If you thought the FDA does a lousy job in regulating what goes into our food suppy, you will be even more dissapointed on its regulation of cosmetic and personal care products.
There are thousands of chemicals in products, many of which are being absorbed into your body and companies are not required to test any ingredient or raw material to the goverment for safety approval. Cosmetic industry is highly unregulated and there is no approval required before a product hits the market and ends up in people's home.
Many of these synthetic chemicals are skin irritants, skin penetrators, endocrine disrupters and could be carcinogenic.
Looking at the latest technology and discovery in skincare you think the direction is promising - finding new and better ways to achieve the goal of healthy and flawless skin is pretty much possible, without the need for invasive procedures.
Let’s look through the notable toxic ingredients that you need to be on the lookout, in your products.
It is one of the ingredients that used to be popular and are used as preservatives and found in almost all kinds of care products. From lotions, soaps, to makeup, paraben is included in the formula to prevent bacteria from thriving in the product but the major downside is the ingredient which is also known as endocrine disruptors - mimicking natural hormones within your body and causing hormone fluctuations that in the long run could affect fertility, reproductive health, growth, and have been linked to tumors.
Similar effects to parabens have been linked to formaldehyde. You can find it in fragrances that are added into the formula for a pleasant experience while using the product. The downside is when the artificial fragrance is used instead of natural ones, it can cause you allergic reactions, irritating the skin, as well as putting you at risk for cancer. The bad news is manufacturers aren’t required to disclose the compound used to create the fragrances, as by simply using the word ‘perfume’ or ‘fragrance’ is enough.
The combo of sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate is used so much in care and household products that were seriously causing major news years ago. Why? SLS/SLES is used to give the product a foaming, bubble effect and yet they can trigger an allergic reaction, causing irritations, as well as increasing cancer risk in the long run.
One of the latest ingredients to avoid, oxybenzone is a chemical compound used commonly in sunscreen-based products, but the latest findings show that it disrupts the endocrine system, causing skin allergies and even altering thyroid functions. The EWG has rated oxybenzone an 8 on their toxicity rating scale, meaning it is one of the most toxic ingredients found in cosmetic products
If you’re wondering why there’s such a big fuss to use healthy, breathable nail polish, this is one of the reasons. Toluene is commonly found in those products and is super toxic to your immune system, going as high as causing birth defects for pregnant women.
Have a look in antibacterial and/or baby products and you’ll likely see triclosan in the formula. The compound is anti-bacterial but it creates another problem - the main factor causing antibiotic-resistant bacteria, as well as inflammations to the system, and as an endocrine disruptor.
Taking all this into consideration the next time you are searching for skincare products, it is important you read the ingredient list and familiarize yourself with them, especially those that are difficult to pronounce or read. Your bathroom products and especially skincare products should be made with pure, natural and organic ingredients and should be safe to use.
A great source for checking ingredient safety is Environmental Working Groups Skin Deep Database. You may be surprised about what you will find. They cover lots of ingredients and information which products contain them.
I would love to hear from you. Do you check your beauty product labels? Let me know below!
With beauty & health,