There are a dizzying number of skin products available these days, including cleansers, lotions, moisturizers, toners, and more. While many of these are high-quality products that help nourish your skin, some products contain chemicals and components that can harm both your skin and the environment. Some of these ingredients have been well-documented as having unsavory side effects, and states are beginning to ban the use of them in personal hygiene products. Here’s the lowdown on what’s happening with recent bans and regulations on skincare products.
Long a concern for killing off good bacteria (in our water as well as on our hands) and aiding bacterial resistance to antibiotics, antibacterial products, specifically triclosan, are on their way out. Amid concerns that the product can cause hormonal disruption with few health benefits gleaned from killing bacteria, the FDA has warned manufacturers that they will have to phase out the substance in their products over the next few years, unless significant health benefits of triclosan can be proven. Minnesota is leading the way, with a triclosan ban that will go into effect in 2017. Present in many soaps, and a few types of cosmetics and toothpastes, triclosan is an ingredient to be aware of, and probably avoid.
You know that preservatives in your food are unhealthy, so why would you want them in your beauty products? Parabens are the preservatives of the beauty industry, and they may pose a few nasty health risks. It’s unclear as to how dangerous parabens are, but why risk exposing yourself to a product that has been linked to cancer and hormone disruption when you don’t have to?
Natural beauty products may have a shorter shelf life, but the uncertainty surrounding the side effects of synthetic preservatives is also absent, making it a worthwhile tradeoff.
Exfoliation should be an integral part of your beauty routine, but there is at least one way you should not be exfoliating: with microbeads. These little beads are great for gentle exfoliation, but there’s a catch: they’re made of plastic, and have been threatening the environment. These tiny beads can pass through filtration and make it into streams and rivers, causing harm to ecosystems.
This realization of the potential harm caused by microbeads has prompted some upcoming bans on the exfoliants. Illinois has already paved the way for other states looking to protect their aquatic life and ecosystems.
Alternative methods for the important step of exfoliation include natural scrubs made from sugar or sea salt. Exfoliants made from seeds and pits may scratch your skin and are best avoided.
New Tanning Bed Regulations
In addition to bringing the ingredients in skin products under scrutiny, the FDA has responded to the results from studies on the carcinogenic properties of tanning. Much like cigarette packages, tanning salons will now be required by the FDA to state warnings related to the use of their UV tanning beds. These warnings are specifically targeted toward teens, in an effort to prevent early use of tanning beds.
Some states have taken further steps to keep minors out of tanning beds, banning their use altogether in children under 18. The tanning industry has fought back against these regulations, but various studies consistently provide findings that show UV radiation significantly increases risk for skin cancer, including the deadliest form, melanoma.
Choosing Your Skin Products
Fortunately, with the wide range of products available, it should be possible to find products that meet your needs without containing any of these harmful ingredients. Microbeads are easy enough to see in the productsthemselves, and other ingredients to avoid can easily be found in the ingredient lists of each product.Triclosan is always listed as an active ingredient, and parabens all end with the word itself, making them easy to spot.
Balancing the needs of your skin and the ingredients in skin products can be difficult, but just be mindful of what you purchase. Generally, natural products are best, and will be the most gentle on your skin. It is worth paying a little extra for high-quality products to nourish your skin and avoid additional environmental harm.
Get Advice From an Expert
Overwhelmed by your choices? Not sure which products are best for your skin type? Talking to an expert is a great way to start a skincare plan that’s optimal for your skin type and tone. Having a dermatologist you can consult with will set you up for a lifetime of healthy, beautiful skin. For acclaimed care and advice in the Miami area, come speak with cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Diane Walder or Dr. Stacy Chimento. Both are authorities on skincare and anti-aging treatments, offering effective, non-invasive procedures, including radiofrequency, laser, and ultrasound treatments, and injectable fillers. Call the office today at 305-866-2177to schedule your appointment.