Skin care products are used on a daily basis whether it’s facial masks, moisturizers, lotions, creams, etc. Most of us buy our products from department and/or drug stores because it’s convenient to pick up while we are shopping. We’re often driven by the smell of the products and/or words that say “glowing skin,” “anti-aging benefits,” “reduce acne,” etc. when choosing them. But how often do we pay attention to the ingredients listed on the label and follow up with researching the meaning of the words? Well, I encourage everyone to check the labels on their products before purchasing them. An innocent purchase can result in plethora of health issues down the line. Below are 5 dangerous ingredients that are found in chemical based skincare products.
- Paraben- This is also known as Methylparaben, Propylparaben, IIsoparaben, Butylparaben. Parabens are a group of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. When the body absorbs parabens, it can mimic hormones in the body and disrupt functions of the endocrine system. One in particular is Estrogen, a popular hormone that parabens mimic. Your body does not easily break down synthetic estrogen and it can accumulate in fat cells, including breast tissue causing carcinogenic issues. The truth is parabens are not needed to preserve products; there are a lot of natural alternatives to preserve products that do not harm the body. These ingredients include but not limited to: Rosemary Extracts, Lemon, Vitamin E T-50 Mixed Tocopherol Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract, and many more. The reason cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies use synthetic preservatives are because they are cheaper to use and make the products last longer than natural preservatives.
- Sulfate- This is also known as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES). Sulfates are cleansing agents that causes foaming, used in many skin care, hair care, and cosmetic products. This is the second most concentrated ingredient in most shampoos. To put this into perspective, the FDA requires label ingredients to be listed in the order of highest concentrations - meaning that the highest levels of ingredients are listed first. Sulfates are used in concrete floor cleaners, engine degreasers, car wash detergents, and just about every soap and shampoo on the market. In the same way as it dissolves the grease on car engines, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate also dissolves the oils on your skin, which can cause dryness. It strips the skin's natural, protective oil and in turn the body ends up producing more oil to compensate which is not a good thing. There are natural alternatives for cleansing the skin such as Clay, Aloe Vera, Unrefined Coconut Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Castor Oil, etc.
- Phthalates- Dibutylphthalate (DBP, DEP, also Butyl Ester) helps skin care products absorb into skin. DEHP has been classified as a "probable human carcinogen" by the EPA. There is no need for this ingredient to be in any product; it is toxic. Our body should be able to naturally absorb products that are being used on the skin. When made with plant-based ingredients, products can absorb into the cells naturally and truly benefit the structure and condition of the skin.
- Synthetic Fragrance- Synthetic scents or “fragrance” represents an unidentified mixture of ingredients including carcinogens, allergens, respiratory irritants, endocrine disruptors, neurotoxic chemicals and environmental toxicants. The FDA does not require the cosmetic industry to disclose what is in “fragrance” when listed on a label. According to the Breast Cancer Fund, when it comes to the prevention of cancer, avoiding synthetic fragrance is one of the main ways to help you. That’s because the dangers of synthetic scents include hormone-disrupting phthalates and synthetic musk’s. Essentials oils are the best alternatives to use because they are derived from plants. The body can absorb and break down these natural oils.
- Synthetic Colorants- Can be seen on labels as FD&C Orange No. 4, 5, 10 and 11, FD&C Red 4, 6, 7, etc. The most common synthetic colorants used in cosmetics and skin care products are FD&C colors, derived from coal tar, which in turn is a by-product of petroleum. Because some coal tar dyes have been known to cause cancer, they are regulated by the FDA as to the amount of lead or arsenic they contain, limiting these elements to 10 parts per million. Oxides & Ultramarines are natural minerals that can yield amazing colors, but they are often laced with dangerous components, such as heavy metals or poisons. Again, there are a lot of natural colorant alternatives such as Beet Root Powder, Indigo Power, Turmeric Powder, Cranberry Fruit Fiber, etc. that should be used.
Recommendations: Asili Naturals is a skin care line that does not use the above harsh chemicals in our products. All of our products are made using plant-based ingredients, safe to use on your entire body.