Stripped of moisture, reverse aging effects, dry flaky skin.... isn't that what we love? HELL NO! We all want a clean, fresh-faced, hydrated feel and beauty (including makeup too!) can help us achieve this BUT have you ever looked at the back of your products? You know, the extremely tiny fine print on the back of the bottle, jar or tubes that lists the ingredients that you are actually putting on your skin?
I'm sure if you have, you've recognized the natural products that are listed but what about those hard to pronounce ingredients? The ones that have you saying them over and over trying to understand what they really are. Although, some of those "hard to pronounce" ingredients might actually be ok to use on your skin here is a list of specific ingredients you should run the other way if you see.
1. Ethanol: an alcohol fuel produced by natural fermentation of sugars (BAD alcohol)
Even after reading the description you're skin probably crawled at the thought of putting that anywhere near your face but surprisingly this chemical is very, very dangerous and is highly flammable. Not only that, it strips your skins moisture and creates a barrier trapping any water or moisture from absorbing into the skin. YIKES.
2. SD alcohol, denatured alcohol, isoprophyl alcohol: volatile alcohols
Not all alcohols are bad in skincare but if you see any of these three listed (especially within the first 6 ingredients) it's best to turn your cheek the other way. These alcohols are extremely drying, degrease your skin and in turn can cause breakouts and severe skin damage. Stripping your skin of its natural moisture and oils will only result in a long road to skin recovery.
***alcohols that are beneficial in skincare: fatty alcohols i.e. cetyl, stearyl, cetearyl alcohol. Although, there are still better ingredients in place of any alcohols.
3. PEG (polythylene glycol) compounds: compounds with a petroleum base
Most of these compounds may contain 1, 4 dioxane and/or ethylene oxides; both of those chemicals can be irritating to the skin and potentially carcinogenic (linking to cancer).
4. Parabens: chemicals are estrogenic, chemicals known to prevent bacterial growth
A well known ingredient in beauty products and increases shelf life. However, parabens contain estrogenic chemicals which can disrupt your natural hormone, estrogen. They are also in connection with breast cancer.
5. Sulfates: sulfuric acid, aggressive detergents made of sulfur
Sulfates are strong, and inexpensive. They also are known for the foaming we get in certain products and attract both oil and water lifiting grime away form our skin. Great right? Nope! Sulfates actually strip us of our natural oils and the cuticles in our hair. So they may be TOO strong and are also dulling, irritants, cause inflammation, and allow exposed pathogens to reach our scalp. NO THANK YOU!
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
6. mineral oil/petroletum: barrier to seal moisture (most common form, petroleum)
Contrary to what it is advertized as mineral oil and patroletum are not able to soak into the epidermis essentially creating a barrier on the skin and clogging pores. This oil will not actually hydrate skin or provide actual mositure (just the initial application) and will create more acne problems.
7. Siloxanes: silicone based compound
Used to make makeup products soft and silky and add moisture. Although, there are certain compounds (D4 & D5) that are toxins and interrupt your endocrine system. Hormones watch out!!!
- phenyl trimethicone
- dimethicone copolyol
8. Benzophenone: preservative that keeps products from breaking down
This preservative is found in many lip and nail products but has been linked to putting you at exposure of carcinogens.
9. Triclosan: antibacterial and antifungal agent
Added into many beauty products but is well known for being very damaging to our earth. Rinsing theses products containing triclosan down the drain heads to our waterways hurting marine life! Not only that, but it can be damaging/irritating to our lungs, eyes and skin.
A few others to look out for : coal tar, fragrance, formaldehyde, hydroquinone, phthalates, toluene
I hope I was able to give you some insight and a basic watch out list for your next beauty shopping trip! I've found that it's best to always stick with products that are 100% sulfate, paraben free, cruelty free and all natural. Stay tuned for a follow up post listing some of my favorite natural brands!