4 Most Toxic Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

Just because a skincare product is on the shelf and ready to be purchased, doesn't automatically mean that it's good for you. In today's world, consumers are all about instant gratification and a lot of businesses in the skincare industry know this. This leads to including some less than desirable ingredients for quicker effects/results or more attractive aromas.

Checking ingredients on skincare products should just be second nature. After all, anything that's going on or in your body should be met with some of the highest scrutiny. We only have one skin, one body, and one life. So why not protect our health and well-being as much as we possibly can?

Here are the four of some of the most toxic skincare ingredients on the market today and what they can do to us eventually over time.

1. Parabens

Long story short, parabens are some of the most commonly used chemicals in the skincare industry today and are mainly used as a preservative. These are normally introduced into products to prevent harmful bacteria or mold growth and have good intentions: to protect the consumer.

However, there's one particular thing about parabens that make them a key skincare ingredient to stay away from.

They Can Affect Reproductive Health

Like the hormone estrogen, parabens have the ability to disrupt the normal function of hormone systems in the body, which may affect function of both male and female reproductive systems, fertility, and even reproductive development.

This means that parabens have the ability to also stop the production of hormones to a certain extent, which as many of us know, is not a good thing for the human body to experience. Hormones are integral to so many of your bodily systems and regulate a lot of what your body does, including sex drive, sexual development, reproduction, sexual function, metabolism, and thirst among other things.

2. Fragrance

Ah, fragrance. A unique ingredient that makes sweet perfumes smell even sweeter, candles smell more realistic, and body sprays and deodorants smell sexy and alluring.

So, what is fragrance exactly? That's the tricky part. While federal law requires that each ingredient used in personal care products is to be explicitly stated, a fragrance formula is considered proprietary, or a trade secret, to the company who created it, meaning they have no obligation to state what chemicals they're using in their fragrance on product labels, or online.

Quite the loophole that leaves a lot of questions and ambiguity. But there's one particular reason this loophole is a scary one.

Fragrance May Contain Carcinogens

Known as cancer-inducing agents, carcinogens cover a broad range of chemicals. Some of these chemicals are used in fragrance, such as the benzene derivatives, aldehydes, and toluene, and are known carcinogens. Another widely known carcinogen, phthalates, (a chemical used to make fragrances last longer) is linked to so many hazardous health conditions including reduced sperm count, liver and breast cancer and diabetes, that it is currently banned in such countries as the EU, Japan, South Korea, Canada, and even China.

Where Can Fragrance Be Found?

Fragrance can be found in most personal care products including sunscreen, shampoo, soap, body wash, deodorant, body lotion, makeup, facial cream, skin toner, serums, exfoliating scrubs and perfume. 

This is why it's paramount to check the ingredients of your skincare products and ensure that you aren't using products with fragrance. With Gin Amber Beauty Products, we can proudly declare that we are fragrance and paraben free, meaning we don't have toxins or toxic chemicals in our products.

For more information on fragrance, check out this blog post.

3. Phthalates

This one's going to be a tough pill to swallow. Put simply, phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more durable. Some may be used to dissolve other materials and phthalates themselves are found in hundreds of products, from vinyl flooring and lubricating oils to personal-care products such as soaps, shampoos, and hair sprays.

Phthalates May Cause Cognitive Birth Defects

Though phthalates can affect everyone, exposures may do the greatest harm in pregnant women, where they run a high risk of giving birth to children with behavioral and cognitive issues, including ADHD-like behaviors, aggression, depression, a lower IQ, and autism. you will typically find phthalates in hair spray, nail polish, shampoo, soaps and lotions. 

How to Search for Phthalates in Skincare Products

You can typically find phthalates in hair spray, nail polish, shampoo, soaps and lotions, and finding phthalates in the listed ingredients is fairly easy. Make sure to read for the acronyms DHEP or DiBP which are abbreviations for phthalates or look for products that say "phthalate-free".

4. Formaldehyde

Similar to parabens, formaldehyde is commonly used as a preservative in most skincare products. The bad news is that formaldehyde is a widely known carcinogen, meaning that it may induce cancer or malignant cells in the body over time.

For an idea of why formaldehyde is particularly harmful to the human body, it should be noted that when formaldehyde is present in the air at levels exceeding 0.1 ppm, some individuals may experience adverse effects such as: watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; coughing; wheezing; nausea; and skin irritation.

What Skincare Products Is Formaldehyde Most Common In?

While pure formaldehyde being found in skincare products is rare, the product may still contain FRP's (formaldehyde releasing preservatives). Unfortunately, formaldehyde or FRP's are common in shampoos and liquid baby soaps.

It can also be found in nail polish, hair gels, body washes, eyelash glues, and color cosmetics.

How to Avoid Formaldehyde in Skincare Products

According to safecosmetics.org,

Read labels and avoid products containing the following ingredients: Formaldehyde, quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM) hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol).

The Takeaway

When it comes to skincare, health and well-being should triumph over everything else. No skincare product is worth introducing carcinogens, irritants, or toxins into your system, and no amount of beauty-inducing products should make you think otherwise. Your body is a temple, your health is sacred, and your well-being should be protected and respected at all costs.

So next time you're out and browsing shelves for skincare products of your own, be sure to keep in eye out for these ingredients and stay as far away from them as you can.

Thank you Amber Babies for tuning into yet another blog post! Feel free to leave comments and questions and don't forget to visit me on TikTok, YouTube, and as well as on IG, @ginamberx, where I go over remarkably effective skincare tips, trends, and topics!

 

 

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