More often than not, we tend to jump on the “natural skincare” bandwagon without taking time to do proper research on the new ingredient we intend to add to our routine. This is completely understandable as we consume most of these ingredients and if they don’t harm our internal systems then what’s the worst they could do to our skin?
Maybe they wouldn’t harm the skin on our body, but what about the face? The face is a much more delicate and sensitive area of skin than the rest of your body. Although there are dermatologists in possibly every city, we ignorantly choose to rely on our logic and sight than spend money on an appointment or two. What we don’t realize is that some of these seemingly harmless items could start micro wars waiting to be fueled by other seemingly harmless stuff. Now, guess what? All of these could have been avoided with one dermatologist appointment or even thorough research from wherever you are right now.
With all that has been said, it is important to note that these effects may vary in severity based on the skin type. A person with normal, healthy skin may not notice any adverse effects from using any of the ingredients (which would be outlined below) over and over again.
Citric acid is an element present in citrus fruits–oranges, lemon, lime–and like we said earlier, we consume all of these fruits in one way or another. Besides being an amazing fruit content, citric acid is a well-known skincare ingredient because of its cleansing abilities. As the name suggests, it is an acid and in line with that, has the power to break up dead skin cells on the face. This is why many users of citric acid appear to have clear skin to the envy of those who don’t.
To be honest, that is a good thing because clear skin means healthy skin right? So what could go wrong? A few things.
For an ingredient that can disintegrate skin cells, citric acid in high quantities can go beyond the dead ones to the living ones beneath and the result is never favorable. The citric acid will make the skin more sensitive to the suns rays. The aftermath could be skin burns, irritation or sun damage.
There are many exfoliants present in the skincare space currently from scrubs to cleansers to toners and all except scrubs exfoliate the skin based on their chemical qualities. This is why scrubs are referred to as physical exfoliants or abrasives.
Scrubs are meant to get rid of dead skin cells and the likes by scrubbing them off. This looks and feels great until the granules begin to scrub the collagen and life out of your face. If you’re wondering if sugar and ocean salt scrubs fall into this category, then that is because they actually do. According to one of the top dermatologists in town, Dr. Gross, scrubs are “like using sandpaper on your face. If you look closely at the sandpaper surface, you’ll see lots of scratch marks and that’s what happens on the skin”.
One may be tempted to believe that this is only an exaggeration because unlike sandpaper, scrubs do not leave the skin bleeding after minutes of scratching and rubbing. While this true, it does not necessarily mean that no injuries have taken place. They can be really small hence the absence of blood and that is why we refer to them as micro-tears. Which can be very counterproductive when used on the face.
Alongside opening up your skin, these physical exfoliants leave your skin dry and prone to germs. So, at the end of the day, what was supposed to be a skincare product becomes a skin-destructive product.
This may seem too good to be bad so it’s okay if you’re thinking that we’re just being a little extra here. Sadly, we are not. Most of the skincare products on the shelves these days contain at least, one type of fragrance and some, a combination of two or more. We can’t blame the people behind these products for adding the fragrances because the major reason they do it is that everyone wants to smell nice.
What we can, however, blame ourselves for is ignorance on our part. A lot of fragrances contain ingredients that are supposed to be used in scenting anything other than the body. When you check the labels, nothing appears harmful on it but the truth is that no company would disclose 100% of their fragrance composition so all you think you know about them is all that they let you know about them.
What does this mean for you? Fragrances with extreme effects or ingredients that your skin type is allergic to pose a threat to your face. A 2018 study of personal care products by BCPP revealed that about 75% of harmful chemicals amongst one hundred and forty products stemmed from fragrances present in them.
A number of these chemicals are strong enough to break down collagen and when this happens, wrinkling is imminent. The effect could vary depending on the type of chemical, its intensity and how frequently it is applied on the skin.
I’m sorry to have to break it to you. Fragrances are ok on the body, but NOT on your face.
Comedogenic oils are no doubt the new rave in the skincare industry, thanks to their glossy nature and softness. The glow these oils give is a resulting factor of the high oleic acid content and since most of them are gotten from natural sources, we hardly believe that any harm could come out of them.
Although the advantages may appear to outweigh any disadvantage, there is no denying the fact that comedogenic oils clog pores. This shouldn’t be a surprise though because clogged pores are also known as comedones (the relationship should be clear from this point). Some of these comedogenic oils include Shea butter, palm kernel oil and the very popular coconut oil (which sadly enough, ranks high on the comedone scale).
Does this cancel out the highly proclaimed advantages that these products offer? Of course not. This article aims to help you understand the risks you may be exposing your skin to by using just any skincare product marketed to you. Would you gain from them? Possibly. In fact, your skin may start feeling better than before but the long-term effect of that feeling is what matters. So, if you decide to go ahead with it regardless, you have to be prepared for the side effects that come with them.
Thank you for reading! Also check out Two Amazing Skincare Products You Can’t Do Without, and Let’s Talk About Moonbow. If you’re new to all this be sure to check out All You Need To Know About Face Masks, Cleansers, Scrubs, Toners, And Moisturizers! Which you could probably benefit from taking a look at How To Figure Out The Natural Skincare Routine For Your Skin Type, as well.