You are not alone if you have found yourself rubbing food condiments or charcoal on different areas of your body, hoping to reap the benefits of another skincare trend that saturated your social media timelines. These trends can be confusing because while some are backed by scientific evidence, others can lead to more harm than good. In many cases, clever marketing can make consumers believe that they are buying a certain product or ingredient, when in reality they are not. This article is going to debunk three popular skincare trends you may have been skeptical of, share with you the truth of the trend, and provide you with some useful alternatives.
Organic vs. Natural
The words “organic” and “natural” saturate many skincare labels on the market. While it is incredibly important to avoid adding harmful chemicals to any part of your daily routine, it’s also important to read and understand the meaning of the ingredients of the labels on your product. Natural and organic do not equate. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines “natural” as “nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in that food.” Unfortunately, this does not include pesticides or manufacturing methods that could introduce many harmful chemicals to the body. If a product is advertised as “natural”, ensure that you take a look at the ingredients to ensure that the product is what it claims to be. Keep in mind that ingredients are listed from highest percentage to lowest, so be aware of products that may have harmful ingredients listed too closely to the top. Organic products, on the other hand, cannot be grown with pesticides. These products are better regulated and will likely contain better ingredients. If you see a USDA Organic seal, this indicates that 95% of the ingredients in the product are organic.
Chemical vs. Physical Exfoliators
Exfoliation is a very popular topic, as many people are interested in sloughing off rough exterior skin to reveal smooth and supple skin. Exfoliation often leaves the body feeling as smooth as silk because it works to remove the surface layer of skin. Of the many exfoliation techniques, the two major categories are divided into physical and chemical exfoliation. The American Academy of Dermatology defines physical exfoliation as “ a tool, such as a brush or sponge, or a scrub” used to removed dead skin cells. Alternatively, chemical exfoliation uses chemicals to dissolve dead skin. Although the word “chemical” may make some wary, these types of exfoliators are often better for more sensitive skin types, as opposed to the physical alternative. Mechanical exfoliation can often cause irritation to acne prone, dry, or sensitive skin. For those with skin that can withstand the abrasiveness of physical exfoliators, look for products with small, fine beads. In chemical exfoliators, look for approximately 15% glycolic acid for a guaranteed glow after use.
Aluminum in Antiperspirants
Aluminum works in our antiperspirants by entering your pores and preventing excess sweating. While blocking the seat ducts, it also can help reduce body odor by inhibiting the bacteria that feed on sweat. Although there are studies citing linkages between aluminum, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease, these studies have been discredited. The overall science and medical opinion of aluminum in antiperspirants is that it should not be one of your concerns. This website contains additional information about treating sweat issues and can address questions about the ingredients in your deodorant.
When buying items, it is important to understand the ingredients. While marketing can be convincing, your education is the most important of all. Always research skin care trends before trying them out on yourself!