Skincare routine was not in my vocabulary until after I graduated from college. I always thought that I didn’t need to invest in skincare since I have a normal type of skin. Also, I didn’t actually have enough money to buy skincare products back then, coz, err.. I was a student.
Fast forward to now, I found myself using a variety of skincare products, with some costing over my supposedly three hundred pesos overall skincare budget.
I’ve started having a night- and day-time routine using products that a.) were recommended to me, b.) I’ve used for a while and been giving me awesome results, and c.) I’ve seen on my friends’ Instagram or Facebook stories (Yep. I lurk on some of my friends’ profiles online even if we haven’t been talking in years.)
Even though I was introduced to the products I use in different ways, one thing is the same: they all underwent screening first. But I am not talking about the food and Drug Administration (FDA) screening here — which you should always check too, btw. I’m referring to my habit of looking up each skincare product’s reviews and ingredients before actually buying them.
That said, I try to stay away from these ingredients as much as possible:
Alcohol is commonly found in facial cleansers and toners. While its properties may remove surface oil, alcohol may also strip off the natural oil that protects the face, resulting in skin dryness and redness.
Products that are too fragrant usually have the most alcohol. This is why added fragrance may cause irritation and dryness to the skin, too. In some cases, this ingredient may even worsen skin conditions like psoriasis. This is especially important to avoid for people with sensitive skin.
Though this is touted as acne and anti-aging miracle ingredient, it must be used with caution as it may thin the skin which may lead to sensitivity. This is actually not all bad, it just shouldn’t be used too aggressively, according to beauty experts.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
SLSs are known to be skin, lungs, and eye irritants. The problem with this is its capacity to interact and combine with other chemicals. That merging may create chemicals that are harmful to the kidney and respiratory organs. This agent is typically found in body wash/cleanser, shampoo, mascara, and acne treatment.
This is used to help prevent bacteria growth in many cosmetic products. However, it is known to cause allergic skin reactions and harm to the immune system. The International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC) also linked this ingredient to nasal and nasopharyngeal cancers.
It is normally found in nail products, body washes, shampoos, conditioners, and eye shadows.
Just like many other things, skincare is often a process of trial and error. It sometimes allows us to discover what works for us, but sometimes it shows otherwise. Nevertheless, one of its beauty is that it can sometimes give us comfort and an escape from our negative thoughts, especially during these uncertain times.