Those of us who are acne prone understand how difficult it can be to find moisturizers, sunscreens, and makeup that are safe to use and won’t clog your pores. To help us make the decision of what is okay to put on our faces, we often rely on those safe, scientific-sounding words on the labels like “non-comdeogenic” and “dermatologist approved." These labels suggest to the buyer that the product has been tested by skin care experts who have found the product to meet certain levels of standards. But, what do these labels really mean?
Unfortunately, it turns out that these terms really don’t mean much of anything. These product claims used by manufacturers are not regulated in any way by the beauty industry or by the FDA. There is no official standard against which these terms can be measured or tested – so essentially, any company can claim that their products are non-comdeogenic or dermatologist approved, regardless of what is actually in the products or how the products were tested.
There are a number of other phrases used on product labels that are not regulated either – including “allergy tested” “fragrance free/unscented”, “hypoallergenic”, “non-irritating” and “sensitivity tested." The Consumer Reports website contains a very helpful database where you can search common terms used on product labels to determine whether or not they are industry-verified and meaningful to consumers:
So, if you can’t trust these claims on product labels, how do you decide what products are safe to use? Here are our suggestions:
- Check the ingredients yourself. Our website has a list of pore clogging ingredients that you can use to check the products you buy:
- Read product reviews by other consumers – especially those written by those who have acne prone skin. These websites have been very helpful product review pages:
- It may be difficult for you to determine what ingredients are causing you problems. Using your own experiences with products can be tricky since it may take several months to see the effects of pore clogging ingredients in your skin. It’s probably not the product you started using three days ago that is causing you to break out, but more likely one that you have been using for several weeks or longer.
- Seek the advice of a qualified skin care professional. Estheticians who are trained to treat acne can be a great resource for helping you select the right products for your skin. However, not all estheticians are knowledgeable about acne, so choose carefully.
At Elements Acne Clinic, we carry cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and sunscreen – all of which are safe to use on acne-prone skin. You can even check our ingredient labels yourself!
On our website, we also have many free tips on how to get clear skin.
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