Sunday, March 8, 2009

What is in your face cream?

Have you ever wondered what exactly is in your face cream, why do you prefer some cream over another? What is best for your skin type? etc etc...
I have these questions all the time...every cream/lotion brand seems to say the same thing...but we have to really try the brands to know which one suits us best...but how do we short list a few and then perhaps trying brands can be expensive.

I stumbled upon this article at the RealAge site, and found it very useful in knowing what ingredients are really good for our skin and which are harmful.
This way when I am going to buy a cream/lotion the next time around, I will know what those ingredients mean and what I should buy and better still what I should not.

8 Ingredients Your Skin Will Love and 9 It Might Hate

Skin Winners

There are hundreds of skin care ingredients, including many with fancy names and expensive price tags. But there’s very little science to most of them, and no science to many of them. The list of ingredients that really can make a difference in the skin is small. These eight are examples of some that you can slather on with solid scientific backing:

* Vitamin A
* Vitamin C
* Vitamin B3 (niacin, or nicotinamide)
* Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)
* Vitamin E
* Alpha-hydroxy acids
* Ubiquinone (small-molecule antioxidant)
* Ferulic acid (small-molecule antioxidant)

Possible Enemies
One of the tricks to using skin products is to not only find the ingredients that will help you but also avoid the ones that may damage or irritate your skin. Some ingredients you should think about avoiding:

  • Imidazolidinyl urea and diazolidinyl urea: They’re used as preservatives to prevent bacterial growth (not fungi), but they’re also a relatively common cause of contact dermatitis.
  • Fragrances: They may smell good, but these little molecules are responsible for allergic reactions in as much as 14% of the population. Most skin care products don’t really need added fragrances. But without the added fragrance, some -- like soap -- simply smell like the fats they are made from.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate: It’s commonly used in shampoos and cleaners to create suds and is relatively safe, but longer contact time can cause irritation and dryness because the detergent strips the skin of lipids.
  • Mineral oil: Used as a base in some products, it may interfere with perspiration.
  • Monoethanolamine (MEA) and triethanolamine (TEA): They’re common pH stabilizers, but when they’re exposed to air, they form potentially irritating substances called nitrosamines. And they have a tendency to clog pores and create blackheads.
  • Toluene: This chemical solvent, which the EPA designates as hazardous waste, is found in fingernail polish. Toluene can cause headaches, eye irritation, and memory loss. Those won’t kill you, but if you don’t feel good, it’s worth experimenting to see if beauty products could be the source of your general blahness.
  • Dimethylethanolamine (DMAE): This common “instant facelift” ingredient in wrinkle creams actually does its work by causing cell damage and swelling. Sure, the wrinkles will go away temporarily (they also will if you’re slapped in the face), but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

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