A few weeks ago, a friend and I started discussing skincare. I’m constantly facing sensitivity issues, so it’s challenging for me to find skincare products and cosmetics that heal and conceal.
When I sharedÂ my little sob story, my friendÂ suggested that my issue mayÂ not be “problem skin” after all.Â Toxic beautyÂ ingredients may actuallyÂ be to blame.
Initially, I scoffed at the idea. ButÂ I buy quality products, I thought. While we were on the phone, I looked at my daily concealer just to prove to myself that its ingredients areÂ A-OK.
Surprise, surprise: The very first ingredient made her list of major no-nos.
Could she be right? AreÂ chemicals wrecking my skin? And if so, what else areÂ they doing to my body’s overall health?
The Case for Green Beauty: Do Chemicals Really Matter?
Here’s an interesting fact: Europe has banned over 1,200 chemicals from its manufactured beauty products. On the other hand, the United States has only banned 10.
To replace most of these toxic compounds, companies needÂ to use costlier natural ingredients.
Furthermore, these toxic go-tos usually boost beauty products’ shelf lives. From a business sense, using toxic ingredients is a smart move. But for the consumer? It totally sucks.
The term “toxic”Â isÂ primarily used to describe three specificÂ reactionsÂ in the human body:
- Carcinogens (cancer-causing)
- Hormone disruptors
- Neurotoxins (poisonous or destructive to nerve tissue)
Um, yikes. Up until now, I assumed that using shampoo with sulfates only led to hair breakage.
Apparently, the truth is way worse than I ever imagined.
7 Toxic Beauty Ingredients to Avoid Altogether
Get ready to examine your labels. Here are seven of the worst offenders:
1.Â Propylene Glycol
This solvent is the principle ingredientÂ found in antifreeze… oh, and skin cleansers, deodorants, shampoo, and toothpaste, for that matter.
In fact, propylene glycol is even used in packaged baked goods. But there’s nothing sweet about this toxic chemical.
It’s actually banned in Europe due to its associations with brain, liver, and kidney malfunction.
2. Mineral Oil
This petroleum by-product suffocates the skin and clogs pores, plus it interferes with the skin’s naturalÂ ability to release toxins. But even more shocking?
It’s linked to testicular tumors and poor nutrient absorption in developing fetuses.
Look for this “gem” in baby oil, styling gels, and a wide varietyÂ of moisturizers and cosmetics.
3. Sodium Hydroxide
Sodium hydroxide is found in Drano and a long list of popular kitchen cleaners.
It’s also a staple ingredient in toothpaste, soaps, and facial cleansers — despite the fact that it’s officially classified as a poison.
We’ve all heard of parabens — and for good reason. These chemicals are used as preservatives in plentyÂ ofÂ beauty and skincare products (even though they mess with your body’s hormone levels).
Another perk? They’re linked to cancer and reproductive toxicity.
5. Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium laureth sulfate is actually used in 90% of personal care products. Sounds super safe, right?
Instead, this foaming detergent is linked to eye damage, skin irritation, and even death in laboratory animals.
So much for thinking sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners only prevent split ends.
6. Diethyl Phthalate
Did you know that fragrances contain around 4,000 ingredients, and animal urine is usually one of them?
Yeah, me neither.
Diethyl phthalate is one of these ingredients, and it’s associated with all kinds of fun side effects like allergies, dermatitis, hormonal disturbances, headaches, dizziness, and asthma.
The best thing I’ve read about triclosan? It’s “similar to Agent Orange.” Wow.
This ridiculous ingredient is foundÂ in antibacterial products, hand sanitizers, and deodorants… but it’s classified as a pesticide.
Furthermore, it’s linked to cancer and endocrine disruption.
There are so many toxic beauty ingredients out there, it’s almost impossible to listÂ them all.
Even scarier? The average woman uses 12 beauty products each day, exposing herself to anywhere fromÂ 120 to 515 chemicals in the process.