Four Things I'm Changing In My Psoriasis Skincare
I had a moment of clarity this week. I discovered an app called Think Dirty. The app educates users on potential toxins in household, personal care, and beauty products. It's been a lifesaver when confirming the products I use to treat my psoriasis skin.
Prompting a psoriasis skincare change
I have been using a well-known brand that markets themselves as 'natural skincare'. So naively didn't question the ingredients in my toner. A product which I wasn't going to buy until the sales assistant told me it contained cucumber and soothing aloe vera...and was a vitamin-infused mist for my skin.
My usual obsessive checking of ingredients went by the wayside, and I bought several products. You can imagine my horror to find that not only did this toner contain perfume but it contained something else that flagged up a nasty score of 5/10.
You're thinking I'm a sucker right now, aren't you? And you're right.
The importance of skincare with psoriasis
Having psoriasis means that at times, my skin barrier is compromised. This means using out of date, potentially contaminated products or my best mates foundation brush is a big no-no.
I also am sensitive to mascara. Finding a new brand is not just a case of finding something that doesn't smudge when I lay my face into my hands in despair (I have a toddler) but something that doesn't trigger psoriasis in my eyelids.
There's nothing like eyelid psoriasis to make you take notice that what you put on your skin. It does matter. Here are four things I'm changing in my psoriasis skincare to prove I'm no longer a sucker.
1. Discard everything that is past its expiration date
Most of my products have 12 months on them, and as I never know when I buy stuff, I am using a significant date to help me. I got married in December 2018. If I remember owning that product before then, then it's going in the bin.
When I start to feel upset about trashing everything (like throwing away the green glitter MAC eyeshadows I purchased circa 1997). I thank it for making me happy and then thank myself for the self-care. I'm prioritizing my skin and potential inflammation and additional psoriasis.
2. Confirm the heck out of of the "natural" and "organic" products
The term perfume can mean lots of ingredients that aren't listed, as they are considered trade secrets. In cosmetics, the term natural and organic are not regulated which means products can contain anything hidden under the disguise of a perfume.
The term organic is only regulated in agriculture by the USDA.
3. Get rid of anything that contains parabens.
Which sadly includes one of my favorite mascaras. I asked the sales assistant if this particular mascara contained parabens and she said no that everything was vegan. Vegan means not from an animal, not paraben related. It's important to be educated so you're able to question and understand than the sales assistant is telling you.
Shockingly a study by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found Propyl-paraben in the urine of over 92% of the people tested. In a separate survey by Berger (2018) found that teenage girls who wear makeup have 20x higher levels of paraben in their urine than girls who rarely or never wear makeup. A study by Harley (2016) showed that after just three days using paraben-free products, the levels of propyl-paraben in the girl's urine dropped by 45%.
What to look for? The word paraben. It's in ingredients in different forms - some examples include MethylPAraben, PropylParaben, IsobutylParaben, and Butylparaben.
4. Avoid and discard products with sodium laureth sulfate
I have been avoiding this one for a long time. It triggers scalp scaling for me. For some reason (laziness) it has slowly made its way back into my life. I am using the shampoo at the gym because I once again forgot my washbag or I'll use my husband's shampoo in the shower because I had forgotten to re-order my special shampoo online.
Sodium laureth sulfate is a surfactant. Its job is to make our skin and hair squeaky clean. I don't know about you- but the only part of my body I was to squeak with cleanliness is my teeth.
Stripping our natural oils from the skin's surface dries our skin out more, makes plaques more likely to crack and bleed, and dryness to encourage scaling (and feelings of frustration and despair). I'm sure that can't just be me.
Do you have to change your psoriasis skincare routine?
How about you? When was the last time you checked what was in the products you put on your skin?
Especially those vegan, organic, natural products you thought were safe….
What are you grateful for in your psoriasis experience? (Select all that apply)
Join the conversation