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Experts reveal the beauty products that could be damaging YOUR face 

As calendars fill up with long-awaited plans this summer, many of us will be readjusting to our pre-pandemic beauty routines.  

But there are some products that you may want to ditch from your make-up bag full stop, with experts revealing the common beauty buys which could cause more harm than good.   

From cheap moisturiser to hair removal creams, dermatologists, make-up artists and skincare experts have given the Femail the lowdown on the products and ingredients that they always advise clients to avoid. 

The products include waterproof mascara and matte lipsticks – with several of the experts warning against the negative effects of make-up wipes, which can irritate and dry out skin. 

From cheap moisturiser to hair removal creams, dermatologists, make-up artists and skincare experts told Femail the products and ingredients that they always advise clients to avoid 

WATERPROOF MASCARA 

Skincare Specialist and Katherine Daniels Co-Founder Kirsti Shuba says that mascara that is tricky to remove, like waterproof variations, can eventually clog hair follicles – which could cause eyelashes to fall out.  

‘Long-wear, waterproof mascaras can be really tricky to remove if you don’t have a good eye makeup remover,’ she said. ‘If eye makeup isn’t thoroughly removed, it’s possible that left over make-up can get into our tiny hair follicles and cause eye infections and in some case lashes can fall out. 

‘If you do wear waterproof mascara then you have to invest in a great eye make-up remover that is specially designed for this delicate area to ensure all traces are removed safely and efficiently. ‘ 

HAIR REMOVAL CREAM   

Hair removal expert Sunny Choudhery says that hair removal creams can cause your skin unnecessary irritation because of the harsh chemicals used to dissolve hair. 

‘Hair removal creams are the worst thing you could apply to your skin’, she said. ‘They are designed to dissolve the hair on the surface – not even removing hair from root, giving you a stubbly regrowth. 

She said that it’s much better to opt for methods such as waxing or threading that may cause an initial sting, which will quickly fade.  

‘I can’t imagine why people would put their skin through such harsh chemicals that have the strength to dissolve hair and cause unnecessary irritation when there are better options out there that remove hair from the follicle, and have zero impact on the skin,’ she said. 

OCCLUSIVE SUN CREAMS

The skincare specialist went on to warn against once-a-day formulations of suncream, which could lead to inflammation and other bacterial skin conditions. 

Sunny said: ‘Avoid occlusive sun creams – these are the once a day formulations. These formulas are waterproof and are designed to remain on your skin all day, however your sweat gets trapped underneath the cream/lotion and can’t escape. 

‘Sweat contains bacteria, which can lead to prickly heat, inflammation and various other bacterial skin conditions. 

‘It’s definitely an easier, hassle-free option when on holiday but for the health of your skin you’re better off using a normal sun cream and reapplying throughout the day.’ 

Do YOU know which ingredients to look out for? Expert reveals what to avoid while shopping for skincare

Skincare expert and founder of Beauti Skin Clinic, Cinzia Campigotto warned  that cheap moisturizers can cause more harm than good. Here, she reveals to Femail what specific ingredients to avoid. 

BENZOYL PEROXIDE

Used for acne medication; it is toxic when inhaled but applying it to the skin can cause eye irritation and respiratory issues.

SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE

It is mainly used to create foam in products such as face washes. It is also used for car washes or heavy-duty stuff like engine degreasers.

PROPYLENE GLYCOL AND BUTYLENE GLYCOL

These ingredients are found in most skincare products including eczema treatments. They are Petroleum plastic and the raw form of these are used in googles and gloves but are still found in products we put on our skin.

PHTALATES

These ingredients are not often listed on labels but good products will state explicitly that they don’t use them. They might cause birth defect, early breast development in girls and boys and can cause damages to the liver and kidney.

PARABENS

We all know now that they are not good for us, this group include variations like Butyl, Ethyl, Methyl and propyl. They are all used as preservatives but can cause hormonal imbalances in women, sterility in men early puberty and also are found in breast cancer tumour.

SUNCREEN CHEMICALS

every conscious person now uses sunscreen to avoid ageing and cancer. However, some sunscreen chemicals can cause all sorts of other problems so it is important to read the ingredients list carefully.

Common bad products will include benzophenone avobenzone, ethoxy cinnamate, and PABA which are all known to generate harmful free radicals which, as we know, can cause damage to the DNA and also lead to cancer. In cheaper sunscreen, the compound breaks down after 2 hours leaving the skin exposed to the UV rays. The particles in them are so tiny that will penetrate into the skin and congest it – that’s the reason why often the skin reacts to sunblock.

Another misleading information for the above reasons is when people buy a moisturiser with SPF in it, consumers feel they are protected but once again the SPF will wear off soon after you apply the moisturiser leaving the skin exposed. I will always suggest my clients to buy Zinc Oxide as it’s a mineral which create a barrier on the skin without congesting it and the compound doesn’t break down so the skin is safe for the all day without having to reapply every few hours

MAKE UP WIPES 

Dr Uliana Gout, founder of London Aesthetic Medicine said: ‘Wipes are mechanical stressors to the skin and often filled with perfume and other preservatives which can cause skin sensitivities.

‘We often see redness and stinging as a major complaint after a few weeks of wipe use. The skin barrier is impaired, inflammation can rise and we start to look red, sore and our makeup no longer looks it’s best.’ 

Dr Ross Perry, of Medical Director of Cosmedics skin clinics, added: ‘Baby wipes or water wipes will only take off a small amount of make-up and dirt from the skin, in actual fact all you’re doing is rubbing the make-up further into the skin. 

‘A wipe is better than not washing or cleansing the face at all, but this alone just isn’t enough if you want healthy looking skin. You also run the risk of over wiping and dragging the skin on your face with a wipe which can lead to irritation. 

‘Because you’re not properly cleansing your skin this can lead to breakouts and clogged pores. Baby wipes can also strip the skin of its natural oils making it feel tight and dry looking, not to mention dull in appearance. Unfortunately just using water alone won’t cleanse the skin properly either. 

‘You need something extra to take off the make-up and dirt from the skin itself. My advice is to opt for liquid cleansers and cleansing creams which help to lift the dirt from the skin and keep pores clean. ‘ 

FOUNDATION WITH SPF   

Dr Perry and MUA Joy say that while wearing make-up with added SPF is a good thing, it’s important to understand that this alone won’t fully protect your skin. 

‘When companies test out an SPF they slather on a thick layer, unfortunately when we put foundation on we’re only really using a fraction of what’s actually needed,’ said Dr Perry. ‘You also run the risk of make-up sliding off the face and losing what little protection there actually is. 

‘I always advise people to opt for a broad spectrum SPF. You need to be protected against UVB rays which are responsible for sunburn and melanomas but also UVA which causes wrinkles and pressure ageing. 

‘Make-up is rarely broad spectrum. Therefore it’s best to use a broad spectrum SPF after moisturising. Allow it to sink into the skin before adding foundation with added SPF for extra protection’  

Joy added: ‘SPF is important to wear everyday, but the 2-in-1 effect of SPF enriched in your beauty products isn’t enough to create the protection really needed for your skin. 

‘Makeup products do not have as high of a SPF as it may change the formula of the foundation or concealer you use. If you’re relying only on your makeup for SPF, you’re not protecting your skin from signs of ageing, discolouration and reduce skin elasticity.

‘If your foundation does have SPF, it’s fine to wear as long as you are also applying a separate SPF underneath.’

MATTE LIPSTICKS   

MUA Joy said: ‘I have a love/hate relationship with matte liquid lipsticks. The selling point of these are that they last all day, but the majority of them are incredibly drying on the lips and uncomfortable for long-wear. 

‘They tend to use less oils in their ingredients, which means if you have dry lips already, they can settle in the cracks of your lips. Avoid matte lipsticks in general if you have naturally dry lips as you want to increase the hydration. 

‘If you are going to use a matte liquid lipstick, try applying lip balm first (check for that the lip balm has no drying ingredients such as alcohol) and use underneath the product to help act as a barrier from dry lip.’

Dr Perry added: ‘Matte lipsticks can really dry the lips out leading to flakiness, dehydrated looking lips and possible cracks. This is because matte lipsticks turn the lips dry as they soak in all the moisture, especially ones claiming to last at least 12 hours.

‘My advice is to use a matte lipsticks sporadically and not as a daily lipstick. Make sure lips are well hydrated so regular exfoliation, and frequently use moisturising products containing aloe vera, and vitamin E especially designed for the lips.’

SCRUB EXFOLIANTS  

According to Joy, scrub exfoliants should be avoided when it comes to your face, because the skin is much easier to damage and harsh rubbing could cause irritation or inflammation. 

‘Scrub exfoliators have been around for a long time and although they may help remove make-up, the particles in scrubs such as beads, salts and grains can be abrasive, causing irritation and inflammation to the skin’, said Joy. 

‘They can also cause micro tears in the skin, damaging your skin in the long run and possibly causing permanent skin damage. The skin on our face is much thinner than on our bodies, and therefore more delicate and easier to damage. 

‘If you’re going to use a scrub exfoliant, try to use it gently and in a coin-sized amount, and reduce your use to only once a week.’


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