Harmful Ingredients in Cosmetics We Often Overlook
Cosmetics have become a part of our life now. Whether it is a moisturizer or a shampoo, we would have at least one or two bottles of such things at home.
But, have you ever tried to read what the labels say? Cosmetic’s labels reveal loads of things about the product.
Active and inactive ingredients together play an important role in product formulation.
If you know your skin type and your skin concern, then active ingredients would not bother you much.
But, inactive ingredients like emollient, perfume, synthetic colours or dyes, preservatives, etc. might pose loads of troubles.
And thus, it is utmost important to know what goes inside your favourite shampoo or cream.
Not all inactive components are harmful, but some are truly harmful to our environment and organs.
In this article, I am going to talk about a few of such harmful ingredients that we generally find in our skincare products.
1. DMDM Hydantoin
I am pretty sure you have seen this ingredient often on your product labels.
This is actually a widely used preservative which is mainly found in skincare and haircare products.
According to Cosmetics Info, DMDM Hydantoin releases a small amount of Formaldehyde throughput the shelf life of a product. And, Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic (an agent that causes cancer) trigger.
It is said that the concentration of this antimicrobial agent is permissible up to 0.6% in cosmetics.
Guess what! These chemicals which are often found in skincare products, are widely used as plastic softeners.
If it is absorbed into human skin, it can work as estrogens that interfere with hormone functions.
Popular perfume brands like Dior or Calvin Klein use these ingredients in their products, which is indeed a harmful act.
3. Synthetic Colours
Coal tar or Petrolatum is the main source of the colours which are used in cosmetics. Coal tar is a viscous element with a distiguishing smell.
So, higher the percentage of colour in a particular product, higher is the chance of coal tar or petrolatum in the product.
Lipsticks, shampoos, colourful eyeliners, etc. in everywhere these colours are used. Synthetic colours often trigger skin irritations, cancer, and acnes.
This is another component which is often found in skincare, personal care, and haircare products.
Fragrances often trigger skin allergies and other dermal problems. In fact, in some cases, these chemicals cause disruptions in reproductive systems as well.
Honestly, there is no such restriction in using these. But, at least, we can avoid using products containing perfumery substances.
5. Diethanolamine (DEA)
It is another widely used component in personal care and skincare products.
In order to adjust the pH of a formula, it is used.
According to news and scientific literatures, DEA is often associated with cancer or other health issues. But, there are pretty limited evidence to prove that.
Least we can use products that are clean and do not contain DEA or DEA related components.
According to FDA, Leads are often found in lipsticks, eye shadows, and personal care products.
Surprisingly, brands do not include lead directly into the formulations. Actually, Lead is one of the major contaminants found in synthetic colours.
As per FDA, this heavy metal if used more than 20ppm (parts per million) in cosmetics, can be quite dangerous for human organs.
You might think that SLS or Sodium Laureth Sulfate is the only form of sulfate but that is not true. It can be Ammonium Sulfate too.
More surprisingly, mascaras contain Sulfates too.
Sulfates are actually cleansers that can cause irritation to skin and eyes. Palm oil is the basic source to derive these. When washed off, these components become potential danger for aquatic animals.
As a whole, there is hardly anything good that is served by using these components. Thus, it is better to stay steer clear of these.
8. Parabens (Methyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, Butyl Paraben)
Well! I want to be quite honest about the safety measures of this widely used preservative.
In the past few years, Parabens have caused quite a roar in the market. Brands are more and more promoting Paraben free products.
According to FDA, there is hardly any research that can show the potential hazards caused by Parabens in human health.
A research conducted long back, showed that traces of Parabens found in the breast cancer cells. And, since then, people have started avoiding products with parabens.
Well! Some research also have showed how these components interfere with the normal hormonal functions and cause disruptions.
I would suggest that let us try to stay on the safe side. Let us use Paraben free products as much as we can. In that way, at least, we would not fall in any kind of dilemma.
It is such a chemical component that is widely used in products meant for skin lightening.
Researchers show that if this component is aggressively used in cosmetics, it can lead to Cancer and other skin irritations.
Hydroquinone is also used in facial cleansers, moisturizers, shampoos, etc.
How to Choose Safe Products for Yourself and Your Family?
I agree that it is quite impossible to read the labels thoroughly always.
But, the above guideline would help you to choose the right product for you and your family.
Just take a look at the label. If you find ingredients like Sulfates, Toluene or Benzene, Alcohol, Parabens, Hydroquinone, synthetic colourants, etc., simply avoid buying the product.
Always make sure to use products where the entire ingredient list have been disclosed. Fishy or undisclosed ingredients might pose as more dangerous threats.
Try to use clean products where dangerous & harmful chemicals are not used.
I can confidently say that since the time I have switched to clean beauty brands, my skin and health have started responding better than ever.
If you are eager to start a clean life, here goes a bunch of chemical free skincare and haircare products you can start from.
- Chemical Free Face Wash in India
- Harmful Chemical Free Moisturizer available in India
- Harsh Chemical Free Toners Your Skin Want
- Mild Shampoos that You and Your Family Need Right Now
And, that’s all for today! Do not forget to share this article with your friends and family if you find it helpful.
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