I don’t know about you, but my skin changed tremendously during the menopausal transition. I used to describe my skin as “combination” but now I find that my skin—and especially my face—often feels really dry.
The search for new skincare products
I have found that I've had to change products and it’s hard to find a moisturizer that works. This search, which often is based on advertising claims, can get costly because in many stores, you have to buy the entire product without trying it out first. I have several jars of moisturizer that I need to toss because they didn’t make a difference in the dryness (even though their advertising claims said they would).
Fortunately, I’ve started going to stores that actually will give you a sample to try before you purchase. So, if you are on the hunt for new skin care products to help your changed skin, try going this route.
Finding out product safety
I have another concern—the ingredients in skincare products. I want to make sure that the products I do use are made from safe ingredients that won’t harm my health. However, it turns out that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t have the necessary authority to require cosmetics companies to test their products for safety.
That’s a little scary since the Environmental Working Group (EWG) points to studies that show that animals’ hormonal systems are thrown out of whack by chemicals from personal care products that go down drains and into rivers. So the big question I have is whether my body will react any differently than an animal's due to using certain products?
Therefore, I was really interested to find the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, which includes lots of product ratings. “EWG’s ratings are based on data suggesting that certain ingredients are hazardous,” EWG’s website states.
“But we add a significant caveat: in most cases it is impossible to predict whether a particular product poses a health hazard. Actual health risks, if any, will vary based on how much exposure each person has to a toxic ingredient, as well as that person’s age, health status, genes and other factors.” The organization does point out that more studies are needed on exposure levels and health risks.
The Skin Deep database provides a wealth of information on products including makeup, skin care, haircare, nails, fragrance and oral care. You can search the data by product, ingredient and company. The ratings include a two-part score.
The first is a hazard score, which is color coded by green (low hazard), yellow (moderate hazard) and red (high hazard). This rating includes a numerical score that provides the suspected hazards of ingredients in the specific product. The second score focuses on the scientific studies in published scientific literature and the number that are included in the Skin Deep database. These scores are categorized as none, limited, fair, good and robust.
I hope you’ll take a few moments and explore this database. It’s very informative and can help you make better decisions about products you put on your body during and after the menopausal transition.
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Primary Sources for This Sharepost:
Environmental Working Group. (ND). EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.
Environmental Working Group. (ND). User’s Guide to Skin Deep.
Environmental Working Group. (ND). Why This Matters: Cosmetics and Your Health.
National Institute on Aging. (2015). Menopause: Time for a Change.