Makeup and Die

Chemical Linked to Cancer Found in Acne Creams Including Proactiv, Clearasil
by Anna Edney, BLOOMBERG, 3/6/24

I’m going to circle around a bit before heading in for the kill so just hold on to the rails.

Skincare product dissatisfaction among consumers is at a level that would find any other $25 billion industry (US) on the ropes and its major companies imploding. Chronic inflammation is the root cause for this dissatisfaction. And yet…

If you connect that validated fun fact to another: the overwhelming product reviews with five stars of almost every product at every skincare website, and well, Ricky, something needs ‘splainin.

First off, those 487 five star reviews of Swag Serum are not fake, but are indeed real and scrutinized by the Google God in ways that cannot be scammed by e-commerce marketers. So, there is that.

There is also a steady increase in overall facial skincare sales worldwide, year over year.

But consider also that major brand marketers are serving up tens of thousands of facial skincare products per hour and compare that to the collective number of product reviews and the ratio, at least for those brands, is not encouraging. Most serums, lotions and creams, the stuff you associate with skincare, find themselves at Wal-Mart fighting for space. Ditto online.

In fact, that space is overwhelmingly allotted to makeup products. This is the multi-billion dollar “skincare” world that sees increasing sales.

Now as a quick aside the typical US consumer topically applies six products per day with up to twelve not uncommon.

From all of this we can understand how the 70% dissatisfaction and the chronic inflammation and the five star reviews and steady rise in sales vector.

The end game in personal skincare begins when one finds oneself furtively examining the packaging wizardry in the over-lighted makeup aisle at the mall outlet.

Next step is the deep dive, over the cliff, into the online makeup world. The first shade that arrives by FedEx is impossible; you look like a sniper. In time, the in-bound collection has displaced your emergency food rations and the 10X mirrors to scrutinize have lighting that rival a donut shop at midnight.


The Skin Dork, in discussions at all-women colleges, came to learn that the only thing missing, and needed in the student packs, was a trowel. The use of very heavy makeup was common and along with it, topical antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, Retin-A, an exfoliating cleanser of salicylic acid and a glycolic acid moisturizer. And an SPF-500 lotion. On one face.

That these were connected in a kind of yin and yang way, or what used to be called a vicious circle, did not occur to them or if it did, it didn’t matter. Those for whom it didn’t matter started their adolescence with makeup saturation and began compensating for the inflamed, broken skin that resulted by accompanying mom in expensive visits to dermatology offices.

What we have here in backstory is a failure to appreciate. It would be another article or book, or medical conference or all of these to examine the self-loathing that goes into heavy makeup usage but, it can’t be denied, heavy makeup is an epidemic (pandemic?) and shows no sign of abating.

This Makeup Mania differs from a light blush, by oh, about a shovelful per day, just to give you perspective.

The Bloomberg article cited above, on the cancer stimulant benzene, derived from benzoyl peroxide (BP) is a companion piece to what you can find at 302Skincare.com Reference Topic on BP. For those of you who have little experience in the skincare domain, the reason BP has become, just in the last decade, so commonly used is to unwind the skin mayhem caused by Makeup Mania.

But of course, that has brought along another major problem.

Nothing will accelerate skin aging faster than BP. Not the sun, not living on the sidewalk, not smoking a pack a day, nothing beats BP. Irreversible damage can be done, easily.

The medical estheticians and dermatologists led the charge in proffering BP. Many did not read the medium bold print that BP is the most potent free radical generating ingredient you could introduce in skincare. Since about 2010 its usage is only slightly less than table salt, it seems. Bad things are happening and not just in mutagenic potentials.

Which brings up a question.

Are there any makeup products that can be used without fear of turning the underlying skin into the texture of a landfill?

Yes – and here comes the but – they tend to be minimal in coverage. They will not blend into a Mission Impossible mask that projects the new you to the world.

Breaking free from Makeup Mania is a process that proceeds in stages if it is to happen at all. Any attempt must start with opening the lid to the trash. Out goes the acne control products: acid exfoliators, BP, scrubs, retinoic acid, and every single moisturizer. This landfill dedication moment will be followed shortly by unhappy days as your skin shudders as if thrown to the wolves naked and alone.

The withdrawal will be even more brutal if the Makeup Mania continues, so that must be radically downgraded to minimalist mineral powders only and better – nothing at all.

These natural minerals, if found apart from a greasy cream, can be helpful to reducing skin instability, by the way. 302 Skincare’s RECOVERY MINERALS is an example.

Anyway, the withdrawal from Makeup Mania will be visually disturbing, for two weeks or so. After closing the trash lid, establish a cleansing program that will help carry the skin through the temporary bad times ahead. Over time a smart cleansing strategy will result in smooth skin without addiction and premature aging concerns. Most of good skincare is about cleansing with the right stuff. It’s not easy to find, either.

The use of 302 Skincare REVIVE is an essential step along with their FACE & BODY BAR and their SULFUR CLEANSER (while skin shows signs of breakouts). Rotating through cleansers the Dork will discuss in another post, but it works for breakout and flare up prone skin very well. If you were to emphasize one over the others, it would be REVIVE, that can also be used as a leave-on for moisturizing.

Managing your day to day skin situation as you transition away from bad practices can be helped along with honest guidance. The Skin Dork recommends that you check out the Personal Guidance portal at 302Skincare.com. It is process with real human interaction that is not product driven. Well, they’ll probably find a way to get something in your hands, but the advice is solid.

Less is best in Makeup Land.

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