Your skin is your body's largest organ, so it only makes sense that you keep it as healthy as possible, right? Right! Not to mention, your skin is also highly absorbent, meaning that it is super important to be mindful of the ingredients you're exposing it to on a daily basis. With all the thousands of ingredients out there though, how are you to know what’s harmful and what isn’t? Lucky you, today you don’t have to worry as we uncover the top 5 harmful ingredients you should be avoiding in your skincare. With a little help from us, by the end you’ll be more informed than probably 90% of consumers today and it’ll make your skincare buying a whole lot less overwhelming and stressful! So let’s get to it!
While an added fragrance may sound like a benefit for your skincare products, they can be chock-full of chemical ingredients. Opting for a product with no fragrance could be a cleaner decision than opting for one with a “fresh & clean” scent. Don’t be fooled by “natural scents” either, they’re often just as bad as the ingredients found in synthetic fragrances that can include allergens and hormone disruptors. Fragrances can also act as irritants and can cause your skin to become red and potentially inflamed! Ouch!
Commonly used phthalates include DBP, DEHP, and DEP. These chemicals are often used as a binding agent and can help skincare products adhere to the skin smoothly. However, research indicates that this family of ingredients can act as an endocrine disruptor and can be toxic to your body's organs. Preliminary research has also linked phthalates to reproductive defects as well. Better to avoid this one altogether wouldn’t you agree?
Parabens are another potential endocrine disruptor that can oftentimes be found in moisturizers. By disrupting the endocrine system, your body’s hormones may be unable to perform naturally. Parabens are advertised as a preservative for many skincare products, to extend their shelf life. A few of the most common parabens include: butylparaben, isobutylparaben, propylparaben, and methylparaben.
If this ingredient sounds familiar to you, you likely heard of it in a science class. Formaldehyde is used to preserve cadaver bodies. What is it doing in skincare products then you may wonder? It is used as a preservative for many soaps, moisturizers, and even cleansers. Formaldehyde is considered to be a probable carcinogen, meaning that prolonged exposure to this ingredient may put you at a higher risk of developing cancer. Thank you, next!
Triclosan and triclocarban are marketed as adding antibacterial qualities to skincare products, especially face washes advertised for use against acne. While it may have some antifungal properties, it can disturb the proper functioning of hormones and of the thyroid. There is also the possibility of a weakened immune system due to the body being stripped of some beneficial bacteria. We all know how important a strong immune system is, so best to steer clear of this one completely!
It's more important than ever for consumers to demand transparency from the manufacturers of skincare products. Clean products with simple-to-read, natural, and harmful chemical-free ingredient lists should be readily available.
Self-care is a popular practice these days, for good reason. Caring for yourself is all about taking active steps towards promoting personal health and wellness. By using your knowledge and the information readily available to you, you can make the best decision about the skincare products you choose to purchase and expose your body to!
Photo by Hans Reniers on Unsplash
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