Far from skin-deep

Much like my last article regarding private labelling in the beauty industry, today we will delve into the world of ingredients and the misconceptions behind a lot of them.


For a long time, every blogger under the sun was talking about how bad parabens are for you, and products that didn’t contain them would be hyped up for no apparent reason. So, what are parabens?

They are essentially a gentle preservative found in almost all cosmetic products; if you read your labels, you will find them with names such as butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, methylparaben, isopropylparaben and propylparaben. Without them, cosmetic products end up having a shorter shelf life and are often inconsistent and unstable. So, why does everyone hate them?

A study conducted in 2004 stated that parabens were found in cancerous tumours (look up the Darbre Study), and people immediately jumped to the conclusion that parabens equal cancer. With many popular influencers promoting the same message without any actual proof or reading the study themselves, the innocent paraben became an outcast in most beauty-obsessed households.

Today, more than a decade after the study was published, there still isn’t any proof linking parabens to cancer. Read the various articles on the Internet and make your own informed decision. Personally, I’d always use products that contain parabens as I know they will last longer and remain consistent.

Mineral oil

Another product that often has a very bad reputation is mineral oil. It is derived from petroleum, but cosmetic-grade mineral oil is highly purified and contains no resemblance to petroleum. In fact, it’s a naturally-occurring substance that is gentle, safe to use and one of the most effective non-irritating moisturising ingredients.

It does not clog pores, cause acne or prevent your skin from breathing. If you happen to have dry skin, chances are mineral oil can help that.

However, if you do have oily skin, there is a chance the oil may cause discomfort to the user. But this doesn’t mean you can’t use it. It just means you need to experiment with it.

Having said this, some people may just be allergic to certain oils and ingredients, so avoiding them is the best source of action. But if you find that you aren’t allergic, don’t avoid it just because someone is telling you to.

These are just two of the most recently-hyped ingredients that everyone seems to be avoiding, but there are so many more.

All it takes is one incomplete study or an influencer having a reaction and that product/ingredient becomes a skincare demon or carcinogen.

So, my humble request to you is to read! Makeup and skincare may seem frivolous to some, but there is actual science behind every one of these ingredients and products.

The author is a makeup artist and hairstylist

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 9:19:27 PM |

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