Q: The ingredients lists in some of my skincare products scare me. What are these chemicals, and are they harmful?
MyChelle Dermaceuticals licensed esthetician Catie Wiggy responds:
Have you ever looked at the label of a skincare product and thought, “I don’t recognize any of these ingredients!”? You’re not alone. Many of today’s cosmetics and skincare products are made from a combination of chemical substances with long, unpronounceable names that look frightening, especially when you consider where they’ll end up—slathered all over your face and body.
You don’t tolerate questionable ingredients in the foods you eat. So why settle for less with skincare products? MyChelle is a brand that prides itself on the safe, natural and effective ingredients used to formulate all of its products.
Of course, I recommend using MyChelle cleansers, exfoliators, creams and serums in your daily skincare regimen; but when you can’t, refer to this list of ingredients to avoid in products from other brands:
- Benzoyl peroxide: Used to treat acne.
MyChelle uses Totarol™, tea tree oil, sulphur, zinc and lemongrass as alternatives.
- Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA): Used as emulsifiers and foaming agents.
MyChelle uses plant waxes, xanthan gum, and cetearyl oliva alternatives.
- Parabens (methyl-, propyl, butyl-, and ethyl-): Most common preservatives used in skin care.
MyChelle uses d-alpha tocopherol (vitamin E), Plantservative from honeysuckle, vitamin C (and high levels of other antioxidants) and L-ascorbic acid as alternative preservatives.
- Phthalates: Simply labeled as “fragrances” or used in nail polish, hair spray and perfumes.
MyChelle uses essential oils and herbal, floral and natural food aroma extracts as alternatives.
- Polyethylene glycol (PEG): A chemical used to make things thicker or stickier.
MyChelle uses lecithin, panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) and organic vegetable glycerin.
- Sodium lauryl (laureth) sulfate: Often disguised in “natural” products as a coconut derivative, extracted using harmful petroleum solvents.
MyChelle uses sugar compounds and natural coconut oil compounds.
- Ureas (imidazolidinyl, diazolidinyl, and/or DMDM): Most commonly used preservatives after parabens.
MyChelle uses enzymes, amino acids, oregano and fruit extracts.
Catie Wiggy is Innovative Programs Manager for MyChelle Dermaceuticals. She has been working in the skincare industry for over 10 years as a makeup artist and licensed esthetician. She holds several certifications in esthetics and has hands-on experience with chemical peels, microdermabrasions, acne management and anti-aging treatments.