Saturday, September 1, 2018

WHY YOUR FACE WASH IS AGING YOUR SKIN!



Does Your Skin Feel Dry & Tight After Washing Your Face?

 

Face washes and cleansers can strip the fats (lipids) from the skin. Most face washes contain surfactants and alcohols as they're first ingredients. These ingredients disrupt the skin's barrier function by damaging the lipids that help to make up this protective barrier of our skin.


Lipids are the the skins natural fats and are really important for healthy skin, specifically epidermal lipids. There are three types of lipids that play a major role in maintaining the skin's barrier function. They are essential components in keeping the skin hydrated, by minimising moisture loss, and preventing environmental chemicals, allergens, impurities and UV light from entering the skin. Together they also aid the skin's natural repair process.





LIPIDS

The stratum corneum is the outer-most layer of our skin and is responsible for providing a protective barrier between the body and the outside world. This layer of skin is called the skin's barrier function, it is made up of flat cells (corneocytes) embedded in a wall of lipids in equal proportions, of cholesterol, ceramides and free fatty acids. This structure can be likened to a brick wall, with the cells as the bricks and the lipids as the mortar sealing and holding the cells together.

  • Cholesterol: This type of lipid improves the skin's elasticity and speeds up the skin barriers recovery process.  Visible skin aging is often caused by cholesterol deficiency in the skin. 

  • Ceramides: This lipid is proven to increase the skin's hydration by binding water molecules together, effectively locking moisture into the skin. If your skin is cermide-deficient, water molecules can easily escape from the skin, leading to moisture loss and dry skin. Ceramides can retain water and lipids within skin cells in the stratum corneum forming "lamellar lipid bilayers"  (water x ceramide x lipid x water). This sandwich-like structure creates a wall that strengthens + hydrates the skin's barrier function.  This is where Lamellar Technology used by lots of skincare brands originates. Ceramide deficiency is the main cause for dry skin.

  • Free Fatty acids: Abundant in young, healthy skin, fatty acids help maintain the skins lipid balance. Not to be confused with essential fatty acids, which are polyunsaturated fats needed by the body. These fatty acids are synthesised by plants and not by the human body, and are therefor a dietary requirement.  Free fatty acids play an important part in the skin barrier function when it comes to skin conditions like eczema.  



SURFACTANTS + ALCOHOLS 


THE EFFECTS OF SURFACTANTS ON LIPIDS
Surfactants are known to disrupt the lipid bilayers. Lipid bilayers play a major role in maintaining the skin's barrier function. When they are compromised the cells become more permeable and vulnerable, making the skin susceptible to environmental damage, water loss and allergens. Surfactants can also damage the lipid structures themselves, causing a reduction of fats within the external skin layers.


SURFACTANTS IN FACE WASH

Surfactants are used in skincare for cleansing, foaming, thickening, emulsifying, solubilising,  antimicrobial and other effects. There are four types of surfactants, non-ionic, anionic, cationic and amphoteric. The most common types used in skincare are anionic and amphoteric. Below are some examples of anionic detergents you may find in your face wash, plus your shampoo, bubble bath and shower gels;

  • SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS) 
  • SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE (SLES) 
  • AMMONIUM LAURETH SULFATE 
  • DISODIUM LAURYL SULFOSUCCINATE

These examples of amphoteric detergents, often found alongside the above are considered milder and less irritating;

  • COCAMIDE MEA 
  • COCOAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE (CAPB) 
  • SODIUM COCOAMPHOACETATE


Cocoamidopropyl betaine is created by mixing raw coconut and dimethylaminopropylamine (try saying that after a few wines!) It can be found in many natural and organic personal care products. Brands will often use the words "coconut-based cleanser". But CAPB can also have side effects. It can be found in a lot of "SLS-free" products or "tear-free" baby shampoos.



 ALCOHOLS

THE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ON SKIN
Alcohols are used to make skincare products feel lighter and to help other ingredients penetrate the skin, and as a preservative. Some of these alcohols can be incredibly drying and irritating because they deteriorate the skins protective barrier, which means the skin is no longer effective at keeping moisture in. Alcohols can also stimulate oil production which could lead to breakouts if you have oily prone skin.






ALCOHOLS IN FACE WASH
There are good alcohols, which are high-molecule-weight, and bad alcohols, low-molecular-weight, when it comes to skincare. Good alcohols, also known as fatty alcohols have emollient properties, giving products a silky texture and keeping ingredients stable. These alcohols are generally classified as no to low hazard/toxicity and are mostly found in creams, lotions, ointments, hair conditioner, balms, butters etc. Examples of good alcohols include cetyl, stearyl and cetearyl alcohol. Bad alcohols to look out for in your face wash are;


  • BENZYL ALCOHOL 
  • DENATATURED ALCOHOL (ALCOHOL DENAT.) 
  • ETHYL ALCOHOL 
  • ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL 
  • METHANOL 
  • SD ALCOHOL



Alcohols like SD and "denatured" immediately harm the skin, starting a chain reaction of damage that continues long after it has evaporated. A study published in 2003 found that with regular exposure to alcohol-based products, cleansing becomes a damaging ordeal—skin is no longer able to keep water and cleansing agents from penetrating into it, thus further eroding its surface layers. An anti-aging nightmare for your skin!




FACE WASH EXAMPLES TO AVOID


SIMPLE 
Moisturising Facial Wash:  Contains two sulfates and no alcohols. But just to make up for it, Simple added not ONE but TWO PARABENS!







NEUTROGENA  
Visibly Clear Pink Grapefruit Cream Wash: will remove the dirt from your face while taking all the goodness in your skin with it!  It contains TWO SULFATES, THREE ALCOHOLS, and TWO PARABENS!








LA ROCHE-POSAY 
Purifying Foaming Gel For Oily Sensitive Skin: contains TWO SULFATES and also PARFUM/FRAGRANCE. The term "parfum" was originally created to protect perfumery scent formulations, which were considered a closely guarded trade secret. These days however it has become a labelling "loophole" where manufacturers can hide a multitude of potentially harmful ingredients. Currently UK cosmetic legislation allows over 200 different chemicals to be listed under "parfum". (I have so much more to say on this topic, but I'll leave it to another post!)

 






DERMALOGICA  
Special Cleansing Gel:  Developed by The International Dermal Institute, Dermalogica is a professional brand used by therapists in spa's and beauty salons treatments. I have used this face wash (long before I understood ingredient labels!) and it smells great and leaves your skin squeaky clean. But after prolonged use it left me with dry patches and irritated skin.  TWO SULFATES, THREE ALCOHOLS  and TWO PARABENS.






L'OREAL 
Hydra Sensitive Face Wash:  Just to show us that men have to put up with the same rubbish as we do, here is the ingredient list for a L'Oreal mens face wash. It contains THREE SULFATES and "PARFUM". And as with all of the above examples, there are absolutely no good ingredients for the skin in here either!


KINDER, NATURAL FACE WASHES FORMULATED Without Sulfates + Alcohols

There are now tons of great, natural and organic brands that do not use parabens, phthalates, sulfates, PEG compounds, petrochemicals & mineral oils or synthetic ingredients in  their products. Just a few are; Green People,  Shea Moisture, Trilogy, Tata Harper,  Annmarie, Maya Chia and ilike.

Some alcohol and sulfate free face washes that do not contain sulfates or alcohols.


HIMALAYA BOTANIQUE

GREEN PEOPLE


GREEN PEOPLE


I think it's really hard to eliminate every single bad ingredient from your daily life. I buy SLS free shampoo, but I know that it still contains some other type of surfactant. But, if you can cut down your daily intake, it's a great start. And changing your face wash to a kinder one is vital to your skin.  Basically, surfactants and alcohols in your face wash (and other skincare) damage and AGE your skin.

An amazing alternative to these products is the The Oil Cleansing Method. This form of cleansing is totally natural, using only a blend of suitable oils for your skin type.  I have been using the OCM for a couple of years now with wonderful results.  Skin is left feeling hydrated and deep cleansed!