Would you put something in your body not knowing what it is? What about on your skin? Most people don’t typically think to look at the ingredients on their skin care products let alone try to understand what some of these ingredients are. When it comes to aging, we just want whatever we can that will help us look younger, slimmer, healthier and we never think twice what harm we may be causing. When’s the last time you were excited to purchase a new facial cream with Formaldehyde as one of the ingredients? Never? Well, if you were to look carefully at some of your old products you may just find it. Some of these ingredients can help products in one way or another, but in reality they can do more harm than good and the worst part of it all? There are various names for these ingredients which makes it even tougher to recognize when reading your labels.
Let’s take a look at some of these harmful ingredients that are found in so many of our everyday products. As advertised, GoPure leaves out toxic ingredients in their products which is such a rare find when searching for not only products that are healthy for you but also provide you with beautiful results. Here are some ingredients that you should always look out for…Oh, and good luck trying to pronounce most of these names, I sure as heck can’t!
Whether it is Methanal, Methyl, Aldehyde, Diazolidinyl Urea, Nitorpropane-1, Methylene Oxide or 3-diol Imidazolidinyl Urea, they all are various names for Formaldehyde and they are all terribly bad for you. Used as a preservative, you can find this lingering in body lotions, sunscreens, and even cleansers to name a few. Not only is Formaldehyde known as a human carcinogen, causing allergic reactions, joint pain, headaches but it is indeed toxic to your respiratory track and immune systems. For me, the fact that Formaldehyde is used to help create a lighter and energy efficient car doesn’t sound like something I would want to put into my body more than the natural amount of Formaldehyde we already produce for cell metabolism (betcha’ didn’t know that). But seriously, unless it creates a lighter and more energy efficient me, then I’m not interested.
You know that sweet smelling body lotion you have that smells like you’ve been skipping through a beautiful field full of daisies? I hate to break the bad news to you but the manufactures didn’t bottle up all those fresh daisies, that beautiful scent is an artificial fragrance. The toxic petroleum solvents bind various organic molecules and house fragrances. Although artificial fragrances may just seem to irritate some people’s eyes or skin, it has been linked in reproductive damage, organ toxicity as well as the damage that this neurotoxin has caused with muscle control, memory loss and vision to name a few. But for most, some irritated skin, eyes and allergies are very common. Maybe it’s time to put aside your scented items and opt for those that are fragrance free which not only is good for your health but also your skin avoiding dermatitis and skin discomfort.
Have you ever thought about softening your skin with Antifreeze? Well if you have Propylene Glycol as an ingredient you have. I agree, it seems pretty crazy that your favorite deodorant or facial cream would have antifreeze listed (yup, you read that correctly) but companies use this for the ability to help bind water to oil. Also look for the names PG and Butylene Glycol which are also ways that this toxic ingredient is sold. The EPA has indeed concluded the brain, liver and kidneys are all affected by absorption through the skin. Companies know the way to sell more products would be opting out of using the term ‘Antifreeze’ on their ingredients list and replace it with a more scientific name that will seem less harsh to their target audience. Let’s leave Propylene Gylcol where it belongs, in our brake fluids.
This chemical can be found anywhere from facial moisturizers, facial and skin cleansers and even skin lighteners. This ingredient is used to lighten skin discolorations, age spots and freckles. It can be disguised in products with the names Tocopheral Acetate, and anything where the root of the word is ‘toco’ which thankfully makes it much easier to look for. There are several health concerns involved with Hydroquinone, including immunotoxicity, organ system toxicity and even cancer. If you are interested in lightening skin discolorations aim for products with vitamin c or retinol which in time will minimize and lighten making way for healthier looking skin.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate as it is known can cause stomach issues, redness, pain, sore throat and cough. When SLS is combined with other types of chemicals, Nitrosamines is formed. Before I studied skin care and became an esthetician I used to love facial cleansers that foamed up nicely and almost felt airy and fresh, there was just something about that feeling that I found soothing. It wasn’t until school I found out that those foamy suds were SLS and it was actually an ingredient that had been used in pesticide and heavy duty cleaners. After learning that, I stick to nonfoaming cleansers and I’ve never turned back. If it creates a few bubbles no worries, it is that frothy like foam that should be avoided.
Now this is a toxic ingredient that has been most talked about. Parabens have commonly been used in skin care, makeup and whatever else in order to lengthen shelf life. It is a preservative that is found in a lot more items than we think due to the fact expiration will not happen as quickly as it would without the added parabens. There are many risks similar to those of the other toxic ingredients listed including an increased risk of breast cancer, fertility issues, hormonal changes such as early menopause for women and early puberty in children. Estrogen receptors are binding on cells while the parabens mimic estrogen. From starting menopause at a young age, I must say I wouldn’t want anyone to go through hot flashes and night sweats more than they have to! Menopause can be brutal!
With our busy lives taking up so much time, who really wants to read the ingredients in every item we purchase (let alone that incredibly small size print on the labels which we probably wouldn’t be able to read even if we tried!) As an esthetician I can help reduce the appearance of some skin concerns and help achieve healthier skin, but I am in no means a miracle worker. When you can, be mindful in the products you use and stick with a skin care line you can trust. The damage you can possibly do by using products with these harmful ingredients can be much worse than the less serious issues we can fix so be proactive in your skin care health no matter what age you are it is never too late to start.
We absorb up to 60% of what we put on our skin…so what will you be putting on yours?
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