Last time we talked about the risks of using products that contain MI (methylisothiazolinone). A common saying is that if you can’t pronounce it don’t put it on your skin which is the case for this ingredient. This harmful ingredient in skin care products is being used in products that claim to be natural and paraben free as it is a preservative substitute for parabens.
Petroleum by-products and engine degreasers belong in your garage not on your skin. Yet, frighteningly, these are just two of the many toxic skin care ingredients that are masquerading around in your skin care products. These harmful chemicals go incognito under names like phthalates. These chemicals can cause anything from cancer to skin irritations. They also cause DNA damage and can prematurely age your skin.
To keep your skin as healthy as possible avoid these top 8 ingredients:
- FD&C Color Pigments
Color pigments are cancer causing artificial colors made by coal tar containing heavy metals. These cause skin irritation and can deplete oxygen in the body even resulting in death. Many products use these color pigments to give their product a certain color.
- Mineral Oil:
One of the most horrible out of all the skin care ingredients to avoid, mineral oil is shockingly considered a baby product! It is the main ingredient in baby oil which we put on our baby’s delicate skin. This potent chemical is a petroleum by- product and harms the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins promoting other disorders such as acne. It also slows down cell function resulting in premature aging. Many people unknowingly put it on their babies’ skin not knowing the harm that it can cause.
- The Glycols:
This includes polyethylene glycol, butylene glycol and propylene glycol. These cancer causing ingredients are petroleum by-products that can alter and reduce the skin’s natural moisture. This could increase the appearance of aging and leave you more vulnerable to bacteria. These chemicals are so strong that they are used to remove barnacles off boats, imagine the harm it can do to your skin. The use of these ingredients has been linked to brain, liver and kidney abnormalities.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES):
SLS and SLES are so damaging that they may even cause young children’s eyes to not develop properly because these harsh chemicals dissolve proteins. It is alarming and sad that it is only recently discovered that these chemicals are so detrimental when they have been used in skin care products and cosmetics for years. At one point they were in 90% of cosmetic products. These nasty chemicals are also used in garage floor cleaners, car washes and engine degreasers. It is a wonder why we ever thought to include them in our body care products. They are linked to the onset of cancer and can stay stored in the body for up to five days.
Parabens are notoriously used as preservatives in many products including deodorants. This harmful ingredient has been linked to breast cancer tumors not to mention sterility in males, early puberty and hormone imbalance in girls. Many products are swapping parabens for methylisothiazolinone which is just as harmful.
Phthalates, as key components in plastics, appear in many consumer products. The main phthalates in cosmetics and personal care products are dibutyl phthalate in nail polish, diethyl phthalate in perfumes and lotions, and dimethyl phthalate in hair spray. Often, their presence is not noted on labels. To avoid them make sure your products say “phthalates free”. Phthalates have been linked to early breast development in girls, decrease in sperm count, birth defects and tumors in the liver and kidneys.
This ingredient is most commonly found in acne products. It has been linked to everything from tumors to damaging cell DNA which is not to be taken lightly. Not only does it harm your DNA it also is categorized as an eye, skin and respiratory irritant. This ingredient has been known to cause allergic reactions and it reduces your ability to recover from sun damage. (source WebMD)
It is truly shocking that people are unknowingly applying these chemicals to their skin. Not only have adverse reactions been reported from products with these ingredients but these chemicals also harm the environment. The only thing we can do is educate ourselves and protect ourselves by reading the ingredients of our skin care products to stay away from these harmful negative ingredients before further harm is done. Look for hypoallergenic products that are dermatologist recommended to be sure you are keeping your skin safe from allergy inducing chemicals. Our skin is a delicate mirror of how healthy our body is. It absorbs everything that is put on it so instead of applying ingredients used in engine degreasing and petroleum by-products choose to apply products that avoid these ingredients. Your skin will mirror the difference not just right now, but many years into the future.
Other Sources: Chemical Exposures from National Institute of Health