When we buy cosmetics or toiletries off the store shelf, we make sure we look at the manufacturing, the price, the directions, the follow ups, but how many of us read through the contents and figure out what ingredients could be harmful? I’m sure we neglect that. But the synthetics, the added colours and the chemicals used in beauty products are damaging to your skin and hair and cause more harm than its repairing.
When you apply make up to your skin, the contents get absorbed by your skin and cause harm, not everything that the cosmetic has is nourishing. Your eye makeup is easily absorbed by your sensitive and mucous membrane. The lipstick is in direct contact with your mouth, the harmful chemicals in that could go into your system. The detergent and soaps used to wash your clothes need to be picked up carefully too since they come in direct contact with your skin through your clothes.
This word has been used a lot lately to bring awareness about the product. But what are parabens? Parabens are widely used in most grooming products like shampoos, foundations, body lotions etc. They are added to prevent fungus and bacteria from growing in your products due to the moist environment of the washrooms.
This product may also be called as — methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben. They extend the shelf life of the products and are said to be in almost all of women’s cosmetics.
2. Sunscreen Chemicals
As the name suggests, it’s a sunscreen agent that is responsible for the absorption of the ultraviolet rays. But when your skin absorbs the same chemicals that are used to produce these, it may cause cellular damage which may lead to cancer. A few common sunscreen chemicals are benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate and ethoxycinnmate.
3. Synthetic Colours
What are synthetic colours? Artificial colours are a part of cosmetics and make up and even hygiene products. Hair dyes are the most harmful synthetic colouring agents that a person’s hair is exposed to. These colours contain human carcinogen that cause skin irritation.
Your colognes, perfumes, conditioners, body washes, shampoos, etc. have this substance called “fragrance” that can be the root cause of your allergies. You may not realise but distress to breathe, or respiratory problems could be an after effect of the use of these fragrances.
Found in perfumes, hair spray, deodorants, nail polishes and everything that’s fragranced. Phthalates displace hormones and interrupt their production causing undesirable effect to the body. In cosmetics, it is usually named under “fragrance” or “parfum”. Dibutyl phthalate in nail polish, diethyl phthalate in perfumes and lotions, and dimethyl phthalate in hair spray are the most common phthalates in personal care.
Usually found in toothpastes, deodorants and soaps, the presence of this chemical can cause allergies and skin irritations. More serious effects of these could be thyroid and reproductive development issues. It’s also makes us antibiotic-resistant.
7. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
Sodium laureth sulfate, or sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES) is an anionic detergent and surfactant . It’s a foaming agent that is mainly sound in soaps, shampoos, etc. Since your skin has the ability to absorb chemicals, the absorption of these will be damaging.
Hair straightening treatments and nail hardeners- found mostly here. Could cause skin irritation, hair loss, damage to the quality of hair etc. Always opt for product with natural ingredients or at least fewer than others. To find out if your bottle has formaldehyde, look for Formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol (bromopol) on the label.
It disrupts your immune system and causes eye irritation, headaches, nausea etc. It attacks your nervous system. Again, seen on the labels of nail products and hair care cosmetics.
10. Propylene glycol
Known to cause allergies and reaction to skin. It’s actually an organic form of alcohol which penetrates into your skin causing the effects. To be found in moisturizers, make up, conditioners, hair sprays etc. It’s an otherwise good chemical that enhances your skin but causes trouble since it is a chemical after all. A skin conditioning agent but be careful with where and in how much quantity you use the product.
Make an informed choice from now on and read through the ingredients of the products you choose. You can avoid these chemicals by being more careful about the products you pick. So, it’s not just what you eat that could harm your system but also what you put on too.