You Should Really Read Those Labels!
Shopping for skincare items can be a daunting process. There seems to be a never-ending selection at any store you visit, and don’t get me started about what is available online. A good way to narrow your selection is to get to know what to look for in ingredient labels, both good and bad. What ingredients you should look for really depends on your skin type and what you are trying to accomplish.
Vitamin A helps collagen production and cell turnover. Cell turnover helps even pigment and fight acne. Retinol is a Vitamin A derivative and can be found in many products.
Vitamin C is a very powerful antioxidant that also acts as a natural sunscreen (but you should still apply an SPF when going outside.) It is also another ingredient that helps even pigmentation and improve collagen production.
Antioxidants fight free radicals that damage skin and speed up the aging process. A great antioxidant that is both gentle and soothing is green tea. You will often see green tea labeled as an ingredient in sheet masks and serums.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
These acids include glyclolic, lactic, citric, and tartaric acids. These are known as chemical exfoliants and remove dead skin cells without being abrasive. They reduce fine lines, acne, and uneven skin tone.
Hyaluronic acid helps keep skin moisturized and smooth.
Here are the ingredients you should avoid at all costs:
Parabens: Often found in face cleansers, are used as preservatives. Parabens have been linked with increased risk in breast cancer because of their estrogen mimicking properties.
Synthetic colors: Some synthetic colors are said to be carcinogenic and are known skin irritants.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES): Found in many “foaming” cleansers, these are known skin, lung, and eye irritants.
Remember, read those labels and listen to your skin. Just because a product contains good ingredients, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. If you notice irritation, rashes, or anything out of the ordinary, stop using a product. If those issues persist, visit a dermatologist.