When shopping for the best products for your daily skincare and cosmetic regimen, it pays to read labels and become more informed about the potentially harmful ingredients that may be part of those products. Even having a little knowledge about the artificial and chemical substances to be avoided is a very good thing because you won’t waste your money on beauty products that can cause more harm not only to your skin but to the quality of your health as well.
Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
If that bottle of skin cleanser, shampoo or bubble bath lists either Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS) or Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) in the ingredient box on the label, take a pass. Not only can these toxic ingredients irritate sensitive skin or develop outbreaks on normal skin, they can also cause ongoing health problems to develop by being absorbed through the skin into the lungs, liver and heart.
Preservative parabens placed into beauty products to help extend their shelf life is another category of ingredients that can prove to be potentially harmful. Many individuals who develop skin rashes and other allergies after using certain beauty product containing parabens are often unaware that it’s this dangerous ingredient that’s causing the problem. Research has also shown a connection between parabens use in cosmetics and skincare products and an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
In any beauty product that comes in powder form, beware of any ingredient listing talc. This is a soft mineral that can cause respiratory problems when inhaled over a long-term basis in addition to being linked with an increased risk of ovarian cancer when body powders containing talc are used in the area of the genitals.
Face creams and body lotions containing mineral oil should be avoided because this type of crude oil only serves to clog pores from breathing and seals toxins inside the skin rather than letting them escape and be washed away during your cleansing routine. Avoid products whose ingredient listings contain the initials DEA, MEA or TEA. This means that potentially harmful doses of Diethanolamine, Monoethanolamine or Triethanolamine have been used in the production process, and is linked to allergic reactions as well as an increased risk of developing kidney or liver cancer.
Isopropyl Alcohol or Proplyene Glycol
Any skin care product touting Isopropyl Alcohol or Proplyene Glycol is definitely not your friend. The former can cause premature aging of the skin as well as stripping skin cells of protective acids, while the latter can damage the skin with unwanted rashes and dermatitis.
A reputable online or retail beauty store will be proactive in already removing items containing potentially harmful skincare and cosmetic ingredients from their product line-up. Buying health and beauty products can represent a substantial investment over a year’s time, so invest your money wisely in products that can actually enhance your beauty rather than cause subsequent health problems. The extra time you spend becoming educated about how to avoid harmful skincare and cosmetic ingredients will help ensure that the products you select will actually benefit your skin as well as your overall health.
- Photo credit: smartphotostock.com
Eileen Saw is a beauty enthusiast, blogger and full-time mum. For more natural skincare and cosmetics, she recommends visiting the Luxola.com beauty store.