going to be something like a good oil, maybe squalane or something like that. But it’s going to be at 1% or .5%, maybe 2%. And then you need to go further down the list.
If you’re lucky and you have an active product, you may get a little bit of retinol in there, or maybe a little bit of Vitamin C. But remember, you’re down no to .5%, a quarter percent, so you basically put a whole bunch of stuff on your skin that your skin doesn’t need. It has no idea what to do.
If it looks up and it says, “What the heck are you and why are you me? Get off.” And even if it’s not going to kill you right away, it’s certainly not going to help you all in the interest of getting .5% or 1% of an active ingredient. In Cetaphil, you don’t even get that. In Cetaphil, you don’t get anything. It’s just the wax, and the oil, and the emulsifier. They don’t even have the cojones to put something real in there.
In Aveeno, you’ll get a little bit of oat extract, and oat extract can have a calming effect on the skin, and that’s about it. So, why would you… I know it’s only 6 bucks, or 10 bucks. It’s not a lot of money, but what’s the purpose of that? You know what the purpose of it is? We have been conditioned to believe that the product you feel on the skin represents a change in your skin. It’s a mystical, magical trick that has been played on us where we are in this hypnotic trance, where we believe if we rub our skin, a finger on our skin and we go, “Oh, that feels nice”, that we’ve actually done something to our skin.
When in reality, what happened is that all your feeling is a little wax and oil on the surface of your skin. You just pay 10 dollars for wax and oil on the surface of your skin. It forces your skin to now interact with preservatives, and emulsifying agents, and things that it doesn’t want anything to do with.
So, why would anybody ever do that? Well, we’re in a hypnotic trance. It’s the only reason I can think of how this trick has been played on so effectively that we would rub cream on our skin, put our finger on the cream and go, “Oh, that’s really worked well on my skin!” That’s the only way I can explain how that is. If you want to have really good skin, you don’t want to be feeling the product on your skin.
You want to be seeing how the skin looks like tomorrow, or the next day, and that’s the way you make an assessment of a skincare product, is: “What does my skin look like two days later? Five days later? A week later? What does my skin look like if I stop using the product? Does my skin revert back to its old condition if I stop using the product? Do my results last even if I miss a day or a couple of days of the product? Do my results still last?” That’s how you make the assessment on the value of a skincare product, is over the course of time, have I changed the character of my skin?
People don’t know that’s available to them, and it’s not really except for The Truth, except if you use The Truth products, because people aren’t aware that it’s available to them. They set the bar so low that we’re willing to be satisfied with, “Oh, that feels nice.”
Abby: Yes, that’s true. We’re running a bit out of time right now, but then I want to go on to my last question, which is if people have like an eczema flare up, or they’re suffering from really dry skin, which products would you recommend that they start with from your line?
Ben: Truth Balm and Truth serum. The balm is a little bit more inclusive, that means it covers up the skin. And one of the triggers to eczema is dry skin. When you lose moisture, this is why people get more eczema in the winner time than in summer time. When the temperature drops and the humidity drops, the skin becomes more sensitized. So using Truth Balm, especially in the winter time, can help trap moisture in as opposed to the serum which is more lightweight. It doesn’t have that inclusive effect.
There is more nutrients in the serum, however, so ideally you want to use, in my opinion, serum in the morning and then the balm at night. You want to use both of them. So if you want more inclusion, go with the balm. If you want more nutrients, go with the serum. But ideally, use both. And the Omega-6 healing cream, that’s for intense healing. That one is an intense product. It’s very inclusive, it’s very for any kind of broken skin, not necessarily if the dermis is showing but if skin is just wounded on the surface, that’s great for healing.
Plus, it smells great, you can use it on your lips. All my products you can use on your lips, you can use on your feet, you can use on your baby’s diaper rash. And really, Abby, you don’t need a special product for under your eyes, and for your face. It’s just ways of selling you more products. Your eyes, and your face, and your back, and your big toe, all the same skin. All has keratinocytes, all has fibroblast, all has stratum corneum.
There’s no difference between the skin on the bottom of your foot and the skin underneath your eye except for the stratum corneum, which happens to be thicker on your foot than it is on your eye. But other than that, it’s the same stuff.
Abby: It’s all like a marketing ploy.
Ben: All marketing stuff, yes.
Abby: So you’re not going to come out with a body…?
Ben: I have a non-compete agreement that I had to deal with when I sold my last company, which is almost up. And I had some more products coming out, but I’m still going to go minimalist. I’m still going to be minimalist. There’s going to be just minimal products, because you don’t need a lot of products, but I do have a few products coming out of July.
Abby: That’s great. So Ben, if people want to get in contact with you or they have questions, where can they find more…?
Ben: You can send me an email, email@example.com. That’s basically it. I get so many emails. I try to answer everybody, but I don’t answer them right away, so be patient. And then also, put your phone number on your email so I can call you because I’d much rather talk to people than type. I got these big fat fingers and I don’t know how to type. I make mistakes and it’s really difficult. But if you put your phone number on there, I’ll definitely get back to you.
Abby: And then I’ll include a link in the description as well for where people can purchase your product. And if you want to hear Ben’s radio show, he has a daily radio show. Is it on Bright Side Ben?
Ben: It’s call the Bright Side. You can get a link on PharmacistBen.com. You can also get a link on BrightSideBen.com, and I got blog posts. And if you Google my name, if you Google Pharmacist Ben, you’ll get YouTubes, and blogs, and articles, and all kinds of stuff.
Abby: That’s great. Thank you so much for being on the show today, Ben. You’ve been so incredibly knowledgeable, and I’m sure my listeners have learned a lot. Thanks again.
Ben: Thank you. Good to talk to you.
Abby: Take care.
Abby is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist who helps clients achieve optimal health. She is passionate about seeing people use health and nutrition to transform lives. She hopes that her experiences and knowledge can help educate others on natural remedies that will help eczema. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube for more updates!
Disclaimer: All the information found on this website should be used for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace proper medical advice. Always consult a qualified health care provider before embarking on a health or supplement plan.