Disclaimer: I am not a skincare expert, nor have I ever worked in the beauty industry. The information below is a combination of research I have taken part in as well as information I have been passed on by health professionals. Also, if you are happy with your skincare routine, feel it works for you and your body and have no desire to change or be exposed to what is actually in the products -I would say not to read this. Finding out certain information can broaden your mind in so many ways, but once you hear/read certain things you cannot unread them. On that note, if you would rather stay blissfully unaware and enjoy those drugstore buys, click off now!
Now I’m no expert when it comes to skincare but over the past two years, I have become increasingly aware of the harmful ingredients in skincare products and what they can potentially do to our bodies. When I first started to change my skincare routine (you can read my skin story here) I was in an odd frame of mind. I had all this new found knowledge of these harmful ingredients thrust upon me and was horrified to learn what havoc it could potentially be causing my body. I felt as though the rose-tinted glasses had fallen off my face and I was seeing the beauty industry for what it really was -not pretty. I couldn’t believe that I had been blissfully unaware of all the harmful ingredients I was putting onto my body and letting it absorb.
Fragrance: I thought I’d start with fragrance seen as this is a pretty loose, elusive ingredient that no one really knows what it entails. What do I mean by that? Well, companies can label their product with Fragrance as to not give away their secret ingredients but as to what actually makes or contributes to that fragrance we don’t know. Because of this ‘loophole’, you could use a product thinking it is free from all the nasty ingredients below but those ingredients may contribute to the Fragrance. Sneaky, huh?
Parabens: From my understanding, Parabens are used as a preservative for products, and prevent the product developing bacteria or mould. It has also been linked to breast cancer, with samples of the chemical found in tumour biopsies. Parabens can also be found in many body products and even in pharmaceutical products as well as food.
Phthalates: These are basically a group of chemical which softens plastic -I think. From my reading, the chemical has been banned in children toys’ in the EU but is still used in products such as deodorant, body lotions, perfumes and nail varnish. Phthalates have their equal effect on the body as many of these other ingredients and are linked to various cancers’ such as Breast, Kidney, Liver and Lung cancer.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): This ingredient really helps foam a product so it is usually found in face wash, body wash, shampoos and even cleaning products. When the body absorbs this chemical it can cause issues with kidney, lung and the skin as well as being very irritating to eyes. This really is a nitty-gritty bugger that you want to avoid as, from my reading, it seems that when the chemical mixes with others it can potentially create a whole new harmful ingredient hosting a whole new set of problems to the body.
I specifically chose these ingredients from the long list of ingredients I could have mentioned as I felt these were the ones I had always heard of but never actually knew what they did and how they affected the body. Now I’m not going to tell you not to use them, that would be pretty impossible as many of the products in your bathroom cabinet contain them, the purpose of this post was more so to educate and make people a little more aware. Your skin is your body’s biggest organ and absorbs a large portion of everything you put on it, so naturally, it’s only right we know what is inside. Think of it like eating artificial preservatives in your food, except your applying them to your skin.
If you want to read more about cleansing your skin, the beauty industry and avoiding these harmful products I’d recommend this book. I also posted a review on it, which you can read here.