Don't Damage Your Skin While Trying to Protect It!
In last week's post, I mentioned how important it was to avoid using skincare products with alcohol. There are so many ingredients you should avoid, but alcohol is a must-discuss topic, simply because of its ubiquitous use. Please note that alcohol should not be confused with cetyl alcohol or stearyl alcohol as those are actually fatty acids.
It is often thought that alcohol is a friend of skincare; why wouldn't it be? Doctors use it all the time and it is people's turn-to product to disinfect and care for wounds. Seems promising. And for this reason, many skincare formulators get away with creating products with this skin-destroying agent. The truth is, doctors only use it to disinfect the surface of the skin when administering shots. And open wounds are disinfected with saline water, iodine and distilled water as alcohol have proven to be very ineffective and harmful (Paula Begoun, Author of Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me ). Alcohol is a valued ingredient for many formulators because it has the ability to make thick skincare products, very light and fluffy. Secondly, it makes for "great" anti-acne products as it disinfects and dries. Third, alcohol helps active ingredients made of large molecules penetrate the skin-This could be all fine and dandy but there are serious negative consequences to these uses: The way alcohol eases entry for those large molecule ingredients is by destroying the skin's protective barrier, and as we saw last week, when this barrier is harmed, the intracellular matrix is compromised and it becomes significantly more vulnerable to water loss, thus causing dry skin---and this happens within days! Most people wouldn't remark this because creams and moisturizers are constantly being applied, but the damage is nevertheless there. Furthermore, disinfecting and/or toning your skin with alcohol-containing products not only kills off the bad bacteria, they kill off the good bacteria too, rendering your skin more vulnerable to harmful bacterial infection. And for those of you with acne, this is the worst thing you could do for your skin, even though the temporary relief of a drying agent can feel pleasant. Make sure that your skincare products do not contain alcohol. For face cleansers, I have posted safe and effective DIY recipes and we also have a wonderful Botanical Cleansing Mix that can be used in three different ways for cleansing your face. We also have a non-alcohol containing Botanical Cleansing Elixir for removing makeup. As for toners and face mists, we have two amazing Aqua Vitaes that are formulated with vitamins and active plant compounds that help strengthen the intracellular matrix of the epidermis as well as the skin's outer barrier.
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