Women and cosmetics are a match made in heaven. We spend thousands every year buying products that are supposed to improve our skin’s health. It takes a lot of time to find the right items that go well with our skin. So many women follow some kind of skin-care routine religiously. But how to know if what we are using is safe in every way?
No law in the US reviews what is being used in skin-care products. According to the FDA, companies can use almost any ingredient in their cosmetics (except ingredients prohibited by FDA regulations). Since there is not much check and balance, women use a ton of harmful components without knowing their side effects.
A massive number of ingredients are harmful not only for the skin on a surface level but can also cause serious complications. Many such components are known for causing cancer (carcinogens), hormone imbalance (endocrine disrupters), and even infertility.
So what are those culprits that have silently made their way into our lives? Look no further; we have made a detailed list for you so that you may check the ingredients before buying your next beauty products:
Sunscreens are a must to have when you know you will be working outdoors. They protect from the sun’s UV radiation and getting a tan. A study has shown that there are six products in chemical sunscreens that get absorbed in the bloodstream and increase blood levels that are considered safe. One such example is that of oxybenzone. It is said that it gets absorbed 188 times more than the safety limit after just one application. Even after a week, the chemical levels were still elevated in the blood.
Oxybenzone is an endocrine disrupter, which has been known for causing hormone imbalance and infertility among women. Pregnant women should avoid it at all costs because it can also lead to congenital disabilities in severe cases. Dermatologists recommend the usage of mineral sunscreens to prevent such complications.
2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is a very common cleansing agent. It is mostly found in liquid soaps, cleansers, and shampoos. It has very harsh chemical components that can cause irritation and allergies. Doctors say that if SLS-based products are not washed off properly, the skin might get dehydrated and can have breakouts. Organic, SLS-free products are making their way in the markets so that more and more people can avoid this harmful ingredient.
This is the most commonly-known toxic additive that cosmetic companies frequently use. Parabens are derivatives from petroleum that are used in most make-up products. Many chemical names are used for them, including butylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, etc. Parabens can lead to breast cancer as they mimic the growth of a hormone called estrogen. This enlarges the cancerous cells resulting in severe complications. Parabens are also a culprit behind harmful female reproduction.
As people are becoming more and more aware ofparabens, make-up companies have initiated a paraben-free range of products.
It is only natural that people go for skin-care products that have a lovely smell to them. But it is not so commonly known that things with the most fragrances can also be the most harmful ones. Since most of such fragrances are chemically produced, they may cause allergic reactions to the skin, cough, dizziness, and headaches. Pro-tip? If the product has a strong scent, don’t buy it.
5. Mineral Oils
They are a product of carbon and hydrogen; hence they are hydrocarbons. Like parabens, they are commonly found in everyday make-up products and are known for their hydrating properties, making them great to keep your skin fresh. However,mineral oils clog pores and can actually cause acne and breakouts. Creams and lotions with mineral oils as additives can damage the skin and increase dehydration. Not exactly the kind of hydrating partner you wanted, right?
The best way to keep your skin fresh is to drink lots of water –quite obvious, but it works. Additionally, you can use gel-based organic products to keep that glow on your face.
6. Polyethylene Glycol
This ingredient is found in products that are recommended for oily skin types. It has oil-absorbing properties and controls the production of grease on the skin. This all sounds great until you know that it can alter your skin’s natural hydration system. Not only it controls the natural oils, but it also reduces their productivity. As a result, you will get dry, flaky skin.
These are used as softeners and smoothers in make-up products. You can easily recognize them by looking out for ingredients with “-siloxane” or “-methicone” at the end. They are suspected of reproductive toxicity (cyclotetrasiloxane) and endocrine disrupters.
8. BHA and BHT
ButylatedHydroxyanisole (BHA) and ButylatedHydroxytoluene (BHT) are synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives in cosmetics like lipsticks and moisturizers. The International Agency of Research on Cancer has noted BHA as a possible human carcinogen. They are also listed as ingredients that disturb female sex hormones and possible birth defects.
The use of BHA and BHT in products has been under scrutiny worldwide. The European Union has prohibited the use of BHA in cosmetics, while California requires a label on products if BHA is used.
9. DEA Related Products
Diethanolamine (DEA) and DEA are commonly found in products that make foam leather when used, such as sunscreens, moisturizers, and soaps. They act as a pH adjuster to cut down the acidity of other additives.
Excessive use of DEA products has been shown to have adverse effects on the skin and liver. They may cause liver cancer and early stages of skin cancer. They are also harmful to the eyes; hence, DEA and its variants are flagged in most countries.
10. DMDM HYDANTOIN & UREA (Imidazolidinyl)
These are a form of preservatives known for causing joint pain, skin allergies, and loss of sleep. Commonly found in skin-care products, shampoos, and conditioners, they are safe as long as a limited amount is used. But frequent and prolonged usage can be harmful and must be avoided.
A Healthy Face is a Happy Face
It is important to take out time for yourself during a busy routine. Your skin and body demand special treatment every once in a while. Wear comfy PJs, take out your skin-care products, and enjoy a couple of hours of self-care. A face that is properly hydrated and clean looks beautiful even without make-up. But it is also essential to choose your products wisely and carefully.
Not everything that glitters is gold. Therefore, do your research thoroughly before buying something new. Try adopting the habit of reading ingredients on a product. Your face should be the last thing to be experimented upon. Once you find the right products, your skin will have your natural glow. All it takes is a little bit of care and caution.