Depending on your skin, you react to different ingredients differently than those with different skin types. If you have sensitive skin, you may be more inclined to check the ingredients list of a product to ensure that your skin has no negative reaction. Those with less sensitive skin may ignore this step, however, there are many various ingredients that we should all avoid when choosing a skin care product. Avoiding these ingredients may not only benefit your skin but your personal health as well.
Here are 5 Ingredients you should avoid:
1. Synthetic Fragrances
Synthetic fragrances are chemically engineered scents found in various skin care products. Unlike synthetic fragrances, natural fragrances are composed of raw materials extracted from things found within nature. Synthetic fragrances can be dangerous to the skin and body as it contains over 3,000 chemicals known to be allergens and hormone disruptors. Those who have sensitive skin can develop fragrance sensitivity and can cause major problems with the skin. Fragrance sensitivity can cause allergic reactions which lead to a burning, stinging, or itching sensation on the skin. If conditions become more severe, it can cause swelling, blisters, and blotchiness on the skin.
Compared to its counterpart, natural fragrances are usually derived from essential oils. While they are made from a safer ingredient, there is also a small risk that your skin may be allergic to it as well. Since there is a risk for both synthetic and natural fragrances, it is best to just avoid products with fragrances in general.
While it is common knowledge that synthetic fragrances are toxic to the human body, there are loopholes within the FDA that allow cosmetic companies to sell it within their products. Under the FDA, fragrances are considered a “trade secret”, so companies can add ‘fragrances’, ‘perfume’, or ‘parfume’ to the end of their product rather than listing all the dangerous chemicals it contains within the ingredients list. Overall, if you don’t want to risk the chance of getting an allergic reaction, just avoid scented products in general.
Phthalates are a family of industrial chemicals, commonly found in plastics or as a solvent in cosmetics products. This chemical is known to damage the liver, kidney, and lungs. There is also a huge risk with those who are pregnant as it can cause birth defects.
The European Union has already banned the use of Phthalates from any skin care products. However, the FDA continues to monitor the use of the chemical and do more research. There are also loopholes for phthalates, as they can be found in various skin care products. Cosmetics brands tend to use phthalates within fragrances to help make fragrances stick better to your skin or make the whole product more pliable. As stated before, any chemicals or ingredients used in fragrances are considered “trade secrets” which are allowed to be in skincare products.
Parabens are a family of preservatives that can be found in skin care products to help prevent the growth of bacteria and molds. It also allows products to have a longer shelf life and can last years. Studies show that parabens can penetrate the skin and cause cancer. Once it penetrates the skin, it can affect the surrounding tissue where the product was applied.
Parabens is found to be connected to breast cancer. In a British study in 2004, out of 20 women, 19 were found to have parabens within their breast tissue. The overall composition of parabens causes a disruption in hormone function as it mimics oestrogen. The overproduction of oestrogen can lead to breast cell division and growth of tumors, thus parabens is linked to breast cancer.
4. PEG (Polyethylene Glycol)
Polyethylene Glycol is commonly used in moisturizers as a thickener, it also aids in keeping moisture locked in within the product. This ingredient is also used as a solvent or softener in certain skin care products.
The main concern with the PEG compound is that the chemical, ethylene oxide, is used in the production process called ethoxylation. During the process, a chemical called ethylene oxide may contaminate the skin care product and can cause various types of cancers. Many chemicals that are classified under PEG can be toxic and can penetrate the skin. The best way to avoid the ingredient in skin care is to check products and their ingredients list. Products that have “PEG” written on the label should be avoided to minimize the risk of any cancers.
Formaldehyde is a chemical commonly found in shamboops, body wash or bubble baths. There is significant data that this chemical is highly toxic to the human body. Research shows that this chemical is a carcinogen. It is commonly linked to health concerns such as asthma, neurotoxicity, developmental toxicity. It may also cause irritation of the skin, eyes, and lungs.