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Washing your face twice a day is the basis of all good skin care. However, your efforts may be in vain if your face wash is not formulated with the right ingredients. In fact, your skin may even dry out instead of nourishing it.
Unfortunately, as the environmental working group reports, this probability is high. Cosmetics and personal care companies are allowed to "use almost any ingredient they want" when formulating products, and "the US government does not review the safety of products before they are sold," the EEC writes.
This problem is exacerbated by a lack of education on the consumer side. According to the CeraVes Skincare Survey, a breathtaking 65 percent of American adults surveyed "have no idea what ingredients to look for when buying a facial cleanser". Sixty-three percent don't understand the purpose of these ingredients.
According to Miller, sulfates, especially sodium lauryl sulfate, can "free the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation," he said Who What Wear. "Sodium laureth sulfate can be milder, but I still advise customers to avoid these ingredients to stay on the safe side."
Gentler alternatives: Sodium hydroxypropyl sulfonate, sodium coco-glucoside tartrate, cocamidopropyl hydroxysultain, sodium cocoamphoacetate.
Artificial fragrances can irritate the skin, especially in the cold winter months. "Companies can place the word" fragrance "on the packaging without having to specify exactly what is in it," explains Miller. "It's best to avoid fragrance and not risk irritating dry skin."
Gentler alternatives: Miller prefers essential oils as a natural fragrance source. If they are formulated correctly, they also offer numerous health benefits. "Properly formulated products that contain essential oils do not damage or irritate the skin."
"Artificial dyes can disrupt oil production," notes Miller. "This can lead to clogged pores and breakouts." In addition, artificial dyes are of no use to your skin, which is why he recommends avoiding them.
Gentler alternatives: Some brands are now using herbal ingredients for coloring, while others leave their formulations in their natural colors. Both are safer.
"Benzoyl peroxide is ideal for short-term acne spot treatments," he explains. However, long-term use of benzoyl peroxide will "worsen skin problems" and lead to dryness and redness.
Gentler alternatives: Try salicylic acid (BHA) instead. "This ingredient is oil-soluble and therefore helps to dissolve contaminants and oil accumulations," explains Miller. "It's great for oily or acne-prone skin. As always, moderation is key."
"This ingredient is tricky; I'm actually not an alcoholic," he reveals. "There are many forms of alcohol that can moisturize the skin. At the end of the day, it's all about the formulation!" He warns against using anything with "denatured alcohol" or only "alcohol" on the label, especially if no moisturizing ingredients are listed to balance the formulation. "It is best to be on the safe side and avoid these products."
Gentler alternatives: "You shouldn't worry about fatty alcohols like cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol," he explains. These ingredients are typically used as plasticizers and thickeners in skin care products and can actually benefit dry skin.