While I’m tempted to write an article titled: Top 1,000 Ingredients to Avoid in Skincare Products, I understand you only have 2-3 mins of reading time.
Before you read any further you must understand that in the United States, cosmetics don’t need FDA approval. Industry laws haven’t changed in 80 years. They operate on our grandparent’s era! Can you imagine driving around in a car from the 1930s? It’s like that, but with cosmetics and skincare.
According to The Guardian, the European Union has banned or restricted more than 1,300 cosmetic chemicals, while the U.S has outlawed or curbed only 11. That’s it!
I know that reading product labels can seem like a hassle, but remember that your skin absorbs approximately 60% of everything you put on it. Those toxins are going straight into your bloodstream, and you don’t even know it.
The best tip is to avoid ingredients that sound like chemistry class.
Behenyl Alcohol, Steareth-21, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Disodium EDTA, Polyisobutene, Arachidyl Glucoside, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Benzalkonium Chloride, Polysorbate 20
Ingredients are labeled by weight, so if you see a natural ingredient at the bottom of the label it means you’re getting very little of it. With time, you’ll become better at recognizing those pesky chemicals.
Here are 5 initial ones to stay away from:
1) Fragrance/Parfum: You might be surprised to know that the chemical components of a fragrance are considered a trade secret and don’t need to be disclosed. The word “fragrance” or “parfum can disguise up to 300 chemicals that have never been tested for safety. Synthetic fragrances can cause headaches, asthma, oral irritation, reduced lung function and skin allergies.
2) Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: This chemical makes your cleanser or shampoo “foam”. In was initially introduced in toothpastes around 1945, giving the impression of “cleanliness”. Please don’t equate foaminess with cleanliness. It’s a fat lie. This chemical is a skin irritant.
3) Dimethicone: A silicone oil that makes your lotion “glide” better. When this oil coats your skin your pores don’t breathe properly. With time, the skin becomes dependent on this chemical and stops hydrating naturally through its own biological processes. \
3) Formaldehyde-linked preservatives: Used to help prevent bacteria from growing in your lotion. These will release formaldehyde which is known to cause cancer. One genre with multiple variations. Again, avoid chemistry class.
5) Paraben preservatives: Ingredients ending in “paraben”. For example, methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, etc. They are synthetic and linked to estrogen disruption and breast cancer.