Skincare: 10 Things You Don’t Know About Skincare But Should!
By Emilie Spruill, Licensed Esthetician
Skincare can be overwhelming because there is so much conflicting information—what’s a girl to believe? Keep in mind that while there have been major improvements in ingredients and research in recent years, the $50 billion skincare industry is just about completely self-regulated. If you’re concerned about what’s in YOUR products, rate them at www.ewg.org and find safer alternatives with incredible results at www.emilie.beautycounter.com
#1 ~ With rare exception, cosmetics companies can include almost any ingredient regardless of any link to skin irritation and human health concerns, and they can make just about any claim about their products that may or may not be true. Most people believe that a product must be safe if it’s on the market, but that is simply not true. Rate your products at www.ewg.org or their SkinDeep app.
#2 ~ Mineral Oil has no nutritional value for the skin but instead it simply coats and clogs the pores. Perhaps “mineral” brings to mind positive thoughts of skin-friendly vitamins and minerals, but mineral oil is simply a product of used petroleum. It is a cheap filler that does nothing to nourish the skin.
#3 ~ Most products that are designed for oily or problem skin, unfortunately, will often make the problems worse. Products that contain SD alcohol or benzoyl peroxide will strip, dehydrate and age the skin, causing the skin to become irritated, inflamed and often more oily than ever. They are not strong enough to kill pimple-causing bacteria but they may keep it dormant beneath the surface. Sad but true!
#4 ~ Reading the ingredient list unfortunately provides no information as to how well a product will actually work. If two people have the same recipe for meatloaf, they still may use different cookware, different ovens, varying quality of ingredients and even cook at different altitudes—and their recipes will likely taste and look completely different. Unfortunately, the ingredient list is just the start.
#5 ~ Most major cosmetic companies are owned by one of a couple of powerhouse parent companies. Did you know that Lancome is owned by Loreal, and they also produce Skinceuticals? Did you know that the Estee Lauder company also owns Aveda, MAC, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Prescriptives and Origins? Aveeno is owned by Johnson & Johnson.
#6 ~ Formaldehyde, a commonly used preservative that has been linked to irritation, cancer and toxicity, is sometimes listed on labels DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, quaternium-15, sodium hydroxylmethylglycinate and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (Bronopol). It is found in countless products from nail polish to baby wipes to shampoo to skincare to body wash.
#7 ~ According to www.safecosmetics.org, existing law – the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act of 1938 – cedes decisions about ingredient safety to the cosmetics industry. Under the current law, the FDA can’t require cosmetics companies to conduct safety assessments, and can’t even require product recalls. This is true even when a product is known to contain harmful or irritating ingredients.
#8 ~ Toner is an essential skincare step to return the skin to an ideal pH—a slightly acidic one—after using a cleanser or even just water, both of which will neutralize or alkalinize the skin. A slightly acidic pH is our skin’s best defense against bacteria. If your toner contains SD alcohol, toss it! No good.
#9 ~ What you put on your skin will absorb into your bloodstream. Just think of the smoker’s patch or pain-relief patches used for hospice patients. The medication is absorbed through their skin and enters their bloodstream. Knowing this, it makes sense to use only skincare products that are as safe and nutritious as possible.
#10 ~ Those strips that are often so popular for removing blackheads… they actually are too good to be true. They simply are ineffective at doing anything more than ripping off the surface skin cells. They are not capable at drawing a blackhead from the pore—this hardened plug of dead skin cells, makeup debris, oil and pollution can be dissolved with AHAs or manually extracted by a professional esthetician, but the strips sadly are not the quick fix they claim to be.