Breaking Down Skincare: What to Look for and What to Avoid

Sep 13, 2023 | Skincare

Fun fact: did you know the average woman uses around sixteen skincare products daily?

You read that right. Sixteen! It feels surreal to think you most likely started out with a handful of products, only to crowd your bathroom counter a few months later. Have you ever wondered if these really all live up to their claims? Or worse.

If you’ve ever been a victim of pretty packaging and fancy marketing slogans, don’t feel bad – we’ve all been there at one point. The truth is, if you’re looking to invest your time and money, you shouldn’t settle for lackluster results. Now that you’ve integrated skincare into your daily routine, it’s time to get a little more critical. You care about the food you eat and the kind of people you surround yourself with, why shouldn’t you be just as discerning when it comes to what you put on your skin?

With the (overwhelming) number of products available on the market, it can be overwhelming to select the best ones – the secret is in the ingredients. The truth is ingredients can make it or break it for you when it comes to the overall result of your skincare routine. Why? Because not all ingredients are great for your skin!

Some ingredients can do wonders for your skin, while others do more harm than good. In this article we’re here to break it down for you as we go through the good, the bad, and the ugly. Are you ready to learn the truth about your favorite skincare products? In 3, 2, 1…

(Un)Fab Four: The Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

Parabens. These are more common than you might think, so it’s important for you to read the labels whenever you can! In a nutshell, parabens are chemicals commonly used as a preservative in hair care and body care products, as well as cosmetics.

Although parabens help prevent bacteria growth in your favorite lotion and makeup, studies have shown these synthetic materials can disrupt the body’s endocrine system and lead to hormonal imbalances. In fact, existing research has been known to suggest paraben exposure may be linked to certain health issues, such as breast cancer and reproductive problems.

Phthalates. Life in plastic, not so fantastic – phthalates are a group of chemical compounds added to (you guessed it) plastic to make sure it doesn’t break so easily. Its wide array of uses involve consumer products, including cosmetics and personal care products.

Phthalates are often added in skincare products to help them adhere to the skin and provide a smoother texture. However, a 2020 review has indicated exposure to phthalates can affect one’s reproductive health.

Formaldehyde. While formaldehyde has been known to prolong shelf life and prevent mold growth in skincare products, it’s a known carcinogen and can be harmful to the health – not to mention it’s also flammable. What’s worse, when applied to the skin, it can cause irritation, redness, and other adverse reactions. Stay away at all costs!

Synthetic fragrances. Fragrance is often an overlooked aspect when it comes to determining if a certain skincare product is good for you. After all, how can something so yummy smelling be so icky for you and your body?

There are several reasons why you should avoid synthetic fragrances. Not only are they a potential irritant for your skin leading to side effects such as redness, itching, and dryness, but it can sometimes contain harmful chemicals (like phthalates, actually) associated with health issues. It’s not enough to smell the item, make sure to check the label and see if it’s “fragrance-free” or “unscented” – if so, you’re good to go.

The Quality Quad: Watch Out for these Skincare Ingredients Instead!
Gentle reminder to, first, be aware of your skin type and next your skin concerns and goals – this will help narrow down which ones you should be on the lookout for. Overall, though, you can’t go wrong with these:

Niacinamide. Also known as a vitamin B3, this ingredient is incredibly popular across social media – and for good reason. It’s a multipurpose ingredient best known for rebuilding healthy skin cells, reducing the appearance of pores and fine lines, and improving uneven skin tone. Explore the wonders of this crowd favorite with our hey, sunshine! sunscreen, enriched with 5% niacinamide.

According to board certified dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick, ‘niacinamide is a versatile ingredient often complementary to other skin ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, so you’ll often see them pair in the same formula.’

Hyaluronic Acid. Speaking of… a naturally occurring, gooey substance in the body, hyaluronic acid acts as a humectant meaning it helps keep your skin smooth and supple. Not only does it help retain moisture, it also aids in improving skin elasticity, promoting a healthy complexion, and provides a defense from environmental stressors such as pollution and UV rays.

Overall, its ability to hydrate, protect, and potentially help reduce the signs of aging make it a skincare ingredient worth looking out for. Look no further than our hello, glass skin! moisturizer and enjoy the numerous benefits of this deeply hydrating ingredient.

Glycolic Acid. Often dubbed as a ‘gold-standard AHA,’ glycolic acid combats hyperpigmentation by removing dead skin cells to help reveal a fresh layer of skin with a more even skin tone. It also puts in the hard work to help keep your skin looking young by boosting your collagen production, and reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

Enjoy gentle exfoliation with our beginner-friendly glycolic acid products. At lower percentages, you can reap the benefits of clear, glowing skin with reduced risk of redness and irritation. Check out our hello, glass skin! cleansing bar, foam wash and toner.

Beta-Glucan. Unless you’ve been on a social media cleanse, it’s likely you’ve seen this word pop across your feed here and there. Beta-Glucan is the up-and-coming skincare ingredient you should be obsessing about – in fact, consultant dermatologist Dr. Alexis Granite predicts it’s going to be increasingly popular!

But wait, what is beta-glucan and what is its claim to fame?

Beta-Glucan is a complex carbohydrate found in various organisms, such as mushrooms, oats, and seaweed. Though not as well-known (yet, anyway) as its other counterparts, beta-glucan offers a host of benefits that make it an excellent next-addition to your skincare routine!

One of the key benefits of beta-glucan is its ability to improve your natural protective barrier by reducing moisture loss and retaining hydration. It refines the appearance of wrinkles over time, too, thanks to its facilitation of collagen production. What’s more, Beta-Glucan possesses both anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Powerhouse much?

The best part is this superhero ingredient is all-natural and plant-based, definitely a great choice for those who are eyeing safer and more sustainable options when it comes to their skincare. If you’re looking to upgrade your routine, look no further –

Beta-Glucan: because who doesn’t want to up their glow up game? Check out our beta-glucan sunscreen and moisturizer.

Healthy skin means a happy you, freshies!

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