After doing quite a lot of research I’ve put together a list of what ingredients to avoid in beauty products and if you really should avoid them as well as the most commonly listed ingredients that are thought to be bad.
There are still some ingredients out there that we still don’t know the main purpose of and if they are harmful to our health, but that doesn’t mean you should be alarmed as many of them used and the ones mentioned below, don’t really pose a threat with the amount used in our products.
The threat mainly comes when we are highly exposed to them.
Did you know that not all ingredients are listed on products as it isn’t a requirement! (I did not know that at first)
But anyways here are a few of them ingredients mentioned and whether you should be cautious of using them.
What is it?
Paraben often come up as ingredients to avoid in beauty products, it is a type of chemical that started to be used in the 1950’s for mainly prevention of bacteria growth. It’s used as a preservative in lipsticks, scrubs, lotions and other products to help prevent bacterial growth. The reason why they are used in these products is to increase the shelf lives in other words so they can last longer.
Parabens can be found in other products such as shampoos, conditioners, lotions, facial and shower cleansers or scrubs.
Parabens do have a few concerns as they are able to be absorbed by the skin, which means they can survive inside the tissue. Due to this a British study showed that breast cancer can be caused as well as reproductive issues.
And if you peeps thought that it only affects us humans then your wrong. It can get into mammals such as water mammals like fishes after being washed into places like sewers.
There are other alternatives out there to use instead. Naming a few such as essential oils, herbs e.g thyme, rosemary, cinnamon and vitamins which are completely natural therefore are safe. Benzyl alcohol is another alternative. However products have to be used more quickly as they may not last really long.
Sodium lauryl sulfate/ laureth sulfate
What is it?
Sodium lauryl sulfate aka sodium laureth sulfate is a chemical agent used in cleaning products. It has been in usage since the 1930s, originally developed to wash clothes. You’d probably understand what it is if I told you its the thing that makes products froth and lather. In cosmetics it is widely used as an emuliser that helps to thicken up ingredients.
Sodium lauryl sulfate is found in products for cosmetics and personal care products like makeup remover, lip balms, foundation, facial cleansers, exfoliants, creams and lotions.
If SLS is used in a product and it is to stay on the skin for a little while then the concentration of SLS should not exceed more than 1%. SLS includes minimal risks such as mild to moderate irritation after continuous skin exposure. Overall SLS is safe as the products being designed with this chemical are made to be rinsed off after short amount of time.
If anyone wants to be on the safe side and not risk it then there are alternatives which include sodium coco sulfate which is a popular choice. There is also lauryl glucoside and decyl glucoside just to name a few.
Artificial fragrance/ parfum
What is it?
It is a mixture of many chemicals that are obtained from petroleum and other oils which create a pleasant scent. These chemicals are used to hide foul smelling chemical scents. Reported by the national academy of science 95% of synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum.
It is found in moisturisers, cleansers, body washes and many other things that have a nice smell.
Concerns of artificial fragrance is that they can cause allergic reactions such as asthma attacks and can worsen eczema. The disruption of hormone production can be a concern of artificial fragrance as well as effecting the immune system and capable of causing psoriasis.
Due to it being a carcinogen, which is a substance that is known to be involved directly in formation of cancerous cells, it can cause cancer. It doesn’t stop there oh no, parfum creates environmental concerns as they contain petroleum and natural gases which needs to be produced.
After looking at the concerns, I’m sure your like please be there alternatives and luckliy there are! You can buy products which use essential oils to produce lovely scents. YAY! More good news, there are quite a few non toxic fragrances and perfumes out there. I’ll give you a few amazing examples such as the electric rhubarb by floral street and the Pacifica Waikiki pikake.
What is it?
Phthalates are a type of chemical compound that is mixed with plastics to make them more flexible and last long as well as transparent. They are used in a large amount of everyday products. Want to guess when they came into first use? It was all the way in the 1920s. Phthalates are popular as they are low costing.
They are found in nail polishes, body washes, shampoo, and perfume to name a few. Phthalates can be found in food containers and many other products and cosmetics.
As phthalates are easily absorbed through the skin into the blood stream they are capable of causing organ system toxicity as well as damage systems such as kidneys, livers, lungs and other organs. They can also cause issues with the reproductive system.
There are a few alternatives but they can also come with their own set of health concerns. An example of an alternative which could be used in cosmetics is DINCH, di-isononyl cyclohexane.
What is it?
It is a colourless, strong smelling gas used as a preservative to stop products from decaying. It’s usually also made in the body by humans and animals alike, produced in small amounts.
Formaldehyde can usually be found in household products, personal care products such as shampoo, nail polish and other cosmetics.
You want to know the concerns? Well of course. So let me tell you, high exposure to formaldehyde can cause eye, nose and throat irritation and cancer however don’t fret as most concentrations of formaldehyde are at a level that is too low to be a hazard.
Right the harder part, finding alternatives to formaldehyde can take a little time but once you have found an alternative it may not work as good. Another thing is that the new alternative may have not been tested long enough to find out what health concerns they pose. But anyways here are a few examples of formaldehyde alternatives, benzoic acid, alcohol, glycerin etc.
Aren’t a cause for concern
Majority of these ingredients are only a concern for the health if exposed to high levels, but if you are person who would rather stay on the safe side with some of these ingredients then go ahead and switch then up with an alternative. But remember with any ingredient there are benefits as well as drawbacks.
If you have any suggestions or questions please don’t hesitate to drop them below or email them to me. Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed it.
Have a great day!?