We’re the creators of The Skin Skope (TSS) and we are back on Six Element Blog to help you learn more about green beauty! TSS is a natural beauty and wellness website that wants to support you through your beauty journey. Our goal is to create a community that empowers people with sensitive skin to live a healthy lifestyle so they can glow from the inside out and be proud to go au naturale! We want you to feel confident and own your beautiful self, so we’ve done the work for you and skoped out the best ways to help soothe your unique skin type through recipes, treatments, DIYs, motivation and lifestyle tips. Click here if you want to learn more about us.
One of our most important TSS tips is to be conscious of the ingredients you put on your skin. You do it with your food, so why not with your beauty products? It is equally as important because your skin is the largest organ in your body and it absorbs up everything you apply on it. Imagine if you were using a product that was full of chemicals every day? This product stays on your body throughout the day and it can be harmful to your body because whatever toxins that are in that product can soak into your bloodstream.
We have crafted a list of our top 5 harmful ingredients to avoid in your beauty products. We want to give you the knowledge of why companies are using these products, what they can do to your body, what products you can find these ingredients in and how you can identify them so you can make a conscious decision in choosing products that are good for you!
Top 5 Harmful Ingredients to Avoid
Purpose: Preservatives in cosmetic products.
Why avoid: Parabens mimic similar estrogen hormones in the body, which can disrupt the body’s normal hormonal balance. It has been suggested that there is a link between parabens and breast cancer and reduced fertility.
Products found in: makeup, moisturizers, haircare products, and shaving products, among others.
How to identify on a label: Methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, methylparaben, polyparaben and isobutylparaben.
Purpose: Mineral oil jelly that is used as a lubricant.
Why avoid: May contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which has been linked to cancer and can also cause skin irritation and allergies.
Products found in: Face moisturizers, body lotions, sunscreens, lipsticks, baby oil and petroleum jelly.
How to identify on a label: Petrolatum, paraffin wax, petroleum jelly, mineral oil, benzene, butanol, diethanolamine, ethanolamine, ethanol fragrance or perfume, methanol, phenoxyethanol, cocamidopropyl betaine, toluene, parabens.
Purpose: Often used as a solvent and fixative in fragrances, as well as a plasticizer in products.
Why avoid: It may cause hormonal disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity. It is a health concern to some patient populations, as well as to vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women and infants.
Products found in: Hairspray, lipstick, perfume, nail polish, aftershave lotions, soaps, shampoos, perfumes.
How to identify on a label: Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), benzyl butyl phthalate (BzBP), di-n-butyl phthalate or dibutyl phthalate (DBP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), and sometimes fragrance.
Purpose: Mixtures of various chemical ingredients to create an artificial scent in cosmetic products.
Why avoid: It may cause respiratory problems, mucosal symptoms, migraine headaches, allergic reactions to the body and skin, asthma attacks, and it has also been linked to neurological disorders, breast cancer, and birth defects.
Products found in: Haircare, skin care, makeup, body care, perfume.
How to identify on a label: Fragrance, perfume (unless stated that it is a naturally derived or plant-based fragrance).
POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL (PEG)
Purpose: Petroleum-based compounds that are used as cosmetic cream bases.
Why avoid: It is known as a human carcinogen. It harms the nervous system and may interfere with human development. PEGs allow the product to penetrate deep into the skin more easily, which can damage the skin and allow pollutants to enter the body.
Products found in: Cleansers, creams, sunscreen, makeup, hair care.
How to identify on a label:
Propylene glycol, ethoxylates, ethylene oxide, 1,4-dioxane, methoxypolyethylene glycol, polyethylene oxide, polyoxyethylene, polyoxyethylene fatty acid esters, macrogols, polyethylene oxide, as well as anything starting with PEG, PEO, or POE.
There is a huge list of harmful ingredients to avoid but these are our top 5 we wanted to share with you. Start familiarizing yourself with some of those ingredients and avoid using them as much as you can. Navigating through which ingredients to avoid can be tough but 100% worth it in the end! And If you want to make it easier download the app Think Dirty! It scans the products and informs you if the product is safe to use or not so you’ll know how to track dirty ingredients and shop for cleaner options.