Parabens are commonly used chemicals in cosmetics used to prevent molding and bacteria forming inside products. This chemical, however, also creates endocrine disruptors. Parabens in cosmetics can be labeled as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben or ethylparaben. (Look out for these labels!) These chemicals activate endocrine disruptors, which are what makes parabens cancerous. In some cases, it can lead to the development of tumors in the breast area.
PSA: Don’t forget to get your annual mammogram, ladies!
Synthetic colors are what makes your cosmetics pretty and appealing, but these are known to have cancer-causing agents. Synthetic colors are often labeled with a color and a number or as FB&C and D&C. Keep an eye out for these!
As you may already know, many cosmetics contain fragrance. Even worse, fragrance can contain hundreds of ingredients. Many issues that come with fragrance in cosmetics are irritation on the skin, headaches and respiratory problems. Not cool in my beauty book!
You can usually find phthalates in your nail polishes to prevent cracking or hair sprays to avoid flaking. However, it has recently been under close inspection by the FDA. Most research has been testing on animals, and they found that phthalates can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs and the reproductive system when added in large amounts.
Triclosan isn’t as common as it used to be in the 90s. Studies show that this ingredient has correlations to hormonal disruptions, heightened allergies, bacterial resistance, imparied muscle function and impaired immune function. On the bright side, a good antibacterial and antiseptic alternative is tea tree oil.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is another chemical that can cause irritation and drying. It’s also comedogenic, meaning it can cause blackheads by blocking your pores. SLS affects your skin’s natural oils and causes breakouts or cystic acne. Nope, definitely don’t want that around my face!
Petrolatum is typically marketed as an ingredient that prevents dry lips. However, it actually causes photosensitivity, meaning that it causes sun damage to your lips rather than helping it. Remember the scented lip smacker balms we used to love as a kid? Yup, they’re not so healthy after all.
OK, so this title is a little dramatic. Formaldehydes in small quantities are normally fine. However, be aware that this can, at times, cause shortness of breath, allergic reactions and irritate throats.
Toluene is a chemical typically found in hair and nail products. Nail products should not contain more than 33% of toluene, whereas hair products — like shampoo and conditioner — can cause different reactions to different people. Large amounts of toluene can cause scalp burns, irritation and hair loss. Um, no thank you.
Titanium dioxide (TIO2) is a chemical that is harmful for sensitive skin and usually found in sunscreen. When exposed to the sun, this UV-filtering ingredient releases harmful radicals that can become cancerous. Well, that definitely does not help in preventing skin cancer. Seriously, who makes this stuff?
Some deodorants still use an aluminum-based compound that prevents sweating, but it does so by blocking your sweat ducts that causes painful bumps on your armpits. Ouch! I suggest switching to an all-natural product, like Native Deodorant.
Triethanolamine can usually be found in foundation, concealer and eye products. It’s used to adjust PH levels and help blend your makeup. However, this chemical is not meant to stay on your skin for long periods of time. It can cause allergic reactions for the eyes, scalp and skin. Yikes! Remember to wash your face thoroughly, even after a great makeup day.
Hope you learned which ingredients to stay away from. If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comment section below!Don't forget to visit us on Instagram and follow us on Pinterest for more tips and inspiration.
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