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When cosmetic ingredients are your "frenemies"...

by Selina Mithen |

You know how it goes, you think they are nice to hang out with. They can make you feel good but all the meanwhile they are undermining you and you suspect they are the reason you are feeling bad about yourself…

Let’s take a look at your skin’s cosmetic frenemies

The fake friend - Not really doing you any favours - Silicones. Yeah sure they make your skincare product feel dry, powdery and silky but they don’t actually do any favours for your skin. Silicones are known as “non-physiologic” lipids, meaning they do not exist in the skin structure and are foreign substances. Silicones pretty much just sit on the surface of your skin, giving you the impression that your skin is soft when it is just disguising your imperfections but not fixing them.

The shallow friend – No substance and no reason to be hanging out with them – topical collagen, muscle relaxing peptides (because they will not penetrate to muscle layer). These ingredients contain particle sizes that are too big to absorb in order to affect the target area they are designed to improve. All talk and no action! We could also throw in added colours or pigments to skincare products (not to be confused with make-up or colour cosmetics).

The irritating friend – You know the ones, you put up with them since you’ve been around them so long, but they really get under your skin. The irritation factor can slowly build over time until you are completely intolerant of their presence. All fragrances, Phenoxyethanol, phthalates, surfactants and solubilisers.

The toxic friend – You don’t like hanging around them but they somehow infiltrate your group of friends, they get under your skin and are just there causing bad blood - formaldehyde releasing ingredients preservatives, Methylisothiazolinone (MI), methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI), triethanolamine (TEA), diethanolamine (DEA), or monoethanolamine (MEA), imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-15, Hydroquinone, Benzophenone to name a few.

The clinger – Doesn’t know when to let go, can make you feel suffocated – petrolatum, mineral oil, comedogenic oils such as fatty esters that end with the sufiix “ate” – ie; palmitate, myristate, propionate, stearate etc.

The “means well” friend – They have redeeming features and can do some good but really should only be called upon occasionally when you need a helping hand with a problem. Too much exposure to them and their good qualities wear off. Essential oils – particularly ones that contain terpenes ie; Limonene in Citrus oils.

Lastly who should we hang out with?

The underappreciated loyal friend who has your back and would do anything for you. These are the friends that your skin has everything in common with - ceramides, phytosterols, linoleic acid, jojoba, marine extracts, natural moisturising factors, plant polyphenols, probiotic lysates and polysaccharides. These are the skin’s best friends and hanging out with them will make your skin happy and healthy!


 Harmful Ingredients in Skincare


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