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Toxic Beauty: Ingredients That You Should Avoid in Moisturizers

by adriano donofrio |

The average woman puts 200 different chemicals on her body every day. 

Do you really know what you're using?

Out of the 12,000 chemicals approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in cosmetics, only nine have been banned over the course of about 90 years, since the organization started reviewing cosmetics. 

Unfortunately, we've learned that when it comes to big business, the health and wellness of consumers is usually not as much of a concern as we'd like to think. The reality is that there are a handful of massive consumer product corporations that own most of the cosmetic industry. And they've made a business off of making cheap, addictive products easily accessible to everyone, no matter what the cost. 

Here's the toxic chemicals you need to Avoid in Moisturizers. 

Fragrances 

A moisturizer might include plant or synthetically derived ingredients purely for the use of creating a pleasant aroma. This might seem harmless, but a lot of the time fragrances are volatile and cause skin irritation. 

This is because fragrances are usually complex formulas made of hundreds of chemical compounds. It's often difficult to really know what you're putting on your skin when it contains a synthetic fragrance. 

Fragrances are one of the leading causes of allergic reactions in cosmetics. The European Commission, which is a global leader in the study of fragrance related allergies, lists 26 common chemicals used for fragrance as being allergy-inducing. Some fragrances that cause allergic reactions are listed below:

  • Amyl cinnamal
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Benzyl salicylate
  • Citral
  • Eugenol
  • Hexyl cinnamaladehyde
  • Isoeugenol
  • Linalool
  • Oak moss extract

If that wasn't enough, studies have found that long-term exposure to fragrances in products is related to the development of and worsening the symptoms of conditions like asthma, migraines, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal problems. 

Parabens

Parabens are the reason many drugstore moisturizers and other cosmetics are "safe" to use for years after they're made. Parabens are a preservative that was created to inhibit the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms in your products. 

You usually won't see a label with "parabens" listed as an ingredient, or on a warning label. There are different types of parabens, some include propylparaben, methylparaben, and butylparaben. 

The alarm bells rang when one study found that parabens have "estrogenic effects." This means that they disrupt the body's natural hormonal regulation of estrogen. Irregularities in estrogen levels in both males and females can cause fertility issues, problems with the reproductive organs, and even the risk of developing cancer. 

While the direct impacts of paraben use and the development of breast cancer is still being studied, a study in 2004 found parabens in 18 out of the 20 tumor samples it analyzed. Since the authors of the study did also compare paraben levels in other tissues in the body, and because the exact source of the parabens for each tumor is unknown, there is still some discrepancy. 

But the possibility of cancer and endocrine system disruption is enough for groups like the Environmental Working Group to choose the side of caution and advise people not to use products containing parabens. 

Sulfates

Sulfates are controversial because of its environmental impact, ethical concerns involving animal testing, and health concerns regarding skin irritation and cancer.

There are many different types of sulfates, that are derived from different sources. Some of the most common in moisturizers are Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sulphuric Acid and Sodium dodecyl Sulfate. There are currently over 150 different names for sulfate. 

Unfortunately, no matter which forms of sulfate a product has, it's coming from ethically concerning sources. Petroleum is another derivative of sulfates.

Not only is the production of petroleum viewed as unsustainable and a contributor to climate change and pollution. Petroleum works as a sort of "false moisturizer" in skincare products.

Petroleum's thick, tacky consistency appears to have hydrating effects, but in reality, it not only suffocates pores but is water-repellant and not-soluble. This means it simply just sits on top of your skin like a barrier, verses penetrating your skin and providing nutrients. 

Sulfates can also irritate the skin, lungs, and eyes when they are used consistently over extended periods of time. It's also believed that most sulfate is contaminated with a chemical called 1,4-dioxane during the production process. This chemical is well documented for having carcinogenic properties as well as being toxic to organ systems. 

Ready to Take Control of The Chemicals You Need to Avoid in Moisturizers? 

Hey, it's 2020, and we're not asking you to go back to the days where all ladies had were raw fruits and clay to rub on their faces (although that oddly sounds kind of appealing). 

It's important to not blanket every ingredient you can't pronounce or that's plant-derived as "bad." Modern beauty is a balance between nature and science. 

Our moisturizers replace that list of toxic chemicals to Avoid in Moisturizers with superfoods that are backed by science to do some pretty amazing things for your skin. Primarily, we use what are known as Adaptogens, which are plant-derived non-toxic compounds known to do things like boost collagen production and improve complexion. 

We also use sustainable packaging and ensure that all of our ingredients come from sustainable sources. We also use organic ingredients to ensure that the products we use are safe and healthy for your skin, and are at the ripest capacity to deliver the results we expect. 

Have questions about toxic chemicals in skincare products or our moisturizers? We're happy to help! Click here to drop us a line. 

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