Ask Jack

SKINCARE

 

Q: Do I really need a separate product for the eye area? Why can't I use my moisturizer?

The skin around the eye is much thinner and has fewer sebaceous glands than skin elsewhere on your face and body. It's also more delicate, and more sensitive than the rest of your facial skin. In fact, it's probably the most fragile skin on the entire body and is therefore most likely to show signs of premature aging and sun damage.


Eye creams and eye gels are carefully formulated to treat this thin, delicate tissue. Eye area products contain more emollients than facial moisturizers to address the lack of sebum and dryness. They are also formulated with targeted anti-aging ingredients selected to address specific concerns in the eye area such as puffiness, dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles, and dryness.

 

Q: What is Jack Black’s policy on animal testing?

Jack Black has a strict cruelty-free philosophy, no animals are harmed in the development, testing or manufacturing of Jack Black products. Jack Black has not and will never engage in animal testing, for either raw materials or finished goods, nor do we ask outside parties to do animal testing on our behalf.

Virtually all of our products are vegan and do not contain animal derived ingredients or animal by-products. The few exceptions are the use of Beeswax, Silk Amino Acids (derived from the cocoon of silk worms) and Lanolin (made from sheep’s wool). Beeswax is found in our Intense Therapy Lip Balm, The Stick Natural Lip Balm and Wax Pomade. Lanolin is found in our Intense Therapy Lip Balm and Sleek Finish Texture Cream. Silk Amino Acids is found in our Sleek Finish Texture Cream.

You will see our cruelty-free bunny symbol on our packaging to indicate that Jack Black products are developed and tested following cruelty-free standards.

 

Q: What is the difference between Glycolic Acid, Salicylic Acid, and Lactic Acid?

Glycolic Acid, an Alpha-Hydroxy Acid (AHA) is perhaps the best-known of a group of chemicals called fruit acids. It is derived from sugar cane, so it can be considered a natural product. Citric acid, from oranges and other citrus fruits, and Lactic Acid, from milk, also fall under the same classification as Alpha Hydroxy Acid.

Glycolic Acid works as an exfoliating agent because of its high acidity but easy solubility. When placed on the skin as part of an exfoliating cream or gel, Glycolic Acid goes under the damaged upper layers of skin and destroys the 'glue' which holds dead skin to the surface.

Glycolic Acid has a sloughing effect (removal of dead cells) on the skin. By accelerating the normal rate of sloughing it helps the regeneration of your skin by growing new cells faster. This AHA can be found in Line Smoother 8% Glycolic Acid Treatment, Deep Dive® Glycolic Facial Cleanser, and Power Peel Multi-Acid Resurfacing Pads.

Salicylic Acid is the only Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA).

The main difference between Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acid is their lipid (oil) solubility. Alpha Hydroxy Acids are water soluble only, while Beta Hydroxy Acid is lipid (oil) soluble.

This means that Beta Hydroxy Acid is able to penetrate into the pore which contains sebum and exfoliate the dead skin cells that are built up inside the pore. Because of this difference in properties, Beta Hydroxy Acid works very well on oily skin with acne, blackheads and whiteheads.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids work well on thickened, sun-damaged skin where breakouts are not the main problem. In theory it penetrates the skin faster. For acne, Salicylic Acid (BHA) is with no doubt the best choice.

Salicylic Acid is also effective in treating ingrown hairs. Jack Black’s Bump Fix® Razor Bump & Ingrown Hair Solution contains 2% salicylic acid and lactic acid, to treat ingrown hairs, and acne blemishes.


Q: I've heard pros and cons about whether to use products containing alcohol. What's your opinion? And what does it mean to be alcohol free?

Alcohol is not all bad. In fact, most skin care products do contain some type of alcohol even if they claim to be "alcohol-free".

This is because there are both moisturizing alcohols and more drying alcohols. When skin care product labels read "alcohol-free" it means they are free of the stronger, harsher types of alcohol called ethyl alcohol (aka: grain alcohol), SD Alcohol, or Alcohol Denaturant. These alcohols are considered harsh because they can dry and irritate skin.

However, "alcohols" in general are a huge, diverse family of ingredients (with different names and varying effects on the skin), and there are many types of very beneficial, moisturizing, non-irritating alcohols used in skin care, hair care and shaving products. And just because a product claims to be "alcohol-free", it may still contain emollient alcohols called fatty alcohols–like cetyl, stearyl, cetearyl and lanolin alcohol–which provide skin and hair benefits. Rather than dry or damage, these alcohols actually provide beneficial moisture and hydration.

Our advice: check to see what type of alcohol a product contains before making your decision.


Q: I have extremely oily skin. I wash my face in the morning, but within a few hours, my skin is very shiny and oily-looking. What can I do to eliminate the shine and control the oil and greasiness?

A lot of men suffer from oily skin, so you are not alone. While extremely oily skin requires special care, the great advantage is that it tends to age at a slower rate than other skin types.

To care for oily skin, special cleansing will help prevent pores from becoming clogged. Avoid harsh products that can strip your complexion of oil and encourage flakiness, as this paradoxically causes your skin to produce even more oil than usual. Harsh cleansers can also cause the oil glands to work overtime to compensate for the loss of natural oils. Use Deep Dive® Glycolic Facial Cleanser at morning and night; this 2-in-1 facial wash and purifying mask cleanses and exfoliates skin and helps control oiliness. One of our PureScience formulas, this clay-based cleanser also locks in nature’s best to please even the most sensitive skin—using a blend of fragrance-free, colorant-free, and certified organic ingredients, it provides a rich lather that cleanses without overdrying. Plus, it's dermatologist tested (as are all Jack Black skin care products).

Next, help control facial oiliness with Clean Break® Oil-Free Moisturizer, a non-comedogenic, oil-free product specifically designed for oily skin. The lightweight formula helps reduce sebum production and control oil throughout the day.

At night after cleansing, but before applying a moisturizer, treat skin with Oil-Control Toner. The alcohol-free, balancing toner controls excess oil and shine without overdrying skin. Alpha and beta hydroxy acids help minimize the appearance of pores and gently exfoliate skin.

For extremely oily or acne-prone skin, try Bump Fix® Razor Bump & Ingrown Hair Treatment. The powerful combination of 2% Salicylic and Lactic acids are effective astringents for oily and acne-prone skin. Bump Fix® also helps remove and dissolve excess oil and pore-clogging residue to help keep blemishes and blackheads under control.


Q: I consider myself a pretty evolved guy. But then I hear about things like exfoliation. Antioxidants. Alpha hydroxy acids. Should I know? And will it make a difference?

The fact that you know enough to ask puts you way ahead of the game. And once you start incorporating the corresponding techniques and products into your routine, we guarantee you'll notice the benefits.

First, let's talk about exfoliation. Put simply, this is the process of scrubbing the skin to remove the top layer of dead skin cells, exposing newer, fresher cells underneath. Why bother? Because removing the dead cells (and accompanying dirt and oil) helps your razor get closer to the skin for a smoother, easier shave. And as an extra bonus, you're helping to prevent ingrown hairs.

To exfoliate, try Face Buff Energizing Scrub. Small, highly uniform scrubbing particles work gently yet effectively to improve skin's overall appearance and radiance.

To understand the importance of antioxidants, we need to discuss free radicals—unstable oxygen molecules produced by ultraviolet light, pollution and stress. The effect? Healthy skin cells are robbed of electrons and collagen is corroded, causing wrinkles. The solution? Skin care products containing antioxidants, which work to help neutralize free radicals and minimize their damage.


Q: My wife has invested a small fortune in skin care products. Can we—or better yet, should we—share? Our retirement may be resting on your answer.

At last men are realizing what their wives and girlfriends have known for a long time—the right skin care products really do make a difference. But what to use (and how much to spend) can be tricky.

Should you share? That depends. First, consider what's different about a guy's skin. It's thicker than a woman's and in most cases, produces more oil. But even more importantly, a man's skin care needs revolve around a daily shaving regimen, which has its own unique set of requirements. Jack Black's Beard Lube® Conditioning Shave happens to be the ultimate guy product, offering three benefits—pre-shave oil, shave cream, and skin conditioner—in one easy-to-use product.

That said, there is an important point to be made in the case of sharing products in the anti-aging category. According to an NBC news report, prices for these creams and lotions are generally higher on the women's side of the counter, based more on who they're marketed to (women or men) rather than their effectiveness. In fact, a comparison of Jack Black's  Line Smoother 8% Glycolic Acid Treatment and a comparable women's anti-aging cream showed the Jack Black product to contain more beneficial ingredients—and it was less than half the price. With that in mind, it makes sense to us that she should be using your products. (Similar results can be found comparing men's and women's eye treatments.)


Q: Do Jack Black bottles and tubes contain BPA (Bisphenol A)?

Jack Black product containers - made from High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) and Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) – do not contain BPA. Our containers are not formulated with BPA, and BPA is not used in the manufacture of Jack Black bottles, or the inks and coatings for our containers.

Bisphenol A has been discussed in many articles in recent years due to the potential health risk to humans exposed to this chemical. BPA exhibits hormone-like properties that raise concern about its suitability in consumer products and food containers. Since 2008, several governments have questioned its safety, which prompted some retailers to withdraw polycarbonate products.

BPA is used to make certain plastics and epoxy resins; it has been in commercial use since 1957. BPA-based plastic is clear and tough, and was historically used to make a variety of common consumer goods, such as baby and water bottles, sports equipment, and CDs and DVDs, and for industrial purposes, like lining water pipes. Epoxy resins containing BPA are also used as coatings on the inside of many food and beverage cans, and in the making of thermal paper such as that used in sales receipts.


BODY


Q: What is the difference between an antiperspirant and deodorant?

Antiperspirants are classified as over-the-counter drugs by the FDA. They contain an aluminum-based chemical compound that reacts with the electrolytes in sweat to block the duct of the sweat gland, stopping the discharge of perspiration. The odor is controlled by reducing the amount of sweat released. (To be classified as an antiperspirant, the product must contain an FDA-approved, aluminum-based active ingredient.)

Deodorants allow the body to perspire naturally and do not control wetness or stop sweat production. They can work through using a fragrance to cover the odor, or some deodorants stop odor by using anti-bacterial and anti-fungal ingredients to kill odor-causing bacteria. 


Q: What is the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens?

Physical sunscreens contain extremely fine particles of minerals such as zinc oxide, titanium dioxide and iron oxide that stay on the skin’s surface, creating a barrier that reflects the sun’s rays. Advantages include its ability to keep skin cool, the protection is natural, and it’s unlikely to cause skin irritation because it doesn’t get absorbed into the skin.

Chemical sunscreens contain chemical compounds like Avobenzone and Octinoxate as active ingredients, and they absorb ultraviolet radiation that causes sunburn, damages DNA and can lead to skin cancer. Advantages of chemical sunscreens include its ability to defend the deeper layers of skin—including collagen fibers and other tissue—against the aging effects of UVA rays, and prevention of penetration by the UVB rays responsible for tanning and sunburn. Formulations containing chemical sunscreens are usually more pleasant to use, as they are lighter weight, less heavy and greasy, and do not leave the “whitening” effect on skin that some physical sunblocks do.


Q: I've been hearing a lot about sunscreens lately and some potentially harmful ingredients in them. Are Jack Black sunscreens safe?

Yes, Jack Black sunscreens are completely safe and very beneficial to your skin. Some people are concerned that some sunscreen ingredients can be absorbed through the skin and cause hormonal changes. This concern came from one study where rats were bathed in sunscreen daily and even forced to eat sunscreen. We are not aware of any proof of estrogen-like effects in humans. The vast majority of doctors and dermatologists agree that the benefits of sunscreen far outweigh the outside risk of any effects due to skin absorption. There are hundreds of published, peer-reviewed studies from medical and research centers all over the world proving sunscreen can prevent deadly skin cancers as well as help prevent premature wrinkles and skin discolorations. In fact a study published in 2013 showed that regular, daily use of sunscreen not only helps prevent skin cancer, it also reduces the visible signs of skin aging (lines, wrinkles, discoloration) by 24% compared to people who did not use sunscreen regularly.

Ingredients used in sunscreen products that are compliant with government regulations have been carefully and extensively reviewed for safety and efficacy by governing bodies all over the world, including the FDA, before they can be put on the market.


Q: Why do I need to wear sunscreen every day if I'm not outside?

Sun exposure is the number one cause of premature aging of the skin, and is also the number one cause of skin cancer. Daily sun protection with a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 20 is the single most important thing you can do to protect your skin's health and appearance. Regular use of sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer and also reduces the signs of skin aging (lines, wrinkles, dark spots) by 24%, according to a 2013 study. 

Some people only use sunscreen when they go to the beach, but sun damage is cumulative. The real damage comes from cumulative sun exposure over a lifetime, especially incidental sun exposure.  Incidental sun exposure is what happens when you are getting in your car to go to the office, walking across the parking lot, getting the mail in, walking the dog, or sitting by a window while working. UVA rays go through the glass in the car and while you are sitting inside, near a window. When you add up all the incidental sun exposure you get day in and day out, you are outside quite a bit, and this exposure each day for years is a lot! That's why using sun protection in your daily grooming regimen is so crucial in protecting your skin's health and appearance.


SHAVE


Q: What is the difference between Beard Lube® Conditioning Shave and Supreme Cream Triple Cushion® Shave Lather?

Both Beard Lube® Conditioning Shave and Supreme Cream Triple Cushion® Shave Lather offer an exceptional shave. They both incorporate Macadamia Nut Oil and Jojoba Oil as pre-shave oils to help with razor glide as well as Glycerin to help create a cushion of protection against razor burn and irritation.

The choice boils down to personal aesthetic preference. Beard Lube® is a translucent lotion-like product that allows you to shave with relatively little water. Its clear form is great for guys who have facial hair or shave their heads because you can easily see where you are shaving.

Supreme Cream, on the other hand, is an opaque, rich lather shave cream. It offers the same great shave as Beard Lube®, but is formulated for guys who like a more traditional, white cream that whips into a lather. The Supreme Cream is available in an 9.5 oz. jar that makes it a great companion product to use with our Pure Performance Shave Brush.

Additionally, Supreme Cream is a PureScience® Formula which means it has been formulated with without parabens and contains certified organic ingredients. It is ideal for sensitive skin, because it does not contain menthol or peppermint oil, two ingredients that are in Beard Lube® Conditioning Shave. These ingredients give a very refreshing, tingling feeling and a nice aroma, but are not always tolerable on sensitive skin.


Q: I suffer from painful razor bumps on my neck and cheeks. What can I do to treat these, and how can I prevent them in the future?

Let's start by understanding why you're having these problems. Ingrowns and razor bumps are pretty much a cause-and-effect deal—when the shortened hair does not grow straight out of the follicle opening, but instead curls around and re-enters the skin (the ingrown), it creates a bump. The culprits? Coarse, thick, curly hair or products that are either overly drying or contain harsh ingredients that can cause irritation.

For those prone to ingrowns, we recommend two products. First, add Face Buff Energizing Scrub to your shaving routine to help open congested pores and sweep away oil, dirt, and dead skin cells. In addition to allowing for a closer shave (and fewer ingrown hairs by lifting the whisker from the skin's surface), regular use of an exfoliating scrub will improve skin's appearance and texture by removing old cells to expose newer, younger ones underneath.

Secondly, after cleansing skin, apply Bump Fix® Razor Bump & Ingrown Hair Solution directly to bumps on the neck and face to help heal and clear skin. This unique product has a powerful combination of 2% Salicylic and Lactic Acids which exfoliate the top layer of dead skin cells, unearthing the skin-trapped facial hairs that cause razor bumps. The hairs are then free to grow up and out, instead of below the skin. In addition, Bump Fix® will also dissolve pore-clogging facial oils that can cause acne and blackheads. One note: When first starting to use Bump Fix®, avoid use immediately after shaving; the active ingredients may cause slight irritation until your skin becomes acclimated to the product.


Q: I hate to shave... I have horrible razor burn and irritation. What can I do?

Razor burn is the result of removing too much skin when you shave. The wrong product (one that doesn’t provide enough protection from your blade) or applying too much pressure may be to blame.

Start by using Face Buff Energizing Scrub to cleanse the face before shaving. The small scrubbing particles help to gently but effectively remove dead skin cells and oil, so your razor can get closer to your skin. This means you can shave with less pressure, which means less chance of irritation.

Next, shave with revolutionary Beard Lube® Conditioning Shave to help end your razor burn troubles. The unique formula offers three benefits in a single product—it's a pre-shave oil, shave cream, and skin conditioner in one. The lightweight, lubricating lotion has high-quality conditioning oils and special silicone technology to form a superior cushion between the skin and blade. The unique formula penetrates whiskers to soften even the toughest beard, allowing for an easier, less stressful shave. Finally, soothing anti-irritants like Heather help reduce the chance of irritation.

An alcohol-free, fragrance-free aftershave treatment will also help alleviate razor burn and irritation—try Post Shave Cooling Gel, which soothes skin and minimizes redness. Plus, the non-oily formula provides lightweight moisturization without burning or stinging.


Q: Beard Lube® has cetearyl alcohol in it. Isn't alcohol drying to the skin?

Cetearyl alcohol is not drying to the skin; it belongs to the fatty based alcohol family. Alcohol is a chemical term, meaning a hydrogen atom and an oxygen atom are attached at the end of a carbon chain. Most alcohols are actually fatty based with a creamy emollient texture. They are used as emollients in cream and lotion formulations, as we have done with Beard Lube®.

The drying alcohols include isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and SD alcohol. These type of alcohols can be very drying and may sting the skin, and are vastly different from the fatty based alcohols like cetearyl alcohol.


Q: I have a very thick coarse beard. Is a safety razor right for me?

Yes, double edge safety razors are actually better for thicker, longer, and coarser beards. The single-blade design will not clog like multi-blade cartridges, resulting in a smoother shave without the drag and pull you might experience with other razors.


Q: Are there different types of double edge blades?

Yes, double edge blades come in different gauges or thicknesses. The thicker the blade, the stiffer the blade becomes. These thicker blades are better for coarse, thick beards. 


Q: How should I store my double edge blades between shaves?

Towel dry the razor to prevent rust from compromising the blade.

 

Q: I’ve heard that a natural hair shaving brush out performs a man-made synthetic brush. Is that true?

No. Modern technology has allowed us to manufacture bristles that function better than natural hair. Instead of rubbing animal hair all over their faces, guys now have the option to use a synthetic hair brush that is more hygienic because it’s less likely to harbor and grow bacteria.

 

Q: Is it true that some natural hair badger brushes don’t result in the death of the animal – that the hair is harvested by shearing the badger like a sheep?

No. The animal is killed for the pelt. In order to create the bristles for a shave or cosmetic brush, the hairs must be pulled by hand from the skin. Today, most badger hair comes from China where animals are raised specifically for this purpose.

 

Q: How long will the Jack Black Shave Brush last?

With proper care, the brush should last 10+ years

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