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Bad skin? The shampoo could be to blame

Anyone who discovers impurities and irritations on their body or face is usually just rethinking their skin care routine. But a new cream does not always solve the problem. The cause could lie somewhere else entirely: in hair care!

Shampoo can cause bad skin

Naturally, the ingredients in shampoo also come into contact with our skin,” explains Munich dermatologist Dr. Timm Goluuml;ke. Each of them could potentially be suspected of causing allergies or other incompatibilities – and that doesn’t just apply to the chemical additives. But which ingredients in hair care products are responsible for skin problems?

Shampoo ingredients that can damage the skin


What is it? The collective term for a large group of synthetic substances consisting of compounds of silicon and oxygen.
Why is it in hair care products? Silicone shampoos can visually rebuild damaged hair by smoothing the damaged surface.
The (skin) problem: Silicone in shampoo coats the skin and can thus clog the pores. Those who are prone to skin blemishes quickly have to contend with pimples as a result.

Propylene glycol

Was ist es? Propylene glycol ist eine Erdöl-Verbindung.
Why is it in hair care products? As an emollient, which is also intended to ensure that the water contained in the shampoo does not evaporate.
Das (Haut-)Problem besteht nicht grundsätzlich, weiß Dr. Golüke. "Aber je nach Veranlagung kann Propylene glycol Allergien auslösen." Das äußert sich dann mit starkem Juckreiz und Rötungen.
Recommendation: If you use a product containing propylene glycol and tolerate it well – simply apply cream to your skin after showering to prevent it from drying out.

Ätheric Öle

What it is. Extracts of plants or parts of plants with a strong characteristic odor. "We hardly know any more "about &oum;theric &oum;le", warns Dr. Golüke, "they are usually extracted and processed in faraway countries before they end up in our cosmetics."
Why is it in hair care products? Depending on the plant, the ätheric Öle are supposed to support the hair in a targeted way, for example, be effective against dandruff, dryness or rapid re-greasing. Last but not least, they are used as fragrance donors.

The (skin) problem: Natural products in particular are suspected of triggering allergies, as evidenced not least by the widespread occurrence of hay fever, explains Dr. Golüke. The Cosmetics Ordinance therefore stipulated many years ago that the use of 26 allergenic fragrances that can occur in cosmetic products must be declared on the packaging.
Recommendation: Before you use a ätheric Öl, a compatibility test makes sense. Dilute it in a ratio of 1:10 with vegetable oil and apply it to the crook of the arm. If no unwanted reaction has occurred within 24 hours, you are very likely to tolerate it.


What it is. A chemical bond of para-hydroxybenzoic&oum;ure.
Why is it in hair care products? As a preservative to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.
The (skin) problem: The so-called isopropyl, isobutyl, pentyl and phenyl parabens in particular are considered to be highly allergenic and can cause unsightly and very unpleasant reactions such as eczema on the skin.
Recommendation: With an Epicutan test, the dermatologist can assess whether rashes or other flare-ups are allergic. Please avoid the critical parabens mentioned above.


What is it? The common name for the chemical compound methanal.
Why is it in hair care products? Also as a preservative.
The (skin) problem: Formaldehydee is highly toxic and is said to not only dry out the skin, but can also permanently destroy cells.
Empfehlung: Halten Sie Ausschau nach den Bezeichnungen Hydantoin oder Tensid Sodium Lauryl Sulfat: Oft versteckt sich in solchen Gemischen zu großen Teilen Formaldehyde.

What alternatives are there to avoid bad skin from shampoo?

The most obvious solution to avoid impure skin caused by shampoo is to avoid conventional shampoos. Meanwhile, there are many products on the market from natural cosmetics manufacturers that claim to do without the additives. A look at the ingredients is worthwhile in any case! If you want to be on the safe side, you can also make your own shampoo – this is not only good for skin and hair, but also protects the environment. Home remedies such as "acid rinse" or rye flour are also suitable as natural conditioner or shampoo alternatives.

If you still don’t want to do without conventional shampoo, there is at least one thing you can do – make sure you have the right shower routine. Most people tend to wash off shampoo or conditioner only at the end of the shower, but this often leaves residues of hair products on the body. These clog the pores and cause blemished skin. It is better to wash the hair first and then clean the body, so shampoo residues are automatically removed.