We’re always told to check the ingredients of the foods we eat, but what about the products we put on our face? Many of us go through our skincare and makeup routines without much thought about what the products are made of. While researching long, hard to spell ingredients that you’ve never heard of may sound mundane, it’s also pretty important for both your skin and your overall health.

This may come as a shock, but neither skincare products nor cosmetics require or receive approval from the FDA. The industry is allowed to police itself, and ultimately they deem which ingredients are safe using their own review panel. Companies also aren’t required to perform safety testing prior to marketing, and when it comes to the stuff you put on your face, that’s not a comforting thought.

If your skin ever feels tight, tingly, or just-not-right after your skin care routine, take a look at the labels on your products. Some ingredients, such as fragrance or sulfates, may be irritating your skin. Sodium lauryl sulfates are the cleaning agents that make hand soap sudsy and lathery. As it turns out, they’re also frequently present in skin care products. That dry, squeaky-clean feeling you get after using a product that contains sulfate is a result of stripping your skin of its natural oils. This leaves it vulnerable to bacteria. Sometimes skin will overproduce oils to compensate, which can make your face feel greasy and worse than before.

Much like your daily moisturizer, the ingredients in makeup also penetrate your skin. Butylated compounds, which can be found in products such as lipsticks, foundations, and eyeliner, are one of many ingredients that can induce skin allergies. Other ingredients that are often found in makeup, such as Polyethylene and petroleum distillates, are considered probable carcinogens- definitely not what you were expecting to find in your mascara.

Just like our bodies absorb food, skin absorbs the products we put on it. It’s easy to gloss over complex words, but when it comes to your health and the potential risk factor, it’s always better safe than sorry. You can keep your skin and your entire body healthy by researching the ingredients you find on your product labels.

October 15, 2019

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