9 ingredients that you should avoid in your beauty products

Have you ever wondered how many potentially harmful ingredients your skin and body absorbs each day?

Most beauty products, makeup and cosmetics, including face creams, shampoo, deodorant, perfumes, lipsticks, mascaras, lotions and body washes are full of toxic chemical ingredients that could be potentially harmful. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the U.S. found nearly 900 toxic chemicals that are used in cosmetics. Even though the limits for ingredients in each cosmetic is mostly regulated in the European Union and United States, they have a cumulative effect on our skin and body. This leads us to the conclusion that the less products you use that contain chemicals, the better.

We wanted to share with you the top 9 ingredients that you should avoid next time you go beauty shopping and why:

1. Parabens:

What are they? Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, due to their bactericidal and fungicidal properties. The vast majority of parabens are artificial, synthetic and derive from petroleum.

Where could you find them? Moisturisers, anti-aging creams, toners, body milk or lotion, shampoos, shaving gels, self-tanners, toothpaste, deodorant, makeup and other cosmetics, especially eye  shadow and eyelash mascara. They are also used as food additives.

Why are they harmful? They mimic the female hormone oestrogen, which is the reason why they could contribute to the development of breast cancer. They are also associated with other skin conditions such as dermatitis.

SEE ALSO: Parabens in our beauty products. Are they good or bad?

2. Hydroquinone:

What is it? It is a natural or synthetic substance used in photographic processing chemicals and is the main ingredient to develop black and white photographs.

Where could you find it? Mostly in concealers.

Why is it harmful? It is used in bleaching creams and anti-stain products. It is probably a carcinogen neurotoxin, and a strong skin irritant. It can cause swelling, burning, or Ochronosis (irreversible bluish black spots). It is associated with allergic reactions and liver problems. Its use in cosmetics and personal care products is banned in Europe, Japan, and Australia. Still allowed in the United States.

3. Phthalates:

What are they? Phthalates are substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity.

Where could you find them? Nail polish, lotions, soaps, hair care products and cleansers.

Why are they harmful? Phthalates disrupt hormonal systems. Exposure to some phthalates is associated with poor sperm quality and infertility. They also increase the ability of other chemicals to trigger genetic mutations that cause reproductive problems such as birth defects or low sperm motility.

4. Mercury:

What is it? Mercury is a metallic element that is naturally occurring in the environment.

Where could you find it? Mascara, gel and even eye drops.

Why is it harmful? High levels of mercury is dangerous as it can damage brain functions, can have toxic effects on the human reproductive system and can also be a carcinogen as it acts on live tissue of your skin.

5. Lead:

What is it? Lead is a very damaging neurotoxin.

Where could you find it? Lead is often present in lipsticks.

Why is it harmful? Studies show that there is no safe level for lead and lead remains in the body for life. It can cause learning, language and behaviour problems. It is also linked to infertility, miscarriage, cancer, anaemia, and even nervous system disorders.

6. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS or SLES):

What is it? Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a surfactant, emulsifier and detergent, contaminated with dioxin is a carcinogen used in thousands of cosmetics. It can be found in almost all products that cleanse the body and surfaces because it is an incredibly cheap detergent for manufacturers. It’s what makes them sparkling and bubbly.

Where could you find it? Almost all shampoos, scalp treatments, hair colour, bleaching agents, toothpaste, body lotion, facial cleanser, foundation makeup and bath oil.

Why is it harmful? It is absorbed by the skin, taking away its natural defences, leaving it dry, weak, thin, flaky and without elasticity.

7. Artificial Fragrances:

What are they? Fragrance is considered a trade secret for companies. So many of them don’t tell us what’s in it, but it is known that in most cases, there are often dozens or even hundreds of synthetic chemical compounds.

Where could you find them? Most cosmetics.

Why are they harmful? Artificial fragrances often contain neurotoxins; they can cause asthma and hormonal disorders. They also relate to the irritation of the skin and cancer.

8. Toluene:

What is it? Toluene is made from petroleum or coal tar.

Where could you find it? In most synthetic fragrances and nail polish

Why is it harmful? Chronic exposure to toluene is linked to anaemia; low blood cells counts, liver damage, kidney damage, and may be dangerous to foetuses, besides being considered a carcinogen.

9. Mineral oils, paraffin and petrolatum:

What are they? These ingredients coat the skin like plastic, clogging pores and causing an accumulation of toxins.

Where could you find them? You will find them in body lotions, oil bath, shampoos, ant-aging creams, lipstick, foundation and perfumes.

Why are they harmful? They have been associated with slow cell growth, premature ageing, cancer and impaired hormonal activity.

We hope we didn’t scare you, but better safe than sorry! Especially when these days you can find so many great organic and natural makeup and beauty products, which do not harm your health and are equally as effective.

Find a wide variety of natural and organic beauty products and makeup brands that suit your skin needs at Lypsso. We care about your beauty, but also about your health.

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