As more of us become hip to reading the list of ingredients on beauty products (like we learned to do with food labels), it can become really clear really fast that skin-care products - even the ones you love and thought were pretty good for you - contain things you’re supposed to avoid. We’re talking sodium lauryl sulfate, propylene glycol, and sketchy fillers that feel nice but are made of plastic. Gulp!
So what are you supposed to stock your bathroom cabinets with?
Here are our tips on the three most important skin-care swaps to make when going for a clean skin-care routine.
Take your time and make changes one staple item at a time. Start with the skin-care basics you use every day. The results you get just using cleaner, more effective staples, are often way more profound and lasting than what you get from just trying a new serum or mask.
Why: Many cleansers contain harsh detergents like sulfates that can leave your skin dry without really doing much for it.
Many familiar drugstore cleansers promise a deep cleanse or acne relief, yet their ingredients don’t live up to their claims. They tend to contain harsh detergents, sulphates, and synthetic filler ingredients that actively irritate and weaken the skin over time, strip the skin of the natural moisture, and ultimately lead to more or new breakouts or a rashly, bumpy texture that looks like a breakout but is actually a skin reaction.
Stay away from “skin ravaging suds” such as sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, diethanolamine, monoethanolamine and triethanolamine, or triclosan as well as artificial fragrances and dyes. This is one of the first and most important steps you can take towards seriously improving your skin.
Why: They’re often full of alcohol and skin irritants.
Using the wrong toner can throw off your skin’s pH, lead to breakouts, and create to an unbalanced skin foundation of oil to dryness.
Ditch unnecessarily drying toners made with ingredients like alcohol and skin irritants like propylene glycol, dyes, and artificial fragrances. Instead, look for natural toner options that help balance the skin’s pH and give it extra support from soothing or clarifying botanicals and anti-aging antioxidants.
Why: Many are loaded with filler ingredients like emulsifiers and texture enhancers that don’t do anything for your skin, or worse, they may act as hormone disruptors.
The average moisturizer is very likely to contain fillers like propylene glycol, a skin irritant and potential hormone-disruptor, as well as acrylate plastics or nylon that create a smooth feel but don’t actually provide your skin with real hydration or nourishment.
In this case, your moisturizer can actually contribute to redness, dry skin woes, breakouts, or a buildup of that plastic-y product residue in the pores.