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Chemicals You Should Look Out For In Your Skin Care Products

Beautiful skin is essential, but you need to be sure the products you use on your skin are safe. The key to healthy beauty care is to understand what’s really underneath the lid. While that may seem like a lot of work, you just have to know what to keep your eyes open for. The skin is the body’s largest organ and absorbs what you put onto it. Always read the ingredient labels and know what’s in your products. Here are chemicals you should look out for in your skin care products.

1. Phenoxyethanol

We’re seeing fewer chemical preservatives, a.k.a “parabens,” on labels, consumers have become aware of the potential problems with parabens and a newer preservative, under the name “phenoxyethanol” (or ethylene glycol monophenyl ether). Phenoxyethanol is commonly used in a variety of skin care products ranging from facial and body cleansers to moisturizers and makeup. Several studies demonstrate this preservative shows toxic effects to the body in moderate concentrations. These effects include are reproductive and developmental complications, contact dermatitis or skin irritation and damage to the brain and nervous system. Japan recently banned the use of phenoxyethanol in all cosmetics, while most other countries have limited its use to 1% concentration.

2. Petrolatum

Petrolatum is a petrochemical that contains two well-known carcinogens: Benzo-A-Pyrene and Benzo-B-Fluoranthene. It also contains 1,4-Dioxane, which has been listed by the World Health Organization and the Environmental Protection Agency as a probable carcinogen. As you might imagine from a petroleum derivative, petrolatum prevents the skin breathing and excreting.

3. Hydroquinone

It is used for lightening skin. Banned in the UK, rated most toxic on the EWG’s Skin Deep database, and linked to cancer and reproductive toxicityHydroquinone reduces the melanin in your skin to get rid of those unsightly marks, but in doing so, it hurts your skin in many ways. First of all, it’s permanently altering your pigment while also weakening the elastin and collagen in your problem area – the very things that are key to keeping your skin firm and youthful! Some people get unsightly blotches after using hydroquinone, and far more get contact dermatitis or have allergic reactions after regular use. Considering how easily it irritates your skin, it’s a wonder that it’s used at all. Finally, like so many ingredients on this list, there is some suspicion that it’s a carcinogen. The results aren’t worth the harm it causes.

4. Methylisothiazolinone

It is an increasingly common antibacterial preservative in everything from baby shampoo to moisturizer. Unfortunately, studies have shown that it contains neurotoxic properties that should be of great concern to all consumers. The argument often made by skin care companies is that MIT is used in very small concentrations, usually in products that are meant to be rinsed off, thus reducing your exposure to the chemical. Prevention is better than cure, choose wisely.

5. Talc

Talc has been linked to ovarian, respiratory problems and testicular cancer. It can be found in makeup, baby and adult powders, foundation, eye shadow, blush, and deodorant.

6. Triclosan

A synthetic antibacterial ingredient that has been compared to Agent Orange. The Environmental Protection Agency registers it as a pesticide, highly toxic to any living organism. It is also classified as a chlorophenol. In other words, it is in a cancer-causing chemical class. Triclosan disrupts hormones, can affect sexual function and fertility and may foster birth defects. Triclosan has been linked to paralysis, suppression of the immune system, brain hemorrhages, and heart problems. It is widely used in antibacterial cleansers, toothpaste, and household products.

7. Sunscreen chemicals

These chemicals function as a sunscreen agent, to absorb ultraviolet light. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors and are believed to be easily absorbed into the body. They may also cause cellular damage and cancer in the body. Common names are benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate, and methoxycinnamate. They can be found in sunscreen products.

It’s impossible to avoid every single synthetic chemical, but you can do your part in limiting the amount of toxins your body is exposed to. Educate yourself and do your research before you buy. You have one life to live and one body. If you don’t take care of yourself, you should treasure it.


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