First For Women

Is this cosmetics ingredient harmful? My New Year’s goal was to exercise more, and it’s going great! But I’m so sore that it’s hard to keep it up. What can I do to stop the pain?



Some of my cosmetics have a big sticker noting that they’re free of mineral oil, but others don’t. That makes me wonder: Does mineral oil put my health at risk?


Mineral oil is a derivative of petroleum, which sounds scary, but it’s been safely used in cosmetics for decades because it helps moisturize, soothe and protect the skin barrier. And while there’s some evidence that mineral oil may clog pores and cause acne, there’s no reason to switch if you’re not experienci­ng symptoms.

While you’re looking at labels, however, there are a few ingredient­s I do advise avoiding. Fragrance, alcohols (ethanol or isopropyl) and dyes like o-phenylened­iamine are common in moisturize­rs and soaps, but they can dry out and irritate skin, especially if you have cuts or tears that the product can seep into. Additional­ly, parabens and phthalates, often in shampoos and conditione­rs, may disrupt hormones. Most cosmetics that don’t have these ingredient­s are labeled as such, but it’s always wise to check ingredient lists to ensure you’re avoiding the additives.



Congratula­tions on taking steps to reach your goal! The soreness you’re experienci­ng is normal, and it will go away, but it can take up to 16 weeks for your muscles to acclimate when you begin or expand an exercise routine. Fortunatel­y, you can remedy pain without cutting back on workouts.

First, I suggest swapping one or two of your weekly workouts for tai chi, a type of gentle movement known to increase strength and improve balance. Plus, Tufts University scientists say it can reduce pain by 60% and stiffness by 80%. To find instructio­nal videos, simply search “tai chi for beginners” on YouTube.

To erase aches now, massage sore spots with anti-inflammato­ry olive oil, which studies show soothes pain more effectivel­y than topical prescripti­on pain relievers.

 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States