Monday, June 21, 2010

What is in a face wash?

"That which we call a cleanser by any other name would cleanse as thoroughly..."

So I'm no Will Shakes (I believe that would be his name equivalent these days), and perhaps the inquiry is less philosophic, but nonetheless...what is in a face wash?

Are you paying close attention to the labels on your face products? I'm fairly certain that the vast majority, which has included me at times, chooses the most recognizable product and waives the right to remain informed of ingredients. Are you using a cleanser (or other face products) that contain parabens (methyl, propyl, butyl, ethyl - most prevalent), mineral oil, pigments or lanolin? The aforementioned ingredients are often cause for irritation and breakouts, but are still found in cleansers and other products offered by leading brands.

If you have sensitive skin or are prone to breakouts, as I am, raise your awareness and prevent skin irritation by considering these simple steps to improving the performance of your skincare regimen:

1. READ REVIEWS - Before making your purchase, read reviews of the product-in-question on or Often you can weed out products that may cause irritation by learning from another reviewer's experience.

2. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE INGREDIENT DISCLOSURE. Do online research to stay informed of which ingredients you will benefit from, which are unnecessary for your skin type, and which should be black-listed from your beauty arsenal. You have to wonder about cleansers with a kazillion ingredients that you can't pronounce - what are those materials doing for or TO your skin?

3. PURCHASE FOR YOUR SKIN TYPE - ONE CLEANSER DOESN'T FIT ALL. Though your best friend or next door neighbor may love a particular product, also consider her skin concerns and type. Choose a product that best suits your needs.

4. BE REALISTIC WITH EXPECTATIONS. Though we'd all love to see results overnight, this doesn't always happen. Allow about a week and a half for breakouts to begin clearing after having changed your skincare regimen.

5. CONSIDER THE VARIABLES. While ingredients in your makeup, wash, moisturizer and other face products may be the pore-clogging cause of breakouts, blemishes may also be attributed to stress, diet & lack of hydration, and medications (think B.C. and we're not talking British Columbia, ladies). When making changes to your skincare & prep routine, make one swap per week so that trouble-makers are easier to spot (and therefore unspot your face).


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