Skincare products are ideally meant to be nourishing, to protect, and to simply do something awesome for the skin. However, some of them are effective in certain situations only. For instance, an oil-based facial wash is great only for users with dry, tight skin. If it is used for oily skin, the condition will only worsen.
Similarly, there are skincare products that are not that great during summer. Some of the active ingredients in these products are not ideal for warm weather or harsh sunlight. Instead of nourishing and protecting the skin, they might end up harming it instead.
This is normally one of the must-haves for the summer, especially for those who are staying outdoors, going to the beach or chilling out by the poolside. Not all sunscreens are good for you though. In fact, scientific findings by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) suggest that about 75% of sunscreens in the market today contain toxic substances.
Avoid sunscreens that contain the following chemicals:
- Oxybenzone (can cause hormonal disruptions and cell damage that may lead to cancer)
- Octyl Salicyclate (more than 5% concentration can be harmful)
- Para-Aminobenzoic acid (may cause skin rashes and other manifestations of skin irritation and allergy)
- Parabens (suspected to be a cause for formation of breast cancer and other tumors)
- Retinyl Palmitate (a toxic substance that can affect the reproductive system)
- Menthyl Anthranilate (a low-hazard toxin that's nevertheless linked to cell mutation or cancer)
These are substances that can unfortunately be absorbed by the body. It's unfortunate because instinct would dictate that you keep applying sunscreen every two hours when you're out on the beach. Be aware though, that you're also increasing the risk of these chemicals entering your bloodstream.
Like the example above, you don't use a product if one of its ingredients is the very thing that you want to avoid. Now during summer, heat and dust are abundant in the outdoors. These elements usually make the face feel sticky, oily, and look unattractively shiny. You therefore have to avoid skincare products that are too creamy and oil-based. While it will feel okay in the early morning when it's still a bit cooler, things will be different as noon approaches and the humidity starts to sink in. Your skin will start feeling sticky, and when you wipe off the oil and sweat, you'll realize that some of that gunk is actually the oil-based cream you applied earlier.
Products with Metallic Particles
Fashion magazines and makeup advisories usually recommend colors and glitters for the summer season. While it's great and fun to look at, there might be adverse effects if your skincare product contains tiny metallic particles, like mica. This is sometimes included in body lotions to give a glittery effect. While the adverse effects mica can afflict on the skin is still being debated by numerous groups, the fact that minute mica particles can potentially find their way inside your body is still a reason for concern.
Lotions, Cosmetics with Artificial Colors
There are certain artificial colors that contain heavy-metal impurities that can be harmful to the skin and the body, if significant amounts are absorbed into the bloodstream. Arsenic and lead are two metals that may be found in skincare and cosmetic products treated with artificial colors. These are actually coal-tars, and are therefore carcinogenic.
Avoid any cosmetics or skincare products that contain artificial colors D&C or FD&C:
- FD&C Blue 1
- FD&C Green 3
- FD&C Yellow 5
- FD&C Yellow 6
- D&C Red 33
Choose white, water-based lotions instead and don't use too much cosmetics on your face. You don't need to glam up if you're going swimming or doing outdoor activities, anyway.
Skincare products with synthetic fragrances may contain neuro-toxins. They also made it into the list of top five allergens in the world, according to the Cosmetics Database. Since not people react differently to allergens though, some may not have adverse reactions to scented skin products and also their health. The moment you experience odd reactions to one though, ditch it immediately.
Your skin needs to be able to breathe during the summer! It's hot, and your body heats up more quickly than any other time of the year. You also sweat a lot, which is the body's natural method of cooling down. This is why using petroleum-based products is a no-no. Petroleum tends to form a film over the skin and clogs the pores. This will make your skin feel sticky, uncomfortable and hot.
Take note of these products and ingredients when shopping for your summer skincare products. Remember to prioritize hydrating products! If you're not sure about the sunblock selection at your local store, then simply avoid staying directly under the sun for hours on end. Use umbrellas and take cover under awnings when you're outdoors. Take care of your skin and your body the right way!