5 Toxic Skincare Ingredients to Watch Out For

You may not spend a lot of time thinking about what’s in your skincare, but you should! Toxic skincare ingredients can have a negative impact on your health. Here are 5 to watch out for…

While the slick packaging on store shelves makes it seem like all beauty care products are perfectly innocent and safe and will give you healthy, glowing skin, the truth is a bit darker. In fact, many commercially available beauty and skincare products contain some not-so-nice ingredients that may have harmful effects on your health over time. And while these products claim to be safe, the truth is, even the manufacturers can’t truly be sure.

For example, even if the ingredients are individually safety tested (and not all cosmetic products are), problems can arise when combined with ingredients in other products. A recent study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 25% of the women who participated used a whopping 15 or more different products every day on their skin, which cumulatively contained more than 125 different chemicals!

You can bet that there haven’t been any safety tests on the combination of all these chemicals together and what they may do to your skin when combined – or to your health!

Unfortunately, there is no real governing body that oversees the safety of most cosmetics and skincare products. This is a problem because the skin is the human body’s largest organ, and it is also highly permeable, meaning that it quickly absorbs just about everything you put on it.

Toxic skincare ingredients contained in common beauty and skincare products can have a significant negative impact on your health over time, inhibiting your body’s natural detoxification processes, increasing inflammation, and putting stress and strain on many of your body’s systems – which can lead to or worsen all kinds of health problems.

There are hundreds of different chemicals within the beauty and skincare products you may find on store shelves. However, here are 5 of the worst toxic skincare ingredients. Make it a habit to check the ingredient list before purchasing anything you will put on your skin (including hair care products, toothpaste, and deodorant) – or that you are considering buying as gifts for your loved ones this holiday season – and avoid buying anything that contains the following:

1.) Silicones

Silicones are ingredients that are called by dozens of names, so these can be tricky to spot in your skincare products. They are prevalent in skincare, makeup, and hair care, but might be particularly worrisome in products that you apply all over your body and leave on the skin. They are mainly used as a smoothing agent and are less expensive for manufacturers than some healthier options.

There are a few problems with silicones. They trap debris such as dust, sweat, bacteria and dead skin in your pores. For this reason, they can also contribute to acne and other skin conditions, as being continually exposed to these sorts of irritants is likely to provoke a breakout. Many people also feel that silicones lead to dehydrated and dull skin, and can even interfere with autophagy, meaning they could lead to aging, fine lines and wrinkles, and even skin pigmentation changes.

Watch out for words ending in cones, conols, silanes and siloxanes such as cyclomethicone, dimethiconol, dimelthyl silane and siloxane, among many others.

2.) Phthalates

Used as a softener in skincare products, phthalates have been shown to potentially interfere with proper hormonal balance. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to avoid this ingredient as they are increasingly used in many beauty products and fragrances, and manufacturers might not list it as an ingredient.

As always, it’s important to do your research when purchasing skincare products, and opting for a product that uses real ingredients found in nature. Also look for products that specify “no synthetic fragrance,” “scented with only essential oils” or “phthalate-free.” Take it one step further and avoid any product that comes in a plastic container that has the number “3” in the center of the recycling symbol, as these include phthalates that can leak into your product.

3.) Parabens

Similarly to phthalates, parabens can also act as endocrine disrupters, wreaking havoc on the body’s hormonal system. They are largely used as a preservative to keep out bacteria, and also to soften and moisturize the skin. Several studies have found parabens to be carcinogenic (cancer-causing), and they are often found under chemical names like methylparaben, propylparaben, isoparaben or butylparaben. Always look for products that specify “paraben-free.”

4.) Artificial Fragrances

Unfortunately, almost all skincare products come with artificial, chemical fragrances. Even those touting to be “natural” are often chemical-derived. These artificial fragrances are used because they are far less expensive than using 100% natural scents (such as essential oils). And most chemical-based skincare products don’t smell good on their own, so need to be covered up.

Artificial scents and fragrances in beauty products are top allergens which is why they are banned in certain public places. Common symptoms include headaches, wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea (especially in young children), asthma, contact dermatitis and reduced pulmonary function.

5.) Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

This ingredient is pretty controversial and is widely used as a foaming agent in many beauty, skincare products, and even toothpastes. While it does cleanse, it also strips away the skin’s natural oils and moisture which are necessary for protection so can be very irritating to the skin. Look for labels that specify “SLS-free” to stay on the safe side.

See the full list of the worst toxic skincare ingredients at NaomiWhittel.com



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