I visit the skincare aisles of Target and Sephora pretty frequently. While I am there, I can spend hours reading product labels. And in those countless hours, I have identified my top four worst skincare products.
Worst Skincare Products for your Face
The skin on your face is the first thing most people will see on you. We have to keep it healthy for as long as possible. Also, we need to be careful of the chemicals we absorb through our skin. And it seems the US allows some pretty harsh ones to be used in our over-the-counter skincare.
#4 Harsh Exfoliating Scrubs or Masks
I'm looking at you, St. Ives Apricot face scrub. Using a harsh scrub on your face can destroy your delicate skin and actually make you look older. Harsh scrubs will also strip the natural oils your skin needs to stay moisturized.
Even scrubs that use a natural exfoliator like walnut or almond shells are not meant for your face.
#3 Face Washes with Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Isoproypel Alcohol
Did you know Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is the main ingredient in dish washing detergent and laundry soap. Like harsh scrubs, SLS will strip the natural oils in your skin, forcing your glands to work overtime, producing oil to replace what was lost. If you have dry, frizzy hair, try avoiding SLS in your hair care products as well.
Also, alcohol is one of the most drying agents used in skincare products. The old wives tales swear by using alcohol to cleanse your face of dirt and oil. But along with the dirt, that alcohol is stripping away your natural oil, just like SLS.
Worst Skincare Products for your Body
#2 Body Washes with Polyethylene/PEGs
Some body washes use polyethylene exfoliators (i.e. plastic beads) in their formula to be more gentle than other ingredients like almond or walnut shells. But the result is toxic to both your body and the environment. Plastic beads or microbeads increase pollution because they are too small to get caught by our water filtration systems when they go down the drain. This allows them to flow into larger bodies of water, where they can build up and fish can consume them.
#1 Vaseline (or any Petroleum/Mineral Oil based products)
If you have heard my soapbox rants before, you may think I am picking on Vaseline. But the #1 product I hear my friends, family, and customers say when I ask them what moisturizer they use, is Vaseline. And because I love you, I want to tell you the truth: Vaseline is NOT a moisturizer.
Petroleum and mineral products do not penetrate the layers of your skin. They sit on top and act as a barrier, stopping moisture from absorbing into your skin. So instead of allowing your skin to breathe and absorb the moisture in the air, petroleum is slowly smothering your skin.
So how should I avoid the worst skincare products?
I am so glad you asked! Here are a few tips for picking something you'll love, while avoiding my list of worst skincare products:
Make sure the advertised ingredients are top five on the label.
The ingredients on the packaging of your skincare and haircare are listed from highest to lowest. So if the product you are looking for is supposed to be a "shea butter" body lotion, then Butyrospermum Parkii (shea butter) should be one the top five ingredients on the list.
If you pick up a product with sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, lanolin, alcohol, etc. within the #FirstFive, please gently place it back on the shelf and keep it moving.
Find a company committed to better ingredients.
I have seen some amazing companies gain instant popularity and growth because they understand the shift in the market. They know we, as consumers, are researching products, and we want safer options.
After researching for months, I found LimeLight by Alcone. This company blended professional, quality products with a mission to provide safer, chemical-free skincare for everyone.
It takes less than a minute for chemicals from skin care products to get into your blood stream. That is why we set out to develop a super effective, free of harmful chemicals skin care line. This line produces such significant results that women all over the country are switching to LimeLight and not only are they looking better on the outside, they are healthier on the inside as well.