While skincare should be something that everyone thinks about, not everyone does. In fact, many people have no problem with skincare and use the products they choose without paying much attention. What you don’t know can hurt you. These are the skincare ingredients you should avoid.
Parabens. Parabens are man-made chemicals widely used as preservatives in skin-care products. They are widely considered safe, but there are now concerns about their possible connection to breast cancer and thyroid disease. Parabens, while being beneficial to most people, are not easy questions.
Chemicals derived from fossil fuels. Cosmetics often contain chemicals derived from oil, coal or other natural resources. These resources are essential to maintain our economy, but eventually the chemicals found in these resources end up in our body. These chemicals have been proven to be harmful for our bodies, yet skincare companies keep using them. Some argue that these chemicals are contributing to climate change because petroleum and coal have methane, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. So, yes, cosmetics might contribute to climate change, but the extra effort to soften the look of your skin with petroleum-based ingredients could end up harming you instead of helping.
Fragrances. Some skincare ingredients can irritate your skin and trigger allergic reactions in sensitive skin. Manufacturers should not use certain fragrances because some people may be sensitive. You may experience irritation, swelling, or reddening of the eyes, nose, throat, and skin.
Autocrine disrupting chemicals. Common synthetic chemicals added to skin care products include trihalomethanes and phenthalates (THMs). According to scientists, long-term inhalation of certain chemicals like those mentioned here could cause cancer. While many chemicals were banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), not all of them have been. Dioxane is one of the Dioxane-listed compounds, and it is found in nearly every type of skin and hair care product. Avoid products that contain Dioxane.
Alcohols. Many beauty and skincare products include alcohol. Alcohols even considered “natural” are often processed with gasoline, water or other oil-based products. Some products may claim to be water-free, but still have alcohols. So, avoid skincare products with alcohols and any product that ask you to avoid contact with the skin.
Chemicals used to make fragrances and preservatives. Many skincare ingredients can irritate sensitive skin, even if they are natural. Fragrances are common ingredients in soaps, shampoos and conditioners. Preservatives may cause irritation if used in large quantities.
Emulsifiers. Skincare and makeup manufacturers often use emulsifiers in their products. Emulsifiers add stability to liquids and help them to turn into paste-like products. Emulsifiers are known to irritate skin and can cause irritation, particularly if the skin is very sensitive.
Foaming agents. Popular brands include paraffin, mineral oil and petrolatum. This ingredient is often used in makeup, cleansers and moisturizers. These ingredients can cause clogging of your pores, and may leave residues which could irritate your skin.
Itirritants. We don’t often think of fragrances as being irritating. Personal care labels often list fragrances as common names for ingredients. These fragrances are actually surfactants. Surfactants are substances that increase the temperature of liquids, such as paraffin and petrolatum, to make them more efficient in lubricating.
Health impacts. Some chemical ingredients can be considered safe. They can be absorbed through the skin, and then enter your bloodstream. A recent study showed that parabens, used as a preservative in shampoos and conditioners, can move into the bloodstream over time and cause a variety of reproductive and development disorders. You can check for common ingredients on the labels if you are concerned about any particular product.
Triclosan. Triclosan, a plastic additive used in cosmetics and other health products is commonly known. It is known to disrupt the endocrine system, causing hormonal changes and potentially cancer. This is another one of the toxic chemicals to avoid. Trichloroan has been banned by the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration as a food preservative.