What Toxins Should you Look for in Cosmetics and Personal Care Products?
By pernille jensen
Many personal care products, including cosmetics, skincare items, shampoos, and sunscreens can contain a range of chemicals that are potentially harmful to human health and the environment. Some of these chemicals have raised concerns due to their potential adverse effects.
Here are some of the worst offenders that you should look for when you are buying cosmetics, shampoo, skincare and perfumes.
Parabens: These are preservatives used to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold in cosmetic products. Parabens have been associated with endocrine disruption and have been found in breast cancer tissue, although their direct link to health issues is still debated.
Phthalates: Phthalates are used to enhance the flexibility and durability of plastics and in perfumes/fragrances to make the scent stick and last longer. Some types of phthalates have been linked to potential hormone disruption and adverse reproductive effects.
Sulfates (SLS and SLES): These are commonly used as foaming agents in shampoos, body washes, and toothpaste. Sulfates can potentially cause skin and eye irritation and have raised concerns about their safety.
Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives: These are used to prevent bacterial growth in cosmetic products. Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing compounds are known allergens and potential carcinogens.
Synthetic Fragrances: Many products contain synthetic fragrances, which can be a source of various chemicals that may cause allergic reactions or skin sensitivities.
Triclosan: Found in some antibacterial soaps and toothpaste, triclosan has been linked to concerns about antibiotic resistance and endocrine disruption.
Coal Tar Dyes: Used in hair dyes and other products, coal tar dyes have been associated with potential carcinogenic effects.
Mineral Oil and Petroleum-Derived Ingredients: These can clog pores and potentially have negative effects on the skin.
What to do to reduce these chemicals:
Read Labels: Pay attention to ingredient lists and avoid products with chemicals you're concerned about.
Choose Natural and Organic Products: Look for products that are certified organic and use natural ingredients.
Educate Yourself: Research the safety of specific ingredients using reputable sources or apps that rate the safety of cosmetic ingredients.
DIY Solutions: Some people opt to make their own personal care products using natural ingredients to have better control over what they're applying to their skin.
Limit Fragranced Products: Choose products with minimal or no added fragrances to reduce exposure to potential allergens.