As we reach for different, more hydrating skin care products to offset the dry, cold air of this season, I would like to highlight some skin care ingredients you should be introducing, and point out which ingredients that could be sabotaging your efforts at obtaining smooth clear skin.
Reading Skin Care Product Labels
Reading labels and choosing clean green products play an important part in maintaining a clear glowing complexion. I realize navigating your way through an ingredient list can be intimidating with so many long and often unpronounceable scientific words. Keep in mind the first five ingredients will make up the bulk of the formula. That is most often where the hydrating ingredients will be listed. One bonus of choosing green beauty products, is the labels are much easier to read!
Beware of These Ingredients
Watch out for ingredients like phthalates and parabens, as they play different roles in their outcome of how they affect your skin. They both enter the blood stream through absorption of the skin, and as a result, are proven to alter hormonal balance in our bodies and act as endocrine system disruptors. Yikes!
Those of you who suffer from acne breakouts close to your period should be extra cautious to choose clean, non-toxic beauty products. When reading skin care product labels, watch out for phthalates – they are usually noted on ingredient lists as acronyms like DBP (dibutylphthalate) and DMP (dimethylphthalate). Parabens are usually easier to spot as the word “paraben” will be within the ingredient listed like methylparaben and ethylparaben, to name a few.
Another ingredient to be aware of is propylene glycol. This is a strong skin irritant, and has been implicated in contact dermatitis. The ingredient can inhibit skin cell growth and damage cell membranes, causing rashes, dry skin, and surface damage. Definitely not what we want in our skin care products if we are looking to promote healthy glowing skin.
Hyaluronic Acid for Skin Hydration
Did you know that our skin needs 70% water and 30% oil to maintain its balance? So, what can we do to have happy healthy and balanced skin? Drinking half your body weight in ounces of clean filtered water daily is an important way to keep you skin hydrated from the inside out! Apart from this, a great choice to increase water content in the skin is hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic acid is an amazing ingredient to look for in facial products. The name makes it look like it could be really aggressive and irritating, but it’s not. It is naturally found in our skin and has the ability to hold 1000 times its weight in water! As we age, our cells loose the ability to hold moisture, because our natural stores decline. Applying hyaluronic acid daily will help plump the surface of the skin and soften the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Adding this to your skincare routine will make your skin feel hydrated, soft and comfortable in the cold winter months. You may find this on the ingredient list in your products as “sodium hyaluronate” and “hyaluronic acid”.
The Effects of Dehydrated Skin
Providing your skin with ultimate hydration can have positive impact, especially for oily, problematic skin. The belief that drying out the skin’s surface will assist in clearing up acne breakouts, is not the case! Dryness and dehydration can cause your skin to overproduce oil, which in turn, can aggravate problem skin. This condition of dehydrated, tight skin will hold on to blackheads and make them nearly impossible to remove.
If you want to get the most out of your facials, and have nice clear glowing skin, it’s imperative to keep your skin hydrated with the right water to oil ratio. Applying the right oils and moisturizers topically, will help to soften skin along with loosening congestion like blackheads, making them easier to remove. When a blemish is left in the skin to fester for too long, inflammation can damage the surrounding cells and stretch out the pore. These two elements combined with time, could leave behind an unsightly scar. Who wants that? Nobody!
What about Coconut Oil?
I need to talk about coconut oil, ahhh we all love coconut oil. It has been super trendy, and at one point, everyone was using it! Cooking with it, and slathering it on head to toe. It is a fantastic moisturizer for those with severely dry skin with absolutely no risk of developing acne. Read your skin care product ingredient list, as it can be hidden in your products under different names. Look for “butylene glycol cocoate”, “caprylic/capric/coco glycerides”, and “cocoglycerides”, just to name a few.
MCT Oil for Acne-Prone Skin
For those of you who break out, but want all the wonderful antibacterial benefits of coconut oil, look for MCT oil; which stands for Medium Chain Triglyceride. It is the unsaturated version of coconut oil, that is liquid at room temperature. I personally love this oil—it is odourless, doesn’t stain, absorbs completely—and it does not leave an oily residue. Read the labels on the MCT oil products when shopping, as there are some MCT oils that are made from sunflower seed—this is still okay to apply on acne prone skin, but it does not contain added antibacterial, antifungal benefits. MCT oil in products may be labeled as “caprylic/capric triglyceride”.
What to Apply First
Pro Tip: For the ultimate hydration boost, always apply oil, serum, or moisturizer on top of moist skin.
Using an alcohol-free toning mist makes this an easy thing to do. Just spray and work quickly before the mist evaporates, and apply your first layer of hydration. I recommend applying the lightest texture serum to the heaviest cream in that order.
One last thing on oils, you only need 1 to 4 drops! You would need less if your skin is oily, more if your skin is dry. Using too much of a good thing can sabotage your beautiful complexion, so use oil sparingly.
I hope this helps you find comfort in the cold dry winter months ahead. Please leave me a comment below if you have any additional questions! I’m here to help!