Most moisturizers contain preservatives to give it some shelf life. Some of the most common types are problematic: parabens have been linked to cancer and phthalates are suspected endocrine disrupters.
While there are paraben- and phthalate-free creams on the market, it can take work to read through even the ingredient lists of organic or “natural” products. One of the easiest ways to assure your products are free from any extra chemicals (even fragrances often hide messy ones) is to shop your kitchen.
I changed my skincare routine a couple years ago, when a dermatologist friend explained to me that most skin creams are just marketing and that she advises her clients: “the better a product smells and the more expensive it is, the less effective it is for the skin.” She also told me to avoid water-based lotions (what I’d been using) since these usually contain alcohol to ward off bacterial growth which simply dries your skin further.
When I asked her what I should use for cream, she said, “what your grandmother would have”. Since my grandma tended to use a heavily-perfumed cosmetic, I decided to look to someone else’s grandma.
In this video, I try Sophia Loren’s secret: extra virgin olive oil as facial moisturizer.