4. Soaps, cleansers and body washes
The most commonly cited problem with these products is certain chemical cleansing agents, namely sodium lauryl sulfate. Women’s Health magazine reports:
Sodium lauryl sulfate is a harsh emulsifier that is found in body washes, facial cleansers and soap; it rids the skin of dirt and oil while breaking down precious lipids, the glue that binds skin cells together, keeping them resistant to dryness and damage.
Celebrity esthetician Renee Rouleau calls facial cleansers “the No. 1 culprit behind unnecessary irritation” due to detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate.
Dermatologist Dr. Donald V. Belsito, a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Missouri, cited plain soap and water as an issue.
“It’s particularly problematic in today’s germaphobic society because people feel they have to be clean and make no attempt to protect their skin,” he told WebMD.