Have you ever read the back of your body lotion container, lip balm, or face lotion? If you have, then you have probably come across some ingredients that you can’t even pronounce. That’s a bad sign already. My rule with beauty product ingredients is, if I can’t pronounce it, then it probably isn’t beneficial to me. And that’s not just my rule, it really checks out! There are so many chemicals and harmful ingredients in beauty products that are counteractive to skin health and are actually doing more harm than good.The skin is the largest and one of the most important organs apart of our bodies. It only makes sense that we treat it with care and that we don’t tarnish it with degrading and toxic ingredients. So here is a list of some ingredients to watch out for, to stay away from and why.
Parabens are quite a few chemicals (mehtylparabens, propylparabens, butylparabens, and ethylparabens) and they are used in beauty products as preservatives. Parabens are very commonly used in a wide-range of beauty products, which is frightening seeing as they mimic estrogen in the body which contributes to hormone imbalance. Parabens have been linked to breast cancer as well as reproductive and fertility disorders and issues.
Phthalates are what helps products stick to our skin. These chemicals are used to strengthen and increase the flexibility of plastics in lotions, deodorants, and body sprays. According to ToxTown, some phthalates have harmful effects on human reproduction and development, and one phthalate in specific, Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, also known as DEHP, can cause cancer as it is an endocrine disruptor. We highly suggest staying away from this toxic ingredient.
3) Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Sodium lauryl sulfate is a detergent found in many personal care products (for example, shampoo, body wash, face wash, etc.) SLS is the ingredient in these products that make them foam and bubble. However, SLS is known to cause skin irritation and to disrupt the skin’s natural oil balance. As a result of it disrupting your skin oils, SLS is a major contributor to cystic acne, especially around the mouth and chin. I’m sorry, but no thanks!
4) Retinyl Palmitate (AKA Vitamin A) and Retinol
Retinyl palmitate is found in a lot of ant-aging products and moisturizers because its intention is to soften wrinkles. However, retinyl palmitate has got some pretty big negatives attached to it. Aside from not being very effective to softening wrinkles, it contains nutrients that speeds the growth of skin tumors when used on skin and damages DNA. This is especially dangerous to use if you are pregnant ladies. And to top it off retinol products become carcinogenic in sunlight, so make sure to avoid any sunscreens or day-time moisturizers containing retinol-derived ingredients.
5) Synthetic Fragrances
Did you know that legally, companies don’t have to disclose what ingredients and chemicals are inside of their fragrance mixtures? EEK! Fragrances are made up of hundreds to even thousands of different ingredients, and we as users don’t even know what they are. And if you are wondering why companies don’t voluntarily list the ingredients, it is because most of the ingredients used include A TON of chemicals known to disrupt hormones, cause allergies, and even cause reproductive issues and infertility. So if you are wondering why you have allergies, it may not be the pollen. If your products are scented, make sure that they are naturally fragrant!
These ingredients hide behind a positive exterior, but in the long-run they just end up degrading your skin and body and leaving you worse off. At the end of the day, you buy your beauty products because you want to take care of your skin and put it in the best shape possible. Now the point of this post isn’t to scare you and make you throw all of your beauty products away, but we hope that you become a little more mindful of what you are putting on your body. And if you still aren't convinced, then we encourage you to do some of your own research! After all, knowledge is power! Comment what you discover :)