My today’s article is about… learning how to avoid toxic skincare ingredients 😉 Sounds a bit scary and scientific, doesn’t it? 😀 But it’s not 😉 Grab a random bottle of shampoo – you’ll surely find the ingredients listed on it 😉 Got them? So read on! 😉
They are nothing more than preservatives. They keep our creams fresh for a long time. They are called methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben. The scientists have been doing research on their harmful effects for a long time and the conclusions are not good. Parabens are strongly allergenic and after we use them for some time, our skins becomes more sensitive to the external factors. They are also suspected to be carcinogenic. How to avoid them? Buy cosmetics with a short expiry date, the ones that are meant to be kept in the fridge. Pharmaceutical creams for allergic people are also very often without parabens. Mark the word methyloparaben, it’s also a paraben, but without harmful effects on our health, so you’re allowed to use it 😉
2. SLS and SLES
These two substances are practically the same, only SLES is a more sensitive version of SLS. They are chemical compounds that are responsible for the fact that shampoo or toothpaste form more foam and have better washing properties. Like a turbocharger 😉 Unfortunately, they usually irritate and dry out our skin. They also interfere with sebum and sweat production, and they cause a burning sensation to our mucosa. They damage our hair follicles, our hair can became a bit less luxuriant. If your skin is dry and you have a problem with hair loss even though your blood test didn’t show anything disturbing, try to stop using cosmetics containing SLS and see what happens next 🙂
Also known as silicon oils. They figure as: dimethicone, dimethiconol cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane, lauryl methicone copolyol in the ingredient lists. They are added for a better consistency: so that a foundation can be more easily distributed on on our face and hair conditioner could make our hair more delicate and smooth. Theoretically, they don’t have any effect on our body (nor good neither bad), they don’t contain nutrients, but we already know that our skin can’t dispose of them, so we can’t really know what happens with them after we’ve used them for some time. It’s better not to use them too often, although they might come in handy when the temperaturę is low, as they leave a protective layer on our skin.
4. PEG and PPG
They may sound innocent but they actually mean a real threat. PEGs are also called polyethylene glycols and PPGs – polypropylene glycols. They are 100% synthetic. They let creams be more easily spreadable and to have a better consistency. Unfortunately, they also make our skin swollen, they weaken our lipid barrier and they damage the structure of our skin. And it’s irreversible! They are regarded as cancerogenic. Trust me – It’s better to buy cream with natural oils 😉
Formalin, methanal, methyl aldehyde, methylene oxide, morbicidacid, oxymethylene should raise the red flag. It can be found mostly in nail polish and in nail conditioner (it destroys the surface of our nails way too often), where it’s maximum allowed concentration is 5%, whereas in other cosmetics it’s only 0,2%. It can also be found in clothes, especially in the non-iron ones, nylon, suede, chamois. Its vapours are also irritants. It can cause rush and inflammation. When used in nail conditioner, it can cause a division of a nail plate. There is also a high risk that it can cause cancer. I’d strongly recommend you to check out non-toxic nail polishes, e.g. THESE.
It is commonly used in antiperspirants and powders (it has matifying properties). It’s a natural product ( it’s a silicate), so it is usually not regarded as something dangerous. However, it clogs skin pores and it stops the skin from breathing. It creates a clogging layer on your skin (together with sebum, sweat and other cosmetics). It’s particularly harmful for dry skin, as it strongly dries it up after it’s applied 2 or 3 times. Talc can also cause more acne, pimples and inflammation on acne-prone skin. Just imagine an arm or a leg after having it in a cast for 3 days. A similar (maybe less severe) effect can be observed on our faces (and armpits). Ugh! No one wants you here, talc 😉
It can be most commonly found in antiperspirants (aluminum chlorohydrate), because, just like talc, it clogs skin pores and stops the sweat from becoming visible. It works fast and is effective, just the way we like it. We might want to think about it for a moment, though, as its effect is not neutral to our bodies. When it’s used for years, it can cause cancer. It was proven that traces of aluminum can be found in nodules of women who have breast cancer. Also, aluminum increases the possibility of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease – something, that doesn’t bother us now, but may be crucial when we get older. What can we use instead of aluminum? Nature saves us, again 😉 Alum, korundum are the answer, and if you want an even simpler one, check this, this and this one. The variety of bio-deodorants is huge, check them out. Their effect may not be as impressive, their consistency may not be as pleasant, but for the sake of your own health – it’s worth it!
Alcohol is quite often being added to cosmetics because of its preserving properties, because it kills bacteria, dissolves oil (anti-acne series) and helps to reduce inflammation. I wrote about it here. There are lots of different kinds of alcohol, so we can’t assume that al of them are bad. All you need to do is be careful and read the labels. You should raise the alarm when you see ethanol! You really need to avoid it: it dries up your skin, irritates it, contrary to fat and wax derivative alcohols, which hydrate the skin effectively. They are called: behenyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol (Stearolum), cetyl alcohol, lanolin alcohol, stearyl alcohol. What’s interesting is that these ones can be referred to as non-alcoholic.