Beauty products have always been used by us humans – from the time of ancient Egyptians (who pioneered a lot of them, including deodorants!) to this day. Vanity might one of our many weaknesses – we simply can’t resist slathering a product which promises to erase our “flaws” and make us prettier (“too pretty to resist!”). Many of us get carried away and buy almost everything which promises a miracle cure (or just a cure) without doing the appropriate research on ingredients and what they actually are. Most of us just don’t care but these ingredients are worth knowing about since we’ll be applying them to our skin in hopes of a “better looking” individual and with us being spoilt for choices (the market is filled with every conceivable product), it is slowly becoming more and more crucial that we do. If we don’t, we will be plagued with a host of skin problems. And it is better to be safe than sorry, right?
Here are the top ten reasons you should not apply just any beauty product on your skin -:
10. Upsets the pH balance of skin
The pH balance of our skin is slightly acidic (a good thing, since it helps to prevent bacteria growing on it!) and many products, like general bar soaps are highly alkaline in nature and end up ruining our skin’s delicate pH balance. If anyone thinks the pH of our skin is not worth worrying about, they are wrong since our pH balance affects everything – from pesky zits to wrinkles. The key to good skin is how balanced the pH is (generally, it should be around 4.5 – 5). One of the ways to combat this problem might be choosing face washes which explicitly mention that they don’t upset the delicate balance of our skin.
With a wide range of choices, many people (especially teens and preteens) choose the wrong products – especially when it comes down to choosing products for fighting pimples and zits. They don’t know that the generic foam cleansers marketed for this problem end up making their dry skin drier and aggravates the problem. The main crux of this problem is that many don’t even know their skin type (nor do they bother to find out, which can easily be done with the help of a licensed spa attendant or dermatologist) and therefore keep buying the wrong products and then wonder why they don’t help. It can easily be solved by knowing one’s skin type and then buying the appropriate products for that particular skin type and soothing irritated skin. This is not a big feat, considering the many choices we have today. And when we know what to search for, the inexhaustible choices become a boon (as opposed to a curse).
8. Extra oily skin
A lot of the products which populate our markets currently strip all natural oils from our skin. Natural oils are actually beneficial for us since they help in moisturising and maintaining our skin, and when they are harshly stripped away, our skin freaks out and starts producing more oil to overcompensate for the loss which leads to a slick of oil perpetually on our faces. It becomes a menace and leads to a whole lot of problems like acne and it becomes worse with time, since many of us don’t know what is wrong and start applying more oil stripping substances to our skin, which in turn makes our skin produce even more oil. It turns into a vicious cycle. One way to stop this is to start moisturising your skin after using a gentle cleanser and if the problem is very serious, consult a dermatologist.
Dullness is another common skin problem related to using just any beauty product we get on the shelves of our nearest supermarket. One big contributor to this problem is using products, like toners which have alcohol in them, on our facial skin. Alcohol as an ingredient in beauty products should be avoided like a hive of bees by those who have dry skin, but it is not all that good for oily skin as well. Whenever you have a choice, you should choose alcohol-free over those toners with alcohol each time, hands down. So if your skin has been looking a bit dull since some days, check your toner.
6. Wrinkles and fine lines
It is not unusual to have premature fine lines and wrinkles due to the use of the wrong products or those which are too drying for your skin type. Facial skin is especially delicate and harsh products can induce fine lines quite soon. One way to remedy this is by using very gentle cleansers and a rich, thick moisturiser, especially at night, which will work to replace the moisture you lost during the day while you are having your beauty sleep.
When we hear the word dehydration, the word dry is usually synonymous. But in the case of skin and related problems, your skin does not necessarily have to be dry to be dehydrated. Your skin can very often be oily and dehydrated which makes it difficult to guess the problem. The main culprit of this is using unsuitable products on your skin and lack of hydration and moisture which is why it is very important to use a good quality moisturiser regardless of your skin type. Hydrated skin is happy skin.
4. Reversal of desired effect
A lot of the times, using a product with questionable ingredients which are used can actually reverse the effect we desire. For example, many creams which are used to treat hyper pigmentation have hydroquinone as an ingredient. This can actually backfire once too much of it is used and result in white bleached out skin in extreme cases. Natural lightening ingredients like Vitamin C, Vitamin A and licorice should be used instead of a problematic ingredient like hydroquinone.
3. Micro tears
Many scrubs out there in the market are too harsh for the proper exfoliation of skin and a lot of people don’t follow the stated instructions on the pack or use it everyday. This can have an adverse effect on the skin by stripping it of protective natural oils, creating tiny micro tears, and overall contributing to aging.
Acne is a nightmare for most people, especially those undergoing puberty, but it is not merely restricted to that age group. Anyone can have acne – from people in their 20s to people in their 50s. However, apart from hormonal causes of acne, using products which irritate your skin, block your pores, make it too dry or oily can also play a huge role in this skin problem which is why you should always double check a product’s ingredients before applying it because, let’s face it, nobody wants to wake up with a monster zit in the morning.
1. Skin cancer
Sadly, even though technological advancements have been made in this field, there are still a truckload of products which use dangerous levels of lead and other unsafe chemicals in the manufacture of their beauty products, like lipstick, mascara, eyeshadow, etc. These can cause severe problems and even lead to skin cancer so you should never be too lazy to know what the ingredients are in your favourite mascara or lipstick – as we have heard, prevention is better than cure.