How good are scrubs for the skin?
In the third part of our four-part series of articles, we take a closer look at the strong active ingredients and different peelings. In case you haven't read the other parts yet. It was about which ingredients and products are irritating and unnecessary for your skin . The second part also dealt with various active ingredients , which you should better avoid and which are very good for the skin. The fourth part of this series of articles, which will be published tomorrow, will then deal with how you can find your individually suitable care routine.
You can treat blemishes and inflammation with niacinamides . They can strengthen the skin barrier, reduce redness and ensure that you lose less moisture. In addition, niacinamides can regulate sebum.
Many people are well tolerated by niacinamide, and allergies are extremely rare. Up to a concentration of 5% they are considered to be well tolerated. Above 5%, however, the effect can be reversed. The active ingredient is usually well tolerated. But there are a few things to keep in mind about niacinamides.
Retinol prevents wrinkles. However, it is such a strong active ingredient that it can severely dry out the skin. Retinol must not be used during pregnancy as it may harm the unborn baby. A very potent ingredient.
Dealing with potent active substancesOnly you can decide whether your skin really needs all the active ingredients. If you have sensitive skin, it's usually better to avoid potent ingredients, although many brands advertise their ingredient-rich products as Mild or Sensitive. Even insensitive skin can develop over-treated skin due to too much skin care and above all due to too many different active ingredients, which could lead to perioral dermatitis . Then only the radical step of zero therapy can help .
Always ask yourself whether your skin needs the active ingredient at all. Because if you care for your skin mildly, with what it really needs, it will recover in the long term, similar to a healthy diet
If you want to venture into active ingredients and acid peeling, then always start with very low concentrations and please do not use the skin care products on a daily basis in the beginning. Add one new potent ingredient to your skincare routine at a time so you can see how your skin responds. Your skin should get a chance to get used to this new stimulus. You can't run a marathon overnight without getting your stamina, muscles and ligaments used to this heavy strain. Give your skin time. Always inform yourself in detail about the active ingredients and the correct application before you introduce them into your routine. Because as you have seen, there is a lot to consider. The positive effect of potent active ingredients would be reversed if you used them incorrectly. Articles on the individual active ingredients will appear here in the future.
Mild is not always mildMany cosmetic brands advertise with active ingredients and at the same time particularly good tolerability. Some people tolerate such products quite well. And there are also products that actually do without fragrances and drying alcohols. However, potent active ingredients such as vitamin C are suddenly hidden in the normal day cream. Retinol, niacinamide or natural fruit and flower extracts. These products can be too much for sensitive skin. So it may be that you bought a mild cream and unsuspectingly care for your skin with a variety of different active ingredients. If your skin doesn't tolerate it, it can lead to redness and inflammation. You're probably wondering how a sensitively advertised product can trigger something like this.
And what about natural active ingredients in natural cosmetics or clean beauty?
Incidentally, this is not only the case in conventional cosmetics: also in clean beauty and the natural cosmetics there are products that appear to be particularly mild and very suitable for sensitive skin. And also in many of these products are potent active ingredients such as BHA or retinol.
In natural cosmetics, in addition to the classic active ingredients, there are also fruit acids (AHA = Alpha Hydroxy Acid), such as pineapple, papaya or hibiscus extract. They should make the skin smooth and even. There are similar promises as with acid peeling from conventional cosmetics.
These natural fruit extracts are also very potent. And unfortunately they have the disadvantage that you don't know exactly what concentration of natural active ingredients is in your product. And the natural acidity of fruit extracts can vary greatly. The acidity can be subject to natural fluctuations. Even more: With natural fruit extracts you are dealing with a large number of different active ingredients in one extract. For example, a pineapple is not a single substance, but a whole lot of different active ingredients that act on your skin. These substances are not individually listed in the list of ingredients (INCI) . And that can be problematic for your skin.
Just because an ingredient is naturally occurring doesn't mean it's necessarily milder. You certainly wouldn't rub a lemon on your skin either. That would probably be too much acid for your skin.
Are there any mild peels at all?A mild exfoliating alternative is PHA (PolyHydroxy Acid) . This peeling moisturizes and does not make your skin more sensitive to the sun's rays, unlike other acid peels. In the INCI list you will find PHA under the name gluconolactones . Unfortunately, there are also products that contain fragrances and other potent active ingredients in addition to PHA. Also a mild enzyme peeling is usually very well tolerated by sensitive skin. There are often enzyme peels that also contain fruit extract. A pure enzyme peeling is much milder for your skin.
However, PHA or enzyme peels are also potent active ingredients that you shouldn't overdo with. Once or twice a week is sufficient. The decision is up to you and your skin. Because your skin can simply best answer what it is asking for.
Mechanical peelsAnd then there's the mechanical peels . These work with small particles that remove dead skin cells through mechanical friction. One might think that these are much more tolerable than chemical peels. what's up
Microplastics are often used in conventional cosmetics. This is problematic for the environment. That is why there are a lot of natural alternatives without plastic in natural cosmetics. Surely you know peelings with coffee, sugar, apricot or walnut kernels. Unfortunately, these are not healthy alternatives - especially not for sensitive skin. All of these peelings are much sharper than microplastics and can cause tiny micro-injuries on your skin that you can't see with the naked eye. These small injuries are entry points for bacteria and viruses that can cause inflammation in your skin.
If your skin is sensitive, you should also use clay (also called kaolin or healing clay) with caution. If the clay is finely ground, it does not cause injuries to the skin as quickly. However, some people with rosacea do not tolerate clay very well. It is better suited as a mask - without mechanical rubbing. You can find out more about the right one here Rosacea Care .
By the way, muslin towels or dry washcloths can also exfoliate your skin. Microfiber towels are a bit softer, but they are made of plastic and emit microplastics into the environment when washed. A soft sponge, eg made of plant fibers, is better.
- Mechanical peelings such as sugar, apricot kernels or clay in combination with fruit extracts are very irritating. Because fruit extracts can stimulate inflammation in the small injuries.
- When washing off mechanical peels, small sharp grains of clay, sugar or coffee can get into the eyes and irritate them.
And what does that mean now? Are microplastics the only option now?No, fortunately there are already a few alternatives and there will certainly be more and more on the market. You can take sensitive skin with you without hesitation jojoba beads exfoliate In some products they are used instead of microplastics or sharp-edged sugar.
You can also use very, very finely ground one Oats use to exfoliate. Sensitive skin tolerates it particularly well, as it also soothes the skin. So don't use the mechanical peelings with the sharp edges, don't use microfiber cloths and the like too often and only if your skin really tolerates it. Oats and jojoba beads are better and milder.
interim conclusionIf you thought you had to try one or the other highly acclaimed product, you can rest easy. You won't miss anything. And your skin is probably doing just fine, too. Everyone may feel uncomfortable in their own skin at times. But the solution doesn't lie in more skincare products, stronger active ingredients, or other topical interventions. With inner serenity and the knowledge that minor skin problems are simply part of life and sometimes take time, you may be able to accept one or the other pimple or reddening. It is important that you love yourself. Then you don't necessarily have to bring out the biggest guns, which may cause greater collateral damage. For many "skin problems" less is more. With a little patience and mild skin care, your skin is likely to improve over the long term.
And if you have sensitive skin, you almost always have your personal skin expert with you: your skin will tell you much more quickly what is good for you and what is not. listen to them Nobody else could tell you better. It's like eating: If your body signals to you that you don't tolerate something very well, you wouldn't eat it again. Or you ate a little too much sugar or fried food and got a stomach ache. The skin will also let you know when it doesn't like something and become red or inflamed. If you only give your skin what it asks for in the long term, it will be fine. This way you will have less inflammation in your skin in the future and consequently less redness, pustules or pimples.
Of course, there are worse things than irritating skincare. All cosmetic products on the European market meet the legal requirements and are classified as safe by the EU. For many people they should Effects of essential oils , drying alcohols, or potent drugs shouldn't be too dramatic. But the reason you use skin care in the first place is that you want to take care of your skin and keep it healthy. If such care then has the opposite effect, you can simply leave it out. And rather establish a mildly minimalist routine. This is good for your skin, for your wallet and for the environment. Because every cosmetic product that is produced uses resources.
Part 2 and 3 summarized for you
- Too much skin care can lead to irritation or perioral dermatitis
- (Active) substances that are very similar to the skin are very well tolerated. eg hyaluronic acid, glycerin, squalane or ceramide
- Plant extracts are antioxidant and often have other positive properties
- Beware of exotic plant extracts
- Witch hazel and tea tree oil can irritate the skin
- Potent active ingredients such as vitamin C, salicylic acid (BHA), benzoyl peroxide, niacinamide or retinol can sometimes overwhelm sensitive skin
- Do your research before using potent active ingredients on your skin
- Only use potent active ingredients when your skin really calls for them
- Add only one new potent ingredient to your routine at a time
- Always listen to your skin. She is your best advisor
What experiences have you had with active ingredients? Write to us in the comments.