Avoid These 5 Nasty Skincare IngredientsDid you know that there are thousands of chemicals in your beauty products, some of which are absorbed into your body? That's why you should avoid these five nasty skincare ingredients:

1. Parabens

Parabens are frequently used as preservatives to prevent the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast in skincare and cosmetic products. While this sounds like a good thing, parabens actually contain estrogen-mimicking properties that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have been found in biopsy samples from breast tumors. Parabens tend to be found in body washes, shampoos, makeup, and facial cleansers.

2. Phthalates

This is a group of chemicals that are used in hundreds of products to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics. The primary phthalate in skincare products is diethyl phthalate in lotions, including moisturizers. Research has shown that phthalates act as endocrine disruptors and have been linked to breast cancer.

3. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is used in lots of skincare products to help prevent bacteria growth. But the International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC) has labeled this chemical a carcinogen, and it has been connected to certain types of cancers. Formaldehyde is also known to cause allergic skin reactions and may be harmful to the immune system.

 

4. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)/sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)

SLS and SLES are both surfactants that are found in more than 90 percent of personal care products. But they're also known to be skin, lung, and eye irritants. One of the significant concerns about SLS is that it potentially interacts and combines with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, which is a carcinogen. SLS and SLES are commonly found in mascara and acne treatments.

 

5. Synthetic colors

Synthetic colors, like FD&C and D&C, are derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. They are suspected to be a human carcinogen as well as a skin irritant. Synthetic colors are in a wide range of skincare products, such as cleansers, moisturizers, and face masks.

Ditch the chemicals for good

While it's almost impossible to avoid every single synthetic chemical, you can limit the number of toxins you expose your body to by carefully reading the ingredients list and only purchasing all-natural and organic beauty brands. Always educate yourself and do your research before you buy.

References
  1. "19 Chemicals to Avoid in Skincare," Global Healing, February 18, 2016.
  2. "10 Toxic Beauty Ingredients to Avoid," Huffington Post, January 23, 2014.

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