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10 Harmful Ingredients To Avoid When Shopping For Skin Care Products

July 26, 2019

There are harmful ingredients that we unknowingly overlook all of the time when shopping for skin care and cosmetic products. Below are a few ingredients that you should try to stay away from the next time you think about purchasing a product: 


1. Parabens 

There is more than just one type of paraben. Parabens are a family of chemicals that include, Methylparabens, propylparabens, butylparabens, and ethylparabens. Parabens are commonly used to preserve products to ensure a longer shelf life, however they can effect one's health very negatively. Parabens have been linked to breast cancer, and hormone disruptions. 

Parabens are commonly found in: Facial cleansers, Body wash, Lotion, Shampoo, Conditioner, Foundation 


2. BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)

BHT is a derivative of phenol that is commonly used to preserve products for longer shelf life. BHT has been linked to liver damage. 

BHT is commonly found in: Lipstick, Lipgloss, Moisturizers, Many cosmetics 


3. Retinyl Palmitate and Retinol (Vitamin A) 

Although retinol may work wonders for softening wrinkles, it is also very damaging to DNA and speeds up the growth of skin tumors when used on your skin. 

Retinyl is commonly found in: Anti-aging skin care products, Moisturizers, Toners 


4. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) 

BHA is a human carcinogen that can cause skin depigmentation, liver damage, stomach cancer, irregular reproductive development, and irregular thyroid hormone levels.  

BHA is commonly found in: Fragrances 


5. Triclocarban 

Triclocarban is an antibacterial chemical that is common in personal care products. It has been linked to hormonal disruptions, bacterial resistance, impaired muscle function, impaired immune function, and increased allergies. 

Commonly found in: Lotion, Deodorant, Bar Soaps, Toothpaste, antibacterial products 


6. Fragrance 

Believe it or not fragrance is an ingredient that one should try to avoid when analyzing product labels. Federal law does not require companies to list any of the chemicals used in their fragrance mixtures on product labels. Recent research from Environmental Working Group and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found an average of 14 chemicals in 17 name-brand fragrance products, with none of them listed on the label. These chemicals that are hidden, are linked to hormone disruption and many other health issues. 

Commonly found in: any skin care or self care product with a fragrance 


7. Mercury 

Mercury is a known irritant and allergen, which can accumulate in the body overtime and can eventually impact the brain and nervous system. 

Commonly found in: Skin lightening creams, toners, and mascara 


8. Mineral Oil 

Mineral oil is technically a petroleum ingredients and it coats the skin like plastic wrap. In other words, it is unable to breathe and absorb natural moisture and nutrition. Mineral oil actually causes acne and can lead to premature aging of the skin. 

Commonly used in: Cosmetic and Personal care products 


9. Nanoparticles 

Nanoparticles are sadly not federally required to be listed on product labels in the US and Canada. They are so small that they are able to easily penetrate into the skin, which includes penetrating the human brain. Nanoparticles have been linked to cellular damage, cancer, gene damage, and bioaccumulation in the body. 

Commonly Found in: Facial Cleansers and scrubs with little beads in them 


10. Petroleum Jelly 

Petroleum Jelly, Also known as Vaseline can create the illusion of moisturized, hydrated skin, all while suffocating one's pores. Petroleum seals the barrier so that moisture does not leave the skin, one may feel instantly moisturized however, you're really drying out your pores by keeping air and moisture out. Petroleum can cause acne, rosacea, and if it gets into the lungs, lipid pneumonia. 

Commonly Found in: Moisturizers, Lip Balms. 


The next time yo go shopping for skin care, self care, or cosmetic products be on the look out for any of the products listed above! 

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