We often talk about how many of today’s cosmetic manufacturers put cheap, chemical ingredients in their skin care products that aren’t good for your skin. Sometimes, however, these ingredients not only fail to nourish and soothe skin—they can actually worsen its condition, leading to more wrinkles, fine lines, and dryness in the future.
Is this what you want in your skin care?
Of course not. You buy skin products to care for your skin, and to look better and younger. To help you avoid those products that will only derail your anti-aging efforts, we’ve got five key ingredients that you must avoid if you want to be good to your skin.
- Sulfates: These are harsh, corrosive, and drying ingredients you’ll find in your cleansers, body washes, shampoos, and even in your toothpastes. As we told you in this post, these chemicals are also used in floor scrubbing solutions, engine degreasers, and car-wash soaps. They cause skin irritation and corrosion, and over time, lead to increased dryness. You know what that means—more visible fine lines and wrinkles. In fact, studies have indicated that very thing—that sulfates can age the skin. Avoid “sodium laureth sulfate” and “sodium lauryl sulfate.”
- Certain alcohols: Look at one of your anti-aging skin products and you may find ingredients like “SD alcohol, ethanol, methanol, benzyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, and ethyl alcohol.” These are all drying ingredients that strip away skin’s natural oils and lead to premature aging and irritation.
- DEA, MEA, TEA: We talked about these ammonia compounds in a former post. In addition to potential links to cancer, these ingredients are drying to the skin and hair. They can also cause allergic reactions, resulting in redness and inflammation. All of these results produce an overall aging effect.
- Mineral oil: It comes from petroleum, and it forms a sort of film over the skin, clogging pores and hindering the skin’s natural ability to cleanse itself. With extended use, it can encourage acne and actually irritate and inflame skin. The result is an aging effect that can make fine lines and wrinkles much more visible.
- Chemical sunscreens: Many so-called chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone, benzophenone-3, and octyl methoxycinnamate can actually encourage free radical damage when exposed to sunrays. If the formula contains a good balance of antioxidants with the chemical sunscreen, the damage may be limited, but so far, we don’t have enough research to know exactly what that balance needs to be. Free radicals and UV exposure are the primary causes of wrinkles and fine lines. You can read more about how some sunscreens may actually damage skin at the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) 2013 Guide to Sunscreens. Find recommendations for the best ingredients here.