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By Cynthia Bailey MD.

Find answers to commonly asked questions sent to the Dr. Bailey Skin Care team by our customers:

What do I do if I think I have had a reaction to a skincare product?

When a product reaction is in question, we stop that product and use only gentle skin care such as gentle soap, moisturizer with no anti-aging ingredients, acne treatment products, or fragrance. We recommend using a mineral sunscreen instead of a chemical one. Once the skin resumes to normal plus 2 weeks, we would then resume the product in question on one side of the face/eye only at half the frequency and monitor the skin for reaction.

How do I open Dr. Bailey's Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy?

The Green Tea containers have a specially designed lock to protect this powerful antioxidant product. Simply grasp the top silver portion on the bottle and turn counter-clockwise to release the lock.  

Why are some products in an opaque and sealed pump container?

Some of the products that we sell contain ingredients that are photosensitive and will begin to degrade when exposed to light. The opaque containers protect these sensitive ingredients so they can remain in their best condition. These containers also have a sophisticated air-tight pump technology to ensure that your product ingredients stay active, and to prevent contamination.

It is true that these air-tight pumps are heavy and you can't feel how much product is left in the containers. Dr. Bailey recommends that once you are certain that your skin loves one of the high-tech products packaged in an opaque container, you keep an extra product as a spare. That way, when you run out, you already have one ready to use.  

What type of glycerin is used in Dr. Bailey's products? 

We use only USP/NF grade glycerin, which is also certified edible (food grade)—all veg sourced (non-animal)  

Are Dr. Bailey's Products 'Clean Skin Care'?

Dr. Bailey considers her skin care line 'clean' and ethically sourced. The labs who make our products source ingredients meticulously and avoid inexpensive raw materials produced in ways that may put users at risk for exposure to phthalates, dioxan etc - ingredients that can be present in raw ingredients and that companies do not need to disclose.

  • All but one of her products are paraben-free (Citrix SPF, which has a loyal group of users won’t let her stop carrying that product and it can’t be reformulated).
  • Most of the soaps and cleansers are sulfate free (and the few with sulfates do NOT contain dioxane contaminate - the issue of concern with sulfates) and ethyl alcohol free. 

You can see each product's 'free of' attributes under the 'At a Glance' tab on the product's page.

That said, Dr. Bailey says that 'clean skincare' is not a defined term and is one that is very green-washed and clean-washed for marketing purposes. Some of the media have also used broad brushstrokes when writing about the topic. Dr. Bailey has done the homework and research for her customers and takes care to offer only products she trusts and uses herself. Most of Dr. Bailey's products are medical-grade therapeutic products and some are natural products made with organic botanicals. A few are also certified organic. All products are cruelty free (we use humans to test things) and almost all are made in the U.S.A.

How to remove stubborn sunscreen residue during facial cleansing without scrubbing your skin:

Dr. Bailey recommends doing a double cleanse if you find that sunscreen does not come off easily when you wash your face. First apply food grade or cosmetic grade grape seed oil to your skin. This will ‘grab’ sunscreen, makeup and stubborn product residue that can become trapped in sebum. Use a warm washcloth to wipe away the oil from your skin. Follow with your favorite cleanser to remove any grape seed oil residue from your skin.  Grape seed oil comes off nicely. It is a uniquely lightweight oil and is also non-comedogenic. The concept is 'like dissolves like' and oil removes oil. The oil is then removed from skin with cleanser. The process is not oily for oily complexions since the grape seed oil/sunscreen/product/facial oil complex comes off nicely. Grape seed oil is available for cosmetic use or culinary use. Either is fine. It can be purchased in natural food stores in the personal care section or the food section.  

Why is the mineral sunscreen no longer invisible?

Mineral sunscreen technology is not entirely invisible after the COVID supply chain issues; the raw ingredient supply company that made the best invisible zinc oxide did not survive the pandemic and all skin care companies that used that great raw ingredient (like us) have reformulated using the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide suppliers that still exist.

If you have a darker skin tone, using a tinted product will help. They are typically created for facial use and not water resistant.

Several suggestions to reduce any white color from mineral sunscreens:

  • Shake the container really well before squirting any out into your palms. (On your first use, shake it a lot as the container has been sitting.)
  • Once the product is in your palms, rub your hands together to warm the product and begin dispersing the mineral particles. Then apply the product to your skin and continue rubbing. The particles need to be dispersed evenly over the skin and that takes some rubbing onto the undulations of your skin surface.

Consumer Reports has indicated mineral sunscreen doesn’t work, what does Dr. Bailey think?

I feel Consumer Reports has missed the mark on this issue and it is unfortunate. I personally like Consumer Reports and have referenced them for years when buying appliances or cars. That said, you will see many dermatologists and skin health advocacy organizations saying exactly what I say, that mineral sunscreens are best. I do not agree with Consumer Report’s conclusion. I find it curious and contrary to the well-established scientific study on sunscreen function and I can’t explain it.

Importantly, SPF testing is standardized and regulated. Sunscreen formulation is also very complicated from a chemistry and ingredient stability prospective. SPF test results on fresh sunscreen do not parallel real life results. Chemical sunscreen filters (non-mineral) can test well initially. Some, like avobenzone, which is very unstable, even provide excellent protection well into the UVA wavelength initially - when freshly made and tested quickly after application. The chemical filters break down rapidly on contact with UV rays. They also break down in the bottle when mixed with other sunscreen ingredients. I have watched them fail my patients time after time over the years. I don’t recommend chemical sunscreens. 

You will hear about the new chemical avobenzone-related filters that are considered more stable when mixed into a sunscreen formulation, but I am not a fan of those either. Chemical sunscreen filters have been shown to readily absorb into the body after you apply them. They have the same mechanism of action that breaks down as they protect from UV rays. I have been privileged to see the results of real-life sunscreen use in over 200,000 skin exams over a 30+ year career. It is clear to me that mineral zinc oxide gives people the best sun protection. I favor mineral zinc oxide for my own skin too; I use mineral zinc oxide products and do not use chemical sunscreens. Consumer Reports and I disagree. 

Is Dr. Bailey's mineral makeup oil free and non-comedogenic?

All our makeup is non-comedogenic, fragrance free, hypoallergenic and oil free except the baked which has oil that is then baked at 600 degrees to create the beautiful melange of mounded minerals that applies to skin like silk and does not migrate to lines or wrinkles. Thus, the pressed and loose meet all the criteria. The baked meets all criteria except for a scant amount of oil blended with the hypoallergenic minerals. All of our makeup gives excellent coverage and is handcrafted in either the U.S.A or Italy.

What is the pH of the Calming Zinc Soap?

The Calming Zinc Soap pH ranges from 7.5 to 8.5 and most commonly tests at pH 8. 

Where is your squalane sourced?

Our squalane comes from a variety of plant sources. We do not use shark oil. 

Which of your products are safe to use during pregnancy?

Dr. Bailey likes to keep pregnancy skin care really simple. That means simple cleansers, toners, moisturizers and mineral sunscreens without any chemical UV filters included. 

It is always best to consult with your obstetrician about the skincare products you are using or are planning to use as some have not been tested in pregnancy and should not be used unless specifically directed by a treating physician. For reference, you can find the ingredients to all of our products listed on the product page.