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Does diamond light reflecting powder really make skin look younger?

Posted May 18 2013 2:01am

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Rozy’s request…There is this product called Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light that claims to… “capture, diffuse, and soften the way light reflects on your skin”,”illuminating particles are one of the first ever to exhibit both photoluminescence and color-correcting capabilities”, “photoluminescent technology” etc. I don’t see how its different than other shimmery powder products.

The Beauty Brains response: 

We’ve previously discussed this product in our Forum but we’ve recently dug up some additional information on this ingredient that we thought we’d share  with you.

First of all, keep in mind that most “shimmery” products just cover up skin imperfections.  On the low end of the scale, a shimmer product could be just something that contains talc and mica. That kind of product would cover wrinkles to some extent but it wouldn’t diffuse light very well because because the particles are not optimized to fit inside wrinkles. On the high end of the scale there are products that contain ingredients that ARE optimized for wrinkles and that would do a better job of diffusing light. This Hourglass product seems to be one of the latter.  It also contains a magic ingredient called Benzimidazole Diamond Amidoethyl Urea Carbamoyl Propyl Polymethylsilsesquioxane. (Whew! Even the Left Brain gets tongue tied on that one!)

Since the ingredient is based on diamond it must help make the skin shiny and glittery, right? Well, we’ve seen nothing that indicates the diamond part of the complex does diddly-squat but the ingredient does supposedly have the ability to brighten aging skin.  Here’s how it works: The collagen and elastin contained in younger skin is able to fluoresce, which means it converts UV light into visible light, specifically the green part spectrum. This natural florescence is (at least in part) responsible for the “glow” of youthful skin which is lost when elastin and collagen are degraded due to photo-aging.  The makers of this diamond dust claim that when it’s exposed to UV light it fluoresces at the same wavelength as this natural skin glow. Therefore, so the story goes, applying this powder to photo-aged skin can restore a more youthful appearance.

The supplier offers spectrophotometric data showing that the powder does indeed fluoresce in the region of the spectrum that they claim. This means that it does give off the same frequency of light that photo aged skin is lacking. (That wavelength is around 350nm to 450nm, the greenish part of the spectrum,  for those of you keeping score at home.) No, it doesn’t give your skin a sickly green pallor. It’s a subtle lighting effect that’s supposedly just enough to compensate for the light emitted by younger skin.

In addition they provide clinical test data done on real faces (also known as in vivo testing) that shows a decrease in redness, a reduction in pore size, and an improvement in the appearance of wrinkles. Unfortunately, there’s no comparison to other products so it’s impossible to tell if the formula containing this ingredient really works any better than other (probably cheaper) products. Still, at the least the company who makes this powder has the balls to put their technical data out there for anyone to see. Click here to review the data on Benzimidazole Diamond Amidoethyl Urea Carbamoyl Propyl Polymethylsilsesquioxane.

There’s enough real science here to indicate that this ingredient may be worth a try if you can find it a reasonable price. Here are a few products that use it (although we can’t tell if they use it at the required 5%.) Let the buyer beware but at least there’s some basis for believing this stuff really works.

  • Aromaleigh “Illuminata Eye” Perfecting Powder
  • Apriori Beauty Pure Perfecting Veil powder
  • Bare Escentuals Skincare Firming Eye Treatment
  • Beauticontrol Regeneration® Tight Firm & Fill® Extreme Tri-Peptide Complex
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder
  • Purely Cosmetics‘ Diamond Perfect Finish Powder
  • Prai RADIANT GEMSTONE CAVIAR Triple Matrixyl Serum
  • Sircuit Skin White Out

Note: Don’t get confused if you’re reading ingredient lists looking for this stuff. The actual approved name is “Benzimidazole Diamond Amidoethyl Urea Carbamoyl Propyl Polymethylsilsesquioxane” but it used to be called “Polymethylsilsesquioxane/benzimidazole/diamond copolymer.” Some products still apparently use the outdated name.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll notice a difference by using a product that contains this diamond dust. But it’s nice to report on an ingredient that has at least a little bit of science to back it up instead of the usual pseudo-scientific beauty B.S.


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