Everyone knows that sunshine and cigarettes can damage skin, leading to cancer or premature aging. But have you ever thought about the effects of substances we intentionally apply to our skin daily?
Like the ultraviolet radiation in sun rays and carcinogens in cigarettes, irritants in commonplace personal-care products from shampoo to makeup can damage skin, too. Beauty expert and author Paula Begoun, aka “the cosmetics cop,” writes:
I cannot stress this enough: Irritation and inflammation are bad for skin – really, really bad. We do many things to our skin in an effort to improve it, yet often use an assortment of irritating skin-care products … [that] generate an irritant or inflammatory effect.
Avoiding irritants, on the other hand, can help improve skin, she says:
Treating skin gently encourages normal collagen production, maintains a smooth and radiant surface, and helps skin protect itself from environmental stressors.
The first step to avoiding skin irritation and inflammation is learning their triggers. So we’ve rounded up some of the most surprisingly detrimental personal-care product ingredients, as well as household product ingredients known to upset skin.