FINDING THE PERFECT FACIAL CLEANSER

Finding a decent cleanser can be a difficult task. Unfortunately, most of us have come to love the thick, pretty smelling, foaming cleansers that leave our face squeeky clean. Most of us have been taught to cleanse with a strong cleanser so that we do not get breakouts.

What many people may not know is that the squeeky clean feeling can be drying out your skin. When the skin dries out, oil production increases and can cause an imbalance. The imbalance can cause breakouts. So those harsh cleansers that are so popular, can actually make breakouts worse or cause a breakout!

In addition to finding a gentle cleanser that will not dry out your skin, it is important to have a product that is not full of chemicals. The ingredients some companies use in cleansers can be pretty harmful. In order to get that scented, thick, beautiful lather, they have to put in a lot of not so pretty ingredients.

COMMON CLEANSER INGREDIENTS TO AVOID:

Parabens
Phthalates
Triclosan
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
Formaldehyde
Propylene Glycol
Synthetic colors
Fragrance

AN ESTHETICIAN’S OPINION

When I first see clients for a facial, I always ask what skincare products they are using, especially if they are having trouble with their skin. Many of them are using your typical products sold at supermarkets that are easily accessible and reasonably priced. Before I became an esthetician obsessed with ingredients, I also bought these products, especially if I had a coupon.

I want to break down a couple of the most popular cleansers I see new clients using, to bring awareness on the ingredients being used. I am not going to name names but this will give you an idea of your typical supermarket facial cleanser and what the ingredients could be doing to your skin (and body):

HERE IS A DEEPER LOOK AT TWO TYPICAL STORE CLEANSERS

#1 DEEP CLEANSER INGREDIENTS:
Water, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium c12 15 Pareto 15 sulfonate, Salicylic acid, linoleamidopropyl PG dimonium chloride phosphate, propylene glycol, FDC Yellow 5, FDC Red 40 and fragrance.

WHAT DO THE INGREDIENTS MEAN?

Water: Self explanatory. If water is the first ingredient, it is not a very high quality product.

Sodium C14 16 Olefin Sulfonate: Surfactant/foaming agent. Can cause possible organ system toxicity.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine: Synthetic surfactant/foaming agent. Can cause skin irritation.

Sodium C12 15 Pareth 15 Sulfonate: Synthetic surfactant/foaming agent. No known major concerns.

Salicylic Acid: Can be synthetic or natural. This ingredient is considered a beneficial ingredient by many estheticians. However it can cause skin irritation for some.

Linoleamidopropyl PG Dimonium Chloride Phosphate: Anti-static agent, surfactant/stabilizer.

Disodium EDTA: A binding agent/ preservative.

Propylene Glycol: A degreasing agent, fragrant, humectant. Known to cause skin irritation and possibly lung and eye irritation as well as organ system toxicity. Also one of the same ingredients used in anti-freeze and engine coolants.

FD&C Yellow 5 and Red 40: Synthetic color. Possible organ system toxicity and skin irritant. May contain aluminum or other unknown ingredients.

Fragrance: Synthetic or natural smell. Many fragrance ingredients can cause headaches, allergic skin reactions or even nausea. Fragrance can have harmful unknown additives. Additionally, a reaction to the fragrance can be dependent on environmental conditions in which the fragrance was made and the concentration amount.

#2 FRAGRANCE FREE GENTLE CLEANSER:
Water, cetyl alcohol, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, stearyl alcohol, methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben.

WHAT DO THE INGREDIENTS MEAN?

Water: Self explanatory. If water is the first ingredient, it is not a very high quality product.

Sodium C14 16 Olefin Sulfonate: Surfactant/foaming agent. Can cause possible organ system toxicity.

Cetyl Alcohol: Emulsifier/foaming agent. Can cause possible organ toxicity.

Propylene Glycol: A degreasing agent, fragrant, humectant. Known to cause skin irritation and possibly lung and eye irritation as well as organ system toxicity. Also one of the same ingredients used in anti-freeze and engine coolants.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): Surfactant/cleansing agent. Can cause irritation to skin, eyes and lungs. Can cause skin dryness. Possible organ toxicity.

Stearyl Alcohol: Emulsifier/foaming agent. Can cause possible organ toxicity.

Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Buylparaben: Preservatives. Endocrine/hormone disrupters.

TIPS ON FINDING BETTER SKIN CARE:

1. Find products that are aloe based or oil based vs. water based.

2. If there are preservatives in your product make sure they are towards the bottom of the list of ingredients. Try to find products that do NOT include parabens.


3. Make sure most of the ingredients are actual ingredients, such as almond oil, coconut, aloe, pomegranate or ingredients you can understand.


4. Make sure the shelf life is not too far out. A product that will last 5+ years is not something you want to put on your skin.

CONSIDER A PROFESSIONAL LINE

If you are looking for a gentle cleanser from a professional line of products there are many options available. I personally love the Charcoal Facial Cleanser as it is perfect for breakouts. HERE is the link to shop Green Eyed Grace facial cleansing products.

Of course if you do not want to buy professional products or if you feel you cannot afford them you can always make your own! I have many posts available on how to make your own facial cleanser.

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Online REFERENCES:
www.ewg.org
www.wellandgood.com
www.wikipedia.com
www.livestrong.com
www.naturalnews.com