With health and wellness being prioritized amidst the global pandemic, the year 2021 was splendid for skincare trends! It was no longer enough to rely on foundations and highlighters for smooth glowing skin; the trend now is at-home skincare treatments, as people are now interested in broadening their knowledge in taking care of their skin from deep within.
New products, brands, and skincare claims are popping up every single day and it can be a bit overwhelming. However, knowledge is power and when we know what harmful chemicals we should look out for, we can nourish our skin with clean/safe ingredients!
Harmful ingredients to look out for:
These are a family of preservatives that manufacturers used to keep yeast, mold, and bacteria from growing in skincare products. These ingredients are linked to hormonal imbalances affecting both male and female reproductive systems (development, fertility, and birth outcomes). Scary, right?
SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)
If you’re into cleaning, you might be familiar with this ingredient! This is a foam booster and cleaning agent that causes skin, eyes, and lung irritation, diarrhea, and depression. You can find this mostly on facial cleansers, exfoliants, and make-up remover so keep an eye out!
PEGs (Polyethylene Glycols)
If you are a sunscreen lover, you have to be alarmed with this one! This ingredient is widely used as a thickener and moisture carrier in multiple skincare products including sunscreen. Look out for this ingredient due to the usual contamination of carcinogenic compounds, which is harmful to the nervous system.
I know some people love good-smelling products but please don’t be tricked by this! Manufacturers use the word “fragrance” to cover up harmful chemicals that are included in our creams, soaps, serums, lotion, and other conventional products that are scented. These chemicals can damage our endocrine system and are toxic to our reproductive system as well.
These are chemical compounds that are usually added to plastics to increase durability, transparency, and flexibility. These are also used as binding agents for skincare products including sunscreen, lotions, and moisturizers. As per claims, there is a lower molecular weight in skincare products compared to plastics, which makes them “safer” to use. However, continuously exposing yourself to it may be harmful in the long run so it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Now that you know the ingredients to look out for, it’s easier to shop for the products that your skin will really benefit from! Instead of incorporating a wide variety of products and steps into your skin, enter the minimalist approach to skincare by cutting down the number of products in your routine. Remember that “more” doesn’t “always“ mean “better”!
Ingredients to consider in your simple routine:
- If you have acne-prone and oily skin, look for a gentle cleanser with salicylic acid.
- If you have dry to sensitive skin, use a cleanser with hyaluronic acid and natural oils like avocado and jojoba.
Moisturizing reduces skin problems including extreme dryness or oiliness. Make sure to do research regarding suitable ingredients for your skin type! Remember, each person has a different skin type so products that may be suitable for you, might not be suitable for some and vice versa.
- If you have acne-prone and oily skin, look for a non-comedogenic moisturizer that won’t clog your pores.
- If you have dry skin, look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid and dimethicone.
- If you have sensitive skin, use a hypoallergenic and fragrance-free moisturizer.
The hottest skincare product of them all! Sunscreen is a must as it protects us from the sun which can cause extreme burns and skin cancer. Take note that protecting your skin from an early age sets the stage for beautiful skin later in life. According to David J. Lefell, MD from Yale School of Medicine, look for a sunscreen that contains at least one of the following ingredients:
- Titanium Dioxide
- Zinc oxide
Take note of the harmful ingredients so when you’re doing your skincare shopping, you can look out for them! We also recommend checking out EWG’s Skin Deep for even more comprehensive information about the products you’re interested in!