Over the years the amount of man made chemicals creeping into our skincare products has increased. We could be excused for not going ‘green’ years ago when we were unaware how dangerous some of them could be. But knowledge is power, and now that we know the toxic affects these ingredients have on us, there is little excuse to ignore them.
Being aware of what is in your beauty and skincare products is the first step. We know deciphering an ingredients list of everything we use is time consuming – ain’t nobody got time for that! So listed below is a hit list of worst offenders which you should definitely avoid. Even if you are not a full convert, avoid products containing these:
- Parabens –man made preservative chemicals. Methyl, propyl and butylparaben are the most frequently used in beauty products. They are so not good for you. Skincare can be made without these and excluding it doesn’t compromise on quality of the product – Avoid, Avoid, Avoid.
- Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) – if you can’t pronounce it don’t use it!
- Propylene Glycol – Another preservative, only this one can be found in ciggies. Enough said!
- Butylene glycol – Thinning agent. It is also used to make construction materials from polyester plastics such as sheets and boards, molding and materials for boats. Propylene glycol and butylene glycol easily penetrate skin and weaken protein and cellular structure. I’ll pass thanks!! The aim of skincare should be to nourish, repair, rebuild and refresh cells, especially the vital protein chains that power them.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) – Is a beauty! Its anionic detergent! Yes, you heard me detergent! Found in nearly all commercial Shampoo – how ironic!
- Mineral Oil – Is a colourless and odourless oil made from petroleum. It clogs your pores and doesn’t benefit your skin at all. Omit it.
Once you start checking, you will be shocked how many of your products contain these ingredients. They are commonly used in a variety of products, such as cosmetics, moisturisers, shampoo, body wash and tanning products as they are a cost-effective alternative. The companies who use them (and we won’t name names) claim they are used at safe levels, however if they are present in all of your products, over time these chemicals build up in your body to harmful levels – which messes with our health. Here are some of the main side effects and reasons to avoid these toxins:
Ironically, while several of the commercial products that contain parabens are beauty products that are supposed to enhance the skin, research has found they actually accelerate the skin aging process. Ridiculous! It also increases the skin’s sensitivity and damage from the sun, which is one of the biggest factors causing our skin to age.
When stored in the body, parabens are endocrine disruptors that interfere with glandular activity and hormone production. This can cause hormone imbalances which are not an easy fix and their consequences even harder. These imbalances can result in irregular cycles, acne, reproductive issues and developmental issues in children, to name a few.
As parabens act like the female hormone oestrogen in the body, studies have indicated parabens may play a role in the development of certain types of breast cancer. When researchers tested breast tumours, parabens were found in each sample.
Male reproductive issues:
This does not only apply to women, these chemicals have also been found to have an adverse effect on the male reproductive system. Studies have found low sperm counts and decreased levels of testosterone to be related to the absorption of parabens in commercial products. If the man in your life doesn’t care, swap out his skin care – he will thank you later.
Remember when they used to say smoking was safe? This feels like déjà vu. Is it worth the risk when there are natural alternatives available?? The safest thing to do is to bin products with these chemicals in them and start again. There are so many amazing natural and organic products being created, which are carefully formulated to improve the health of our skin and don’t break the bank. That’s why we made the choice to support companies who are doing the right thing and making safe, natural and organic products that actually benefit our skin, bodies and health.
Cosmeticsinfo.org: Paraben Information
Campaign for safe cosmetics 2016. safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/
Journal of Applied Toxicology: Concentrations of parabens in human breast tumours.
Live-naturally.co.uk: Parabens and their effects