How many of you read into beauty products before buying them?
We are advised in life to be careful of what food and drink to consume, and we are aware of how bad artificial flavourings and high fat percentage foods are – yet we are not consumed by as much worry when it comes to the ingredients used in products to maintain our looks. We absorb 60 per cent of what we put onto our skin, and for children it is a lot higher – scary, right?
Recently I have been researching into ingredients in some of my favourite and most used products, and I wanted to share with you all what I have found. It is quite alarming at how many skincare products use ingredients that are advised by experts to avoid and most of us are probably unaware of what these are. Some of the toxins used in products can cause problems later in life – including infertility, skin allergies and even cancer.
I was surprised to find that certain brands (that shall remain unnamed) use some of the following chemicals in their skin care products, but I would like to focus briefly on the ones who do not use them.
Most products, like the ones above, state clearly if they do not use certain chemicals, i.e. ‘No Parabens’, which I find to be great for when you haven’t got time to spend those extra few minutes reading the packaging. When I am able to, however, I do try and take a few extra minutes down the body lotions and potions aisle to read the labels, looking for those products that have a higher percentage of natural ingredients and lower in toxins (it can be particularly difficult finding a product that is 100% natural, unfortunately). Fresh and La Roche-Posay are two of my favourite brands who choose not to use some of these chemicals.
Some of the key ingredients to look out for and avoid if possible are:
- Parabens: Probably one of the more common ingredients used, and are joined up by other words like ‘Methyl’, ‘Propyl’ and ‘Ethyl’ – look familiar? Well these are used as a preservative to extend the product’s shelf life. It can cause allergic reactions and research has shown parabens have contributed to breast cancer tumors.
- DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), TEA (Triethanolamine): These are hormone disrupting chemicals which are used as foam boosters, and can form cancer causing nitrates.
- Synthetic Fragrances: Don’t you love all those lovely smells coming from your body lotions and beauty products? Sadly a lot of them are synthetic and can disrupt hormones. Luckily now there are plenty of brands who are bringing out fragrance-free products – check out this Daily Mail article for more insightful information.
- Phthalates: These are chemicals used mainly in hair sprays, nail polishes and perfumes and are there to make products longer lasting. They can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled, and have been found to act towards liver, kidney and lung damage – not what you want in your beauty favourites.
These are only a few of many chemicals to stay clear of – but I hope reading this has made you think twice when you next pop in to Boots or your local drugstore to pick up your beauty essentials.