Best Skin Care Products

By: Dr. Loretta Lanphier, ND, CN, HHP, CH

Sun blocks and Sunscreens

Sun blocks and sunscreens are both effective tools to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun. However, they each work a little differently. Sun blocks form a physical barrier between your skin and the incoming rays of the sun. In essence, it reflects the ultraviolet light away from your skin. Sunscreens, on the other hand, work by absorbing the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, and prevent them from being soaked up by the skin.

Sun blocks usually contain titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, kaolin, or talc as their active ingredients. In the past, these products were usually heavy, thick, and greasy. They were mostly recommended for sensitive areas like the nose or lips. But more modern formulas are composed of finely ground titanium oxide, thus lighter and not as greasy as those of a few years ago.

The best sun blocks to try: Jason Natural Cosmetics’ Earth’s Best Organic Sun block, Chemical Free SPF 30+.

Sunscreens usually contain PABA, PABA esters, benzophenones, cinnamates, salicylates, or avobenzone as their active ingredients. Presently, the most effective ingredient for sunscreen protection is parsol 1789. Be aware that for some people with fair or sensitive skin, sunscreen may act as an irritant, resulting in stinging or allergic reactions. It may also stain or discolor your clothes. Potential drug interactions can also occur when sunscreens are used in conjunction with certain antibiotics, anesthetics, or skin dyes.

The best non-toxic sunscreens for all skin types: PABA-free, fragrance-free blends such as UV Natural Adult Sunscreen, UV Natural Sport Sunscreen and UV Natural Baby Sunscreen.

Skin Care Cleansers

When choosing skin care cleansers keep in mind your particular skin type. If you have normal skin, just about any natural skin cleanser will work for you.

Individuals with sensitive skin have to be more careful. Many chemical-based skin cleansers can be very irritating to some people. If you have sensitive skin, avoid harsh deodorant or antibacterial soaps and stay away from abrasive facial skin care pads and granular face and body scrubs. These products can potentially peel off the protective top layer of your skin, leaving it exposed to possible irritants such as heat, cold, pollution, and other toxins. A better choice is a soap-free, super fatty, unscented organic cleanser that causes minimal skin irritation. These can be found through Skin-care-support.org.

Oily skin may be helped from the use of organic natural soaps. Organic masks and scrubs may improve the condition of oily skin, but their use should be limited to no more than once per week to avoid possible irritation. They are also not recommended if you have skin rashes or acne, as they can worsen such conditions.

Caring for combination skin can be challenging. You may choose from several specialty cleansers that are designed for combination skin. Another option is to break up your skin care needs by using two different cleansers. A gentle cleanser can be used to wash the whole face, followed by an astringent pad in the T-Zone. You may also wish to use a gentle soap free cleanser on the drier portions of your face, along with a toilet soap on the oily regions.

Some of the best skin care cleansers include: Hydra-Tone™ and the Lanique Skin Care System..

Moisturizers

A moisturizer acts as a defensive barrier between your skin and the grime and cosmetics that can build up on it. It also hydrates your skin’s top layer and seals in essential nutrients and natural moisture. Beware of the exaggerated claims that some manufacturers make about their moisturizing products. Some say they are “anti-wrinkling,” “pore-shrinking,” “skin-firming,” or “energizing.”

In reality, not everyone needs a moisturizer. People with normal or oily skin may find little benefit from an added moisturizer. Moisturizers are most effective for those with dry, sensitive, or combination skin. Emollients are also excellent for dry skin types, or for people who are regularly exposed to such factors as cold temperatures, chapping winds, dry indoor heat, chlorinated pools, or air conditioning. Moisturizers are also helpful for folks who are using certain “drying” “medications, such as an acne medicine, a diuretic, or high blood pressure drugs.

Whatever type of skin care needs you have, many skin care products contain ingredients that can be toxic or irritating to the skin, and they should be avoided. Here’s a list of the most common ones to stay away:

Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid

Quaternium 15 (a common preservative)
Benzoic Acid (preservative)
Parabens (preservative)
Sorbic Acid (preservative)
Benzyl alcohol (a perfume solvent)
Lactic Acid (an alpha hydroxy acid)
PEG (Poly Ethylene Glycol)