Can you even imagine a day without using toothpaste? Or a lesser extreme version, maybe not using your moisturizer? Well, then how about avoiding lipstick? Sounds crazy right? You might even wonder why shall such a question even arises. If you do then chances are you have no idea about the number of chemicals you are exposing your body to in the name of skincare and the sort of effects they might have in the long run. We all have become so accustomed to using such products that imagining our lives without them seems really difficult practically. Here we have listed below are some toxic skincare ingredients to avoid.
For most of us, toothpaste is the first product of the day. Our day starts with brushing our teeth but do you have any idea about the chemicals that are present in your toothpaste, chemicals that might put you at a risk? Worry not, for we are here to load you with all the details.
Irrespective of whatever brand one might be using, Propylene Glycol is a substance that is present in all kinds of toothpaste, it is a surprisingly dangerous chemical that directly damages the Central Nervous System. Yep, you heard that right, a direct attack on the brain. So now you can imagine the harmful effects of the toothpaste that you have been using since childhood, probably from the time you started remembering.
Another chemical, Triclosan is present in the kinds of toothpaste that are marketed as ‘antibacterial toothpaste’. What might be shocking to you is that this chemical is banned in a lot of countries. It is a chemical that enters our body through the skin and mouth lining and affects those parts of the brain that control our motor skills. Motor skills include sitting, getting up, walking, or running.
A food additive, Carrageenan is also added to the toothpaste. There is now a clear need to avoid carrageenan completely because it causes ailments such as inflammation, bloating, and in some cases colon cancer. Now you might understand the harmful extent of accidentally ingesting toothpaste, especially in kids who only need colorful packaging and their favorite cartoons to trust a brand.
Additionally, every toothpaste also has some sort of sweetener added to it. A chemical called Saccharin is added to them. Various pieces of research suggest that Saccharin can lead to the development of obesity, and liver and kidney diseases.
That explains why our elders never stop praising the days when daatuns (tree twigs) were their morning buddies. The Neem twigs due to their antibacterial properties were more in demand.
Another product that is a part of many people’s everyday life is face cream.TV commercials spare no chance in proving the panacea like properties of face cream, and what won’t we do to get a glowing and radiant skin. And thanks to social media beauty gurus for setting up some unrealistic beauty standards, that our craving and demand for face cream has increased exponentially. However, these so-called creams contain many chemicals that are harmful to us in the long run.
Pick any brand of body lotion, all of them have one ingredient in common, that is Paraben. It is a preservative that ceases the cream from spoiling over time. Despite its anti-spoiling properties, it is still a cause of many ailments in the body. In layman’s terms, it is a hormone disruptor, apart from that it also affects fertility and increases the risks of cancer.
Synthetic fragrances in the skincare products
A lot of people judge and buy their creams on the basis of their fragrance. There is a greater chance of purchasing it if it smells good. In reality, all the products that have added fragrance have phthalates in them. Phthalates are basically endocrine disruptors that cause cardiovascular, urological, and genital diseases. These toxic skincare ingredients are associated with cancer and asthma. Not only these but Phthalates are also behind kidney and liver toxicity. Phthalates disturb the endocrine system that manages hormonal activity in our body. They also play a part in causing reproductive disorders. So, while we may not know whether these creams really help in beautifying us or not, we do know now that they are certainly leading to something severe in long run.
Even the body lotions that we use are not completely harm-free, they contain the chemical BHT, which stands for Butylated Hydroxy Toluene. Not only is this chemical a health hazard, but it is also hazardous to the environment as well. With repeated use, it slowly reaches our bodies and affects the liver and kidneys negatively. There is also SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) that is the cause of severe skin allergies such as acne, redness, and rashes.
Even a tiny product like lipstick has a lot of dangerous chemicals added to it. The color that your lipstick gets, is from coal tar dye. In addition to causing skin irritation and sun sensitivity, coal tar dye can also discolor your skin. Well in a way we can say that it takes our skin color in exchange for coloring our lips. All lipsticks, irrespective of their brands, contain Retinyl palmitate, which at high concentrations can cause skin cancer and ulcers. There are so many women out there who use lipstick on a daily basis without estimating the extent of damage they’re risking themselves to.
The packaging of most lipsticks does not even mention how many chemicals are added to them. Hence, we never really know. Lipsticks also contain methylparaben, which is another notable chemical. The usage of Methylparaben is no different than calling for cancer.
Do you know that there have been bans on oxybenzone (BP-3) and octinoxate (OMC) in sunscreens in Key West and Hawaii because of their negative effects? According to a study, there is a link between thyroid hormone, testosterone, kidney function, pubertal timing, and BP-3 levels. Even an FDA test reported that around six common toxic skincare ingredients that are absorbed in our bodies through the application of sunscreen can linger in our bodies for days or even weeks in some cases.
What is even more alarming is the fact that even just a single application increases the levels of these active ingredients in our blood, their threshold increasing beyond the (Food and Drug Authority, US) FDA’s limit is concerning and it needs more studies.
Now that you’re aware of the negative effects of these ingredients, you’ll be able to identify which toxic skincare ingredients to avoid when shopping for them. But we can conclude that major companies are playing with the lives of millions while filling their own pockets with billions of dollars. Yet, there is hardly anyone to question them or tell them the truth. It is high time now that we, as consumers become more aware about the chemicals entering in our lives and voice our concerns for the same.