Can cosmetic ingredients be harmful for the skin?
The skin is our largest organ and our first line of defense against chemical and microbial threats. However, sometimes the threat comes from other sources, such as cosmetic residues from personal care products.
It is also home to a large number of various native microorganisms which create our microbiome. Microbiomes are unique for each person, just like a set of fingerprints.
Diet, sleep, exercise, our environment, and the personal care products we use contribute to shaping and affecting our microbiome.
Studies have shown that personal care products as well as cosmetic residues can change the chemical and bacterial composition of our skin.
Some beauty product ingredients likely promote or inhibit the growth of specific bacteria. For example, lipid components of moisturizers could provide nutrients and promote the growth of lipophilic bacteria such as Staphylococcus and Propionibacterium.
Cosmetic residues, how long do they last?
Some beauty compounds have a half-life of 0.5- 1.9 weeks, meaning they remain on the skin for weeks after their initial use.
One ingredient that lasts on the skin is propylene glycol, which is commonly used in deodorants and antiperspirants and added in relatively large amounts as a humectant to create a soft and sleek consistency. As shown, daily use of personal care products is leading to high levels of exposure to these polymers. Such polymers can cause contact dermatitis in some people.
Ultimately, it is very important to pay attention to labels and ingredient lists. Watch out carefully for any skin, body, or overall health changes that might be stemming from your cosmetic product use.