Given that the marketing approach of Michael Todd True Organics is "natural is good, synthetic is bad," it's surprising to see a decidedly unnatural device like the Eye-o-Sonic Ultrasonic Ionic Serum Infuser in their lineup. Sadly, it seems the only kind of science Michael Todd True Organics recognizes is junk science—because that's exactly what this device is based on.
The Eye-o-sonic purports to work with the electrical currents or waves to open pathways between skin cells so the ingredients in your skin-care products can go deeper into the skin. To be clear, the claims are just a mishmash of science-y-sounding terms aimed at convincing you that this device will improve the results you get from products applied around the eye area, when, in fact, it won't make a bit of difference in anything other than your bank account, and we'll explain why.
The "ion technology" claim is completely meaningless. Ions are electrically charged atoms, which skin and hair already have, and the notion that you're dispersing electrically charged ions from a vibrating tool that also improves the penetration of products and ingredients is absurd, sheer nonsense—there's no substantiated research proving these machines work as claimed.
Also worth noting is the fact that you cannot get an electrical charge from a vibrating tool and conduct that charge through the skin—first, the tool is plastic (a non-conductor), and second, the conditions needed to measure, calibrate, and implement ultrasound waves (the technology claimed by Michael Todd) cannot be replicated by a cosmetic tool of this nature.
Even if the claims were possible, and even if the Eye-O-Sonic could push ingredients deeper into the skin, that would mean those ingredients would sail right past where they are needed to benefit skin the most—the upper layers! That aside, you don't want every ingredient in a formula getting into the deeper layers of skin, such as preservatives, fragrance, and essential oils, because it could worsen their potential for irritation. Even if the best of the anti-aging ingredients, like retinol or vitamin C, could be pushed deep into the skin, they likely wouldn't have the same impact they have if left to penetrate the skin's uppermost layers in a controlled fashion.
It's important to keep in mind that when it comes to moisturizers AND serums, it's not all about penetration—you need some ingredients to remain on the skin's surface to repair its barrier, strengthen its environmental defenses, and help mitigate the free-radical damage we get simply from being in an oxygen-rich environment and/or being exposed to pollutants. If all the ingredients penetrated past the surface layers, nothing would be left to protect the skin's first line of defense!
One last thing: Michael Todd claims the tip applicator breaks up puffiness, which is only possible if your puffiness results from fluid retention. If that is the case, your finger will be just as effective (using any well-formulated moisturizer) as this "special applicator." Such a method of application isn't helpful on bags caused by sun damage or fat pad redistribution in the face—both issues are correctable only by cosmetic corrective procedures.
If you battle issues around the eyes, meet your new favorite skin care tool. The degree to which any serum or cream product works depends partly on the ability of the ingredients to get to the right place, which means it has to penetrate into the skin. That’s where eye-o-sonic comes in. It combines ultrasonic waves at 160 oscillations per second plus ion technology to increase the absorption of eye creams and serums deeper into the skin where they can do the most good. It’s like a magic wand.... it turns on when you touch yourself. Once you’ve tried the eye-o-sonic, you will not want to imagine your beauty routine without it.
Several products contain a good range of anti-aging ingredients; products are packaged to keep the light- and air-sensitive ingredients stable during use; good moisturizing mask.
Many of the products are highly fragrant and/or contain fragrant plant extracts or oils known to be irritating; several of the serums contain the exact same ingredients, just listed in a different order, which makes things needlessly confusing; in a line full of anti-aging lotions and potions; no options with reliable amounts of ingredients proven to treat dark spots, red marks from acne, or breakouts; the claim of aloe being special for skin is overinflated.
What do the popular hair accessory line called SCUNCI (aka "scrunchy") and the natural-themed skin-care brand Michael Todd True Organics have in common? Both are associated with a man named Lewis Hendler. Hendler founded SCUNCI in the early '90s and sold the company to Conair in 2005. Then, in 2008, Hendler acquired the little-known Michael Todd True Organics skin-care brand.
As we understand it, there really was someone named Michael Todd who played a role in the brand's history, but there's no mention of the real Michael Todd to be found on the company's website. We did find a press release explaining that he is or was a model and actor, but that's about it. Hendler is the brand's public face, along with a few lesser known celebrities.
This Florida-based company has captured the attention of many consumers due to its claims of using natural and organic ingredients coupled with active anti-aging and anti-acne ingredients (all of which, by the way, are synthetic, which is just fine for skin, just not as "all natural" as the company wants you to believe).
Like many natural-themed lines, Michael Todd True Organics promotes some of the most absurd and misleading information imaginable about skin and skin care. A big one—directly from the owner himself—is that everything we put on our skin is absorbed into the body … cosmetic ingredients go right past the skin and into the bloodstream. If that were true (it isn't, thank goodness, but we'll get to that shortly), then moisturizers couldn't moisturize, exfoliants couldn't remove the top layers of dead, dried skin, and sunscreens would not prevent sunburns or tanning. Most skin-care ingredients do their job by staying on top (or at least in the top layers) of the skin, not by being absorbed into the body.
In essence, if absorption into the body were true, then even Hendler would have to admit that his own products (many of which contain problematic ingredients like neem oil and/or lavender oil, which are toxic when ingested) would do little for the skin because as soon as you apply them—poof! They're in the body, just like as soon as you swallow food it's on its way to your digestive system.
The truth is that skin is a very good barrier, and that it's difficult to get cosmetic ingredients to penetrate much past the uppermost layers, much less into the bloodstream, as almost all cosmetics chemists will tell you. The good news is that keeping skin-care ingredients, such as moisturizing agents, skin-repairing ingredients, sunscreen actives, and antioxidants, in the skin's outermost layers is really helpful—it means that the skin's surface (its first line of defense) has a better chance of remaining healthy, smooth, and better able to protect itself against environmental damage. But assuming everything we put on our skin did get into the body, thinking that natural ingredients are safer is wrong; there are hundreds of problematic natural ingredients that could cause serious health problems if they routinely got into the body.
Michael Todd True Organics is big on promoting what their products don't contain, including water, which is bizarre given that water is one of the most natural ingredients on earth. But, more to the point, these products absolutely do contain water in the form of aloe juice; aloe is 99.5% water (Sources: Indian Journal of Dermatology, volume 53, issue 4, 2008, pages 163–166; and http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js2200e/6.html#Js2200e.6). You're not really getting a more concentrated product simply because it's based on aloe rather than pure water.
What's important to know is that there are good and bad natural ingredients, as well as good and bad synthetic ingredients. Seeing a preponderance of natural ingredients on a skin-care label is no guarantee the product you're considering is better or safer than one that contains natural and synthetic ingredients.
The Michael Todd brand also avoids the usual group of ingredients that have been given an undeserved bad rap, such as parabens, sulfates, triclosan, mineral oil, and synthetic fragrances, all of which we discuss elsewhere on our website (A quick summary: None of the aforementioned ingredients are dangerous for skin. If you still are concerned, don't think for a minute that this is the only line that leaves them out!)
What Michael Todd's product information doesn't tell you about is the extensive amount of research that shows how problematic the fragrant oils and plant extracts that they include in their products are. The irony is that the ingredients they brag about not using are comparably better and, yes, safer for your skin! That's not to say that this brand's products are unsafe; rather, it's to illustrate the point that synthetic ingredients aren't automatically evil, and that all-natural ingredients are not angelic.
The company definitely ups the beneficial ante with ingredients like retinol, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and vitamins (all synthetic by the way), but these great ingredients are surrounded by not-so-great ingredients, many of which are overly fragrant—and the research is clear: Fragrance isn't skin-caring in the least.
Sadly, what you get with almost the entire Michael Todd line is a mixed bag. Product after product contains a frustrating mix of beneficial and problematic ingredients—and many of the products pose a strong risk of irritation, especially those with numerous citrus oils, and irritation is always bad for skin, whether the source is synthetic or natural.
For more information on Michael Todd True Organics, call 772-343-0222 or visit www.michaeltoddtrueorganics.com .
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