Michelle Rupp: Hello and welcome into this week’s edition of AFMC TV. I’m Michelle Rupp. Have you ever taken the back of your makeup or sunscreen and taken a look at the ingredients list. Ever wonder what some of those words are or better yet? What do they mean? What are you putting on your skin joining us today is our dermatologist, Rebecca Denison. Thank you so much for joining us.

Rebecca Denniston, PA-C: Thanks for having me.

MR: So, you work at Dermatology Group of Arkansas and you’re a PA?

RD: Yes.

MR: And so that gives you the credentials to talk about that ingredient list. What are we putting on our skins? We know we should be putting it on our skin. But what are we putting on our skin?

RD: Yes, it’s a great question. I feel like it’s a hot topic right now and really a lot of it we don’t know yet. There’s a lot of studies being done currently and so I think in the coming years we’ll know more about, you know, what are the effects of certain things we’re putting on our skin that’s in our skin care. But there are some things that we do know, and I think one of the big takeaways is that in the US there really aren’t a lot of regulations on ingredients and skin care products. In Europe for instance, there’s very strict regulations. So, there’s about 10 ingredients in Europe that are completely banned in skincare products, but they’re allowed in the U. S.

MR: Interesting. And unsettling.

RD: Yes. Exactly. Yeah. So, there’s more studies being done currently in the U. S. And I think that like I said in the coming years we’re really going to know more on that.

MR: Is there any ingredients specifically that we should stay away from? That if we see it on the back of some packaging it should maybe be a flag for us.

RD: Yeah, so there’s a couple that are currently being studied in particular parabens. So, parabens fall into the class of preservatives. A lot of companies are putting preservatives in their products to keep them fresh and lasting longer. And some of the studies are having some concern for potentials with hormonal issues with preservatives. And then another big one is formaldehyde. Believe it or not, formaldehyde is found in a lot of the things you’re used on a daily basis. Your shampoo, your soap, your makeup, your sunscreen all could have both of those ingredients in there. And so, the long term effects we don’t really know yet but I think they’re, you know, potentially could be some.

MR: And are they going to be listed as a paraben or will you see the word formaldehyde on the ingredient list?

RD: So, formaldehyde. Yes, you’re going to see that parabens are a little bit trickier. Now a lot of skincare products will say paraben free and notice that you know obviously that’s very helpful, but others don’t. And so there’s kind of two big ones that I see a lot and they have long names. One of them is called Methylchloroisothiazolinone. It’s a mouthful. But that one in particular is a common preservative and then there’s another one called Methyldibromo glutaronitrile. And it’s also a very common preservative that you’re going to see a lot in the things you use on a daily basis. So, I really think more skincare companies are going to say this is preservative free or paraben free. And that will be very helpful.

MR: Now, have you noticed anyone in the clinic that is coming in with any kind of reaction to some of these ingredients? And what would some of those reactions might be.

RD: Yes, definitely. So, it’s very, very common. It can happen in younger patients or older patients. And the theory is, is basically these companies are putting preservatives in their products and we become sensitized to them and then allergic to them over time. So it might start off as just an itchy red facial rash. That’s a lot of times what we’re going to see. And so if you use a product and you get that or maybe use a product a couple of times and then you get that reaction and that’s a red flag, you know, you could be sensitive to something or allergic to something in that product. The tricky part is figuring out what it is and so that’s where patch testing can come into play. That’s a common thing that we do, where we test you to basically every ingredient found in skin care products. And so that’s a way to really narrow down what you could be sensitive to.

MR: And let’s take a moment and maybe put a little bit of a definition on skin care products. Are we talking about your creams and serums? Are you talking about mascaras and eye shadows? What fits in there?

RD: Really, everything. So, your makeup, of course, any type of lotion or serum makeup remover? All those products are going to have some type of preservative in them typically. And sunscreen is a big one too. And you know, I’ve actually seen quite a few reactions to sunscreens already. You know this summer and some of the big ones or the big takeaways for sunscreen in particular is staying more with chemical free sunscreens. So, there’s a difference with sunscreen, you’ve got chemical and then you have physical blocking sunscreen. So physical blocking sunscreen. Those are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Those are the main ingredients. They physically block the sun. Those are going to be better for people with sensitivities or allergies. We do see quite a few allergies to chemical sunscreens, like oxybenzone, avobenzone. Those type of ingredients.

MR: Okay, that that makes sense. And what about makeup?

RD: Yes, so makeup is interesting. There are very few brands that are completely like fragrance free preservative free. The one thing I usually tell patients is mineral based makeup. That’s going to typically be safer. Less preservatives and really good for people who have sensitive skin or allergies. Or just want to clean brand of makeup mineral based tends to be better.

MR: Okay, anything else as far as ingredients that we need to be on the lookout for?

RD: Yeah, I think that the main thing is, a lot of times what I see for patients that they first noticed is irritation around the eyes. And so, the eyelid skin is one of the thinnest areas of skin on our face. And so, a lot of times it’s the first to react. So, some people will think, oh, it’s the, you know, eyeshadow or mascara I’m using, but really it could be anything that you’re putting on your face. And so, you know, if you do get that reaction, you know, obviously stop the product and then you know. Call your dermatologist and we’ll figure out a solution.

MR: So, okay, and Becca, how can folks get ahold of you? Yes, so, at the dermatology Group of Arkansas and we’ve got six locations. and so, we’d be happy to see you.

MR: Awesome. Okay, thanks so much for coming in today.

RD: Thanks for having me.

MR: And be sure and read those labels, right?

RD: Yes, that’s right.