If you are a skincare enthusiast like me, then you will love what I have to share with you today! I just received this really interesting (eye-opener) article by skincare guru aka Cosmetic cop Paula Begoun in which she talks about some natural ingredients that are commonly found in skincare products but not at all good-for-your-skin.
So, here is the lowdown on which “Naughty Naturals” to avoid in your skincare products…..hope you guys find this post useful!
Skin-care and makeup products claiming to be “all-natural” or “organic” are big business, primarily because many consumers believe that “all-natural” or “organic” on the label means they are getting a superior product. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, many of the plant extracts in natural and organic products are actually bad for your skin.
There are hundreds of naturally-derived ingredients that work beautifully for your skin, so why waste your time with those that will cause more skin problems than they solve? Listed below are six natural ingredients that are often present in skin-care products but that have not-so-nice skin-damaging side effects. Check out our “dirty half-dozen”:
Lavender (usually the English Lavender variety) is included in skin-care products for its fragrance, as well as for its antibacterial and alleged soothing properties, especially in products that emphasize aromatherapy, although what pleases your nose won’t always please your skin. Despite the claim of lavender’s benefit for your skin, available research is anecdotal and little is based on studies on humans. On the other hand, research does show that lavender in skin-care products puts your skin at risk of dermatitis, increased risk of sunburn (thanks to limonene, one of lavender’s main fragrance chemicals), and skin pigmentation. As if that weren’t enough, the more that lavendar is exposed to oxygen, the greater its sensitizing effects—oxidized lavender phenols become pro-oxidant, which leads to free-radical formation on your skin. None of that is pretty!
Peppermint smells fresh, and has a cooling effect on the skin that can feel pleasant, at first. It’s often included in products for its antibacterial properties and for its purported effect of soothing sore muscles. What’s not so fresh and cool is peppermint’s long-term effect on your skin. Peppermint is a potent skin irritant that can cause dermatitis and swelling, especially when used in lip gloss/balm products. It’s a mystery to us why this extract keeps appearing in skin-care products, but it’s definitely one you should weed out of your routine!
When applied to skin, Eucalyptus can cause contact dermatitis, as well as produce allergic reactions. In addition, there isn’t any research to support the claims that it’s effective for topical skin care, or in medicines. Eucalyptus oil also has been shown to reduce the strength of skin’s barrier, leaving your skin more vulnerable to environmental damage and impeding its ability to heal properly (also true of peppermint oil). As with all irritating plant oils, there is a strong potential that it will cause collagen breakdown, which means that over time your skin will look older.
4. Bergamot, Lemon, and Lime
Bergamot oil (from the rind of oranges), along with lime and lemon oils, frequently are included in skin-care products for their refreshing citrus scent. However, extended or repeated contact with the essential oil of bergamot, lime, or lemon oil can cause irritation and increase the risk of sunburn. They also can cause intense irritation, which can damage healthy collagen production. If you want a citrus scent, opt for a perfume or cologne that contains these ingredients and apply it only to small areas, like behind your ears or on the inside of your elbow—the skin on the rest of your body will thank you!
Arnica often is included in rubs, balms, and oils that claim to reduce swelling, inflammation, and even dry skin, but research has shown that arnica may actually increase muscle soreness, in addition to its risk of causing itchy skin and rashes. When applied to damaged or broken skin, arnica can cause significant irritation; the International Journal of Toxicology does not support its use in topically applied products. When present in a skin-care product, this natural extract is only going to grow the problem you’re trying to prune!
6. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel has a long history of use in the treatment of acne and as an anti-irritant, but this plant extract presents far more problems than benefits. The irritation your skin endures from witch hazel is caused both from its chemical breakdown (witch hazel has a high tannin content, which can irritate skin with long-term use) and from the distillation process, which often involves using high amounts of alcohol. Witch hazel also has a chemical fragrance compound called eugenol, which is a potent irritant! You might say it’s a “witch’s brew” of skin irritants! Plus, the irritation witch hazel causes can make oily skin worse because it stimulates excess oil production at the base of the pores.
The above list includes only six of the more common plant extracts that are present in skin-care products, but there are many more. To ensure the products you are using contain only skin-friendly ingredients and are providing beautiful results, check out the Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary for details on thousands of cosmetic ingredients.