As you know, our skin is the biggest organ of our body. It is very important to take care of it just like you are taking care of others. The fact that the skin is outside and protects all other organs, doesn’t really make any difference. It can easilly be damaged physically, but also chemically. Now you are wondering, how can I damage my skin chemically? Well, a lot of us do it almost every day by applying all kinds of synthetic cosmetic products on it. You see, cosmetic manufacturers are allowed to use any ingredient they choose in their products, says the FDA (which is, by the way, responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety of drugs, biological products, medical devices, food, cosmetics etc.). In other words, if you read the labels on food you are buying so carefully, why don’t you read the labels on cosmetics you are putting on your skin? Didn’t you notice that your skin absorbs everything you put on it? Be careful from now on.
Chemicals you should pay a special attention to
- 1,4 – dioxane : a carcinogen linked to organ toxicity that can’t be found on ingredient labels since it is created when common ingredients react to form the compound when mixed.
It can be found in products that create foam (liquid soaps, shampoos etc.)
If you find sodium laureth sulfate, PEG compounds,chemicals that have clauses xynol, ceteareth and oleth on the label, there is a big chance there is also 1,4 – dioxane.
- MEA, DEA, TEA : They are present in many products - from cosmetics to household cleaners. They can cause cancer, organ system toxicity and are harmful to the environment.
They can be found in suncscreens, make-up products, soaps, shampoos etc.
Avoid buying products with abbreviations DEA, TEA and MEA on labels.
- FRAGRANCE: here we have it simple - if the product label only has word FRAGRANCE on it, don’t buy it.
- HOMOSALATE: it is used in sunscreens and skin products with SPF. It is an endocrine disruptor and may impact hormones. Also, it can enchance the absorption of pesticides in the body.
If you find: homosalate, homomenthyl salicylate, HMS, HS, 3,3,5-trimethyl-cyclohexyl-salicylate on the label, don’t buy it. Chose products with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide instead.
- METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE and METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE: hard to pronounce, even harder on the body. They can lead to lung toxicity and cause allergic reactions and neurotoxicity.
They can be found in lotions, sunscreens, baby lotions and shampoos, makeup removers and liquid soaps.
Make sure you read labels and avoid products with MIT, CMIT and mixture of these two.
- OCTINOXATE/OMC: UV filter which can be absorbed through skin. It is an endocrine disruptor which mimics estrogen and can disrupt thyroid function.
You can find it in skin creams, sunscreens, shampoos and lipsticks.
It is approved worldwide so make sure that you check labels and avoid products containg OMC, parsol (MCX/MOX) , escalol, 2-ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnamate
- POLYACRYLAMIDE: It is used as a stabilizer in lotions. It is not so hazardous by itself, but it is made up of molecules of acrylamide which is a suspected carcinogen.
You can find it in facial moisturizers, anti-aging products,sunscreens and more.
Avoid buying products that contain polyacrylamide,acrylamide, polyacrylate,acrylate, polyquaternium.
Over the last few years, a lot of dermatologists have started their own lines of handmade natural cosmetics that are really helping your skin to look its best. This is extremely important since such products are not made from mainstream ingredients and don’t contain any dangerous chemicals like the ones mentioned above. They chose their ingredients carefully