As we become more literate in the language of skincare, our evaluation of beauty products goes from “Oh, this smells so great!” to obsessively scanning the ingredient list and reading every product review out there. It is no longer enough to use a moisturiser; it has to be a paraben and oil-free one. You get the drill, don’t you?
It’s not a bad addiction, this need to thoroughly vet what’s in your skincare products. In fact, this awareness helps you avoid harming your skin by layering on products with toxic ingredients that do your skin no good.
Here are five commonl skincare ingredients that are actually really harmful for your skin and you should stop using them RN!
Sodium lauryl/laureth sulphates (SLS)
Do you love the way your soap and shampoo lather? Do you believe that foaming face washes help cleanse your skin thoroughly? Sadly, foaming products contain SLS or sodium lauryl sulphates that have higher foaming abilities. They not just strip your skin of natural oils, but are also considered to be major skin irritants.
Parabens are a whole family of chemicals that help improve the shelf-life of your cosmetics and skincare products. These are really common offenders and are a part of nearly every product from face wash and night cream to body wash and shampoo. Parabens can mimic estrogen in the body, disrupting the delicate hormonal balance and have been linked to breast cancer as well as reproductive and fertility issues.
Phthalates are used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastics in cosmetics and help products stick to your skin better. Although really harmful for children, we would recommend you avoid them too. Research claims that these ingredients cause serious endocrine problems as well as birth defects.
BHTs are man-made antioxidants that are used to extend the shelf life of beauty products. This chemical is known to be a carcinogen, hormone disruptor and may even cause liver damage. So stay away from products with this ingredient.
Lead is a heavy metal and is a neurotoxin that can cause serious behavioural and learning problems like lowered IQ. If you wear lipsticks or lip glosses, think about how many times you reapply them during the day. Some of it will come off when you use a napkin, but plenty of it gets absorbed and ingested.
Silicone is almost like rubber/plastic and it is not natural. Although it gives your hair shine, this is just an illusion of the shine of plastic. When it comes to skin, although it forms a moisture barrier around your skin, this barrier can also trap dirt, sweat, dead skin and bacteria along with moisture. This can worsen your acne.
Artificial colours or dyes are synthetic additives that can leave your skin feeling extremely irritated and inflamed. They are particularly harmful for people with sensitive skin. They also have been known to block pores, increasing your risk of acne.
Now that you know what the baddies are, go out there and look for skincare products with the goodies and goodness of nature. Products with organic ingredients that are sourced sustainably and ethically are not just good for your skin, but great for the planet too. Win-win!