Our skin is affected not only by the foods which we eat, but also by the things which it absorbs. This means that whatever you put onto your skin could potentially have a direct effect on its health and appearance. When looking at the cosmetic and skin care products which you use, it may surprise you to know that most of them could be potentially causing your skin problems instead of helping them.
Identifying the Cause of the Problem If you are struggling to find the cause of your skin problem then try writing down everything that you use on your body and hair during your daily routine. Note when you started using each product. Is it an old favorite you have used for the last 15 years, or is it a brand new product you just picked up? Have there been any other changes to your beauty routine? If there have been then it is more than likely that the change in products has led to the problems with your skin. Writing a beauty diary will help you narrow down the potential offenders.
A figure which may surprise you is that most women tend to use around 12 personal care products a day. This could be anything from soap to shower gel, deodorant, make-up and even moisturizers, cleanser and toner. Each one of these products has on average 15-30 potentially harmful ingredients.
By being your own personal beauty investigator, you can eliminate the product from your beauty routine that could be causing the trouble. If you are having a reaction, allergic or otherwise, it most likely is connected to a new product introduced into your routine. On occasion though, old favorites can start to cause irritation after prolonged use, so don't rule them out. Once you have a date that your skin issue began, first take a hard look at the products you have used after that date.
At this point you should:
1. Look at the remaining products in question and determine if they come in contact with the area of your body with which you have issues. For example, if you have acne on your forehead, remember that not only pertains to your cosmetics but also your hair and shampoo which come in contact with this area and must be considered.
2. Read the ingredient labels of the identified new products. If you notice a trend in the ingredients of all your products you could be allergic to one or many of these repeating ingredients.
3. Remove one or all of the isolated products from your routine. If you must use a similar product make sure that it is made of different ingredients. If you are not using a natural product already try an all-natural alternative. Read the ingredient labels to confirm that it is truly natural. These natural alternatives generally contain less ingredients and are free of many irritating chemicals found in traditional products. If you are already using a natural product that you would like to eliminate make sure you replace it with an entirely different formula.
4. Keep the suspect products out of your beauty routine for at least 3-4 months.
5. Do your homework. A quick google search for ‘safe cosmetics’ or ‘cosmetic database’ will give you detailed information about the general safety of thousands of products you may be using. Make sure your products fall within the ‘green’ range for safety in the online safe cosmetics databases.
6. During this time note any changes to your issue and overall health.
7. By writing down the cosmetics you use and the ingredients in them you will then be able to log on to safe cosmetic databases and determine the safety rating for that particular product.
Cutting Out the Risk of Harming Your Skin There are over 10,500 ingredients used in cosmetics and skin care products. Of those only 11% have ever been tested for safety. The FDA does not require testing of cosmetic and beauty care products. With this huge knowledge gap about the ingredients in our beauty products it is often better to stick to what is known and tested to be safe. If you are interested in eliminating potential unknowns from your routine try natural alternatives to your drug-store or department store brands. There are lots of options available both online and in your local health food store.
Start that beauty diary and learn more about your own beauty habits! You may see a connection between your skin problems and the product you use.
Kristin Adams is Founder and President of Afterglow Cosmetics, a line of natural make-up including mineral cosmetics infused with certified organic ingredients. Discover your natural beauty at http://www.afterglowcosmetics.com