Does skin care actually take care of your skin?
These products are supposed to make you feel good and to increase your wellbeing. But do they really? More often than people realize, the answer is no.
If you want to use safe soaps, shampoos and other cosmetics, you only have a choice: to know which harmful chemicals to avoid in skin care so that you can make informed decisions.
Dangerous chemicals to avoid in skin care products
In the past few years, parabens have been creating uproar in the media. Since they are cheap and effective, they are often used in soaps and other skin care products as chemical preservatives to prevent the growth of bacteria. Some studies advocate that parabens are linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues, because they are xenoestrogens. In particular, the ones to be aware of are propylparaben, methylparaben and butylparaben.
#2 Artificial fragrance
We all like to smell good, but you have to be careful on how to achieve that. Very careful, because fragrance is made of many synthetic ingredients, including some toxic chemicals. Add to that the fact that it is used in almost 50% of beauty products, and you’ll have a clear picture of why it is so important to read labels.
Why are sulfates among the harmful chemicals to avoid in skin care? You’ll surely have noticed “sulfate-free” written on several products. The reason is that sulfates are recognized as aggressive detergents that strip your skin of its natural protective barriers and valuable moisture. The most commonly used sulfates in personal care products, including toothpaste, are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES).
What is a flammable gas doing in skin care products? Formaldehyde can be found in deodorants, lotions, makeup and detergents among others. According to Alexandra Scranton, Director of Science and Research for Women’s Voices for the Earth, in some cases it can lead to skin irritation, scalp burns and hair loss.
When it comes to alcohols in cosmetics, some are harmless and some are bad. Among the bad ones, you should watch out for benzyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, methanol, sd alcohol and propanol. These are the ones that can damage your skin by breaking down its natural barriers.
#6 Synthetic colors
Since synthetic colors are derived from petroleum or coal tar sources, we can agree that they deserve a spot on the top 7 harmful chemicals to avoid in skin care. The European Union has banned them in food and the European Classification and Labeling considers them a human carcinogen. So why on Earth would you want them on your skin?
You know those tiny beads that you find in scrubs and exfoliating washes? Well, they are made of polyethylene. If used on sensitive or damaged skin, it can cause irritation. Also, PEGs are absorption enhancers, meaning that they help bad ingredients to be absorbed faster and deeper into your skin.
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Also, check out the FDA’s list of unsafe ingredients.