A Beauty Essential: How to: Create Your Own Skincare Routine: What to look out for.


There are, like most things, good and bad, and in skincare, it's all about the ingredients. So here is a few things I suggest keeping an eye out for. I'm not saying you should avoid these like your life depended on it, but just think about it, if you don't know what an ingredient can do, or will do after continued use, why put it on your face? Before I buy anything, I look at the ingredients and research what those ingredients do, how they can benefit my skin or if it's best to stay away completely. So here's a run down for you.

Fragrance: An ingredient that often irritates the skin, especially those who are more sensitive. I prefer to stay away from anything with fragrance or parfum in the ingredients. However it is in hundreds of products so sometimes it's not always easy to avoid.

Phthalates: Found in vinyl flooring, detergents, food packaging, nail polish, shampoo and hair spray. The types of these used in cosmetics? Dibutylphthalate (DBP) used in nail polish to reduce cracking by making the less brittle. Dimethylphthalate (DMP) found in hair spray to avoid stiffness and allow for a flexible hold. Diethylphalate (DEP) used as a solvent and fixative in fragrances. DEP is the most commonly used in cosmetics.

Diethanolamine: Is used in cosmetics to create a foaming effect. Although safe to use in low doses, the ones to keep an eye out for are the DEA or DEA-related ingredients which are; Cocamide DEA, Cocamide MEA, DEA - Cetyl Phosphate, DEA - Oleth-3 Phosphate, Lauramide DEA along with some others too. 

Parabens: You may have already heard or seen this one, but Parabens are found in many cosmetics, from moisturisers to hair sprays, to anti-perspirants and even shaving products among many others. Parabens are preservatives designed to make products last longer. Keep an eye out for: Methylparaben, Proptparaben and Butylparaben (just to name a few). 

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA's): This is another one you may have already seen or heard about. AHA's are used for improving the skins surface texture and tone and even smoothes fine lines and surface wrinkles. They are also used for treating acne, scars, and lightening discolouration. This is an ingredient you will see referred to as Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid, Hydroxycaprylic Acid and Hydroxycapric Acid. If you decide you want to use a product with these in, please be careful, read the instructions and follow them as recommended. These have been known to have some horrible reactions and trust me when I say you have to be careful. They make your skin very sensitive and vulnerable to the sun so ALWAYS WEAR SUN PROTECTION after you have used this. Every single day, no matter what. Skin is very unpredictable and unique which is why some people have had really horrific reactions to this and some people get on fine with them. I personally get on okay with them and think they work really well for my skin. But just be careful.

Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA's): These are quite similar to AHA's but they aren't as irritating to the skin. BHA's e are effective at reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and improving the overall skin texture without the irritation and the risks of the AHA's. These may be listed as Salicylic Acid (a common spot fighting ingredient) which also is referred to as Salicylate, Sodium Salicylate and Willow Extract. There's also Beta Hydroxybutanoic Acid, Tropic Acid and Trethanic Acid. You should ALWAYS use sun protection when using this product too as it can make you susceptible to sun damage like sun burn.

Organic & Natural: Two words which are thrown about quite willy-nilly, as one companies standards and ideas of organic or natural can be totally different to another company. Many people think using only organic and natural products is the best way forward, but skincare is down to personal preference, and also, there are many plants that although may be organically grown, still contain toxins and cause irritations. Some people who say they use totally organic products, don't often realise that there isn't actually any specific guidelines in place but a definition which companies have to meet the requirements of before they can say they're organic. Plus companies now put a percentage of how much is organic on the labels so you can clearly see. 

So there's a few things to look out for. Some to avoid and some that is down to your own preferences. I hope this has been helpful and if you have any questions then please feel free to ask them and I will answer as best as I can. Thanks for reading. 

** Disclaimer: I am in no where a skincare expert or claim to know everything about skincare. This is just what I have learnt and picked up along the way and I have done a lot of trial and error so I can give you my thoughts on what does and doesn't work for me. Please always read the instructions on the product and make sure you are taking the necessary precautions (like wearing SPF) to prevent any damage or irritation. All research was done on the FDA.gov website which you can go across to and look into each thing in a bit more detail. 

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