10 skin care and cosmetics ingredients to avoid

Publish DateJun 14, 2021

According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the average woman uses twelve beauty products daily that contain over 168 different toxic chemicals.

As your body's largest organ, your skin absorbs up to 60% of what your place on it. This includes everything from shampoos, to creams, to soaps, to sunscreen. Absorbing ingredients topically can be worse than internal ingestion as your disgestive system includes natural enzymes, stomach acid, and bile that help to detox and destroy some of these chemicals. It only takes 26 seconds for toxins to get absorbed into your bloodstream when applied topically.

As the ingredients used in skin care become increasingly obscure, it is important to be aware about their potential side effects.

Skin care labeling is not as heavily regulated as food labelling, which is why many toxic chemicals may not even be listed. Moreover, organic-labeled products aren't necessarily 100% organic.  

Some ingredients are linked to serious health problems such as allergies, rashes, eczema, hormonal issues, mood disturbances, reproductive issues, brain fog, and even cancer.

Skin care should nourish your skin – not overload it with toxins. To preserve your health, avoid these harmful ingredients in skin care and cosmetics.

1. Parabens

A 2004 research paper that found paraben traces in breast cancer tissue samples. Parabens are used as preservatives to prevent bacteria growth and mold in cosmetics, lotions, and soaps. They have been linked to hormone disruption and reproductive toxicity due to their ability to mimic estrogen in the body.

2. Phthalates

Phthalates are plasticizing chemicals used to make products more flexible. They are also used to make fragrances stick on the skin. Phthalates are known to disrupt the endocrine system and cause liver, kidney, and lung damage. Their use is banned in the EU and California as well as in children's toys, but are still commonly found in synthetic fragrances, deoderants, nail polish, and hairspray.

3. Fragrances/ perfume

Synthetic fragrances are used in perfumes and deodorants. Fragrances are an umbrella term for complex mixture of hidden chemicals. They are dangerous because you can't be sure what exactly you are being exposed to. They are connected to skin allergies, dermatitis, headaches, and asthma.

4. Toluene

Toluene, also called Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), is a volatile petrochemical solvent. Toluene is linked with brain toxicity and disrupts the immune and endocrine systems. It is especially harmful during pregnancy and can negative impact fetal development. Toluene is banned in Southeast Asia and the EU; however, it still found in nail polish and hair products in the US and other places.

5. Aluminum

Aluminum is a toxic heavy metal that disrupts endocrine system functioning due to its estrogen-like effects. Aluminum is a common ingredient found in many common personal care products, especially in deodorants.

6. Polyethylene glycol

Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is used as a thickener to create a creamy texture in skin care and cosmetics. It has been linked to cancer and respiratory disorders. PEG is often contaminated with 1,4 -dioxane and ethylene oxide, which are carcinogens. The EWG has found 1,4-dioxane in 57 percent of baby washes in the US.

7. Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Releasers

Decades of research classify formaldehyde as a carcinogen. Despite being a well-known toxin to avoid, formaldehyde is still commonly used as a preservative in nail polishes, eyelash adhesives, soaps, lotions, and deodorants. This substance is banned in the EU. Even low levels of formaldehyde in cosmetics have been found to irritate the eyes, throat, nose, and skin.

8. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) were formerly used as industrial degreasers. They are now found in 90% of personal care products that foam, such as in soaps, shampoo, and toothpaste. These detergents make products lather and bubble and lead to skin irritation.

9. Ethanolamines

Ethanolamines, which include triethanolamine (TEA), monoethanolamine (MEA), and diethanolamine (DEA), are used in a range of cosmetics as foaming agents, cleansers, and preservatives. Ethanolamines have been linked to liver tumors. The EU has banned DEA in cosmetics due to potential contamination from carcinogenic nitrosamines.

10. Talc

Talc is similar in composition to asbestos. This substance is often used in baby powder, eye shadow, dry shampoo, blush, and antiperspirants. It has been linked to ovarian cancer and respiratory problems.

All together, these skin care products and cosmetics increase your toxic load and harm the healthy functioning of your body. Avoid these 10 toxic ingredients in skin care and cosmetics to protect your health.

Author: Jesamine Dyus


Images source Pexels

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