When shopping for grooming products the choices can definitely be very overwhelming. Many of us don’t take the time to read labels and ingredient lists as much as we should. Instead, we rely on imagery or labels that speak to our highly visual nature. The problem with that is, many brands and advertisers know that! The trick is to be a well informed consumer with knowledge about what you are about to put on your body or face and how it might affect you. As grooming expert Chris Gibson says, “You can have healthy skin and you can have great looking skin easier than you think… if you pick your products wisely.”
Considering how difficult it is to be a wise and discerning customer, I jumped at the opportunity to prick the brain of internationally known best-selling author, life coach and holistic health expert Chris Gibson for insight on some ingredients that you may want to avoid the next time you wander in the grooming aisle. Check out his tips below!
1. PARABENS | An ingredient which most of us have heard about and know they are not good for us, are still routinely found in skin care products. Designed to preserve other formula ingredients and extend a product’s shelf life, these anti-microbial chemicals also have proven to have hormone-disrupting effects. This has been especially true in male children. The good news is that many skin care product companies are eliminating parabens but should you find them on your label steer clear of the product or write the manufacturer brand and ask them to eliminate them. Enough voices can often move companies to make a change.
2. UREAS | (which sounds like urine because it is made from urine) often labeled as diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, or DMDM hydantoin and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. These are preservatives which may potentially release formaldehyde in small amounts and are a primary cause of contact dermatitis which often is mistaken for acne.
3. DIOXANE | A chemical carcinogen (cancer causing agent), is created when ingredients are processed with petroleum-derived ethylene oxide. Common ethoxylated compounds include sodium laureth sulfate and polyethylene glycol (often listed as PEG). To avoid it, skip any product with the following ingredients: myreth, oleth, laureth, ceteareth (or any other -eth), PEG, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, or oxynol.
4. PETROCHEMICALS | Derived from crude oil, the same stuff your gasoline comes from. Petroleum-based ingredients are commonly known as petrolatum, and paraffin (derived from nonrenewable sources). As hard as it may be to believe such things are in skin care products, you need only to check the most labels to see it is common.
5. MINERAL OIL | Gone may be the days where people slather on baby oil and iodine in order to get that tan, but many people still use mineral oil to moisturize which simply coats the skin locking in impurities and suffocating the healthy skin cells you do have. And, it blocks pores!
6. SYNTHETIC POLYMERS | As far away from natural as they sound, are ingredients such as sodium polyacrylate and carbomer. They come from petroleum and give viscosity (thickness) to skin care products. They are highly processed and their manufacturing creates toxic by-products.
7. CHELATORS | Disodium EDTA and tetrasodium EDTA, are used in the production of personal care products to remove impurities from low-quality raw materials. They do not readily biodegrade in the environment and are simply “filler” that cost you more money.
With all these ingredients to avoid, what should you actually be looking for? Gibson believes you should “go natural”. He states, “Products made from glycerin, olive oil, coconut, palm, and even almond oils, are best for cleansing a guy’s skin and leaving it smelling “neutrally” good and not perfumed.”
And what’s his biggest tip for battling the inevitable summer sun? “… be sure you are using sunscreen consistently! Make sure to get the ears, face, back of the neck, and back of the hands. SPF 30 is high enough to give you protection you need without greasiness and potential irritation.”
To learn more about Chris Gibson and how to achieve a healthier lifestyle, visit his website at www.chrisgibsontv.com.
Contributing Editor, Jor-El Caraballo is the editor of ManeManblog.com, a New York City based lifestyle blog that aims to help men embrace their own personal sense of style and confidence. Started out of his own personal journey to find information and support for his hair, Jor-El created MANE MAN to help guys learn from his personal challenges and trials with grooming products. Affectionately known to his readers as “MANE MAN”, Jor-El covers everything from the best in grooming and shaving to culture, lifestyle, fashion and health.