Every year, more and more people are making the decision to avoid certain ingredients in food, household cleaners, and skincare products. Living a healthier life is becoming a cultural priority and people are realizing that what they put on their skin ultimately ends up inside of their bodies, in way or another.
If you’ve been thinking about cleaning out your make-up cabinet, but aren’t even sure where to start, you’ll benefit from reading this definitive guide to skincare ingredients you need to avoid.
Parabens - Parabens are preservatives that are used in a whole host of cosmetics and skincare products. Once they enter the body, they are believed to mimic estrogen, causing breast tissue cells to grow and divide. A small 2004 study found parabens in samples of breast cancer cells, leading many to believe there is a link between the development of breast cancer and the use of paraben-laced products.
Fragrance - In addition to frequently being created from chemicals rather than natural products, fragrances don’t have any positive effects on a healthy skincare routine. They can cause allergic reactions and blotchy skin. Go fragrance free and your skin will thank you!
Synthetic Colors - Although the FDA regulates synthetic colors in the United States, there is still no reason for you to purchase skincare products that contain dyes. These don’t have any benefits and, in some cases, may cause allergic reactions. The additives that are used to artificially color skin care substances can also be quite harsh, negating some of the benefits the product is purported to have.
Triclosan - Triclosan is an antibacterial agent that is added to a number of cosmetic and skincare products, including toothpastes and moisturizers. Although the negative effects of triclosan in humans have not been extensively studied at this time, there are some indications that exposure to high dosages may lead to skin cancer, antibiotic resistance, and a decrease in thyroid hormones.
- Phthalates - Phthalates are plasticizers that are found in a huge array of products; because there are so many plastics in the world, almost everyone has some level of exposure to phthalates. Because there have been links between phthalates and certain birth defects, avoiding cosmetics and skincare products that contain these is one easy way to reduce your personal risk.
Ultimately, only you can decide which skincare ingredients you feel comfortable putting on your body and which you want to completely cut out of your life. If you’d like to do additional research regarding any particular ingredient, talk to your dermatologist or visit reputable websites.