Most people never read the ingredients list of the beauty care products they use. This is normal since we naturally think that beauty products are safe and are meant to make us look better. The problem is that so many of the ingredients are actually just marketing or are dangerous for us.
We are used to buying specific products. We want our eyes to look better, we buy eyeliner. We want to solve some nasty acne scars, we use special makeup for acne. Basically, we are focused on results and we do not care much about ingredients.
There are many things that should not be taken lightly when buying beauty and personal care products. Being careful is a necessity. As a simple example, were you aware of the fact that a product’s shelf life is usually determined by the manufacturer’s marketing department? The decision is made by taking into account financial viability. Stabilizers and chemicals are sometimes added in order to have a shelf life that is over 7 years.
It should also be added that there are different standards that apply in different parts of the world. In France, a chemical or color might be banned but this does not mean that it is in Australia or the US.
Whenever buying beauty products, be sure that you read the ingredients label. If there is any ingredient you do not know, the best thing you can do is use Google to find out all that you can about it. Your safety should be the top priority, not what the skin care company says. With this in mind, here are some ingredients that you absolutely need to avoid, with the extra mention that they are not the only ones that can be dangerous.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Parabens – Propyl, Ethyl, Methyl, Butyl
- Toluene – Methylbenzene, Benzene, Phenylmethane
- Phthalates – Dimethyl, Dibutyl, Diethyl
- Synthetic Or Artificial Colors
- Propylene Glycol
- Chemical Sunscreens – PABA, Methoxycinnamate, Benzophenone and more
- Sodium Lauryl Sulphate – Sodium Laureth Sulphate
- Final Thoughts
Parabens – Propyl, Ethyl, Methyl, Butyl
Parabens are preservatives that stop bacteria growth. The problem is they produce properties that mimic estrogen and were linked with high cancer risk, with breast cancer being an example. A UK study in which biopsies of breast cancer tumors were done showed there were parabens traces inside.
Parabens are not just included in beauty products. You also see them added to pharmaceutical products and even food. Make sure you avoid parabens at all costs.
This is a shady ingredient. It is often simply listed as Parfum or Fragrance. Companies do not have to divulge the formulas for their products. This is why it is easy to add synthetic fragrances, which were proven to interfere with the hormone responses of the body. Lung disease and dermatitis can be caused.
Triclosan is used in beauty products as an effective antimicrobial chemical. However, it does disrupt the endocrine system. Your reproductive and thyroid hormones are going to be negatively affected. There is even a risk that your skin will be irritated. Triclosan was shown to transform bacteria, increasing its resistance to antibiotics. Avoid all antibacterial soaps, deodorants, toothpaste and hand sanitizers that include triclosan.
Toluene – Methylbenzene, Benzene, Phenylmethane
These ingredients are petrochemicals, which means they are derived from tar/coal or petroleum sources. Make sure you avoid this during pregnancy. The label will not tell you that toluene vapors can cause huge possible developmental damages to an unborn child. The immune system is also negatively affected.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC for short) officially labeled formaldehyde as being carcinogenic. It will negatively affect your immune system and is known for causing nasty skin reactions. You can find formaldehyde in numerous body washes, shampoos, conditioners, nail polishes, eyeshadows, and cleansers.
Phthalates – Dimethyl, Dibutyl, Diethyl
You often find phthalates in perfumes, hairsprays, lotions and nail polishes. Unfortunately, they were linked in studies to reproductive birth defects and breast cancer. These chemicals are not often listed since they can be included in the perfume/fragrance list. When people learn about this, they are surprised to see it is actually legal.
Synthetic Or Artificial Colors
If you look at colors on the label, see if they are listed with the letters C & D before them. This is because the International Agency for Research on Cancer labeled them as human carcinogens. Let’s think about lipstick, which can include numerous colors. If artificial or synthetic colors are used, they can end up being ingested. As an example, if you see a code like C1 17200 listed right next to the color, you need to avoid it and buy another lipstick.
This ingredient is often seen in sunscreen, moisturizers, conditioners, hairspray, shampoos and makeup products. The small organic alcohol compound has its use as it is a conditioning agent for the skin. Unfortunately, it is also a skin penetrator and irritant that was shown to cause dermatitis and hives.
Chemical Sunscreens – PABA, Methoxycinnamate, Benzophenone and more
These work in a really simple way: they absorb UV light. Chemical sunscreens are endocrine disruptors and due to how they are applied, they can so easily end up absorbing. If this happens, it is possible to end up with cancer and cellular damage.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate – Sodium Laureth Sulphate
Commonly referred to as SLS and SLES, these ingredients are often found in cleaning products and personal care products. In fact, they are found in over 90% of all shampoos, acne treatment products, mascaras, cleaning products, household cleaning products, and body wash products. As these interact with other chemicals, nitrosamines are formed. Nitrosamines are carcinogens that can easily affect your eyes, lungs, kidneys, and skin.
When most people learn about the side effects of all the products mentioned above, they are shocked. It is completely normal to have such a reaction. Unfortunately, the beauty industry is huge and there are numerous manufacturers out there that only care about money. As a result, they cut corners and include really harmful ingredients that have huge possible side effects.
It would be wonderful if the harmful ingredients would be clearly posted on a label. Since they are not, it is up to you to conduct your own research. You need to use the safest possible products so do your research!