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Makeup and Skincare
Dr. Joanna Slusky, OD - Chicago, IL



MAKEUP & SKINCARE SAFETY TIPS

  • Do not apply eyeliner to the waterline of your eyelid
  • REPLACE old makeup.& skin care FREQUENTLY
  • Do not use waterproof makeup
  • Do not use sparkly eye shadow
  • Wash your face twice daily -in the morning and at night
  • Do not go to sleep without removing your makeup EVERY NIGHT

​We REVIEW our PATIENT’S SKINCARE & COSMETICS ingredients

Dr. Slusky and Dr. Golden want to ensure that our patients don't hinder the results of their at-home Dry Eye Therapy by using products that contain chemical ingredients that could be harmful to the Meibomian glands. They ask patients to email (drjoannaslusky@gmail.com) the ingredient lists of the products they use on their face. The Doctors review the ingredients to ensure they're not harmful to the Meibomian glands and if needed, recommend an effective safer alternative.

  • Face wash / cleanser / exfoliator / makeup remover
  • Makeup remover wipes
  • Face moisturizer / eye cream
  • Sunscreen
  • Toner / concealer / foundation, etc
  • Face makeup / eye makeup
  • Facial sprays / mists
  • Serums / scrubs
  • Prescription grade creams / lotions
  • Shaving cream / after shave

WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT?

Over the last decade, Dr. Slusky’s passion for Dry Eye Management has led her to tirelessly investigate how her patients' lifestyle choices may interfere with their treatment success & overall well-being.

Just as a diabetes educator must teach diabetic patients about their nutrition & lifestyle habits - Dr. Slusky educates her Ocular Surface Disease (OSD) patients about the importance of choosing safer products, techniques for application & comfort with cosmetics, and usage/removal habits. She regularly asks patients to send their regular skincare/cosmetics products to help them ID the “bad guys” in their daily routines.

Dr. Slusky has uncovered massive exposure to OSD-exacerbating chemicals in some patients’ skin care products.

  • Just because they're the most expensive beauty line at a department store, doesn't mean that they're safe.
  • She’s even seen so-called "eye creams" that were loaded with 9 to 13 OSD-exacerbating ingredients & labeled “Not for use around the eye”!

We are all consumers. Many of us use eye cosmetics on a daily basis, but even men & women who don't use eye makeup may be inadvertently increasing their risk for ocular irritation through their facial cleansing habits.

As an Optometrist, Dr. Slusky is the guardian of her patients' ocular surface health.

  • “It's my duty & obligation to proactively address eye safety & ID what is safe to use around the eyes.”
  • “I advocate label reading & choosing products with fewer unpronounceable ingredients.”

Don't trust the claims.

  • There’s no legal definition of the word “natural” - it’s a marketing claim.
  • The term “organic” may only refer to the ingredients that are certified organic, not the entire product itself.
  • Just because a package says “natural,” “hypoallergenic,” “vegan,” “not tested on animals,” or even “ophthalmologist tested,” does NOT guarantee that it's ocular surface–friendly and safe.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Dr. Slusky uses & recommends Beautycounter skincare & cosmetics because she believes in their mission. They are committed to a health and safety standard that goes well beyond what is legally required in the US. Their Never List™ is made up of nearly 1,600 questionable or harmful chemicals that they’ll never use as ingredients in their products. This includes the >1,400 chemicals banned or restricted in personal care products by the European Union, PLUS additional chemicals screened by Beautycounter and found to be of concern. They're dedicated to radical transparency & their Ingredient Selection Process sets a new standard for health & safety while ensuring their products are effective & beautiful. This is why Beautycounter is Dr. Slusky’s #1 brand of choice.

Dr. Slusky recommends replacing products that are filled with harmful ingredients with safer ones.

Here's a list of SAFER PRODUCTS to consider from BEAUTYCOUNTER. Take the SKIN CARE QUIZ to find out what’s right for you in < 1 minute!


MAKEUP REMOVER

  • EYE MAKEUP REMOVER
  • Just shake, apply to cotton pad, hold against closed eye for 5 seconds, and wipe away! Just a quick shake activates this innovative dual-phase formula to completely erase long-wear and waterproof makeup. Made without mineral oil or silicones, it uses the power of coconut and macadamia oils to break down pigments and cornflower extract to soothe delicate skin. Safe for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.
  • MAKEUP REMOVER WIPES
  • Remove makeup and cleanse your skin in one step. Using a naturally derived micellar formula, each super soft wipe traps makeup, dirt, and impurities, then gently whisks it away with no need to rinse. Aloe Vera delivers hydration, while cornflower water soothes delicate skin. Gentle enough to use on face and eyes every day. These breakthrough wipes are also biodegradable - just dispose in your home compost. Oil-free. No added fragrance. Ophthalmologist-tested: Safe for contact-lens wearers.
  • SOOTHING OIL
  • A mix of organic coconut, jojoba, and sunflower seed oils, this natural oil soothes and softens skin for a comforting, calming experience. The formula—safe for newborns and up—absorbs easily without ever feeling greasy.

CLEANSER

  • COUNTERCONTROL CLEAR PORE CLEANSER - ACNE / OILY
  • Deep-clean without dryness. This daily exfoliating cleanser for oily and blemish-prone skin effectively removes oil, makeup, and other impurities without harsh surfactants that can strip skin of moisture. The formula, featuring SkinBalance Complex and aloe vera, helps purify pores and soothe while jojoba beads gently slough away dead skin cells. Infused with an energizing citrus scent, it leaves your complexion feeling refreshed and balanced, not dry or irritated.
  • COUNTERMATCH PURE CALM CLEANSING MILK - COMBINATION SKIN
  • Featuring breakthrough Bio-Mimic Technology, this ultra-gentle cleanser removes makeup and impurities without surfactants that can strip away natural oils. Its conditioning formula respects skin’s balance, replenishing essential hydration so your face feels soft and nourished, never dry or tight. Ophthalmologist tested.
    Key Ingredients:
    • Plum Oil (Prunus Domestica Seed Extract): Rich in omegas 6 & 9 and vitamin E, it reinforces the moisture barrier for healthy-looking skin.
    • Jojoba Seed Oil: A lightweight, non-greasy emollient that cleanses while providing soothing and moisturizing properties.
    • Coconut Oil: Gently breaks down makeup and impurities while nourishing skin.
  • CHARCOAL CLEANSING BAR - DEEP CLEAN DETOX / ACNE / OILY
  • Ideal for oily or blemish-prone skin, this detoxifying cleansing bar absorbs impurities in your skin without drying it out, resulting in a clearer, smoother, and brighter-looking complexion. Made with purifying Japanese binchotan charcoal, antioxidant-rich organic green tea, and hydrating organic coconut oil, the gentle formula can be used daily on your face and body.
  • CLEANSING BALM - ANTI-AGING / MOISTURE
  • Cleansing Balm melts into your skin to hydrate while it cleanses, removing makeup and other impurities but never stripping away moisture. With vitamin C to brighten the appearance of skin and raspberry and cranberry seed oils to hydrate, the formula can also be used as an intensely nourishing face mask. Bonus? You also get our reusable 100% muslin cloth, softer and easier on skin than a traditional washcloth.
  • REJUVENATING CLEANSER - ANTI-AGING
  • Lightly lathering and sulfate-free, Rejuvenating Face Cleanser features a softening blend of fruit and berry seed oils that gently cleanse and moisturize skin. Gentle cleansing agents help remove makeup and impurities, while antioxidant-rich plant extracts such as green tea help soothe and calm skin.
  • NOURISHING FACE CLEANSER - SENSITIVE
  • Soothe and nourish skin as you wash away makeup and other impurities with this ultra-gentle daily cleanser. Lightweight yet deeply moisturizing, the creamy formula contains witch hazel to tone skin, and coconut oil and aloe to help hydrate.
  • NOURISHING CREAM EXFOLIATOR - EXFOLIATOR
  • This gentle yet super-effective exfoliating cleanser sweeps away impurities to uncover fresh, radiant skin. Non-abrasive jojoba beads help slough off dry skin, while organic coconut oil and aloe soothe and hydrate.

TONER

  • COUNTERCONTROL INSTANT MATTE TONER
  • This alcohol-free mattifying toner for oily and blemish-prone skin removes residual impurities, controls excess oil, and minimizes the appearance of pores. The formula, with our SkinBalance Complex, helps purify skin while preserving ideal moisture levels for a refreshed, comfortable complexion.
  • REJUVENATING TONER PADS
  • Lightly scented with magnolia, our soft Rejuvenating Toner Pads are your first line of defense against daily stressors after cleansing. Mixed fruit acid complex and vitamin C supply skin with antioxidants and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while lentil seed extract tightens and refines the appearance of pores. Algae extract brightens and improves the appearance of skin tone, and Spilanthes acmella flower extract gives skin a firmer, more youthful look.

EYE

  • REJUVENATING EYE CREAM - ANTI-AGING
  • Reduce puffiness and diminish the appearance of fine lines and dark circles with this soothing formula, made with skin-conditioning wild algae and caffeine.
  • EYE RESCUE CREAM- for DARK CIRCLES / ANTI-AGING
  • Formulated for the delicate eye area, this nourishing cream awakens eyes. Squalane hydrates skin while betaine and phytic acid boost oxygenation to help reduce the appearance of shadows for brighter-looking eyes. Breakthrough Bio-Mimic Technology harnesses the unique life-giving properties of plants to match the composition of skin, giving it precisely what it needs and nothing it doesn't.
  • NOURISHING EYE CREAM - SENSITIVE
  • Pamper the delicate skin around your eyes with our lightweight, soothing eye cream. Rich in aloe and organic coconut oil, the unscented formula is easily absorbed and offers an instant cooling moisture boost.

DAY

  • DEW SKIN MOISTURIZING COVERAGE - TINTED SPF
  • This benefit-packed tinted moisturizer delivers lightweight hydration, a hint of sheer coverage, SPF 20, and a luminous dewy glow. It also includes black currant, peony flower root extract, and vitamin C to enhance skin brightness and sodium hyaluronate to promote firmer, smoother-looking skin.
  • COUNTERCONTROL MATTE EFFECT GEL CREAM - OILY / ACNE
  • Control oil for up to eight hours* with this innovative cream-to-gel formula for oily and blemish prone skin. Featuring our signature SkinBalance Complex of wintergreen and rosebay willow, this non-greasy hydrator improves skin’s texture without silicone and other ingredients that can clog pores. Oil-free.
  • COUNTERMATCH ADAPTIVE MOISTURE LOTION - COMBINATION SKIN
  • This lightweight lotion helps skin adapt to the ever-changing aggressors of modern life. Not only does it provide 24-hours of hydration — it actually adjusts hydration levels throughout the day for a smooth look and feel and radiant glow. Breakthrough Bio-Mimic Technology harnesses the unique life-giving properties of plants to exactly match the structure of skin, giving it precisely what it needs and nothing it doesn't.
  • REJUVENATING DAY CREAM - ANTI-AGING
  • Soften and soothe skin while greatly increasing elasticity. A combination of omega-rich natural oils and vitamin-rich fruit extracts hydrates and brightens skin, while spilanthes acmella flower extract helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • INTENSE MOISTURE SERUM - MOISTURE
  • Infused with two forms of hyaluronic acid, this intense serum absorbs quickly to deliver a concentrated boost of moisture for immediate and lasting hydration, while vitamins C and E provide antioxidant protection. Breakthrough Bio-Mimic Technology harnesses the unique life-giving properties of plants to match the composition of skin, giving it precisely what it needs and nothing it doesn't.
  • REJUVENATING RADIANCE SERUM - BRIGHTENING
  • Helps even the look of skin tone, improve hydration, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles thanks to a combination of vitamin C, mixed fruit acid complex, and algae and marine extract. Lightweight and easily absorbed, the formula is a must for layering under your moisturizer.
  • NOURISHING DAY CREAM - SENSITIVE
  • Lock in moisture throughout the day with our lightweight yet hydrating face cream. Easily absorbed and never greasy, the unscented formula contains a mix of organic coconut oil, safflower oil, and aloe to provide nourishing hydration, plus antioxidant-rich acai to protect against dry skin.

NIGHT

  • OVERNIGHT RESURFACING PEEL
  • Goodnight, dullness. Good morning, glow. Formulated with 15 botanically-derived acids, this leave-on AHA/BHA peel improves skin texture and minimizes the appearance of pores, fine lines, and dark spots without irritation or over-drying. Glycolic, lactic, and malic acids clear away dull surface skin cells, while hyaluronic acid and essential fatty acids soothe and nourish to reveal a brighter, more youthful-looking complexion. Why is it safer? It’s is formulated without synthetic fragrances, PEGs, and formaldehyde-based preservatives commonly found in peels. It uses a unique combination of both resurfacing acids and soothing acids that hydrate, replenish, and protect skin. This precise combination of acids optimizes performance while maintaining a pH level that doesn’t cause irritation.
  • REJUVENATING NIGHT CREAM - ANTI-AGING
  • Lock in moisture as you sleep for skin that looks and feels smoother, firmer, and more hydrated by morning. Formulated with marine extracts and safflower oleosomes, the cream helps intensify the nightly cycle of natural skin repair.
  • RECOVERY SLEEPING CREAM - MOISTURE / ANTI-AGING
  • This advanced blend of hyaluronic acid, plum oil, and tara gum creates a protective layer to help shield skin from moisture loss, replenishing hydration and revitalizing skin while you sleep. Breakthrough Bio-Mimic Technology harnesses the unique life-giving properties of plants to match the composition of skin, giving it precisely what it needs and nothing it doesn't.
  • NOURISHING NIGHT CREAM - SENSITIVE
  • A hydrating night cream that nourishes skin while you sleep. Organic coconut oil and aloe hydrate while geranium and green tea protect against dryness.

ACNE

  • COUNTERCONTROL ACNE COLLECTION
  • Take back control of your skin with Countercontrol, a powerful regimen for oily and blemish-prone skin that mattifies and clears without dryness and irritation.
    • Clear Pore Cleanser: This daily exfoliating cleanser effectively removes oil, makeup, and other impurities without harsh surfactants that can strip skin of moisture.
    • Instant Matte Toner: This alcohol-free mattifying toner removes residual impurities, reduces excess oil, and minimizes the appearance of pores.
    • All Over Acne Treatment: This daily all over treatment helps clear blemishes and prevents future breakouts from forming.
    • SOS Acne Spot Treatment: This fast-acting formula with maximum strength salicylic acid penetrates pores to reduce blemishes and clear skin.
    • Matte Effect Gel Cream: With an innovative cream-to-gel formula, this non-greasy hydrator maintains healthy moisture levels while controlling oil for up to eight hours.
  • NO. 3 BALANCING COLLECTION
  • Formulated with safer ingredients, this collection of daily skin enhancers gently refines oily, uneven skin. The trio includes a Facial Mask, Facial Mist, and Facial Oil infused with ylang-ylang. Featuring activated charcoal, the formulas absorb excess oil and refine skin texture to give you a smooth, polished appearance. Perfect for those concerned with clarity, calming, and balancing.
  • OVERNIGHT RESURFACING PEEL
  • CHARCOAL CLEANSING BAR

Dr. Slusky also likes ZORIA products. Developed by an Ophthalmologist, and safe for contact lens users. We also have them available at Halsted Eye Boutique.

  • Mascara with Zoria Lash Growth Serum
  • Mascara for Sensitive eyes
  • Foaming Lid cleanser
  • Zoria Lash Growth Serum

Other lines you may consider are listed below. Dr. Slusky has not tried them personally.


LISTs OF CHEMICALS WE SHOULD AVOID

HERE'S A SHORT LIST OF CHEMICALS WE SHOULD AVOID - you can save it in your phone for reference

HERE’S AN EXTENDED LIST OF CHEMICALS WE SHOULD AVOID - click here: THE NEVER LIST

HERE IS A LIST OF CHEMICAL INGREDIENTS THAT WE SHOULD AVOID AROUND OUR EYES:

  • DO NOT USE WATERPROOF EYE MAKEUP (eyeliner and mascara) - the same ingredients that make it waterproof not only have the potential to block the terminal ductules of the meibomian glands but also make the product very difficult to dissolve and remove without harsh makeup removal products. If you’re using waterproof products because your eyes water a lot, it’s better to see me first to figure out the cause of the excessive tearing.
  • AVOID PRIME YELLOW CARNAUBA WAX- used in mascara and eyeliners to stiffen the product and make them waterproof. It clogs the meibomian (oil producing) glands in the eyes, leads to Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, and exacerbates Dry Eye Disease.
  • AVOID CARBON BLACK powder (eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow and eyebrow shadow) It has been linked to cancer and organ system toxicity. It will show up on the label as carbon black, D & C Black No. 2, acetylene black, channel black, furnace black, lamp black and thermal black.
  • AVOID COAL TAR dyes - Used as a colorant in mascara and contain heavy metals. They’re a recognized as a proven carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, yet the 1938 Skincare Act includes a specific exemption for them. Associated risks include severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, fatigue, lack of concentration, nervousness, increased risk of Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma. To avoid coal tar dyes, look for FD&C Blue no. 1 on the label. Also, you may find them listed as a five digit number that is preceded by a Cl. (includes D&C Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 33, etc.) They may also be labeled as Aminphenol, Diaminodenzene or Phenylenediamine.
  • AVOID SYNTHETIC DYES - Believed to be toxic and carcinogenic, yet are often used as a colorant to achieve the rich dark color of mascara. They are labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and a number (e.g. FD&C Red No. 6, D&C Green No. 6).
  • AVOID THIMEROSAL - The EWG found several mascara brands contain Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative and antiseptic. It has been banned from use in vaccines, but can be found in cosmetics. It is known to damage brain function. The EWG put it like this: “According to FDA, ‘Mercury compounds are readily absorbed through the skin on topical application and tend to accumulate in the body. They may cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, or neurotoxic manifestations.’ Mercury is considered particularly toxic to the developing brain during pregnancy, infancy and childhood. FDA has banned the use of mercury compounds in all cosmetics except those used around the eyes, where levels are limited to 65 parts per million (ppm).” That makes sense, because who cares about their eyes, right?!
  • AVOID MERCURY - neurotoxin found in some mascaras and cosmetics. It absorbs easily through your skin and with enough use can develop into mercury poisoning. Steer clear of products with “calomel,” “mercurio,” “mercurio chloride,” or just plain old “mercury.”
  • AVOID PETROLEUM DISTILLATES - Used in mascara, these ingredients come from oil refineries and often contain impurities linked to cancer.
  • AVOID FORMALDEHYDE and FORMALDEHYDE-RELEASING PRESERVATIVES - used in mascara, yet have been shown to trigger an immune system response that can include itching, burning, hives, and blistering of skin. They can also harm the brain, interfere with growth and development in children, induce asthma, increase liver toxicity and are known carcinogens. These preservatives slowly release formaldehyde to keep the skin care product from spoiling. If you’ve ever experienced a contact allergy after using a skin lotion, it probably had one of these ingredients: DMDM Hydantoin (very common), diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, and quaternium-15.
  • DO NOT USE SPARKLY EYE SHADOW can exacerbate chronically dry eyes, and glitter is another common cause of corneal and conjunctival irritation. Minerals such as MICA that add sparkle can embed in the openings of meibomian glands, the corneal or conjunctival tissues, causing irritation.
  • AVOID HEAVY METALS - Nickel and chrome are two heavy metals found in many types of makeup, especially in green or metallic shadows, as well as makeup brushes, even the expensive types. Heavy metals are neurotoxins that have been linked to brain damage. Nickel in particular has been associated with lung cancer and respiratory concerns. What’s more, up to 17% of women have a nickel allergy, which can cause dry, itchy eyelids, a red skin rash and watery blisters. What’s problematic about these heavy metals is that because they’re often a contaminant of other products, they may not be listed on the label!
  • AVOID ALUMINUM POWDER - A metallic substance used as a cosmetic colorant to give eye makeup its hue, aluminum powder is rated as a high concern by the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) Skin Deep Cosmetics Database for being a neurotoxin and having been linked to organ system toxicity. Long term exposure of aluminum powder can impair the body’s ability to excrete mercury. This can result in making any amount of mercury that is in the body even more toxic. Makeup labels will list aluminum, LB Pigment 5 or pigment metal.
  • AVOID PHENOXY-ETHANOL is a preservative used in mascara, eye liner, eye shadow, eye cream, concealer, foundation, sunscreen, soap, fragrance, and hair removal waxes. It exacerbates dry eye and causes allergic reactions ranging from eczema and hives to anaphylaxis.
  • AVOID BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE (BAK)> is a preservative found in eyeliner, mascara and makeup remover. It can cause damage to the epithelial and goblet cells of the eyes. These cells keep dust, water and bacteria out of the eye and provide a smooth surface on the cornea to absorb and distribute oxygen and cell nutrients from tears to the rest of the cornea. BAK damage results in punctate epithelial keratitis and reduced surface wettability of the cornea. Cell culture experiments indicate toxicity to the meibomian glands as well. Makeup removers have high concentrations of this preservative, putting the ocular surface at risk of desiccating stress, night after night. BAK can be listed under various names including benzalkonium chloride, quaternium-15 or guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride.
  • AVOID PARABENS - are added to mascara and makeup to stop the growth of microbes, fungi and bacteria in order to extend shelf life but they’re absorbed directly through the pores of our skin and easily transmitted into the bloodstream. Parabens make dry eye worse since they prohibit the meibomian glands from secreting enough oil. They’re also endocrine disruptors (mimic estrogen and lead to hormone imbalance) and are linked to reproductive toxicity, infertility, developmental disorders in children, neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity, skin irritation, and breast cancer. When reading labels, avoid anything with the suffix-paraben.
  • AVOID RETINOL - Retinyl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Retin-A and Tretinoin are found in anti-aging face creams, eye creams, and even mascara. Because they are a form of vitamin A, they may seem harmless, however they are not safe for skin use. Sunlight breaks them down and creates free radicals that cause biochemical or cellular level changes, developmental and reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity, and increase the risk of skin cancers. In fact, the use of Retinyl Acetate is prohibited and restricted in Canadian cosmetics. Even if you don’t have Dry Eye Disease, you should avoid retinol derivatives. They cause irreversible meibomian gland damage and exacerbate evaporative Dry Eye Disease. (Meaning, they kill the oil glands and once they’re gone, you can’t rebuild them.)
  • AVOID ACRYLAMIDE - outlawed in countries other than the U.S., this carcinogen can be found in makeup, skin cleansers, moisturizers, lotions and creams
  • AVOID TITANIUM DIOXIDE - Typically found in sunscreen, titanium dioxide is safe but when it’s in powder form, it can be problematic and is also a possible carcinogen. Titanium dioxide is labeled as such or as TiO2.
  • AVOID ETHANOLAMINE - can be contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals called nitrosamines. To spot ethanolamines, avoid products that contain ingredients with the letters DEA, TEA and MEA
  • AVOID SODIUM LAURYL (LAURETH) SULFATE - found in most cleansers, soaps, and shampoos. It may contain 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen, and ethylene oxide, a chemical known to harm your nervous system. The California EPA has even identified it as a possible developmental toxin.
  • AVOID PEGs - Propylene glycol, polyethylene glycols, or polyoxyethylene are petroleum-based compounds. They also go by other names too; If you see a word with “–eth” or “–oxynol” in it, it’s likely one of these PEGs. In cosmetics, PEGs function in three ways: as emollients (which help soften and lubricate the skin), as emulsifiers (which help water-based and oil-based ingredients mix properly), and as vehicles that help deliver other ingredients deeper into the skin. Cosmetics use PEGs with smaller molecular weights. The lower the molecular weight, the easier it is for the compound to penetrate the skin. This penetration enhancing effect (especially with PEG-2 and PEG-9 stearate) is important for 3 reasons: 1) If your skin care product contains a bunch of other undesirable ingredients, PEGs will make it easier for them to get down deep into your skin. 2) By altering the surface tension of the skin, PEGs may upset the natural moisture balance. 3) PEGs (can cause acne, eczema, and rashes) and often come contaminated with a host of toxic, cancer causing impurities like 1,4-dioxane (found in PEG-6, PEG-8, PEG-32, PEG-75, PEG-150, PEG-14M, and PEG-20M is a known carcinogen and may combine with atmospheric oxygen to form explosive peroxides—not exactly something you want going on your face.), ethylene oxide (found in PEG-4, PEG-7, PEG4-dilaurate, and PEG 100 is highly toxic even in small doses and was used in World War I nerve gas); polycyclic aromatic compounds; and heavy metals such as lead, iron, cobalt, nickel, cadmium, and arsenic.
  • AVOID SILOXANES - These, and similar ingredients labeled as “methicones,” soften and smooth skin. They also disrupt your hormones and interfere with fertility and libido.
  • AVOID TRICLOSAN - found in many skin cleansers, antibacterial hand soaps, hand sanitizers, deodorants, and toothpaste. It’s another endocrine disruptor that harms your thyroid and reproductive hormones.
  • AVOID OXYBENZONE - used in sunscreen to absorb UV light. In humans, this chemical causes skin irritation and allergic reactions. Animal studies report it acts as an endocrine disruptor and interferes with hormone activity.
  • AVOID HYDRO-QUINONE - Another skin lightener, it causes a skin disease called ochronosis that features black and blue lesions that can become permanent. In animals, studies have found enough exposure leads to tumor development.
  • AVOID BHA / BHT - Petroleum derived preservatives that are used to lighten skin, BHA and BHT are considered by the National Toxicology Program as a likely carcinogen. In studies, animals exposed to these chemicals developed stomach cancer and liver damage, and developed complications with their thyroid and reproductive organs. Banned in Europe.
  • AVOID SODIUM BORATE / BORIC ACID - colorless or white crystals or powders found in cosmetics and personal care products. These chemicals absorb easily through the skin and their regular exposure interferes with hormones, is linked to low sperm counts, and causes infertility in men. Banned in Europe and Canada, and the cosmetic industry states it’s unsafe for infants.
  • AVOID PHTHALATES - found in cosmetics, hair care, body wash, and fragrance, phthalates are particularly dangerous to pregnant women or young children, whom the research has indicated are the most vulnerable to the effects of phthalates. Researchers have linked phthalates to asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity and type II diabetes, low IQ, neurodevelopmental issues, behavioral issues, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development and male fertility issues, male genital birth defects and impaired reproductive function in adult males. They may be labeled as butyl benzyl phthalate (BBzP), dibutyl phthalate (DnBP), di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), di-butyl phthalate (DBP), benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), diisobutyl phthalate (DiBP), diisononyl phthalate (DiNP), di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP), dipentyl phthalate (DPP), di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP), di-isononyl phthalate (DiNP), di-n-octyl phthalate (DnOP), di-isohexyl phthalate, dicyclohexyl phthalate (DcHP), and di-isoheptyl phthalate.
  • AVOID products that contain FRAGRANCE - One simple word can hide dozens and dozens of ingredients, some of which can be toxic. Also called perfume, these terms indicate a mixture of ingredients that cosmetic companies don’t have to legally tell you about. 3000+ chemicals may be used to create a fragrance!! Some “Unscented” products contain fragrances with masking agents. Some fragrances have been linked to allergic reactions, asthma, and breathing difficulties while others have links to cancers. Surprisingly, some mascara contains fragrance. I never thought mascara had fragrance in it, but it is generally added to cover up the scent of coal tar dyes. Fragrance can be very irritating, especially to the eyes.
  • DO NOT Apply eyeliner to the waterline - Never apply makeup on the so-called waterline or tightline (the lower and upper lid margins). The waxes and resins in these products can block the meibomian gland terminal ductule orifices. Additionally, the alcohols that dry the liner in place also dry the delicate tear film
  • DO NOT Sleep in makeup

LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR CURRENT ​SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

It can take hours to read labels, compare products and find safe brands. Check out these 2 excellent non-profit organizations that already did the research for you:

  • EWG (the Environmental Working Group) has created an awesome user-friendly skin care products database called “SKIN DEEP.” They have a desktop version as well as a handy smart phone app that even allows you to scan barcodes of your current products. We are curious to hear how safe your other skincare products are. Dr. Slusky was quite surprised how many of the “organic” and “natural” products she was using (before she discovered Beautycounter) failed the EWG test! FYI - EVERY SINGLE ITEM created by Beautycounter receives a 0-2 rating on this database. (The lower the score, the safer it is).
  • Another fantastic organization, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, is where Beautycounter’s head of Health and Safety, Mia Davis, got her start. Their website is full of facts, tips, and action alerts to effect change in the cosmetics industry. They also have a smart phone app called “THINK DIRTY”

Dr. Slusky is here to guide you on your way to success so please let her know if she can answer any questions, comments, or concerns. You may email her at drjoannaslusky@gmail.com.


PS - ​SPEAKING OF CLEANSING

I double cleanse every night. I consider it important and the results, well they speak for themselves. Are you a double cleanser? If not, I highly suggest it.

Double-cleansing is exactly what it sounds like. You wash your face two times. First with a cleansing oil or liquifying balm, then with a face wash. There's a method to the madness, and the routine has been practiced by Japanese women for centuries for a reason. The theory is that cleansing oil or balm removes the initial layer of dirt and grime and dead skin cells from your skin, pulling those nasty bits out of your pores and allowing the face wash you normally use to really get in there and do its job more effectively. It is a gentle way to clean your skin.

The process of double-cleansing is actually pretty simple.

Step 1 (if you wear eye makeup): Apply eye-makeup remover which will dissolve any mascara, eyeliner or shadow with ease. (if you have not tried Beautycounter Instant Makeup Remover - you need to​!) ​

I've never used an easier, more efficient makeup remover, it is super quick and easy. No pulling or rubbing, it literally melts off and you do not pull on your delicate eye area (we do not want wrinkles). FYI: Makeup remover cloths can pull on your eye area. Gentle is key. That’s why this work better. (But if you want a great Makeup Remover Wipes, thy this one - gentle, effective, and biodegradable!) Ok, Step One complete. (1 minute)

Then, once my face is free of makeup, I truly cleanse. Step two.

Step 2: I scoop out my favorite Cleansing Balm ​- massage into my face, add a drop of water to create a white creamy lather and rinse. You can also use a warm washcloth should you want to exfoliate but a gentle cloth is fine. I love the muslin one that comes in the box with the product and I love the feeling of a warm washcloth as I remove my cleansing balm. (2 minutes for deep cleaning, takes an extra moment to wipe off)

Step 3: Apply any cleanser o​f​ your choice. My favorite is the Rejuvenating Cleanser at night and daytime, I often use Nourishing Cleanser.​ I alternate. In the winter months as the air gets dryer, I like the richness and coconut oil in the Nourishing Cleanser. Whichever you pick, quick lather and rinse. 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Step 4: Use a night cream or favorite face oil. My go to choice is Hydrating Face Oil #2, Soft morning skin awaits after sleeping with this overnight.

We are all busy in our lives, but bedtime and this time should be for you. I actually look forward to it. Not getting any younger. You need to take care of your skin. And never, I repeat never go to sleep with makeup on. Always wash your face before you go to bed.

The process of double-cleansing is actually pretty simple.

Double-cleansing feels really good, especially on days when I was wearing more makeup than usual. My skin feels clean and refreshed every night before going to sleep, and I wake up with skin more radiant and moisturized than I've ever had.

So I challenge you to do a week of double-cleansing every night and see if you see an improvement in your skin?​ :)

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