Reviva Labs EFAs Cream: Saving my Skin, One Irritation at a TimeWednesday, August 18, 2010
Have you noticed that essential fatty acids seem to be popping up in skin care items lately?
What exactly is an essential fatty acid (EFA)? Basically, the human body does not have the necessary enzymes to string things together and create them on our own, but since our body needs them we are forced to ingest them. There are only 2 essential fatty acids, alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid). They're found in fish, different nuts and other dietary sources.
What happens if you don't get enough? Bad nasty things can happen to you, basically making you pretty sick and giving you horrible rashes. There is some evidence that an imbalance of the 2 EFAs can contribute to some illnesses, but that is currently being studies and typically most of us MDs don't think that you've really caused an illness by being imbalanced, though you may have made things worse. Having an actual EFA deficiency is very rare, and is nearly impossible to achieve. Since Omega-3 and Omega-6 are found in many dietary sources, you need to be on a completely fat free diet to achieve this. (Essentially the only way to have this by the way, is to be on the IV nutrition we give you in the hospital for a while without the separate lipid part. We don't do that to people any more, we've figured this stuff out a bit more.)
Anyways, from the little bit of reading that I've done today, it appears that with aging, the amount and balance of EFAs in skin cells changes, and this may contribute to aging/thinning skin. (This is the bit where I hope that Dr Cynthia Bailey is reading and will comment on this, since she is the super smart dermatologist and I am but a lowly pediatric intensivist). The thought is that if you help restore the EFAs to the skin, you'll help combat thinning skin and improve overall skin health.
Don't I usually say that you need to be sure that something can get to the areas that you're targeting? And be sure that the body will use it if you get it there? Yup. But, it turns out that topical application of vegetable oil can prevent essential fatty acid deficiency. So, if you can rub a little vegetable oil on someone and have their entire body be able to use it, you know that it is being delivered to the right area of the skin and that the skin should be able to use it.
In conclusion of all the above paragraphs- I can see why they are targeting EFAs with this cream. It makes sense. And yes, you can apply them topically and have them not only get to the target area, but they should be able to do their thing.
So, how is this cream? Despite the long list of oils included (just check out that list of ingredients!), this moisturizer is light and creamy and absorbs almost immediately. There is a very light leftover greasiness on skin, but this will absorb within a few minutes. The moisturizer has a light nutty scent, which I kinda loved.
Overall, it isn't the most moisturizing product. I'd say it ranks about the same as the pump lotions you buy from Curel or Aveeno. What is different about it (and why I loved it) is how soothing it is to irritated skin. Ever since I found out I'm pregnant (my avocado is a sweet potato this week!), I've had increasing issues with irritated skin. Shaving results in red irritated bumps. My legs (long plagued by ezcema) now have rough dry patches that pop up overnight and are insanely itchy. You get the picture. I had been trying almost anything I could on these areas. Extra moisture with products like Cetaphil cream, steroids (hydrocortisone), et cetera. The thing that has helped the most is this EFAs Cream. With one application, the area is soothed enough that I no longer want to scratch off my skin. A couple of twice a day applications and that irritated area is gone (don't worry, another will pop up soon!).
While I can't comment on long term effects on thin skin (this isn't an issue for me), I really love this lotion for its ability to soothe my dry and irritated skin. It's living on my night stand, and likely will be there for the rest of my pregnancy.
Purified water, aloe vera gel, vegetable glycerin, cetearyl alcohol, sunflower oil, flaxseed oil, borage oil, rosehip oil, hemp oil, avocado oil, wheat germ oil, black currant seed oil, olive oil, sesame seed oil, polysorbate 60, stearic acid, glyceryl laurate, panthenol, pomegranate oil, mixed tocopherols, olive squalane, soy liposome, green tea extract, sweet almond oil, allantoin, cocoa butter, phenoxyethanol, ethyl hexyl glycerin, benzyl alcohol (preservatives)
Reviva Labs EFAs Cream