7 Harmful Ingredients To Avoid In Your Beauty Products If You Have Dry, Eczema-Prone Skin

If it smells too good and looks too colourful, you should probably avoid it!

If you have dry skin, you probably spend most of your mornings and evenings moisturising your skin

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However, did you know that if you suffer from severely dry skin or conditions like eczema, your skin may require more than just an ordinary cream? What you need is a good quality cream that goes beyond moisturisation!

According to dermatologist Dr. Irene Lee Chew Kek, while moisturisation can help replenish and rebuild the skin, it may not always be enough

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As a consultant dermatologist at Pantai Hospital Cheras, Dr. Irene has seen her share of Malaysians suffering from dry skin. She says when people suffer from severely dry skin conditions, their skin's outer layer (stratum corneum) becomes dysfunctional.

This means that no matter how much ordinary moisturising cream you put on your skin, it will still feel dry because "the stratum corneum is unable to repair itself, resulting in cracked, itchy, and painful skin."

Nevertheless, many beauty and cleansing products do nothing to repair the skin, and instead contain harmful ingredients that may damage it

If you have dry skin or eczema, here are a few ingredients you should look out for and avoid at all costs:

1. Artificial fragrances that smell too good to be true

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Often, we choose our cleansing products based on the scent we prefer the most. But these artificially-added fragrances are just a cover-up to mask the toxic ingredients in the cleansing product. Artificial fragrances may contain many chemical compounds and can irritate your skin, especially if it's already dry to begin with.

While some products may be unscented, they may still contain masking fragrances to hide the chemical odours. So when shopping for your soaps, cleansers, or body washes, make sure to look for completely fragrance-free products.

What to be wary of:
 Best to look for "fragrance-free" indications on the label and ensure "fragrance" is not listed in the ingredient list.

2. Synthetic dyes that make the colours pop

It's always more exciting to use a colourful body wash instead of a plain white one, until your skin starts getting irritated by it. Most of the colours you see come from chemicals that can cause allergies, skin irritation, and hives.

What to avoid: 
If it looks overly colourful, don't buy it.

3. Foaming agents that help create the lathering effect

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Here's a fun fact—while lather can help trap dirt for easy removal through rinsing, you don't actually need much of it. In fact, most of the ingredients used as foaming agents are known to sometimes strip your skin of its natural oils, depending on the harshness of the ingredients, which can make your skin even drier.

What to avoid: Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES)

4. The base ingredients of your beauty or cleansing product

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Many skincare products use harsh ingredients as their base, because they make creams feel lighter, help other ingredients penetrate your skin, and act as a preservative. However, these base ingredients can erode your skin's barrier, damaging your skin if used excessively.

Ingredients to avoid: Ethanol, methanol, and benzyl.

Fatty acids derived from plants (ok to use): Cetearyl, stearyl, cetyl, and behenyl.

5. Essential oils, especially the citrusy kind

This may come as a surprise, but even organic ingredients like essential oils may not necessarily be good for your dry skin. The main reason is that most essential oils are very concentrated, which can irritate your skin. Using citrusy and mint essential oils may also cause further damage to your skin due to the acidity.

Potentially irritating oils include: Lemon, lime, tangerine, grapefruit, mandarin, bergamot, peppermint, wintergreen, pennyroyal, and balm mint.

6. Antibacterial agents often found in hand sanitisers and soaps

Besides containing harmful ingredients, hand sanitisers and antibacterial soaps may also include antibacterial agents like triclosan, which may cause skin sensitivity in the form of itching, burning sensation, or dry skin.

What to avoid: 
If you see triclosan in the product label, go for something else.

7. Preservatives that help extend your product's expiry date

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Beauty and cleansing products usually contain some form of preservative to help increase the shelf life. However, preservatives such as Methylisothiazolinone (MI) are linked with major skin allergy outbreaks. 

What to avoid: Methylisothiazolinone, propylparaben, butylparaben, or ethylparaben.

It may be a hassle, but taking time to look through your beauty and cleansing product labels may save you from potential outbreaks or damaged skin in the long run

However, if you are suffering from severely dry skin and don't have time to look through all the fine print, Dove DermaSeries is the perfect solution for you

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First of all, the great thing about Dove DermaSeries is that it contains none of the harmful ingredients stated above. Instead, it is hypoallergenic, dermatologically-tested, and fragrance-free—perfect for people with severely dry skin. The range of products include body wash, body lotion, hand cream, and repairing balm.

Beyond cleansing and moisturising, Dove DermaSeries also goes the extra mile to repair, replenish, and nourish your skin

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As mentioned by Dr. Irene, moisturising is not enough, especially for people suffering from severely dry skin and eczema. That's why Dove DermaSeries body lotion and hand cream uses a Europe patented Peroxisome Proliferator–Activated Receptor (PPAR) technology to trigger the skin's repair mechanism to help your skin repair itself.

Often times, your skin's natural moisturisers like stearic acid get stripped away during the washing process. By including stearic acid into its body wash and body lotion formula, Dove DermaSeries helps you replenish your skin even while you're washing it. In fact, Dove DermaSeries body wash is up to ten times more nourishing than regular body washes.

Dove DermaSeries is also designed to feel great on your skin, providing you with instant relief and lasting comfort

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Usually, body washes for sensitive eczema-prone skin have a gel-like texture that makes showering unpleasurable. On the other hand, body washes with lather contain SLS and SLES that people with eczema cannot use.

Dove DermaSeries gentle cleansing body wash is specially formulated to be creamy and luxurious. Not only that, they've also found a way to allow people with severely dry, sensitive skin to enjoy a mild lather that is actually nourishing and doesn't dry out the skin at all!

In fact, Dove DermaSeries even has a money back guarantee, giving you the liberty to refund your products if you're not satisfied with the product within 90 days of purchase.

    Check out Dove's website today to find out more how Dove DermaSeries can help you overcome dry, sensitive skin

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