Whether you’re the kind of gal or guy who has a one-step skincare routine where you just splash water on your face OR you’re a little more high maintenance with that 17 step process, you might be using some products that aren’t helping and might even be hurting you. We all know that big industries can be kind of devious and even manipulative, but have you ever stopped and considered how the skincare/beauty industry has been taking you for a ride? I’m hoping to share with you some ways to make you a little more conscious of what you’re using to enhance your natural glow.
The Big, Bad FDA
One scary fact about the vitamin and mineral industry is that there are actually no regulations over what goes into these pills and there is no group that checks that the claims on the bottle are correct. You might think you’re taking a great multivitamin, but there is actually no way to ensure that it is beneficial. So, if you’ve been sucked into buying skin gummies that claim to have collagen and hyaluronic acid, I would be a little suspicious. It is likely for the best to stick to a well-rounded diet and eat skin-boosting fruits and veggies, rather than settling for a bottle of who-knows-what.
Unfortunately, this theme also ties into the cosmetic industry. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the responsibility of looking over the cosmetics industry, however, it doesn’t review cosmetics before they go on the market and can’t even recall a product if there is a recorded problem. Hmm. Then, maybe you see that the FDA has banned around a dozen toxic chemicals that cannot be included in beauty products. They must be looking out for me! They don’t want me to be applying toxic chemicals.
That’s where you would, unfortunately, be completely wrong. The European Union has banned 1,300 toxic products from the beauty market. Yep. Doesn’t that leave you wondering how the FDA missed 1288 products? Now, I don’t necessarily want to imply that the FDA has malicious intent, however, it seems that the Food and DRUG association would be doing a better job and looking over vitamins a.k.a DRUGS and other products applied to the body.
Formaldehyde – forming nothing beneficial for mankind
Do you remember biology lab from high school? When you dissected something and the smell was absolutely foul? Yeah, that smell was most likely from a chemical similar to formaldehyde, an extremely strong preservative and known human carcinogen. Don’t get too scared –– it is uncertain if skin exposure to formaldehyde is harmful, however, it is probably best to avoid these products in the future.
Steer clear of anything that includes: DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, or bonopol. For safe measures, if you can’t pronounce it, don’t put it on your body.
For all of you beauties who love your hair smoothing treatments, I have some bad news. Many Brazilian blowouts and keratin treatments contain traces of formaldehyde. Even worse, there are studies that have been published where formulas labeled “formaldehyde-free” still had traces of formaldehyde when used. Keep it natural!
Makeup Expires Too!
I’ll confess that I didn’t know makeup also has a shelf-life just like the food in your fridge. Using old makeup with dirty brushes is showing a huge spike in bacterial infections. For acne-prone skin, this is about the worst it can get.
For preventative measures, wash your hands before applying makeup and make sure to clean your brushes regularly. A quick way to keep track of when to throw out your makeup and stock up (any reason to go to Sephora sounds good to me): throw out mascara after three months, liquid and creams after 6 months to a year, and powder eye shadow and blush after two years. As always, your skin will thank me, xoxo the Skincare Scientist.