Skin is the largest organ in our body. Aside from it covers our muscles and tissues, it also serves as our protection from the environment. Needless to say that we should take care of it.
Part of our way of taking care of our skin is using skin care products. But instead of making our skin healthy, certain chemicals can do more damage than good. Skin has the ability to absorb what we put on it. In fact, it can take only 26 seconds for the skin to absorb chemicals directly into the bloodstream.
Some side effects from applying harmful chemicals to your skin:
1. Pre-mature aging
3. Hormonal imbalance
In recent years, there’s been a lot of debate about skin certain skin care ingredients. Environmentalists and health buffs have constantly voiced out their concern from using certain ingredients that may harm our body. Sure, we need more study to stop manufacturers from using some of these chemicals. But if you’ve been thinking about using healthier and safer products, here is list of ingredients you should avoid. And what to use instead.
1. Paraben. Used as preservatives. It prevents fungus and bacteria to thrive in skin care products.
Why it’s harmful: Paraben has been blamed to cause estrogen disruption which causes breast cancer and other reprodcutive problems.
What to use instead: Look for products that contain Sorbid Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Benzoic Acid, Sodium Benzoate or Dehydroacetic Acid
2. BHA, BHT. Why it’s harmful: Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) like parabens, are used as preservatives. BHA and BHT can cause endocrine disruption, that screams out cancer and other reproductive issues.
What to use instead: Tocopherol
3. Triclosan. Used as anti-bacteria.
Why it’s harmful: According to studies, Triclosan has been increasingly linked to skin irritation, endocrine disruption, resistance to bacteria among others.
What to use instead: Essentials oils (Lavender, citrus, etc.)
4. Propelyne Gycol
It is used to absorb water and maintain moisture in some cosmetics and skin care products.
Why it’s harmful: It can cause skin irritation.
What to use instead: Glycerin, sorbitol
5. Mineral oil. It is used as a moisturizer. Manufacturers however, opt for mineral oil not because of its benefits but because of its low cost.
Why it’s harmful: It seals off your skin. Our skin helps in the detoxifying process by producing sweat.
Using mineral oil is like covering your skin with plastic wrap. It won’t allow the skin to “breathe” to perform its normal functions. This causes premature aging, breakouts and skin irritations.
What to use instead: Cold pressed oils and butters
6. Retinol. It’s a form of Vitamin A and is used to fight aging.
Why it’s harmful: It increases a person’s sensitivity to UV Rays because of its peeling effect. It can also cause birth defects when a pregnant woman takes retinol more than the recommended 1,000 retinol equivalent.
What to use instead: Aloe vera, Hyaluronic acid
Manufacturers of skin care products argued that the chemicals they use are safe and used in minimal amounts only.But even small amounts, if used regularly, can also affect our health and overall well being.
It’s also worth noting that some skin care products are teratogens. It means that when you apply them on your skin, the placenta will be able to absorb it, thus causing harm to the unborn child. Even if you’re not pregnant, to think a certain ingredient can harm a fetus, that tells you something.
So take a quick look at your skin care products and read the ingredients. Start researching about the almost unreadable ingredients listed in there. You might be surprised by what you’re going to find out.