Cetaphil: Why the popular cleanser isn’t doing your skin any favorsCetaphil probably has the best PR of any facial soap. Beauty magazines gush over it as a no-frills $8 must-have. Dermatologists love to recommend it as a mild and non-irritating facial cleanser for two reasons: it doesn’t contain fragranceand, more tellingly, because MDs have a big Pharma love affair with the manufacturer, Galderma, the offspring of Nestlé and L’Oréal, which also makes acne drugs like Differin.
And yet there’s nothing healthy about this face-washing prescription.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansercontains just eight ingredients: water, cetyl alcohol, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, stearyl alcohol, methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben.
All but the water are chemically manufactured (let’s hope), and propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, and the three parabens have a seat on the dirty dozen, a list of cosmetic ingredients to avoid as potentially toxic.
One look at the label and you’ve got to go “Wait a minute! What?”says Spirit Demerson, who analyzes skin-care ingredients for Spirit Beauty Lounge, her online natural beauty store. “Cetaphil does not contain even one single beneficial ingredient and what it does contain is the equivalent of toxic sludge. Whether you think it’s keeping your skin healthy or not, it is absorbed into your bloodstream and research has proven almost all of the few ingredients in it are carcinogenic. I know it’s hard to imagine that washing your face can give you cancer but it’s worth consideration.”
The ingredients in this popular Gentle Skin Cleanser don’t support the name
Julia March, a top NYC facialist, says that so many New Yorkers believe that Cetaphil is healthy, they tend ignore the ingredients completely. “Cetyl alcohol, an emollient used in many cosmetics, is essentially a wax,” says March. “Propylene glycol is a common humectant (meaning it brings moisture from the air to the skin), but it also enhances product and chemical penetration into the skin and blood stream. Sodium lauryl sulfate is a foaming agent, and skin and eye irritant, that disturbs the healthy lipid barrier of the skin, and parabens are a group of preservatives being phased out for potential health risks.”
Given that there’s actually nothing clean about this cleanser, it’s rather amazing that millions of women think their skin will freak out if they use anything else. “It may not irritate skin very much, but it probably won’t help it much either,” says Nicole Yih, Assistant Spa Director at the Mandarin Oriental New York. That’s because there’s nothing in Cetaphil that nurtures skin. No antioxidants that help fight free radical damage; not a dribble of omega-rich plant seed oils that fortify the skin barrier; and not a drop of skin-calming botanicals.
A cleanser that you use twice a day should be judged on what it gives your skin. Consider this your new cleanser criterion. --Melisse Gelula
Practicing mindfulness when drinking benefits your skin
St. Patrick’s Day tends to mark the beginning of warmer days ahead, getting most of us in the mood for outdoor activities with drinks in our hands. While enjoying a few adult drinks is not a dire concern it’s important to know what’s happening to the largest organ on your body, your skin.
To put it simply, alcohol is dehydrating. Expanding on that, drinking any type of alcohol prevents your body’s production of vasopressin, the important hormone that helps our bodies retain water and contract blood vessels. Some people might notice their face flushing more when they consume alcohol because our body’s water retention is limited and the blood vessels in our faces are dilated allowing an increased rate of blood flow.
For the most part, once the alcohol is out of your system flushing of the skin, such as the cheeks, and other symptoms of drinking subside. However, residual dehydration is common. Depleting your skin of water hinders your skin from being able to retain nutrients and can cause earlier onset of aging.
Whether you feel thirsty or not, chances are your skin is, so try and drink at least one glass of water in between alcohol-containing drinks. Aim to drink a few extra glasses of water throughout the next day to offset any dehydration.
It is standard to determine how much water you need based on your weight. Multiply your weight by 0.66 and the number remaining is how many ounces you should be drinking per day. Add twelve ounces per 30 minutes of dehydrating activity, such as exercise or consuming alcohol.