FAQs page at Dr. Bailey Skin Care

FAQs page where you can find answers to commonly asked questions sent to the Dr. Bailey Skin Care team by our customers.

Some of our most commonly asked customer questions include:

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.  

Are Dr. Bailey Skin Care product containers recyclable?

Our product containers are made from components that can be recycled. To do so, you can break the containers apart to separate the various components (for example, glass versus plastic) and recycle them per your local recycling guidelines. Any product residue in a container should be removed before recycling.

Are Dr. Bailey's Products 'Safe'?

It's common for the media to pick up stories about certain skin care ingredients being a concern. Please know that Dr. Bailey has carefully scrutinized the ingredients and formulations of all the products that she offers and updates them over time as trends and information change. She also reviews the medical literature and trending concerns in the media regarding ingredient safety. All of her products meet her assessment for the most current product safety concerns. If, in Dr. Bailey's scientific opinion, a product formulation or ingredient is unsafe, you will not find it on her site. 

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.

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.

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

Dr. Bailey feels that Consumer Reports has missed the mark on this issue and it is unfortunate. She has been a reader of Consumer Reports since the 1980s and has referenced them for years when buying appliances or cars. That said, you will see the FDA and many dermatologists and skin health advocacy organizations agree that mineral sunscreens are best. Chemical sunscreen ingredients are proven to penetrate the human body through skin while physical mineral sunscreen ingredients do not.

Additional important aspects of sunscreen efficacy include:

  • the fact that SPF testing is standardized and regulated,
  • the stability of the active UV filter ingredients in a sunscreen product after production can be reduced by the presence of the other ingredients in the final product,
  • SPF test results on fresh sunscreen do not parallel real life results (i.e., chemical sunscreen filters can test well initially such as avobenzone, yet be very unstable over time in a formulation),
  • active UV filter ingredients will break down as they block UV rays on your skin and chemical ingredients do this rapidly as opposed to mineral ingredients which do this more slowly.

Dr. Bailey does not recommend avobenzone sunscreens

Dr. Bailey cautions her readers that she does not recommend any of the new chemical avobenzone-related filters marketed as more stable when mixed into a sunscreen formulation.

  • All chemical sunscreen filters have been shown to be readily absorbed into the body after application to human skin.
  • They have the same mechanism of action that breaks down as they protect from UV rays.

The bottom line is that Dr. Bailey has watched the failure and success of sunscreen types on her patients for years and she only recommends mineral sunscreens with 5% or more zinc oxide listed as an active ingredient; she does not recommend chemical sunscreens. 

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. Consumer Reports and I disagree. - Dr. Cynthia Bailey, Board Certified Dermatologist and Founder of Dr. Bailey Skin Care

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.

Three steps for double face cleansing to remove stubborn sunscreen residue

  1. 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.
  2. Use a warm washcloth to wipe away the oil from your skin.
  3. Follow with your favorite cleanser to remove any grape seed oil residue from your skin.  Rinse with warm water.

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 mineral sunscreen 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.
  • Consider topping untinted mineral sunscreen with a tinted powder mineral SPF for additional protection and to blend the sunscreen into your natural skin tone. 

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 Bar Soap pH ranges from 7.5 to 8.5 and most commonly tests at pH 8.

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)

Where is your squalane sourced?

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

Why do the glycolic acid products smell like ammonia?

The best and most effective professional strength glycolic acid products often have this aroma. It is part of the formulation chemistry that makes strong glycolic acid products effective. Dr. Bailey’s aim with glycolic acid skin care is to provide all of the benefits that glycolic acid can offer your skin. You will also notice this aroma if you have a professional strength glycolic acid face peel. Dr. Bailey only offers professional level clinical grade glycolic acid products and they will have this aroma. It is temporary after product application and dissipates as the product dries on the skin. We do not use fragrance to 'mask' ingredient aroma in these products as fragrances can be allergens.