By: Sabrina Taylor
When was the last time you checked out the ingredient list of your favorite skin care and beauty products? If you’re anything like me, the overly large, unpronounceable, chemical sounding ingredients can be a little bit daunting. If you can barely read the ingredients, how can you be expected to know what you are putting on your skin?
Did you know that 60 percent of what we rub on our skin is absorbed into our bodies? That means all those chemicals are sneaking into your body and harming you. Toxic ingredients can cause skin allergies, cancer, infertility, birth defects, reproductive problems and even learning disabilities.
The possibilities of harming yourself are bountiful, so in order to avoid bodily damage it’s time you know what exactly you’re rubbing on your skin. Here are the top 5 skin care and beauty ingredients you should be watching out for and avoiding.
One of the most common ingredients in acne products, benzoyl peroxide has several harmful side effects. Some of its potential damaging properties include being a possible tumor promoter. It has also been found to act as a mutagen, causing DNA damage to both human and animal cells.
Cellular damage is pretty drastic, but some of the less outrageous side effects include eye, skin or respiratory irritation. Try to avoid sniffing products containing benzoyl peroxide because it can be toxic by inhalation as well.
This is a sneaky one. Dioxin won’t be listed on any labels, but is often found in antibacterial ingredients like triclosan, emulsifiers, polyethylene glycol and ethoxylated cleansers. The potential harms of using products with dioxin are quite damaging. Prolonged use of dioxins can lead to cancer, cause reduced immune functioning and preempt nervous system disorders.
Pregnant women beware. Dioxins can cause birth defects and in some cases, miscarriage. This is definitely one to watch out for.
It’s no secret that parabens are unsafe. A common product preservative, they are not always labeled. Be sure to do extra research when picking out a deodorant and other skin care products because that is where they are often found.
Parabens have been found in breast cancer tumors and can imbalance hormones in females. As for males, sterility is possible.
Yet another one that is hard to find on a label, phthalates can cause liver and kidney damage. Though they are being weaned out of many products in North America and the EU, they can still cause early breast development in both males and females, birth defects and decreased sperm counts.
There are a few commonly used chemicals in sunscreens that are known to generate free radicals. Free radicals can damage DNA and even lead to cancer. When choosing a sunscreen, be sure to watch out for avobenzone, benzophenone, ethoxycinnamate and PABA.
Navigating the world of cosmetic and skin care products can be difficult, but hopefully this list helps you avoid some of the more dangerous ingredients.
Author Bio: Sabrina is an allergy-ridden, gluten-free living, lover of green DIY’s. Why buy something when you can make it better yourself; like this homemade anti-aging cream.