Danielle McCarthy

Beauty & Style

Is your skincare regime ageing you?

Is your skincare regime ageing you?

Each day women are bombarded with advertising for new skincare treatments and anti-ageing creams.

Australian biochemist, Dr Donna Marcal, is encouraging women to rethink their skincare regime after a recent US study revealed that the average woman is putting 168 ingredients on their face daily.

“When doctors prescribe medication they are quick to tell you what other drugs to steer clear of but the same doesn’t happen with skin products, so unknown combinations of chemicals might be interacting which could irritate the skin,” the Dermatonics founder told FEMAIL.

Dr Marcal said it is worrying the chemical combinations people are blindly putting on their skin.

“Each person uses a different combination of products in their daily routine. Some combinations of chemicals may be safe and others may not be,” she said. 

“And even though those individual ingredients may be deemed 'safe' to use in cosmetics, we don't know what the combinations do. Unlike the phamaceutical industry, which is much more regulated, the cosmetic industry doesn't have that indication of chemicals you shouldn't mix.”

“What we do know is that we seem to be seeing an increase in things like eczema, adult acne and hypersensitivity and it's quite likely that all these products we are using are not helping the situation.”

She warned that many people aren’t buying products that are safe for their skin.

“Petroleum based products or other ingredients that clog your pores will contribute to the ageing process,” she said. 

“Chemical sunscreens are also bad as well, it is important to use sunscreen to help protect from UV damage, but watch for sunscreens that have harsh chemicals such as oxybenzone and bensophenone-3, just to name a couple, as these chemicals are actually more damaging when they get exposed to the sun.“

Dr Marcal added, “It is also important that your products contain multiple antioxidants, not just one, as they work together in nature. Antioxidants help to scavenge free radicals that we are exposed to every day.” 

What to be aware of when buying skincare products

  • Packaging: Products in pump containers usually have less preservatives that irritate the skin.
  • Colours: Watch out for bleaching agents that are usually found in pure white creams.
  • Alcohol: Be wary of products that have alcohol at the top of the ingredients list.
  • Smell: If a cream smells medicinal this is good as it means the creators have left the formula as is.
  • Harsh chemicals: Stay away from harsh chemicals such as sulphates, phthalates and parabens. 
What skincare products have you found to be good for your skin? Let us know in the comments below.