If you’ve ever stopped to comb through the list of ingredients on the back of your beauty products, you know it’s basically a long list of chemicals that’s difficult to pronounce. The reality is, your beauty products might be causing severe illnesses without you even knowing it.
That’s why it’s important to keep your eye out for certain ingredients that do more harm than good. So the next time you pick up the usual hairspray and setting powder, check the label for any of the following harmful ingredients:
Used as a preservative in many hair products and makeup powders, formaldehyde has been shown to cause cancer in lab animals and is now deemed a carcinogen in humans by The International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC). Formaldehyde is also known to cause skin irritation and damage to the immune system with excess use. But be careful, your beauty products might disguise formaldehyde and label it as hydroxymethylglycinate, bronopol, or imidazolidinyl urea…just to name a few.
There are many forms of alcohol in beauty products because they make products feel grease-free and work to keep your natural oils from appearing on the skin. The problem with this, however, is that your skin will erode and become dehydrated over time, leaving you with a textured and uneven complexion. This ingredient is so harsh that it suppresses your skin’s natural ability to regenerate new skin cells. You’ll need to especially be keen with this one because even products labeled as alcohol-free (referring to ethyl) could still contain alcohol (including cetyl, stearyl, cetearyl, and lanolin).
Ever see random colors like D&C Red 27 or Blue 1? Colors in skin care are derived from toxic coal tar sources and are known to act as carcinogens in humans. Synthetic colors are even banned by the European Union, but it’s still widely used in the states.
Parabens are commonly used as effective preservatives in many cosmetics and deodorants. Paraben molecules are small enough to penetrate the skin and disrupt the body’s endocrine system by mimicking the effects of estrogen. Parabens have even been found in breast cancer tumors and other tissues because of their presence in so many products.
This antimicrobial chemical is used in many soaps, toothpaste, and deodorants. The harmful properties can disrupt reproductive hormones, damage thyroid function, and like many other dangerous compounds, mess with the endocrine system. Since triclosan is antibacterial, studies show that the chemical may attribute to antibiotic resistance.
The most common sulfates in cosmetics include sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). These chemicals are surfactants that harshly draw out dirt and impurities. You’ve probably seen these mostly in shampoos and soaps, but you should try to avoid them altogether because sulfates have the ability to combine with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, known carcinogens that have been linked to kidney and respiratory damage.
The good news is, there are so many natural beauty brands out there that are amazing, effective, and safe to use…the more you know!
xx, The FabFitFun Team