As technology advances over time, it’s no doubt that the cosmetic world is also in rising competition with one another. Skincare products are undeniably in demand these days, and with the power of science and modern technology, a lot of chemicals are being integrated into the skincare products that we use to make them work more effectively.
Some would say, ‘If it works, it works right?’ Yes, but just because it works, doesn’t mean it’s good for your health! Some of the ingredients in beauty products aren’t that great. Several researchers from the U.S report that one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products is entirely industrial chemicals. That includes carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors.
Here are some of the harmful skincare chemicals that you should definitely
exclude in your skincare:
Number 1 in our list is the Parabens - the most widely used preservative in cosmetics. These are also used as fragrance ingredients, but what’s not good, consumers will not find it listed on the label. This chemical easily penetrates our skin. Studies indicate that a certain kind of paraben, the methylparaben, when applied on the skin reacts with UVB leading to increased skin aging and DNA damage. This defeats the purpose of skincare entirely, right? Better dig your research first before buying any products to keep away from this.
2. Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Referred to as ‘SLES’, this ingredient is used in cosmetics as a detergent and also to make products bubble and foam. You can find this in shampoos, shower gels and facial cleansers. It contains ethylene oxide, a known human carcinogen, and studies say that it can cause potential harm to your nervous system. According to the California Environmental Protection Agency, this carcinogen can be classified as a possible developmental toxicant. Therefore, it may interfere with human development. Definitely a ‘No-no’, most especially for pregnant women.
These are silicone-based compounds that are used in cosmetics to soften and smoothen applications. They work on hair products by making them dry more quickly and deodorant creams slide on more easily. Siloxane can also be found in moisturizers and facial treatments. Also known as D4 and D5, these are toxic and have been classified as endocrine disruptors that it interferes with human hormone function. In fact, in some laboratory experiments, exposure to high doses of D5 has been shown to cause uterine tumors and harm to the reproductive and immune systems.
4. Parfum or Fragrance
From the word itself, Parfum or Fragrance are used to give off attractive scents
to the products. But, sometimes, even products marketed as “fragrance-free” may contain fragrance along with a masking agent that prevents the brain from perceiving odor. So what’s not good about it? Realistically, of the thousands of chemicals used in fragrances, most have not been tested for toxicity, alone or in combination. These untested ingredients could become irritants and can trigger allergies and asthma symptoms to the users most especially those with sensitive health conditions. That is why it is highly advised to do a ‘skin-patch test’ first before using any skincare product.
5. PEGs (polyethylene glycols)
PEGs are petroleum-based compounds that are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture carriers. They are commonly used as cosmetic cream bases and laxatives. Depending on the manufacturing process, this ingredient may be contaminated with calculable amounts of ethylene oxide, which is a known human carcinogen. In fact, PEGs’ compounds alone, show some evidence that if used on broken skin can cause irritation and systemic toxicity. That won’t be pretty at all!
Knowing this glaring information, we can say that science can be both our friend and enemy depending on how it is used. Each ingredient has its pros and cons, what actually matters is that we do not overuse and abuse it just to overfill our satisfaction. Our primary advice is to be a smart shopper! Read the labels on the back of your products. Know what ingredients are being used, and If you’re not sure if a product, or chemical, contains harmful ingredients, take the time to do your research. After all, it’s your own skin, and if you really care for it, a little bit of delving won’t cost you a lot.