Mini-series: Ingredients in Skincare products: The bad
The first post in our two-part series on skincare ingredients focused on components that promote healthy skin. However, some ingredients commonly used in skincare products can possibly irritate skin or cause inflammation. Avoiding these potentially harmful elements can be as essential for skin health as choosing beneficial ingredients.
Ingredients in skincare products to avoid
In this second post of our series, we’ll focus on what ingredients to consider avoiding in your skincare products.
1. Acids. Acids, such as salicylic acid (used in acne treatment) and glycolic acid (used in chemical peels), can be useful for treatment of certain skin conditions. However, overuse of these ingredients can irritate your skin and cause redness, dryness and burning. So while there is no reason to avoid them completely, care should be taken when deciding when and how often to use these ingredients.
2. Parabens are preservatives in cosmetics that protect products against the growth of bacteria, fungi and yeast. Parabens can cause allergic reactions and skin rashes for those who have allergies to parabens, which is a small percentage of the general population. Some evidence has been published that suggests parabens may cause cancer by acting like estrogen through endocrine disruption, however, there is no direct evidence between parabens and cancer.
In ingredient lists, paraben is often listed with these prefixes:
3. Propylene glycol is an organic alcohol that’s used in cosmetics as a moisturizer. Propylene glycol may also irritate the skin if it’s not carefully formulated to be non-irritating. Propylene glycol helps to enhance the absorption of other ingredients into the dermis, thereby increasing the chance of irritation if toxins and irritants penetrate the skin.
4. Silicone. Silicones such as dimethicone are used in creams and lotions as a moisturizer. For some people with sensitive or thin skin, products containing dimethicone may make dry skin worse over time. Silicones are bioaccumulative—they build up in the environment over time and may pose a risk for non-human organisms.
5. Petroleum jelly (aka petrolatum or mineral oil jelly). This product, like silicone derivitives, may interfere with the body’s moisturizing mechanism, causing the dry skin and chapping it claims to alleviate. Petrolatum causes photosensitivity, leading to sun damage. Petrolatum-based products are often used to keep wounds moist post-operatively, but they may cause redness and swelling in some sensitive individuals.
6. Sodium lauryl sulfate. Found in shampoo and body wash, sodium lauryl sulfate is a detergent that can cause eye and skin irritation. In addition to causing rashes, blemishes and eye irritation, these chemicals are very drying to the skin and hair.
7. Dyes. Some of the artificial colors used to make cosmetics pretty are believed to pose health issues and contain carcinogens. Avoid products that include the terms FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and number in the ingredient list. For example, you may see FD&C Red No. 6 or D&C Green No. 6.
8. Artificial fragrance. According to environmental health researchers at the University of Washington, artificial fragrance ingredients can trigger irritation in more than 20 percent of Americans. American Academy of Dermatology states that fragrances cause more allergic contact dermatitis than any other ingredient. Artificial fragrance, found in most beauty products, can cause skin irritation and rashes, as well as headaches, dizziness, coughing, wheezing and other respiratory symptoms. To avoid these reactions, don’t use any products that include “fragrance” in the ingredient list.
Skinfuse by Bellus Medical
The Skinfuse skincare products, designed to be used after the SkinPen micro-needling procedure, don’t contain any of these potentially irritating and inflammatory ingredients. Because inflammation can reduce or even reverse the benefits of micro-needling, what’s NOT in the Skinfuse products is as important as what is in them.
Contact your SkinPen provider to learn more about how the Skinfuse Post Procedure Kit products optimize the results of your SkinPen micro-needling procedure to improve your skin’s health and appearance.