Now that many of you are stuck inside, I have been suggesting that you use this time to evaluate the products you put on your skin to try to reduce the number of irritants you put on your skin. Bear in mind that people use anywhere from 10-22 products on their skin IN A DAY, and many of those are applied more than once a day, so exposures to irritants can be up to 40-50 times A DAY. Irritation on the skin activates the inflammatory process, as inflammation is the skin’s first line of defense against irritants and pathogens. The inflammatory process results in the release of chemicals that damage tissue. If you apply chemicals to your skin multiple times a day that cause inflammation, you actually cause the tissue to act differently due to the accumulation of inflammatory damage over the years. This long-term inflammatory damage has been identified as a causative agent of rosacea. Additionally, generating an inflammatory skin response on the regular will prematurely age your skin. If I seem like a broken record when it comes to skin and inflammation, this is why.
The other day, I mentioned using this quarantine time to go makeup-free to give your skin a break from the irritants in makeup. Today, I want to ask you to look at all your products containing sunscreen. Before I begin, some definitions. A CHEMICAL SUNSCREEN is a UV filter that works via a chemical reaction. A PHYSICAL SUNSCREEN/BLOCKER blocks UV by creating a physical barrier between UV and the skin. Anyone commenting ‘everything is a chemical, duh’ will be banned from the page.
If you are going to be stuck inside, sunscreen is pretty unnecessary. However, I know many of you use moisturizers, foundations, etc that contain sunscreens, which is why I’m writing this post. Generally, if a moisturizer or foundation has a sunscreen in it, it will be a chemical sunscreen. They are liquid, and much easier to formulate with than the physical blockers (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide). I want you to look at your sunscreen-containing products, and under ‘active ingredients,’ look for two names: oxybenzone and avobenzone. These two chemical UV filters have been shown to be very irritating to skin, and thus, are capable of causing an inflammatory response in your skin. Using products that are made to remain on the skin for long periods of time, like moisturizers, foundations, etc., that contain oxybenzone or avobenzone give those irritants greater exposure to skin than is wise. I implore you to switch to products that do not contain those two UV filters. Luckily, there are many other chemical UV filters that do not irritate the skin like oxybenzone and avobenzone, so you have options commercially.
Reducing the number of times your skin mounts an inflammatory response is a good thing when it comes to skin health. By identifying potential sources of irritation in your skincare and cosmetics regimens, you can make better decisions about which products to use and how often. That is why I write these long-ass posts with no photos, trying to give you good information so that you can make informed choices about what goes on your skin. I know from dealing with people and their skin for the last 13 years that almost everyone is generating inflammation in their skin on the daily, and it has unpleasant effects. I’m here to point that out so you won’t have so much trouble dealing with your skin.
Think of this quarantine as a chance to reset your routine, and start fresh using healthy products that make your skin happy. If we’re going to live through a series of apocalyptic events, at least our skin will be healthy! (Laughs, then cries) #themoreyouknow