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August 04, 2023
Have you ever stopped to think about what's really in your skincare products? The world of cosmetics can be alluring, promising youthful radiance and flawless beauty. But beneath the glossy packaging and captivating scents, a darker truth lurks. Many of the creams, lotions, and makeup items you use daily contain harmful ingredients that can jeopardize your skin and long-term health. Today we will delve into the toxic ingredients commonly found in cosmetics and skincare products, why they are still used, and most importantly, how you can make informed choices to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Take a closer look at the labels on your cosmetics, and you might be in for a surprise. Cheap and synthetic chemicals, including known carcinogens, have found their way into our everyday skincare routine. These ingredients may offer short-term benefits, but at what cost? Let's explore some of these harmful substances and their potential impact on your well-being.
We live in an environment; which includes our water, air, food and anything that we put onto our bodies that gets absorbed through the skin. Many ingredients are stressors on the body, including stress itself! Some chemicals can be metabolised and excreted by the body, while others take longer to go through your system. As these chemicals slowly make they way around, if you are continuing to use the same products or collection of products, you may creating a toxic buildup in your system which is known as bioaccumulation. Since bioaccumulation comes from all sources, it is important to pay attention to potential toxins wherever possible. Avoiding potentially harmful ingredients in cosmetics is easy to do and beneficial for your body.
In the pursuit of beauty, the cosmetic industry often prioritizes profit margins over consumer safety. Cheaper alternatives are frequently used to enhance the appeal of personal care products. However, a silver lining exists. There is a growing demand for cleaner and safer alternatives. Smaller businesses are proving that bubbles and scents can be achieved without endangering our health. The demand for cleaner products is on the rise!
The following are just some of the synthetic chemicals that have been identified by scientific studies to be harmful to our health:
BHA & BHT
Butylated hydroxyanisole & butylated hydroxytoluene are primarily used as a preservative, and can be found in moisturizers, makeup and deodorant.
Coal Tar Dyes
Often found in hair dye and coloured products, these dyes raise concerns due to their carcinogenic properties. (p-phenylenediamine)
Formaldehyde releasing agents
Used in hair products and cosmetics, these compounds can release formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen. (DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quaternium-15 and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate).
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
Often described as being "derived from coconut" to disguise their toxic nature, these chemicals are commonly used in shampoos, toothpaste, foaming facial and body cleansers and bubble bath. SLS can cause skin irritation, and eye problems.
Parabens are widely used in cosmetics, deodorants, skin care and baby products to prolong their shelf life. They are known to be toxic and have caused rashes and allergic reactions. Researchers found parabens in some breast tissue and breast cancers tested. (methylparaben, butylparaben and propylparaben)
Used to make products creamy or add bubble factor, DEA is a detergents used in some soaps and shampoo. It can cause allergic reactions, and long term exposure has been linked to liver cancer. Related products include TEA (Triethanolamine) and MEA (Monoethanolamine).
A common ingredient in antiperspirants, aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer's Disease and digestive illnesses.
Derived from petroleum (crude oil), mineral oil is commonly found as a main ingredient of face and body creams, as well as lip products and other cosmetics. It coats the skin like a plastic film, clogging pores and stopping the skin from eliminating toxins, which can lead to acne and other skin disorders. Other petroleum based ingredients include paraffin wax, paraffin oil and petrolatum.
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
Used as a thickener in skin care products and cosmetics, PEGs interfere with the skin's natural moisture balance, causing an increase in ageing and leaving the skin vulnerable to damage. A concern with PEGs is the manufacturing process. PEGs can be contaminate with other ingredients such as ethylene oxide, which is harmful to the nervous system and a known carcinogen.
Found in nail polish, scented products and hairspray, phthalates may have adverse effects on health. Phthalates are a hormone disrupter. They are often used in plastic to make it flexible. In scented products it may be one of the ingredients included in the product’s fragrance, requiring the manufacturer to simply add “fragrance” to the label as an ingredient, as fragrance ingredients are considered to be proprietary.
Siloxane (Silicone based chemicals including cyclotetrasiloxane D4, cyclopentasiloxane D5, cyclohexasiloxane D6, and cyclomethicone (a mixture of D4, D5, and D6))
Silicone based chemicals are used in cosmetics to provide softening properties, and often used in moisturizers and conditioners. Siloxanes may interfere with hormone function and reproduction. They have a potential to bioaccumulate. Interestingly, under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, “anyone proposing a “significant new activity” involving siloxanes must notify the Minister of the Environment. However, there are currently no restrictions on these ingredients in cosmetics.”[i]
It’s important to know your cosmetic source so that the talc in your products does not contain asbestos. Talc is a soft mineral used in talcum powders and cosmetic powders. Scientific studies have shown that routine application of talcum powder to the genital area is linked to the development of ovarian cancer. Accidental inhalation of talc can be detrimental for your respiratory system.
Now that you are aware of these harmful ingredients, let's explore how you can safeguard yourself and your loved ones from their potential dangers. It starts with being a vigilant consumer and reading product labels carefully. Don't be fooled by the words such as 'natural' on the front of the label. Many products may contain at least one or two natural ingredients, but they may also contain harmful synthetic chemicals as well.
Look for products that use recognizable ingredients like essential oils, shea butter, and herbs. The Environmental Working Group is a valuable resource that provides lists of potentially harmful ingredients to avoid.
Be wary of businesses that claim their products are all natural. Made in the home is not synonymous with all natural. Look into their website to see if they back that up by knowing which ingredients are indeed, toxic.
As the world becomes more conscious of the ingredients we put on our bodies, a shift toward cleaner and safer cosmetics is taking place. By educating ourselves and making informed choices, we can protect our skin and long-term health while promoting a safer and more sustainable cosmetic industry. Remember, the pursuit of beauty should never come at the cost of our well-being. Choose wisely, and let your skin – and body systems - thrive with the love and care it deserves.
The information on our website is not intended to cure, diagnose or treat medical conditions, nor is it a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with a physician before beginning this or any other new health care program. The information contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be substituted for the advice provided by your doctor or other health care professional. If you rely upon any programs or techniques, or use any of the products and services made available by or through the use of our website for decision making, without obtaining the advice of a physician or other health care professional, you do so at your own risk. The views expressed on Standing Stone Wellness have not been evaluated or endorsed by any private or public entity. The information on our website is not legal advice. Please consult with a licensed legal professional for adherence to legal guidelines.
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