One of the most frequent questions I get asked as a skin care maker is, "will this face or body cream make my skin break out?"
I can't even count the number of times people ask me for help with their skin troubles from dealing with break outs from their "dermatologists recommended" cream to more serious issues. They often complain about a rash or overly dry skin (which leads to premature aging) from the prescription. They are usually frustrated and want something that works. They don't want the "solution" from the dermatologist that failed to solve their skin problem. Can you relate?
So, how do you know if the skin care cream you are buying will moisturize your skin or cause breakouts and bumps? How do you choose a skin care moisturizer that will deliver results and avoid rashes and acne, and calm eczema, rosacea, and other skin issues?
If you have any of those typical skin problems, you certainly don't want to contribute to them by using harmful skin irritants and harsh chemicals that could make your skin worsen.
The use of certain skin care chemicals may dry up the acne or skin issue temporarily only to cause a worse problem later. So, how do you avoid common skincare problems like these? First, of all, it's essential to think about a few important things before shopping for the best skin care brand. The most important thing is to know your skincare ingredient "do's and don'ts". Let's go over 3 tips to look for when searching for the best skin care solutions to fit your particular needs.1. Know what's important to you.
Do you want to avoid skin carcinogens? Do you want to avoid ingredients that are tested on animals? Do you prefer products be made locally in the USA? Do you have sensitive skincare needs? Do you struggle with acne, eczema, or rosacea? Perhaps you're looking for phthalate-free and petroleum-free skincare options that cause fewer breakouts? It's crucial to know what's important to you and why.
Not all ingredients in the skin care industry are safe. There are so many assumptions (and marketing messages) around skin care that it's crucial for people to learn how to shop for the most natural and fresh skin care products and avoid the harmful chemically laden ones that may pose a health risk down the road. The longer a product is meant to last on a shelf, the more I recommend questioning the ingredients inside. Some kinds of additives are common irritants, others are known carcinogens. It's sad, and it's downright scary because people are trusting the experts in the industry, and "the industry" isn't always delivering the safest and most healthy options.
Important chemicals to avoid when shopping for skin care. Imidazolidinyl urea which can be anything from animal urine (urea) to lab-made chemical cocktails and is known to be a common skin irritant. Phenoxyethanol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, formaldehyde, parabens Quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, BHT, SLS. These common additives have been linked to skin allergies and are potentially if not already proven, to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing). This means they disrupt the cellular function of the skin, thus defeating the purpose of a product that claims to keep the skin and body healthy and beautiful.
Why Fresh Matters (small batch vs commercial skincare).
From production to distribution- ingredients matter. Many top skincare brands receive skincare in jars, bottles, and containers that are coming from large manufacturing warehouses from overseas where it's cheaper to produce. Those jars, tubes, and boxes full of skin care can be stored for months and months on end to meet the more excessive retail demands.
Commercial Skincare Brands
Big-box brands (including many natural store brands) depend on overseas manufacturing companies to make tons and tons of product way beforehand and in huge batches by large automated machines. Once a product is made, it has to be packaged, counted, and then shipped back to America where it can take weeks and sometimes months depending on where it originates.
After the products arrive in the USA, they'll finally be delivered to the many retail and big-box warehouses where they will wait and eventually be delivered to big box stores. Once everything arrives, it will be available to the masses and the companies will make that "chunk of change" back
You can be sure larger companies must collect high profits for all that planning storing, manufacturing, shipping, and distribution, not to mentions salaries and overhead. And guess what? That means harsh preservatives will need to be added to the product for longer shelf life. Additionally, cheap fillers will be used to stretch the ingredients to make the kind of substantial profits needed to survive, much like the packaged food industry. The cheaper the ingredients, the better the profits (this is why Artisan Skincare is so much more attractive).
So your big box commercial skin care cream may have nice looking packaging & bottles, but how beneficial are the ingredients after months and even years sitting in a warehouse and traveling overseas?
Companies know that a more massive production means degradation of ingredients over time, and that means the product can break down and turn into a watery goo.
So to remedy this they commercial big box manufacturing companies must add very strong preservatives to help protect from bacterial growths. The problem is that the chemical preservatives inside are not natural and have known carcinogenic properties and have been shown to cause skin reactions on contact.
Whatever was alive at the time of processing has long died and passed away, losing efficacy and potency. So, what good is a bottle of cream that "smells nice" if the potent ingredients have all died, are minimal, or cause skin problems? What's actually making it to you- the consumer?
Your Alternate Healthy Skin Care Option
Fresh small-batch skin care companies always outperform larger commercial brands when it comes to quality. There's no competition. Just as a beautifully fresh-baked bread can't compete with older store-bought bread- neither can older skin care complete with freshly made skin care. Fresher is always going to be better-hands down. The herbs and flowers have been made days ago. It doesn't get any more fresher than that!
But not all bakers are created equal and neither are skincare brands created equal either. Some "bakers" naturally create better food than others. Some artisan skincare brands are just better at it and also enjoy doing more research and development thus perfecting their craft, while others just want to make a quick buck and buy pre-made bases and call themselves handmade makers. I know. It's a crime. But it happens.
How To Avoid The Fakes
2. Always read the ingredient label.
Don't assume you're getting what's marketed on the front of a package. Pictures and branding go a long way, but nothing tells the whole story better than the ingredients label on the back of a skin care product.
For instance, some artisan handmade makers unknowingly use Grapeseed Extract and Vitamin E alone to "preserve" products they create that contain water, (such as lotions, creams, etc.,) calling them "natural & organic." These two ingredients are safe for the skin in moderation (grapeseed extract) and there's nothing wrong with them being added, in fact, they are helpful. However, they should not be confused for an effective preservative because they cannot and do not prevent gram-negative/gram-positive bacteria, yeast, fungi, and mold from growing in your cream and skincare.
So here's how to choose safely and wisely.
3. Opt for an Eco-Cert Preservative
Eco-Certified Preservatives are the only allowable preservative to be used in any truly natural skincare formulations. They have been proven to be a completely safe, gentle, and effective organic preservative against both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, fungi, and molds.
Another benefit that makes eco cert preservatives the better choice is that they are beneficial for the skin (that's a great side effect!) while still doing the job of safely preserving naturally and effectively. The ingredient name is usually close to the last ingredient on the label.
Avoid harsh chemicals in your face care and avoid the ingredients listed above.
Also, stay away from products that say "preservative-free". Natural brands may be ignorant of this, but you won't be. Remember that a reliable preservative is necessary for any kind of water-based product such as a cream or lotion. Heat, air, water splashes, and finger application all will break down creams over time. That means the functional ingredients can get contaminated. Every time you stick fingers into a cream and apply it to your face or body, you'll be introducing bacteria into the jar of cream, and the bacteria will grow over time.
Use Sterile Containers
You can avoid additional unnecessary contamination by selecting product packaging that not only uses a safe organic preservative but also has an airless pump to dispense skin products in a more sanitary and sterile way such as this one and this one.
Conclusion. The next time you out and about, make sure you look at the ingredients on the back before purchasing. Look for products containing Eco-Cert Preservatives. Products that are genuinely natural will have "Eco-Cert Preservative" or "Eco-Cert Preservative" listed towards the end of the ingredient list. Choosing airless pump skincare can add benefit to the longevity of nutrients inside your natural selection. Supporting smaller local brands that make products here in America helps our economy flourish instead of sending dollars overseas.
And remember, choosing what's important to you and getting what you want is your right as a consumer, and now you are empowered to find exactly what you want and need for the best most reliable naturally prepared skincare. Buying from passionate and educated handmade beauty brands is a wonderful option today.