Most of the time, we tend to buy beauty products (shampoos, conditioners, makeup, lotions, creams, etc) and don't even bother to look at the ingredient list. We usually just look at the front of the product, like what it promises to do, and we're sold.
Though, we are often not aware of some of the harmful ingredients that are in the products we use on a daily basis.
This word might sound familiar. Parabens are used in many products to prevent the growth of bacteria and mould. This may sound like a good ingredient to add into products, but in fact parabens, like aluminium compounds found in deodorant, mimic the properties of estrogen, which can be linked to the development of breast cancer. They are absorbed into the skin and have been found in biopsy samples of tumours from the breast.
Parabens can be found most commonly in shampoos, makeup, body washes, deodorants, and facial cleansers.
Aluminium & Aluminium Compounds
The most common product aluminium and aluminium compounds is found in is antiperspirant/deodorant. Many people don't know, but aluminium can be very toxic to the body when exposed to over a long period of time. The aluminium temporarily blocks the sweat ducts to prevent excessive wetness. Though, the aluminium is also absorbed into the skin and, like parabens and mentioned above, have been linked to a increased risk of breast cancer because of it's estrogen like properties. Also, aluminium has also been tied to Alzheimer's disease and other neurological problems.
Now, fragrance doesn't seem harmful, it just makes the product and your body smell nice, right? Well yes, but the term "fragrance" was created to conceal the company's "secret formula". This special fragrance ingredient in various products have been associated with most commonly allergies of course, as well as dermatitis, respiratory conditions, and potential complications with the reproductive system.
Fragrances can be found in almost any beauty product, including perfumes, makeup, shampoo, conditioner, moisturizers, and many more.
Phthalates are a group of chemicals used in many products to help increase flexibility and softness of plastics. Some of the most common phthalates are dibutyl (nail polish), diethyl (perfumes, lotions), and dimethyl (hair spray). These also have been linked to increase risk of breast cancer. endocrine disruption, early breast development, and reproductive system complications in both genders. The major problem though is that these may not be listed on a products ingredient list, and are included in "fragrance", creating a major loophole, and technically illegal.
These have also been found in deodorants and moisturizers.Credit: http://modablogi.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/screen-shot-2014-03-29-at-3-24-44-pm.png?w=760
Sodium Lauryl Sulfates (SLS)
You may have seen sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners, and heard about how sulfates strip your hair and make it very dry and try to steer clear of them. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a very popular chemical found in almost every beauty product, especially hair care. It is what helps make your shampoos lather and foam up. SLS strip your hair of its natural oils and moisture. It penetrates the layers of the skin and is able to come in contact with the bloodstream. SLS is a major skin irritant and destroys the lipid layers of your skin that keep your skin soft and supple, leaving it rough, dry, and cracked. And when used with other chemicals in your products, these chemicals are able to seep into your skin thanks to SLS destroying the skin's protective layers.
It does`t take much time to look at the back ingredients and do your homework. I often look up products before I buy them, and reviews on them as well as if they contain any toxic ingredients and if they are cruelty free. Just be aware of what you are putting into and putting on your body.