Looking your best shouldn’t mean putting your health at risk, but unfortunately that’s just not the case. Did you know that only 11 toxic cosmetic ingredients are banned in the U.S. compared with 1,300 in the United Kingdom? The average woman uses 12 products containing 168 unique ingredients every single day, which means there’s bound to be toxic ingredients on the back of the bottles in your drawers, cabinets, and shower.
From sunscreens and body lotion to makeup and shower products, many contain endocrine disruptors, which can affect hormonal balance and fertility. Some products that are available in stores even contain ingredients with clear links to cancer. Fragrances that might sound appealing are allergens that cause headaches and rashes. Peek at the following ingredients and dispose of any products that include these:
1. Parabens protect cosmetic products from dirt and help them last longer on the shelf. However, parabens can cause allergic skin reactions, redness, itching, and even damage to the hormonal system. While there is only a small amount in the product, using it for a long period of time can cause serious effects.
2. Isopropylparaben serves as an antifungal and antibacterial agent that might seem beneficial, but causes allergies, attacks the skin’s natural acid shield, and even damages the liver.
3. Sulphates are commonly found in shampoos and conditioners and are the agents or detergents that produce foam, but they also strip the skin of natural oil causing irritation and allergic reactions.
4. Formaldehyde is commonly used in hair straightening products and although they are used in hair, hair grows out of the scalp and is part of the skin. Fumes from formaldehyde are carcinogenic and can cause reactions such as eye irritation, nervous system problems, respiratory tract problems, nausea, vomiting and rashes.
5. Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) is a food preservative and stabilizer that routinely shows up in body lotions and makeup such as lipstick. BHA is an endocrine disruptor and according to the National Toxicology Program, “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen”.
6. Formaldehyde Releaser Quaternium -15 is the substance that is mainly used as a preservative and emulsified to stabilize formulas. Just like formaldehyde, it carries the same carcinogenic threat.
7. Petroleum Derivatives often serve as emollients forming an oily layer on top of the skin to trap water for the purpose of making the skin feel softer. Petroleum Derivatives cover the skin like plastic and prevent the skin from breathing causing acne, irritation, and other skin issues.
8. PEGs are used as emulsifiers and excipients. Additives like these mainly cause skin irritation but they may also cause premature aging. They can age the skin and reduce its natural moisture content as well as increase its vulnerability to bacteria.
9. Phthalates help products spread more easily and are commonly found in fragranced skin care and hair sprays. They are potential carcinogens and endocrine disruptors so it’s best to avoid using products where phthalates are listed.
10. Synthetic fragrances are what produce the lovely smell that attracts you to the products you buy. However, most are strong allergens and can cause headaches, dizziness, rashes, cough, and pigmentation.
11. Artificial dyes are found in all types of beauty products for the face, body, and hair. The most common risk associated with artificial dyes is skin irritation.
12. Triethanolamine is a highly alkaline substance used to balance the pH in various cosmetics like mascara and is considered moderately dangerous. The Dermatology Review says it shouldn’t be used long-term because it’s a skin and respiratory irritant and toxic to the immune system.
Some of Lumen + Bevel’s favorite products are Alastin’s Hydratint Sunscreen and Restorative Skin Complex because they are paraben-free, cruelty-free and gluten-free. They are also medical grade products that actually work! SkinMedica’s Lytera 2.0 is also a favorite because it is free of parabens and fragrances.
Authors: As go-to injectors for celebrities and the Hollywood elite, Marissa Abdo, MS, RN, CANS and Morgan Renfro, RN, CANS, have combined their expertise to create a one-of-a-kind aesthetic practice in Scottsdale called Lumen + Bevel Aesthetics. As former team members of Dr. 90210 in Beverly Hills, they are top trainers in the world of aesthetic injectables. They offer clients a collaborative experience using non-surgical facial sculpting and contouring techniques to enhance and preserve everyone’s natural beauty. Their specialized experience of exclusively performing non-surgical injectable treatments has resulted in the performance of nearly 2,000 procedures a year each.