Commercial skin care can contain ingredients that cause more harm than good.
Yes, the colors and fragrances are alluring and hard to resist. Do you realize you can find the same qualities in products that actually nourish skin rather than harm it?
Bath & Beauty products are a billion+ dollar business in the USA. There are a lot of products out there that make claims but don’t deliver on results. That is to say, you have do some research to really get what you want.
Do you know what is in those products you’re slathering over your body?
Do you know if those ingredients are safe?
Before we look at ingredients, first, let’s think about what happens in a hot steaming shower…
- Opens your skin pores
- Drives a high absorption rate of chemicals directly into your system
- Vaporizes 70 to 90% of the chemicals present so you inhale them into your lungs
When you consider that body care products are used daily, begin to imagine the chemical residue that builds up over the years. Here’s what is most important:
You can do something about it
Take a second and grab a bottle of your lotion, liquid hand soap or shower gel.
Let’s take a Look at
Questionable Ingredients to Avoid in Skin Care Products
Certain chemical ingredients can potentially cause problems for your skin when applied.
Avoid these ingredients as much as possible:
Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS/SLES)
Sodium lauryl sulfate is a surfactant, detergent, and emulsifier used in thousands of cosmetic products. SLS is alsofound in industrial cleaners. Present in nearly all shampoos, toothpastes, body washes, and cleansers have SLS. Additionally, liquid hand soaps, laundry detergents, and bath oils and bath salts; it makes them foam.
Although SLS originates from coconuts, the manufacturing process results in SLES/SLS being contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogenic byproduct.
SLS is the sodium salt of lauryl sulfate, and is rated by the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep Cosmetics Database as a “moderate hazard.”
SLS breaks down the skin’s moisture barrier, easily penetrates the skin. It allows other chemicals to penetrate by increasing skin permeability by approximately 100-times.
Research studies link SLS to skin and eye irritation, organ toxicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity and endocrine disruption.
Common in a wide range of products as part of PEG, Polysorbates, Laureth, and ethoxylated alcohols. These compounds are usually contaminated with high concentrations of highly volatile 1,4-dioxane which is easily absorbed through the skin.
This “probable carcinogen to humans” substance rates “high hazard” rating from EWG’s Skin Deep. It is especially toxic to your brain, central nervous system, kidneys, and liver.
A synthetic derivative of coconut, watch for misleading language on labels, stating “comes from coconut.”
Avoid any product with: “myreth,” “oleth,” “laureth,” “ceteareth,” any other “eth,” “PEG,” “polyethylene,” “polyethylene glycol,” “polyoxyethylene,” or “oxynol,” in ingredient names.
Widely used as preservatives in an estimated 13,200 cosmetic and skin care products.
Parabens have hormone-disrupting qualities, mimicking estrogen, and interfere with the body’s endocrine system. Studies show parabens can affect your body much like estrogens, which leads to diminished muscle mass, extra fat storage, and male breast growth.
The EPA linked methyl parabens to metabolic, developmental, hormonal, and neurological disorders.
Ingredients to avoid
Another common ingredient in personal care products and a good ingredient to avoid. This is known to cause dermatitis, kidney or liver abnormalities, and might inhibit skin cell growth or cause skin irritation.
Used in engine coolants, antifreeze, rubber cleaners, adhesives, and paints and varnishes.
Diethanolamine or DEA
DEA readily reacts with nitrite preservatives and contaminants to create nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA), a known and potent carcinogen.
DEA appears to block absorption of the nutrient choline, which is vital to brain development.
Toluene, made from petroleum or coal tar, is found in most synthetic fragrances. Chronic exposure is linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus.
Synthetic fragrances also dry and irritate your skin.
This is the antibacterial agent added to many liquid hand soaps to help kill germs. Triclosan is suspected of contributing to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance.
Triclosan Transforms Into Something Even More Dangerous
Here’s something else you may not know about that innocent-looking bottle of liquid hand soap sitting next to your sink.
When triclosan mixes with the chlorine in your tap water, chloroform is formed, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified as a probable human carcinogen. All this is absorbed by your skin and then, gets washed down the drain and into our water and food supplies.
Did you find anything on your labels?
Avoid all of these questionable ingredients and more by using natural skin care. For example, small batch, hand crafted products are going to be richer in exotic ingredients and hard to find oils and butters than mass produced product lines. Therefore, it is worthwhile to seek out small batch companies.
Healthy & Hydrated Natural Skin Care addresses the issues of dry skin.
Visit our product line to find natural solutions to your dry skin.
Next , I’ll talk about what to choose when starting out with natural skin care. It can be overwhelming!
In short, don’t worry. I have a plan and some advice in the next blog post: Where to start, what to consider and more.
I am not a dermatologist so if you have medical needs, please see a professional doctor/dermatologist.