I bet you’ve tried Head & Shoulders for your dandruff (and maybe even your face). Thanks to extensive marketing, the moment you think anti-dandruff shampoo, Head & Shoulders comes to mind.
The main active ingredient in Head & Shoulders Shampoo (and other popular anti-seb Derm products) is Zinc pyrithione (or pyrithione zinc – it’s the same thing).
Pyrithione zinc (ZPT) kills Malassezia yeast, which is the main culprit in seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. ZPT can also kill some bacteria, reduce inflammation and reduce skin oil production – all useful benefits for acne-prone skin, fungal acne, dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis.
However, side effects include irritation and dryness of the skin. Although these are usually mild and temporary, sometimes it can make your skin more itchy and red. Zinc pyrithione cream or ointment should not be used on broken skin, around wounds, or if you have sensitive skin.
Also, as of March 1st 2022, the European Commission added ZPT to their list of prohibited products for being reprotoxic (damaging to your reproductive system).
ZPT is only banned in the European Union and not in the rest of the world. But the EU is always quicker to act, and more conscientious than the rest of the world combined.
The Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) did say that ZPT is safe when used in rinse-off hair products in dosages of less than 1% but ZPT is not irreplaceable. Why put yourself at risk when you can use something else that contains a less harmful ingredient? Like tea tree oil (read how you can use tea tree oil for Seb Derm)
To take a deep dive into the ZPT article, click here.
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Will makeup make seb derm worse?
Generally speaking, no – makeup doesn’t make seb derm worse. Makeup usually don’t contain ingredients that can feed Malassezia or worsen inflammation. Just make sure you take it all off at the end of the day so it doesn’t clog your pores.
If you’re having a Seb Derm flare and thinking of covering it up with makeup, you most certainly can. But what I found was that the foundation didn’t sit well because my skin was flaky and dry. The more makeup I layered on, the more cakey and ugly I felt.
In the end, when I decided to go ‘naked’ without makeup, I felt more powerful and confident. I was owning it! I may have a rash at the moment but I am still a strong, confident woman!
I encourage you to try it.
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Stay healthy, happy, safe and rash-free!
Until next week,