4 Common Beauty Products to Stop Using NOW

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Just say NO! by grl_interrupted
Just say NO!, a photo by grl_interrupted on Flickr.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. -Benjamin Franklin

The great irony of beauty products is that we use them to look better. But once in a blue moon, the product we are using can inflict more harm than good. Take these four common examples, for instance:

1. Self-tanner.

Most self-tanners work by using dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as the main ingredient. Unfortunately, according to a 2007 study published in Germany, DHA causes the skin to release 180% more free radicals once being exposed to the sun – resulting in damage down the line.

This means you must avoid using self-tanner for “base color” before going out in the sun. Although, truth be told, artificial “base color” doesn’t help shield from the sun anyway, now you have two reasons skip this step! Also, sunscreen is extremely important when you have used DHA-containing self-tanners within the past 24 hours.

Keep in mind that this is still less damage than is inflicted with UV light, so don’t take this as a sign you should go tanning! Instead, if you must be tan, think about using bronzer, or applying your self-tanner solely at night, and being religious about using sunscreen the next day.

2. Lip gloss without SPF.

According to Dr. Christine Brown, a dermatologist at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, “These lip glosses can make more of the light rays penetrate directly through the skin instead of getting reflected off of the skin’s surface.” Which, at worst, can lead to “…the degeneration of collagen and elastin — which leads to a loss of lip fullness and increased lines — and an increased risk of skin cancer,” according to Dr. Leslie Baumann, Chief of the Department of Cosmetic Dermatology at the University of Miami and author of The Skin Type Solution.

In other words, for better lips tomorrow, stick to a lipstick or gloss with SPF today. I’m saving my lip glosses without SPF for nighttime use only! My daytime favorites now include Clinique Moisture Surge Lipstick SPF 15 and Neutrogena Moisture Surge Lipgloss with SPF 20 ($12.00 for two, Amazon.com).

3. Apricot scrub.

The reason? Apricot granules tend to have rough, almost triangular, edges. When apricot scrub is applied roughly, it can actually rip or stretch the pores. For this reason, it is best to stick with dermatologist-administered microdermabrasion or a different scrub, like my personal favorite, NIA 24 Physical Cleansing Scrub ($26.50,Amazon.com).

4. Pore Strips

The pore strip was my original skin sin: I applied it to my face, thinking I would have clear pores. One box of pore strips later, and I have been succumbed to a lifetime of needing to clean out my pores.

The reason? Pore strips contain a hairspray-like substance on one side. It sticks to the material within your pores, but when you rip the strip off, it stretches the pore. Over time, this leads to enlarged pores, in which material collects, leaving you with a nose filled with blackheads. Best to stick with these methods for making your pores look smaller!

Bottom Line

Everyone’s all about safety these days, avoiding things like phthalates and certain plastics. Yet keep in mind that “all-natural” doesn’t necessary mean “all-safe” (apricot scrub, poison ivy, you get the point). Pay attention to news and advice from experts and sources you trust!

Stay tuned:  Tomorrow – September 2, 2011 – at noon EST I’ll reveal the 10 Secrets Cosmetics Companies Don’t Want You to Know.  I guarantee you haven’t heard most of these before!  🙂

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Accredited in [easyazon_link identifier=”0553383302″ locale=”US” tag=”cosmeticswiki-20″]The Skin Type Solution[/easyazon_link] by one of my idols, Dr. Leslie Baumann (director, Division of Cosmetic Dermatology and Assistant Professor of

About Myself

Nicki Zevola is the founder and editor-in-chief of FutureDerm.com. Named one of the top 30 beauty bloggers in the world by Konector.com since 2009, Nicki