Toxins In Beauty Products To Stay Away From
Every morning I wake up and lather, rub, and brush on countless amounts of beauty products from cleansers to lotions, from lip balms to mascaras. We don’t often think about how these products affect our health, but we should. With such a health-conscious movement surrounding food, I’m surprised there isn’t more of an outcry against the toxins found in our cosmetics. Just because we aren’t ingesting the products we think they aren’t harmful, but these multitude of cosmetics that we use are absorbed through our skin daily.
We are often unaware of the ingredients in our cosmetic products, and even when we read the list, most of it sounds like gibberish anyway. I will pick up a beauty product that boasts its natural and organic ingredients, and I just assume that it is safe; but often even the organic products contain synthetic ingredients that aren’t safe. A great source to find out about the safety level of ingredients in a specific beauty product is EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. Simply search their database for the brand and product, and it will give you a list of the ingredients and rate the safety of the product from 0-10, with 10 as the highest level of toxicity. This is part of a movement that is attempting to create a higher level of government regulations on our cosmetics.
Here are some ingredients to be wary of when you are picking up a new beauty product:
Parabens- This is probably the most well known chemical that appears in every type of beauty product that comes with a set of warnings. Many products have stopped using this preservative that has connections to certain types of cancer. While there is no definitive causal evidence, many scientists and researchers warn against this harmful chemical. So, when you are looking into a beauty product, check the ingredient list for any type of paraben (it could say methylparaben, butylparaben, or any other science-y sounding name) and try to avoid the products that contain the ingredient, especially since there are so many out there that have stopped using this harmful chemical.
“Fragrance”- This is a somewhat vague ingredient, since not many products actually list what is in their “fragrance” concoction. It is usually a mixture of various chemicals and toxins that the companies aren’t required to list but more often than not contain dangerous toxins. Just be aware when you pick up a product that contains this ingredient because it can easily cause allergic reactions, and you never really know what you are applying to your skin.
Lead- Okay, this toxin is definitely one that we’ve heard of and are aware of its dangers. It is surprising that there are still beauty products out there that contain lead, especially when it is a known neurotoxin that causes fertility issues and developmental problems. The Washington Post released an article this year about how 400 various lipsticks have been found to contain traces of lead, all from our favorite brands.
This is a very short list of the possible toxic ingredients in your beauty products. The key to avoiding toxins in your cosmetics is to be educated about the harmful effects of certain ingredients and to be aware that just because the product is being sold at your favorite store doesn’t mean that it is a safe option.