What to keep and what to toss for glowing skin this season
The days are getting longer and you’re ready to get serious about glowing skin. A little spring cleaning session is on your to-do list. First stop: your bathroom beauty cabinet. That collection of products you’ve amassed over the past year has gotten a little out of control…and how many of them are you really using, anyway?
We’re all guilty of impulse buying skincare products. And let’s be honest…playing around with the newest trends we find on TikTok can be a very entertaining way to pass the time. But there’s also the reality that you only have one face, and you’re never gonna use up all of those products. So, it’s time to whittle down that collection and figure out which bottles are worth keeping and which ones to say sayonara to for good.
What to Ditch: Harsh exfoliators
Scrubbing away dead skin cells sounds like a good idea in theory. But despite that oh-so-clean feeling of freshly exfoliated skin, those tiny granules can lead to more damage than you think. Your skin is a delicate matter and should be treated as such. Scrubs are actually scraping against your skin cells, which can lead to redness, inflammation, and hyperpigmentation. Sometimes, you can even break the blood vessels underneath your skin if pressure is applied too heavily.
What to Do Instead: Opt for AHAs and BHAs
Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids are your new BFFs. They naturally slough off dead skin cells without being abrasive. AHAs and BHAs share several benefits like decreasing inflammation, reducing the appearance of pores and wrinkles, evening out your skin tone, and unclogging pores.
They also have their own unique capabilities:
- AHAs are water-soluable and gently peel away the surface of your skin. Your skin will feel smoother after use because they help reveal a new layer.
- BHAs are oil-soluble and are able to penetrate deeper into your pores. This allows them to more effectively remove dead skin cells and excess sebum that can lead to acne.
Known as gentle exfoliants, these acids are usually partnered with other products like serums, cleansers, or moisturizers. Not only do these types of multi-taskers help minimize your skincare product collection, but they are specifically designed to work in unison.
What to Ditch: Products containing “The Dirty Dozen”
The so-called Dirty Dozen are the 12 most harsh chemicals in the beauty product world. These are the ones you don’t want showing up at your skincare party. Not only do they have the potential for skincare and long-term health drama, but they also aren’t good for the environment. When you’re scanning labels, look out for these guys:
- BHA and BHT
- Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colors listed as “CI” followed by a five-digit number
- DEA-related ingredients
- Dibutyl phthalate
- Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
- Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)
- PEG compounds
- Sodium laureth sulfate
What to Do Instead: Get to know effective clean beauty products
Getting intimate with the ingredients list of every product you buy feels…overwhelming. We get it, which is why Layers follows a high-level standard of clean beauty. We don’t use parabens, mineral oil, petroleum, silicone, phthalates, sulfates, formaldehyde, triclosan, gluten, or any other ingredients that harm human health and the environment. And, we never test on animals. That’s us, but what about everybody else?
There’s no industry-wide definition of what clean beauty is, so you do need to be informed. There are apps like Think Dirty and Code Check that make it easy for you. You can download the app and then simply scan the barcode and you’ll discover anything questionable hiding in that jumble of information. You can also get familiar with logos. This Clean Beauty Guide from Cosmopolitan shows you what to look for, from cruelty-free to organic to forest-friendly labeling.
What to Ditch: Face wipes
If you’ve been out camping for 3 days, then ok…we get that they’re the next best thing to a functioning sink. But on the daily, it’s time to bid farewell to face wipes. These wet rags of polyester and polypropylene not only don’t decompose very quickly but they are also soaked in preservatives. And all that alcohol can be very drying for the skin. Who knows why this became a trend in the first place, but none of these ingredients are exactly skin-loving.
What to Do Instead: Wash your face
Unless you’re on a camping trip or stuck in the jungle somewhere with no other alternatives, just wash your face. Sure those face wipes might save you 17 seconds, but your skin will thank you in the long run for giving it a non-drying, alcohol-free cleaning session and a dollop of moisturizer.
Beauty trends will come and go, but a TikTok vlogger does not a dermatologist make. The next time you see someone on social media telling you to put something on your face, if they’re not wearing a white coat and don’t have a medical degree on their wall, think twice about taking their advice. Stick to solid, scientifically formulated, clean beauty products and your skin will be better off for it.