Thousands of skin care products are on the market, each advertising a different function. Some mention garden ingredients, like aloe and chamomile, while others focus on recreating natural chemicals your body produces, like retinol and hyaluronic acid. With so much information, it’s hard to know what products you can trust and which you should avoid.
Some ingredients are listed by their scientific names, and you may be unable to decipher an ingredient label every time you pick up a new product. If you’re unsure or have sensitive skin, the best thing to do is talk to a dermatologist! They’re experts and up-to-date on the various studies that tell us which ingredients are good and which are toxic. It’s also likely that your local dermatologist has skincare recommendations.
Across the board, dermatologists can agree that it’s best to stay away from these ingredients:
- Parabens – These are in almost every skincare product, as parabens help retain shelf life. Studies have also linked parabens to hormone disruption and certain cancers. Those with sensitive skin may experience a reaction from this ingredient. Parabens come in a few different forms with different names, including methylparaben and propylparaben.
- Synthetic Fragrance – This is an all-encompassing term for the over 3000+ synthetic fragrance formulas out there on the market. If you’re sensitive, prone to breakouts, or want the most natural skincare possible, avoid fragrances in lotions and face products.
- Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA) – EDTA is a binding agent that helps products keep their texture while sitting on shelves. More recently, it has been considered to cause skin, eye, and lung irritation.
- Phthalates – DBP, DEHP, and DEP are all part of this chemical family. They’re popular in skincare products because of their ability to make fragrances last longer on the skin and make creams and products more pliable. On the other hand, they’re severe endocrine disrupters and have even been linked to congenital disabilities. The FDA is currently monitoring the usage of these ingredients and banned some phthalates from children’s products, while Europe has banned them altogether.
- Silicone – Silicone is plastic made from a mix of synthetic and fossil fuel additives. It’s not toxic or linked to any disorders, but sensitive people should avoid this product. It’s not great for dry skin, as skin care products with silicone prevent those beneficial ingredients from penetrating your skin.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS and SLES) – These preservatives were extremely common in many skin care products but are now being heavily criticized for their adverse effects. SLS helps keep products voluminous and frothy but has been found to cause skin irritation, acne, canker sores, and disrupt the skin’s balance.
If you’re unsure what skin care products you should use, schedule a consultation with the experienced doctors at the Hillelson-Whipple Clinic by calling 804-290-0060 or make an appointment online. With more than 50 years of combined experience, we can help you find the proper skincare that works for your skin.