Health and Safety in Modern Skincare
As modern science continues to serve convenience and profit, a long list of harmful chemicals have found their way into many commercial products, and the skincare industry is no exception. How did this happen? Historically, companies used chemicals as a way to get desired effects from their products in a cheaper way, regardless of the long term damage those products may be doing to their users. Here are some unfortunately common ingredients in skincare products widely used across Europe and North America. Look out for these and avoid them if possible.
Parabens are preservatives which are heavily used in the cosmetic industry - they are believed to be used in no less than approximately 13,200 separate skincare and cosmetic products. This is a problem because parabens have qualities that both disrupt your hormones and mimic estrogen, which ultimately could disrupt your endocrine system (your metabolism, tissue function, reproductive functions and sleep). Be sure to try and find products that are paraben-free.
Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS)
Any kind of sulfates are not good to have in cosmetic products. They break down the natural moisture barrier in your skin and can easily lead to dry, irritated skin that relies on more moisturizing from the same harmful product in a vicious cycle. Unfortunately, sulfates are found in more than 90% of commercial skincare products! They also can become carcinogenic when combined with other chemicals. Be sure to check that whatever products you use do not contain sulfates.
Mineral Oil and Paraffin
These are common petroleum-based substances. Petroleum products coat the skin like a suffocating plastic. This causes pores in the skin to clog and accumulate toxins in the blockage. They can also disrupt your hormonal activity. Think about petroleum’s toxic cousin petrol - you certainly would not want to be applying gasoline to your skin.
There is a bright side to all this, however. The constant development of science and technology also brings more advances in finding safer, healthier, and more organic methods of keeping your skin young, healthy, and clear. Whatever product you choose, ensure that you are informed about safe and healthy skincare options.