by Alexandra Owens
Getty Images As a dog momma and beauty-product hound (see what I did there?), I was psyched to see that one of my favorite boutique beauty brands, Malin + Goetz, is expanding its line to include our four-legged friends. Their new dog shampoo--inspired and approved by the founders' charming rescue pug Mr. Greenberg--is formulated with hydrating amino acids and a mild neroli extract for scent. It made me curious what exactly pet lovers should be looking for in their companions' bathing products, so I turned to Mark Macina, a noted doggy dermatologist at the Animal Medical Center in New York City, for some answers.
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A lot of people worry about the delicate line between keeping their pets clean after a romp at the park and over-shampooing their skin. How frequently should we bathe our dogs? "Weekly to every other week is optimal for most dogs. If they're allergic to products or have a dry coat, you can still bathe them weekly, but you need to make sure to use products that help their skin retain moisture. There are also plenty of leave-in conditioners on the market that can reduce overdrying."
What ingredients should you use for different skin types? "If it's just a maintenance shampoo, look for something gentle with less soap content--even Johnson's Baby Shampoo would be fine. If your dog has greasy skin, choose shampoos that contain benzoyl peroxide or coal-tar to reduce moisture. If the skin is scaling, you want shampoos with exfoliating agents. One popular ingredient that's also common in human products is glycolic acid. It has exfoliating properties and helps skin cells retain moisture."
See more: 50 Beauty Products to Try Before You DieWait--so can we share shampoo with our dogs? "Most human shampoos contain too much soap and too much fragrance for dogs' skin--Johnson's Baby Shampoo is a rare exception. As for humans using dog shampoo--you could use it without anything bad happening to you. But for the average person, it's probably not that appealing."
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