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 common 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? Unfortunately though, this is as far from the truth as it can be. Foaming products contain SLS or sodium lauryl sulphates that enhance the foaming abilities of your soap. This strips your skin of its natural oils and also ends up irritating sensitive skin.
Parabens are those baddies that are put in makeup and skincare products to help improve their shelf life. Most products these days, from your shampoos to your night creams, seem to contain this common offender. Parabens are really harmful because they can mimic estrogen in the body, thereby leading to serious hormonal imbalance, breast cancer as well as reproductive and fertility issues.
Phthalates improve the flexibility of plastics in your make and skincare products, thereby ensuring that those products adhere to your skin better. Although this chemical is particularly harmful for children, it is still best to entirely avoid it even as an adult. Research claims that using skincare products with this ingredient causes serious endocrine problems and birth defects.
BHTs serve a similar purpose as a Paraben, in the sense that they’re both used to increase the shelf life of your beauty products. This chemical is known to be a hormone disruptor, have carcinogenic properties and also cause liver damage. So stay away from products with this ingredient.
Lead, a neurotoxin, is a heavy metal that has been proven to cause serious behavioural and cognitive defects. Limit the number of times you reapply your lipstick, because you are sure to consume some of it during the course of the day. As far as possible, go for lipsticks that are natural and chemical free.
Silicone resembles a rubber or plastic and it is another commonly found harmful ingredient in several skincare products. Yes, using silicone-based shampoos does leave your hair looking shiny. But beware, because this is just an illusion, thanks to the plastic. Using creams with silicones definitely helps to trap moisture into your skin, but it is also ends up trapping dirt, bacteria and other impurities, making it worse for people with acne-prone skin.
Artificial colours or dyes are the worst chemicals one can put in your skincare and makeup products. If you are someone who has sensitive skin, it is best to steer clear of these baddies as they can leave your skin irritated and inflamed. Additionally, artificial colours/dyes tend to block pores, making it equally bad for girls with oily and acne-prone skin.
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!