Ever notice the vast number of drugstore shelves that are dedicated to skin care, including cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, and soaps? The wide variety makes it extra difficult to choose wisely. These tips will get you headed in the right direction.
- Don’t let a shiny or shapely product package be your deciding factor. Open tubs can become contaminated by unclean fingers, and may even make the product expire more quickly. Dark-colored tubes and pump bottles let in the least air and protect from light, preserving sensitive ingredients like vitamin C, according to the skincare and beauty researchers at Adore Cosmetics. Non-airtight pumps are fine for most lotions and cleansers, which tend to be made with more-stable ingredients.
- Specific chemicals. There is a growing list of chemicals that are generally considered bad for your health – but are still available and appear in many personal care products. Read labels and stay safe by avoiding or minimizing your exposure to oxybenzone (a sunscreen), parabens, petroleum distillates, sodium lauryl (laureth) sulfate, and toluenes.
- Synthetically derived scents, often listed as just “fragrance” or “parfum” on product labels, commonly include phthalates. These dangerous chemicals can block testosterone and damage the male reproductive system and have also been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Better bet: Look for products containing only essential oils for fragrance or opt for fragrance-free (be aware that “unscented” products most likely still contain phthalates, used as a masking agent).
- According to an FDA survey, up to 25% of people have had a skin reaction to at least one beauty product. Whether it’s a minor rash or a raging allergic reaction, you can avoid the risk by choosing hypoallergenic products whenever possible.
- Products that cost more are not necessarily more effective. The bottom line is, the best skincare product is one that you will use enough of and use regularly. If that means choosing a slightly less expensive product that still works for your skin, go for it!