An obvious way to keep your skin clean, hydrated, and acne-free is by showering. Using a daily shower routine of top-notch cleansers and body washes is one of the key ways to having baby-smooth, clean and happy skin. But, you should always remember that whatever you use to wash your skin with will affect it, so choose your body washes cautiously. You can’t just use anything you want to cleanse your skin, you have to make sure that you’re using a body wash that cleanses wile hydrating your skin, and is formulated without any harsh detergents or additives that can irritate it.
Many drugstore body washes are infuse with skin-safe ingredients, but some of those cheaper ones can actually do more harm than good. Drugstore body washes may be more bargain-friendly, but they can also dry out your skin or cause irritation. Don’t damage your skin with harsh irritants, make sure you read the label and avoid any ingredients that raise red flags. Don’t know what you should be avoiding? No worries, we exclusively talked to David Lortscher, board-certified dermatologist with a decade of experience in dermatology and founder of customizable skincare regimen, Curology, for some tips on what you should be avoiding when buying your next body wash.
According to Dr. Lortscher, one major body wash ingredient you should avoid is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). SLS is commonly found in a variety of drugstore personal care products, such as body wash and shampoos, but it is definitely not doing your skin any favors. When it comes to a short-term product, Dr. Lortscher says SLS is safe for brief use followed by thorough rinsing of the skin. However, this ingredient can cause irritation if used for long periods of time. “Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) can often dry out the skin. The longer these ingredients stay in contact with the skin, the greater the likelihood of irritation,” said Dr. Lortscher. “In products intended for prolonged contact with skin, concentrations should not exceed 1 percent.”
SLS can also lead to more acne if your skin is prone to breakouts. “Some people find they may lead to more acne when their skin is in frequent contact with SLS,” said Dr. Lortscher. “…Individuals who tend to get clogged pores may want to avoid products containing SLS.”
Another drugstore body wash ingredient Dr. Lortscher advises to be cautious of is Propylene Glycol. While most people can handle this ingredient, it can actually lead to an allergic reaction on others. “One of the most widely used ingredients in cosmetics, fragrances and various personal care products; it functions as a solvent, emulsifier, preservative, vehicle, humectant and/or penetration enhancer,” he said. “Although most individuals are not bothered by the propylene glycol found in body washes, the tendency of propylene glycol to induce irritant or allergic skin reactions in some patients exists.”
“If you are truly allergic to it, then you’ll want to avoid it, as even lower concentrations could result in an itchy rash,” Dr. Lortscher said. “The overall prevalence of allergic reactions to PG was found to be relatively low (3.5% for the years 1996-2006 and 2.1% for 2007-2008) by the NACDG (North American Contact Dermatitis Group). If you have suspicions that you may not tolerate propylene glycol or other preservatives/base ingredients, you’ll want to visit a dermatologist for consideration of patch testing.”
According to Dr. Lortscher, another ingredient that can trigger an allergic reaction is Benzoyl peroxide. “Some people are allergic to this active ingredient—you’ll know if you’re one of them, as an itchy rash will result every time you use it,” he said.
So, try to stay on the safe side an avoid these skin-harming ingredients! To make sure you’re getting a product that’s 100 percent formulated for your unique skincare needs, make sure to try Curology’s customizable skincare. Curology hooks you up with your own online dermatology provider, and delivers a monthly prescription formula customized for your acne and skin needs. All you need to do is take a quiz, send in a few selfies, and within minutes you have your own skincare treatment that will zap away any of your dermal troubles. The best part: it’s only $19.95/month! So, stop making your skin suffer with basic skincare products and give Curology’s miracle-working regimens a try.