Thursday, October 11, 2012

Skin Care Myths: If it's tingling, it's working

Last night, my husband spouted off one of the most common myths about skin care products. If a product is tingling or cooling, it means it's working. This truly couldn't be farther from the truth. Tingling/ cooling effects in washes, creams, balms etc come from menthol. Tingling is just your skin's response to irritation. Peppermint oil/ extract/ Menthol has antimicrobial properties but unfortunately is a known skin counter irritant. Counter-irritants are used to induce local inflammation for the purpose of relieving inflammation in deeper or adjacent tissues. In other words, they substitute one kind of inflammation for another, which is never good for skin. Irritation or inflammation, no matter what causes it or how it happens, impairs the skin’s immune and healing response. Although your skin may not show it or doesn't react in an irritated fashion, if you apply irritants to your skin the damage is still taking place and is ongoing, so it adds up over time. There is no good reason to put peppermint/ menthol in a skin care product. It's not helpful and it's damaging to your skin.