The Beautiful Skin Blog

All your skincare questions in one place!

How does my diet affect my skin?

How often should I wash my face?

What *really* causes acne?

What cosmetic ingredients are good or bad?

So many questions. You'll be happy to know we've answered these and many more in our awesome (if we do say so ourselves) Frequently-Asked-Questions article:

The clean and healthy face: Your ultimate skincare FAQ.

It's fun and easy to read – plus we've organized it so you can quickly find the answers to your most pressing skincare issues!

Prom season!

It's almost here – Prom time!

Prom is an awesome time for making memories. You definitely want to "put your best face forward" with a healthy glow and clean complexion.

COR can help get your skin camera-ready. Our natural ingredients and patented formula clean and moisturize your face, and fight bacterial without stripping or drying the skin like harsh chemical treatments.

Here are more great tips for looking your absolute best at your Prom.

Great news: Our new Trial Size three-pack makes a great pre-Prom gift for yourself and two friends, at 15% off of regular price. Each convenient bar gives a month of skin-cleansing power.

Or our best-value Signature Size bar can keep you looking great through graduation, job interviews – whatever life brings next!

A great resource: the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database

You know the drill – you're standing at the makeup counter, buying online, considering a purchase wherever – and you find some really mysterious gibberish on the label.

"What the heck is Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate?" you ask yourself. "Is that something I really want to put on my skin?"

Great question. And here's a wonderful resource for finding your answer: The Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database.

Search by ingredient and you'll find what it is, products that use it, and how safe it is on a scale of 1 to 10, based on published scientific studies. The database offers good details about any concerns or use restrictions, and indicated when its conclusions are based on limited data.

For example: Propylparaben is used in some acne-fighting products. It rates a full 10 on the hazard scale.

Search for a product and you'll find a list of all the ingredients, each rated individually for safety, yielding an overall safety profile for the product.

The EWG also offers a mobile app so you can have the database handy at any time!

 

Speaking of labels, we've already told you that the terms "noncomedogenic" and "hypoallergenic" are great ideas, but don't really promise you anything…

What does the word "hypoallergenic" really mean?

Allergies can make life really difficult. If you suffer from allergies – whether to food, cosmetics, dust or something else – a product labeled "hypoallergenic" might sound like it will make your life easier.

And it might. Hypoallergenic products claim to cause fewer allergic reactions, and often they are created without use of specific allergens.

However, there is no standard, regulation or requirement that companies must meet in order to use this word in product labeling. It's like the word "noncomedogenic" in this way.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has tried off-and-on to regulate use of the word hypoallergenic, but cosmetic companies have blocked that effort so far.

 

What ingredients do cause allegic reactions?

So what common cosmetic and skincare ingredients should you avoid? Marie Claire and OrganicConsumers.org have useful lists, which include parabens (such as methyl, butyl, and ethyl hydroxybenzoate), Germall I and II (which are trade names for Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea), petrolatum, and retinoids.

- Parabens are used to preserve shelf life of cosmetics, but they can cause rashes.
- Germalls are also a preservative but the American Academy of Dermatologists finds they can cause contact dermatitis.
- Petrolatum is a cheap ingredient found in many lip balms – it contains mineral oil, which makes you more sensitive to sun damage and interferes with your skin's ability to moisturize itself.
- Retinol is very popular. Check out this quote from the Marie Claire article: "Most dermatologists will concur that despite a laundry list of antiaging and acne-fighting benefits, retinoids are also a classic irritant."

A sneaky cause of allergic reactions can be found in nail polish ingredients like phthalates and formaldehyde – the tougher skin of your hands may not show a reaction, but touching your fingers to your sensitive face can cause skin irritation.

And if you have nut allergies, shea butter can cause a reaction as well!

 

As you would expect, Cor Silver Skincare products don't contain any of those allergy-causing ingredients.

 

What does "noncomedogenic" mean, and is it important?

You'll see the word noncomedogenic on lots of makeup and skincare product labels these days. What does it mean?

Noncomedogenic refers to products that don't tend to block the pores of your skin.

A 'comedo' is a type of blemish resulting from a blocked pore – according to the American Academy of Dermatologists, a comedo is a very mild form of acne.

So that's how we get to the word 'noncomedogenic'.

So far, so simple, right? What's not so simple is that the use of this term is not regulated by the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) or anyone else in the U.S. There are no specific requirements that a product has to meet in order to be labeled as noncomedogenic.

For most cosmetics and skincare products, the word indicates that the product does not include oil. Your skin already produces oil on its own – sebum is the name of an oil naturally produced by our sebaceous glands – and excessive oil is one of the main contributors to blemishes and acne.

Is it important and valuable for a skin product to not block up your pores? Yes, of course.

But is the term noncomedogenic any sort of guarantee? No, unfortunately it is not. Especially if your skin is prone to acne or other breakouts, it's worth checking the ingredients list of any product you're going to use on your face.

In addition to oils, WebMD.com has a list of other ingredients that DO have a tendency to block skin pores – so these are ingredients to avoid:

- isopropyl palmitate

- isopropyl myristate

- butyl stearate

- isopropyl isostearate

- decyl oleate

- isostearyl neopentanoate

- isocetyl stearate

- myristle myristate

- cocoa butter

- acetylated lanolin

- and D & C red dyes

We guess those ingredients are "comedogenic"!

(WebMD articles are formally reviewed by doctors for accuracy.)