How safe is your shower? If your soaps, shampoos, lotions, or other skincare essentials are filled with toxic ingredients, your daily routine is much more dangerous than you think. I’ve rounded up the top ten most problematic ingredients to avoid in skin care products – avoid them at all costs!
Here are the Top 10 Ingredients to Avoid in Skin Care Products
- Parabens: Parabens are great at keeping yeast, mold, and bacteria from growing in your shampoo, body wash, lotions, and deodorant. They’re also linked to hormonal imbalances, early puberty, male sterility, and have even been found in breast cancer tissue. No thank you!
- SLS: Ever wanted to wash with garage floor cleaner? If you use a product that includes Sodium Laureth (or Lauryl) Sulfate, you’re not far off. This industrial-grade surfactant makes a foamy lather, as well as causes skin, eye, and lung irritation, depression, and diarrhea. Fun!
- PEGs: When PEGs (short for polyethylene glycols) are made, they can easily be contaminated with highly carcinogenic compounds, some of which are also known to harm the nervous system and interfere with human development.
- Retinyl Palmitate: So this one is really baffling – retinyl palmitate is a form of Vitamin A that you’ll find in sport and beach sunscreens (stuff that’s supposed to protect you from cancer). However, your skin actually becomes more susceptible to sun damage (including cancer!) when this ingredient is present.
- Fragrance: What’s a “fragrance?” Who knows! A legal loophole lets manufacturers use this word as an umbrella term for thousands of chemicals. If a product lists “fragrance” as an ingredient, there’s no way of telling what it really contains.
- FD&C colorants: These synthetic colorants are added to skincare products to make them look nice. Know what doesn’t look nice? Skin irritation and sensitivity, which is what you’ll get from the toxic deposits this coal tar derived ingredient will leave on your skin.
- Petroleum: Petroleum-extracted ingredients can cause contact dermatitis and are easily contaminated with impurities that are linked to, you guessed it, cancer. Oh, and they’re produced in oil refineries alongside automobile fuel, chemical feedstocks, and heating oil. Charming.
- Propylene Glycol: Did you know the EPA considers Propylene Glycol so toxic that it requires disposal by burying? It’s not surprising that even very small concentrations can cause dermatitis and hives.
- Sunscreen Chemicals: Another entry in the “baffling” category. So many of the chemicals used in in sunscreens, including avobenzone, oxybenzone, cinnimate, octisalate, and octinoxate, are associated with cellular damage and cancer.
- Phthalates: Do you like the idea of an increased risk of breast cancer, reproductive birth defects, and liver/kidney damage? Then you’re going to love phthalates! Don’t be fooled if you don’t seem them on an ingredients list – they often hide under the “fragrances” umbrella.
Harmful ingredients are extremely common in skincare products, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with them. Keep an eye out for these ingredients to avoid in skin care products and choose organic, natural products instead to give your skin the care it deserves.