8 Toxic Chemicals to Avoid in Skin Care

8 Toxic Chemicals to Avoid in Skin Care

          It is really on you to make a decision to use products that include these chemicals or not. While they may be helpful in keeping the products safe from bacteria and help other ingredients perform better, some chemicals can also irritate and harm your skin and health. You should look carefully at the labels and use products with the right organic ingredients for your skin, as everyone’s skin type are different, from dry, oily, sensitivity and acne will vary. Be wise, think, and know what’s best for your skin!

Many of the chemicals used today in various skin care and cosmetic products are gaining attention because of the negative effects it can have on our skin and health. Here is a list of the top 8 chemicals to avoid if possible. 

1. Parabens

Parabens are used as chemical preservatives in wide array of personal care products such as moisturizers, shampoos, foundations and many more. Over the past few years there has been a huge debate whether parabens are safe to use or not. Some say excessive amount of exposure to parabens may lead to breast cancer. 

2. Sulfates

Again, one of the ingredients that is widely disputed whether it is safe to use or not. There are a lot of different types of sulfates, but the ones that are used most commonly are sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). Sulfates are known to strip away valuable moisture and protective barriers, irritating the skin more.

3. Phthalates

Phthalates are used in cosmetics as lubricants (softeners). They are known to be endocrine disruptors that is linked to breast cancer and reproductive birth defects in males and females. Phthalates is also known to have some possible effects on hormones. 

4. Fragrance

Fragrance is basically a blend of aromatic extracts from synthetic ingredients mixed with natural ingredients. Used in nearly 50% of beauty products, it actually has a LOT of unknown toxic chemicals that can be harmful to you. Without you knowing, fragrance can irritate skin, have toxic hormonal effects, and may even cause cancer. It may smell fabulous, but it can lead to not-so-fabulous effects on your skin and health. As an alternative, try to find natural fragrances that are chemical free.

5. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a colorless, flammable gas. Widely used as preservatives in skincare and cosmetics, it is mainly used in nail polish, makeup, lotions, and deodorants among many other products.  Short term exposure can cause skin irritation, difficulty in breathing, watery eyes and burning in the nose when inhaled. Also, formaldehyde is classified as a human carcinogen. 

6. Phenoxyethanol

Used as an anti-bacterial in cosmetics and stabilizer in perfumes, phenoxyethanol is actually very harmful. It is harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through skin, especially to nursing mothers or infants. Phenoxyethanol can have an effect on the brain and the central nervous system. It irritates skin and eyes, and can cause blistering on skin as well. 

7. Alcohols

There are good and bad alcohols. Bad alcohols are methanol, isopropyl alcohol, propanol, benzyl alcohol, to name a few. They can be extremely drying and irritating to skin, but also may even cause inflammation because they strip the skin off of its natural protection. By breaking down the skin’s barrier, alcohols destroy the substances that protects your skin’s health over then long term. Although alcohols may feel good because they are light and make your skin not feel greasy. It will damage the skin barrier, and lead to increase acne causing bacteria and makes inflammation worse. 

8. PEG

PEG (polyethylene glycols) compounds are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners and softeners. It also functions as absorption enhancer which allows both good and bad ingredients to be absorbed faster into deeper parts of skin. If used on broken or damaged skin, it can cause irritation and system toxicity. In addition, PEGs can reduce the skin’s moisture levels and speed up skin aging.

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