While many of us take great care about the food we put into our bodies, what we put on our bodies tends to get overlooked. With little oversight in the beauty product industry, it’s up to you to know which ingredients you never want to see listed on the back of the package (if they even list them at all).
In search of vibrant beauty, most of us have happily opened our wallets for the latest groundbreaking moisturizer or the perfect shade of lipstick. But you may unintentionally be doing yourself more harm than good. The majority of commercial beauty products we use to feel beautiful destroy our natural beauty and health. Beauty products are wildly unregulated, many laden with harmful elements linked to allergies, skin irritation, hormonal imbalances, and cancer. So before you make your next purchase, learn which ingredients to avoid.
Used as a preservative, you’ll find parabens on the label of most beauty products, including shampoo, body wash, moisturizer, makeup, shaving gel, lotions, and creams. Parabens are known endocrine disruptors, meaning they create an imbalance in your hormones. And the imbalance parabens cause can potentially lead to breast cancer. A2004 studydiscovered over 90 percent of breast cancer tumors contained parabens. Any product with ingredients listed as methylparaben, proplyparaben, isopropylparaben or isobutylparaben, be sure to put back on the shelf.
2. Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
To say you want to avoid PEG is putting it mildly. PEG is a thickening agent commonly found in makeup, toothpaste, creams, and body scrubs. But, you’ll also find PEG being used in oven degreasers and as a pharmaceutical laxative. This petroleum-based compound strips your skin of natural protective oils and contains the known carcinogen ethylene oxide and the probable carcinogen 1,4-dioxane.
3. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
SLES is what gives products the ability to foam and lather. SLES is in everything from cosmetics and shampoo to soaps and toothpaste. SLES is known to irritate the skin, trigger allergies, and tamper with the balance of your skin’s natural oils. On a more sinister level, SLES is another endocrine disruptor, suspected of interfering with development and a possible carcinogen.
4. Heavy Metals
It might not be explicitly labeled as an ingredient, but heavy metals are found in more cosmetics than you’d probably like. Lead is among one of the leading culprits found in lipstick. A2007 FDA studyrevealed hundreds of popular lipsticks contained trace amounts of lead. Think about how many times you reapply lipstick in a day. Another big one is aluminum, the active ingredient in antiperspirants. Antiperspirants may not be the way to battle B.O. as the daily use of antiperspirants has been associated with anincreased risk of breast cancer.
5. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
Typically used as a preservative in cosmetics, exfoliants, and perfumes, BHA can cause skin irritation and depigmentation. Also considered to be aprobable carcinogenby theNational Toxicology Program, BHA was shown to cause liver damage and stomach cancer in animal studies.
I know you might have a favorite perfume or shampoo, but what creates that lovely smell is a slew of synthetic chemicals. Companies aren’t required to tell you what’s in their fragrance mixture, and many use toxic and carcinogenic substances. For instance, phthalates that are used to stabilize fragrances are known to be hormone disruptors. And if you’ve ever experienced a coughing fit when someone walks by wearing too much cologne, I likely don’t have to tell you that fragrances can also cause allergies, skin irritations, dizziness, and headaches.
Companies aren’t required to tell you the ingredients in their fragrances — many contain toxic and carcinogenic substances.
Yup, formaldehyde is in your beauty products. It’s used as a preservative in nail polish, perfume, makeup remover, hair gels, shampoo, and other cosmetics. Formaldehyde is linked to respiratory issues, neurotoxicity, developmental toxicity, and is a known carcinogen.