Tag Archives: Fragrance

Signs You’re Allergic To Your Skincare Product

Woman in front of mirror

We all know how difficult it can be to find a skincare product you love. After consigning half your paycheck’s worth of products to the garbage bin, you come upon something that actually works; that anti wrinkle cream that really seems to be making you look younger, that spot treatment that really seems to be getting rid of those spots. And just when you declare yourself an official customer for life, it happens: the itching, the redness, the wheezing, the inflammation – the allergic reaction. Sure, the product did what it said it would, but are you really just trading one problem for another? Here are some signs that you’re allergic to your skincare product and what you can do about it.

Aluminum Compounds
If your armpits are getting red and peeling, it may just be that you’re having an allergic reaction to the aluminum compounds in your antiperspirant, according to Joshua Zeichner, MD, at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

You can try swapping it with a natural deodorant. However, Zeichner says, “They do a fine job of masking odor, but aren’t great at preventing sweating.” If leaky pits are still problem, try a sensitive skin antiperspirant with low levels of aluminum.

Acids
It may not surprise you to note that some of the products designed to get rid of skin cells may be causing more harm than good. Salicylic acid, topical retinoids, and glycol acids all, “can cause skin irritation, dryness, redness, and/or burning if you over-use them, ” says Zeichner.

If you notice a negative reaction to topicals, you may want to consult a dermatologist and follow usage instructions carefully. It may be that you need to start with a lower dosage and gradually build up from there, or decrease usage to every other day or every few days. If you are having an allergic reaction to a glycol peel, you may want to trnon-chemicalal forms of exfoliation, like a gentle scrub or a vitamin C or fruit enzyme peel.

Fragrance
Health researchers at the University of Washington credit the use of synthetic fragrance with the development of skin and respiratory irritation in over 20% of the American population. “And fragrance doesn’t just mean perfume; it’s used in almost every beauty product under the sun, points out Siobhan O’Connor, co author of “No More Dirty Looks.” Fragrances pop up even in products that are labeled “unscented” because companies are known to use fragrance chemicals as masking agents to create neutral “non-scents.”

A word to the wise and fragrance sensitive: avoid products with the word “fragrance”on their label, and look for the term “fragrance-free” instead.

Metallics
Glitter can be a girl’s best friend, but not if she’s allergic to nickel. If you’re allergic to the metal, found in the plating of buttons and snaps and costume jewelry, you may also have an allergic reaction to cobalt, used in personal care products, such as light brown hair dyes and antiperspirants. Aluminum, lead, and chromium are other metals to be wary of.

Do a patch test with any cosmetic or mineral makeup which is likely to contain metallic elements to be sure it will not cause a reaction when you apply it to your face.

Emollients
Perry Romanowski, cosmetic chemist says, “Emollients are ingredients designed to feel good on your skin, but any go them cause breakouts, especially for acne-prone skin. Coconut butter, lanolin, cocoa butter, iso-stearyl isostearate, isopropyl palmitate and myristyl lactate are all emollients to be put on the “use with caution” list.

If you’re breakout-prone, use a noncomedogenic, water-based moisturizer to keep skin hydrated without clogging your pores.

Are you allergic to your skin care product? Let us know how you prevent breakouts and what you use to replace the cosmetics that cause you irritation.

Classic Perfumes That Still Have Nose Appeal

Woman applying perfume in a car

When Revlon released their “Charlie” perfume in the 1970’s, it was advertised as “kinda young, kinda now.” But now, now is then, and one can only imagine how Charlie would stack up next to today’s hipper scents. The young literally turn up their millennial noses at the cloying scents of their mothers and grandmothers, and invest hard-earned cash in the most recent product to be featured on the test strip from the latest issue of Vogue. But take heed: before consigning those ancient bottles to the trash, you may want to spritz a bit on your wrist. There are a few classic scents that have held up under the test of time.

Chanel No. 5
It takes a classic to make a classic. Chanel No. 5 was made iconic in the commercial ad featuring Marilyn Monroe who offered the perfume’s name as the answer to the question of what she “wore to bed.” According to Refinery 29, the scent still holds its own. Chanel number 5 is a combination of floral smells, including rose, jasmine, and citrus. It remains a ladylike staple of the perfume industry with hints of sandalwood and vanilla undertones.

Chantilly
The Huffington Post declared this Eau de Toilette spray by Houbigant another timeless fragrance. Known for its reputed luxury and high price, it was released in 1941 as a scent of romance and intrigue. Hints of rose damask and jasmine give this perfume its allure.

Youth Dew
This Estee Lauder creation also landed on the list of classics. Created in the 1950’s Estee Lauder described the perfume as sensual and it is reputed to be symbolic of women’s independence from the need for male companionship. The theme is represented through the scents of moss, lavender, and Muguet.

Jean Nate
Another perfume staple, Jean Nate by Revlon has endured for decades. Introduced in 1935, the scent of Jean Nate summons feelings of playfulness. Popsugar describes its scent as light and sweet, noting its balance of the floral with the spicy.

Perfume

White Diamonds
Another legendary perfume endorsed by a legend is the elegant White Diamonds, by Elizabeth Taylor. Created in 1991, the perfume is characterized by its citrus blend of neroli, orange, and bergamot, with a hint of lily.

L’Air du Temps
This fragrance, known for its “Something’s In The Air” slogan, was launched in 1948 by Nina Ricci. The release of the perfume was an attempt to capture the return to peace and optimism after World War and was designed to appeal to the femininity of its users. The beautiful bottle with the intertwining doves has been, and will remain, a feature on the vanity tables of elegant women throughout history.

Shalimar
Shalimar is an ancient oriental perfume whose name translates to “temple of love” in Sanskrit. The moniker for the Guerlain fragrance is derived from the Indian Gardens of Shalimar where the Shah Jahan met his muse for the building of the Taj Mahal. Touted by starlets from Rita Hayworth to Kate Moss, this classic fragrance is one for the ages.

Have you been raiding grandma’s perfume collection? Let us know what you’ve been liking! We love to hear from you!

Cosmetic Ingredients That Aren’t so Safe

Woman reading beauty product label

The Food and Drug Administration regulates cosmetic products, but how strict are these regulations? The answer may shock you. The cosmetics industry is largely unregulated; there is no pre-approval by the FDA before a product arrives on your shelves and there is only a very small and minimal approval process for color additives or any ingredients classified as over-the-counter drugs. If you aren’t already, get into the habit of thoroughly reading the ingredient list of every product you purchase, and if you see any of the following, look for something else.

Synthetic Colors
Synthetic colors are widely used in cosmetics, but you definitely want to think twice before purchasing something containing them. If the ingredients list on your label includes FD&C or D&C, then those ingredients are representative of synthetic colors. The “F” represents food and the “D&C” represents drugs and cosmetics. Synthetic colors are written so that the letters come right before a color and a number. These synthetic colors are produced using petroleum or coal tar sources, are dangerous because they are suspected human carcinogen, are a known skin irritant and are linked to ADHD in children. The European Union classifies synthetic colors as human carcinogens and has thus banned them from being used in cosmetics.

Fragrance
Fragrance may seem harmless enough, but this cosmetic ingredient is actually one of the most troubling. The term “fragrance” began being used as a way to protect a company’s “secret formula.” Because of this, cosmetic companies do not have to divulge what ingredients are actually being used in their “fragrance.” Fragrances are well-known for causing health problems like allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and even some reproductive issues. Since you have no idea what chemicals or toxins are present in a “fragrance,” it’s best to steer clear of this ingredient.

Formaldehyde
Cosmetic companies include formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives to inhibit bacteria growth, which seems like it would be a good thing. However, this chemical has been identified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Carcinogens. Formaldehyde is also known to cause allergic skin reactions and is potentially harmful to your immune system.

Toluene
This chemical is derived from either petroleum or coal tar sources, and it may be labeled as toluol, benzene, methylbenzene and phenylmethane. Toluene is a very potent solvent and can be used to dissolve paint, which is an indication that this ingredient should not be going onto or into your body. Toluene may also cause nausea, skin irritation and could be harmful to your respiratory system.

Triclosan
Triclosan is a chemical antibacterial that can be found commonly in products like toothpaste and soaps. However, there is no supporting research that using soaps containing triclosan is more effective than washing with regular soap and water. Because of this, there is no reason to subject yourself to the potential harm caused by triclosan that includes skin irritation and thyroid or reproductive system disruptions. Additionally, studies have raised concern that using products containing triclosan may lead to creating bacteria that is antibiotic resistant.

Reading labels is important in every aspect of your life, from the food you choose to the beauty products you apply to your skin. When it comes to cosmetic ingredients, avoid the one above because it’s better to play it safe than to risk your health.

Skin Care Ingredient No-Nos: What to Avoid

You know that what you put onto your skin is just as important as what you put into your body. When grocery shopping and deciding on food you probably stop to read labels and find out what is really in the food you are eating (and if you don’t do this…start now!). You may not know, though, that you should be doing the same thing with all of your skin care products. Think all beauty and skin care products are created equal? Think again! If you see any of the following ingredients on a beauty label, put the product down and look for something else that will help, rather than harm, your skin.

Chemical formula of Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde
If you are familiar with formaldehyde you may be shocked to learn that it can be an ingredient in your beauty products. Yes, this is the formaldehyde used in preserving dead bodies. Formaldehyde can be found in nail polish and nail polish treatments, shampoo and conditioner, body washes and cleansers and eyeshadow. Formaldehyde is a recognized human carcinogen (cancer causing agent) by the International Agency for Research on Carcinogens. In other words, if you see formaldehyde in an ingredient list, drop the product immediately.

Parabens
Parabens, along with sodium lauryl sufates, have gotten tons of attention in the past few years where beauty products are concerned. Parabens are used in the vast majority of makeup products, cleansers, shampoos, body washes and deodorants. They sound like a great thing – they are used as preservatives to avoid bacteria growth in products. However, they are a highly suspected source of increased breast cancer risk.

Chemical formula of Propylene Glycol

Propylene Glycol
This does not sound like something you want on your face or body and it certainly isn’t. While this ingredient may not be quite as hazardous to your health as formaldehyde, propylene glycol is definitely something to avoid. Often found in moisturizers, conditioners and shampoos, propylene glycol is a known skin irritant and is far from soothing, which is the intended use.

Fragrance
This skin care and beauty product ingredient is a tricky one to identify and pin down because it is hard to define a fragrance. The term was originally used to protect the secret formulations of beauty companies, but this works against consumers who want to be informed of what they put on their skin. Some fragrances are irritants to the skin and are unfortunately found in many skin and beauty products from shampoos to foundations.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free Sign

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate 
This is an ingredient that has gotten a lot of buzz in the beauty community. This surfectant is located in somewhere near 90% of all foaming products, such as cleaners, shampoos, body washes and soaps. Sodium lauryl (and laureth) sulfates are known to be irritants to the skin, lungs and eyes. Additionally, there is concern that sodium lauryl sulfates can combine with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, which are known carcinogens.

Toxic beauty ingredients can be seemingly hard to avoid because they are so prevalent. However, beauty companies are now catering to consumers desires for safety and effective products. Be sure to read the labels on all products you use and look for natural options when you can to decrease the risk of irritation and illness.