The best way to shop for skin care products is to become ingredient-wise. You have to stop being afraid of the fine print and learn to read product labels to determine good and bad product ingredients, so you can select skin care products that are most beneficial for you. Quickly scanning the ingredients list for offending substances is probably the most important skill you have to master.
Being able to quickly decipher the ingredients list instead of listening to a salesperson’s chatter will save you money, time, and frustration. I have long lost count of how many times a salesperson offered me “completely natural” stretch mark butter or an eye cream, even while the ingredients list was bursting with parabens, PEGs, and formaldehyde preservatives.
Many cosmetic manufacturers don’t help us at all. The worse the formulation is, the harder the box is to read. To discourage curious customers from prying into cosmetic secrets, they print ingredients lists in all-capitalized dense letters with very small spaces between lines, so the whole area looks like one grayish square filled with chemical jabber.
Often the lavish design masks the most noxious ingredients. Some of them may be hiding under natural-sounding names or abbreviations. Cocamide DEA may sound natural, but in fact it is coconut oil ethanolamine, and we already know that ethanolamine, along with triethanolamine, may be contaminated with carcinogenic chemicals. Here’s a funny thing I stumbled across on the Internet one day. It described two variations of ethanolamine as two completely different substances.
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“DEA is a clear watery liquid, while Laramie DEA is a rock hard solid. In essence, these ingredients are as different from each other as are apples and automobiles,” says Dr. Dennis T. Sepp in the article “DEA, Setting the Record Straight” published on a website that sells “natural” skin care products. Yeah, right—and ice and snow are completely different from water, too.
See, one is hard and the other one is fluffy, and they look nothing like water! This is just one example of how cosmetic companies and incompetent experts use to their advantage our lack of desire to question and criticize.
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