Skin Care Ingredients Your Skin Can Do Without
When perusing the drugstore, it can be overwhelming deciding between the countless bottles of skin serums and cleansers, with each promising to make your skin healthy and glowing. However, it is important to know that behind the pretty packaging there are many harmful chemicals and ingredients in many of these skin care products that you should be avoiding.
Here are the 8 ingredients you should avoid:
- Sodium Benzoate
- FD&C Colors and Pigments
1. Sulfates. They are in 90% of foaming and lathering products as well as in skin and hair care products as fillers. Sulfates are frequently described on labels as “comes from” or “derived from” coconut in an effort to portray them as innocuous even though they are known skin irritants, hormone and endocrine disruptors and suspected carcinogens and gene mutagens. On labels, look for sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), ammonium laureth sulfate (ALES), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS).
2. Paraben is a common preservative and one of the chemicals foremost responsible for disrupting the endocrine system and unbalancing crucial hormones. Parabens cannot yet be said to cause breast cancer, but its estrogenic activity may be a contributing factor. A 2004 study found parabens in over 90% of human breast cancer tumors. On labels, paraben is often listed with the prefixes ethyl-, methyl-, propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl- or isobutyl.
3. Look for sodium benzoate at the end of the ingredients list of skincare, toothpaste and mouth wash. Sodium benzoate is another very common cosmetic, food and supplement preservative used to protect acidic environments from spoiling. When mixed with vitamin C and ascorbic acid, sodium benzoate (as well as potassium benzoate) forms benzene, a known carcinogen. If you have vitamin C in your food or already in your body and you use a product with benzoate, you have made a carcinogen.
4. Would you choose to wash your face with the same product used to degrease ovens? Me neither. Polyethylene Glycol has many different uses in cosmetics…and in oven cleaners. As a degreaser, it strips the skin of its natural protective oils leaving the body susceptible to invaders. PEG also contains high amounts of heavy metals, and metal contamination is known to cause neurological, autoimmune and kidney issues.
5. FD&C Colors and Pigments: Coloring agents serve no purpose in skin-care products beyond the emotional draw, and they may have adverse effects. Coal tar, carbon deposit and laboratory derived colors are recognized as potential allergens and have a 20 year anecdotal history of causing hyperactivity in children. When FD&C color names are followed by the word lake, it indicates that the pigment is mixed with calcium or aluminum as fixates so the color stays put on the skin; this is why lipstick doesn’t bleed. Aluminum has long been associated with disease and cancer.
6. Alcohols are very drying and irritating solvents made from propylene, a petroleum derivative. They are very irritating and drying because they can strip the skin’s natural acid mantle, which dehydrates the cells and makes the body more vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. A significant amount of research has shown that alcohol may cause free-radical damage to the skin including brown spots, hyperpigmentation and premature aging.
Check product labels for isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol 40 and ethyl alcohol, ethanol, denatured alcohol, methanol and benzyl alcohol.
7. Urea is one of nature’s best sources of nitrogen, found in and produced by most plants and animals. In fact, urea is found in the top layers of healthy skin as an active part of the moisture barrier. The problem lies with manmade urea; as a near skin-identical compound, synthetic urea quickly moves through the natural barrier of the skin and allows the other chemicals in the product to move in to the body with it. It contains small amounts of formaldehyde, a carcinogenic chemical that is toxic when inhaled. Urea can be labeled as diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea and DMDM hydantoin.
8. Fragrances (aka Parfum), including Geraniol, Citral and Limonene found in cosmetics are all synthetic. Phthalates used to stabilize fragrances are hormone disruptors linked to allergies in children, and it may alter pre-natal genital development. According to the FDA, synthetic fragrances “may cause headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing, vomiting and skin irritation. Clinical observation shows fragrances can affect the endocrine and central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity and irritability.”
Every single ingredient in your skincare routine matters; when nature provides such effective ingredients, why use anything artificial? For more information on finding the right skin care routine for you, contact Shapiro Skin Klinic.