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We take care of our skin by using skincare products. The skin absorbs what we put on it and you should be careful about what you put on your skin. The following toxic skincare ingredients should be avoided when choosing beauty products.
Sodium lauryl sulfate
This is mostly found in shampoo, body wash, cleanser, and mascara. This causes and contributes to disruption of the skin’s natural balance. Its also known to be an eye and lung irritant. Skin irritation can cause eczema, dry, coarse, or reddened skin, this occurs when used often or in high concentrations.
This is often used as preservative in many cosmetic products. It prevents mold, parasites and fungus from growing in products. It can be absorbed through the skin and possesses estrogen mimicking properties, which is associated with increased risk of breast cancer. Paraben has been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumours. Though the study is inconclusive it’s still a thing to be concerned about. Here are other derivatives or forms of paraben to look out for.
Retinyl palmitate, retinol
This is often found in anti-aging products and may be carcinogenic when used in sunlight. Sunscreens containing retinol should be avoided. Retinol, like all vitamin A derivatives, is NOT recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. That includes all skin care products, even serums and night creams containing retinol.
This is often found in sunscreens, moisturizers and lip gloss. It has been linked to skin irritation and allergies. It may cause endometriosis and can pose a risk to reproductive systems. Oxybenzone has been linked to early puberty in girls, low sperm count and male infertility. An increase in hormone-related cancers in men and women has also been linked to the use of this chemical.
This chemical reduces the melanin in the skin to get rid of dark marks. According to the FDA the use of this chemical can cause a skin condition called ochronosis. Although uncommon, particularly with over-the-counter strength preparations, some people have developed a blue-black skin discoloration after using hydroquinone bleaching creams. Ochronosis also can cause gray-brown spots and tiny, yellow-to-brown bumps, as well as skin thickening. Hydroquinone was once considered a miracle ingredient for skin lightening because it whitens skin and makes it stay that way. It is still used in many bleaching creams and other skin whitening products, but new studies have shown it to be a dangerous toxin. Due to the health risks associated with its use, it has been prohibited in many countries.
The most common phthalates in cosmetics and personal care products are dibutyl phthalate found in nail polish, diethyl phthalates found in perfumes and lotions, and dimethyl phthalate found in hair spray. They are known to be endocrine disruptors. Phthalate have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, and reproductive birth defects in males and females.
This was declared to be a carcinogen to humans by the International Agency on Research on Cancer. Other common side effects of formaldehyde in cosmetics is skin irritation, scalp burns and hair loss. This can be found in nail polish, keratin hair straightening formulas, eyelash adhesive and hair dyes.
Toluene is found in nail polish, it is used to help it glide on more smoothly. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry toluene may have an effect on the nervous system (brain and nerves). Nervous system effects can be temporary, such as headaches, dizziness, or unconsciousness. However, effects such as incoordination, cognitive impairment, and vision and hearing loss may become permanent with repeated exposure, especially at high concentration. High levels of toluene exposure during pregnancy, such as those associated with solvent abuse, may lead to retardation of mental abilities and growth in children. Other health effects of potential concern may include immune, kidney, liver, and reproductive problem