Despite appealing packaging and clever marketing tactics, most “beauty” products today are actually far more harmful than they are helpful. In this blog post, we will guide you through the most harmful ingredients to avoid for glowing skin.
There is significant scientific evidence unrolling all the time about the dangers of the synthetic ingredients found in commercial facial cleansers, lotions, sunscreens, shampoo, perfumes, and more. Industry standard ingredients have been linked to everything from skin irritation to cancer.
What’s more, the skin is a direct line to the liver, so everything you are putting in your skin is going to end up right in the bloodstream. If you’re spending your hard earned money on cosmetics and self-care products, the last thing you want is a product full of known carcinogens.
Choose Organic Skincare
To avoid purchasing a product that might end up damaging one of your precious organs, it is best to select organic and truly natural products. But before you head out and buy the first thing you see with these terms, it would be helpful to learn how to properly read the label.
There are a few common ingredients that make it into skincare products, including even some “natural” ones, that you will want to look out for and avoid.
The Most Harmful Ingredients to Avoid in Skincare Products
1. Sodium lauryl sulfate
This is most commonly found in shampoo, body wash, makeup, face wash, mouthwash, and toothpaste. Surprisingly, SLS is the active ingredient in commercial flor degreaser and is well known to cause skin irritation, canker sores, disruption of the skin’s microbiome and eye irritation. It is also inflammatory to the skin and disruptive to the hormones, which can cause ‘hormonal acne’ around the chin.
This chemical is most commonly found in skin exfoliants and perfume. Also known as butylated hydroxyanisole, it is a classified and recognized human carcinogen. It can cause the skin to lose pigmentation. Even worse, it can cause liver damage, which is the most important organ for healthy, glowing skin.
Additionally, it leads to stomach cancers and interferes with normal reproductive health and thyroid function (another very important gland for healthy skin). In fact, the European Union considers it unsafe in fragrances, but it is commonly used in perfumes and colognes in America. So be sure to swap out your commercial (and even name brand) fragrances for natural, synthetic-free fragrances.
3. Triclosan and Triclocarban
These ingredients can be found in deodorants and antibacterial soaps. Triclosan and triclocarban have been linked to hormonal disruptions, bacterial resistance, impaired muscle function, immune dysfunction and increased allergies. Triclosan is a very strong antibacterial, which is why it is used in soap. However, it is incredibly harsh and kills off the healthy bacteria from the skin, leaving it unhealthy and defenseless in the long term.
Most of all, these ingredients provide no real help. There are plenty of natural, plant-based antibacterial and antiseptic agents like tea tree, lavender, and other essential oils, which do not have harmful side effects or kill off probiotic bacteria.
Parabens are mostly found in makeup but also in moisturizer, shaving cream/gel, shampoo, and spray tan products. The major issue with parabens is that they mimic estrogen. Estrogen is a stress hormone, and when in excess, it shuts down thyroid hormone. It is actually linked to nearly every type of cancer, hair loss, infertility and skin disease.
Long chain parabens like propyl and butylparaben and their branched counterparts, isopropyl, and isobutylparabens, are disruptive to the endocrine system; especially the thyroid.
This causes issues like prostate cancer, reproductive issues, hair loss and skin disorders. Instead of commercial shaving cream and moisturizers, you can use our Gold Serum and Moisturizer. They feature only the healthiest and finest ingredients and are free of parabens.
5. Retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinoic acid and retinol
These specific ingredients will be mostly found in moisturizers, sunscreen, and anti-aging products. However, they are far from anti-aging. In fact, they are highly carcinogenic and oxidize rapidly in sunlight, which damages the skin cells when applied topically. The good news is that many plants have natural protective abilities against UV rays.
If you ever see the term “fragrance” on a personal care product, it is difficult to say exactly what it is. The FDA doesn’t regulate the chemicals that go into these fragrance cocktails.
Recent research has actually determined that there is an average of 14 chemicals in 17 name-brand “fragrance” products, and they are not listed on the bottle. Furthermore, these fragrances are not natural. They contain endocrine disruptors and are among the top 5 allergens in the world. Stick to fragrance products that are made of organic essential oils!
This particular ingredient is active in “skin lighteners”. However, this bleaching chemical can cause a skin disease called ochronosis, which creates an irreversible pigmentation of the skin. These products usually contain toxic mercury, which can cause other severe issues such as brain inflammation. Be sure to avoid products with “mercury,” “calomel”, “mercurio” or “mercurio chloride.”
What Skincare Ingredients to Look For
In general, products that are labeled and certified organic are a good start but don’t stop there. When reading the label, look for ingredients that are directly sourced from plants, such as essential oils, other plant oils especially coconut, cacao, and olive, which are not as sensitive as other plant fats.
If you do not recognize an ingredient, look it up online or use the Think Dirty app. For tips on selecting optimal, non-toxic skin care products, be sure to download our free eBook and read previous articles!
What natural skincare product or ingredient do you swear by for glowing skin? Let us know in the comments below.
The Natural Path to Perfect Skin
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