The Hidden Dangers in Your Skincare Products
The cosmetics, shampoos, lotions and other products you apply to your skin can be just as beneficial or harmful as anything you put inside your body. It is essential to nourish your body from the inside out as well as the outside in.
There are thousands of chemicals in your products, many of which are being absorbed into your body. These companies have all right to use any ingredient or raw material without government review or approval.
Here are some toxic beauty ingredients you should avoid, take time to read carefully what is in it before buying it.
- Parabens - Parabens are widely used preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast in cosmetic products. Sounds good, right? Not so fast, they do more than that. Parabens possess estrogen-mimicking properties that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. They can be found in makeup, body washes, deodorants, shampoos, and facial cleansers. You can also find them in food and pharmaceutical products.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) - This surfactant can be found in more than 90 percent of personal care and cleaning products (think foaming products). SLS's are known to be skin, lung, and eye irritants. A major concern about SLS is its potential to interact and combine with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, a carcinogen. These combinations can lead to a host of other issues like kidney and respiratory damage. They can be found in shampoo, body wash/cleanser, mascara and acne treatment.
- Phthalates - A group of chemicals used in hundreds of products to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics. The main phthalates in cosmetics and personal care products are dibutyl phthalate in nail polish, diethyl phthalate in perfumes and lotions, and dimethyl phthalate in hair spray. They are known to be endocrine disruptors and have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive birth defects in males and females. Unfortunately, it is not disclosed on every product as it's added to fragrances (remember the "secret formula" not listed), a major loophole in the law. They can be found in deodorants, perfumes/colognes, hair sprays, and moisturizers.
- Propylene glycol - Propylene glycol is a small organic alcohol commonly used as a skin-conditioning agent. It's classified as a skin irritant and penetrator. It has been associated with causing dermatitis as well as hives in humans -- these sensitization effects can be manifested at propylene glycol concentrations as low as 2%. It can be found in moisturizers, sunscreen, makeup products, conditioners, shampoo and hair sprays.
- Sunscreen chemicals - These chemicals function as a sunscreen agent, to absorb ultraviolet light. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors and are believed to be easily absorbed into the body. They may also cause cellular damage and cancer in the body. Common names are benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate, and methoxycinnamate. They can be found in sunscreen products.
- Toluene. A petrochemical derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. You may see it on labels listed as benzene, toluol, phenylmethane, methylbenzene. Toluene is a potent solvent able to dissolve paint and paint thinner. It can affect your respiratory system, cause nausea and irritate your skin. Expecting mothers should avoid exposure to toluene vapors as it may cause developmental damage in the fetus. Toluene has also been linked to immune system toxicity. It can be found in nail polish, nail treatments and hair color/bleaching products.
- Fragrance. This particular category is pretty scary, because what does "fragrance" mean anyway? This term was created to "protect the secret formula of the company". But as a consumer, you could be putting on a concoction that contains tons of chemicals that are hazardous to your health. Fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system. It can be found in many products such as perfume, cologne, conditioner, shampoo, body wash, and moisturizers.
That's not all to take care of our "inside body", we have to be careful with the "outside" too by paying attention to what is written on the packaging, changing our ways of buying products... And if we don't want to lose time on what's in the product, the easiest way is to turn to organic product. You have one life to live and one body. If you don't take care of yourself, you may pay for it later in sickness.