PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There are all kinds of skin care products available these days with some focusing on being “natural,” and while you may think those are better for your skin, a study found they often contain allergens.
Many products labeled “natural” or “clean” can be misleading, especially because there are no regulations for what makes a product “natural.”
A study from Standford Medicine found that most “natural” soaps, lotions, and fragrances contain ingredients that many people are allergic to.
Researchers analyzed more than 1,600 “natural” personal care products and found 94% contained at least one contact allergen, and 36% had a fragrance mix, which can be very irritating to sensitive skin, which can cause contact dermatitis.
“They develop a really itchy rash. It can be scaly, dry, sometimes blistery, that occurs when we actually come in contact with something our skin is allergic to,” said dermatologist, Dr. Sandra Hong.
The study found that the number of people with dermatitis caused by personal care products has more than doubled since 1996. Currently, about 60% of people report having sensitive skin.
Although, dermatitis will usually resolve on its own when you stop using the product.
“If it doesn’t go away, that would be the time that you would really want to see your doctor to determine if there’s something that you can use to treat it, or to help you figure out what the cause is,” Dr. Hong said. “Sometimes, patients need to go through patch testing to determine the actual cause of their reaction.”
Doctors say people with sensitive skin can avoid reactions by using hypoallergenic and fragrance-free products instead of natural or clean.
Dr. Hong said it’s also important to note the FDA does not approve skincare products before they hit the shelves, so be sure to look at the ingredients.