Skincare 101: Understanding Dimethicone and SLS

During self isolation, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to simplify and better my life in little ways. Since I’ve had so much time on my hands, I’ve looked into improving certain lifestyle choices that I otherwise typically wouldn’t have a lot of time to think about.

I am typically an extremely self conscious person as far as allowing myself to be makeup free. It might seem silly to some, but hell, it’s one of my insecurities. Especially when your skin isn’t in the greatest of shape, thinking about not wearing makeup, even if it’s to your local target, can seem terrifying.

So the other day, I was catching up with my cousin Diane, and we began to discuss skincare. Since she’s been an estethetician for ten years now, I have to say I saw this coming. I also have to say I’m lucky to be able to have her give me skin care advice.

A few days ago, I posted on instagram that I had gotten a couple of new Neutrogena products, and she wanted to talk to me about my choices.

I told her that I had had a troubled area on my forehead; not necessarily breakouts or blackheads, but what looked like irritation. After sending her a photo of the irritated area, she decided it was irritated most likely due to skin congestion.

up close & personal with my skin congestion.

As we talked, I learned that not only was she concerned that I had chosen a brand that wasn’t cruelty free, but was also concerned about the ingredients in the products that I chose.

That day, I learned about two ingredients: Dimethicone and SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Does anyone ever really look at the ingredients on the back of their skincare products? Probably not, unless your fortunate enough to be super up to date on the good and bad of skin care.

A majority of my focus on skincare (or makeup) products was always quality, and whether or not the product I was buying was cruelty free. And as much as I cared about animals, I never went out of my way to make sure what I was buying was in fact cruelty free.

I’m pretty disappointed in myself in that retrospect if I’m being honest. But, moving forward, I’m going to really start researching brands and update you guys on discoveries I’ve made, if you’re looking into more ethical beauty solutions too.

Let’s get into one of the main topics of today’s post.

What is SLS?

SLS, better known as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, is a skin irritant that can potentially strip the skin of natural oils causing dry skin and additional irritation.

What is Dimethicone?

Dimethicone is also a skin irritant that can clog pores causing congestion. It appears to be extremely common in a lot of makeup products, and there also appears to be different variations of it.

So wait, is SLS or Dimethicone worse?

My cousin has personally had worse reactions from SLS, yet my current cc cream has dimethicone, which is most likely what caused my forehead congestion. Long story short: everyone’s skin is different. When I asked my cousin if I should stay away from dimethicone altogether, she had said not necessarily, but to give my skin a chance to breathe by giving it one week free of any makeup.

Something I’ve also learned is that it’s okay to invest in skincare products. I used to believe that there were far more important things to spend money on. And while that is sometimes true, finding healthier products for your skin doesn’t actually have to break the bank.

Here are some products Diane has recommended to me:

Justthrive Probiotic: “This is my absolute favorite probiotic, it’s a little spendy.” Shop here: justthrivehealth.com/collections/probiotics/product

Alaffia Everyday Coconut Nighttime Face Cream: “I love this stuff, my skin tends to be dry so I use it day and night. It smells so good. Clean ingredients. It’s Cheap too! Shop here: www.vitacost.com/alaffia-everyday-coconut-nighttime-face-cream

Vital C Serum: “This is pricey too, but it’s my favorite vitamin c serum.” Shop here: https://www.thebodydeli.com/products/vital-c-serum

“I’ve never tried [The Ordinary] but the price point is amazing! Looks pretty darn clean, and no animal testing. Also, [The Ordinary] has regimens on their website for specific issues..their products might be worth a try.” Shop products here: https://theordinary.deciem.com/

Velvet Glow Foundation: “My [esthetician] friend swears by this stuff, she’s been doing skincare for 20+ years.” Shop here: vapourbeauty.com/products/velvet-glow-foundation

Pineapple Exfoliating Powder: “I want to try this stuff, good price point too!” Shop here:getgoodmolecules.com/new-arrivals/products/pineapple-exfoliating-powder

Diane’s Tips:

“If you want to do a serum, I suggest a Vitamin C serum. Vitamin C serum is great for cellular turn over, so this helps with both acne and fine lines. I find it to be more gentle than anything with salicylic acid.”

“Beyond the ethical part of it, why would I want to put something on my skin that they had to test on an animal. If they’re that worried about their ingredients I don’t want it on my body.”

(Tips for Skin Congestion): “I would try not putting anything on [the infected area], but maybe a little polysporin in the evenings. Cortisone cream might help with the redness too.”

“[Overall], I’d say just avoid SLS in makeup/skincare products.”

I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post! I found all these tips from my cousin to be super informative. I’m thinking about doing a follow up post detailing how my skin congestion is, as well as listing any new (clean & healthy) makeup skin care products I find! If you’re interested, let me know!