With many hundreds of products on the shelves today, it is hard to know what to choose. There are some harmful ingredients that should be avoided when choosing a skin care products.
Mineral oil is an emollient, a petroleum byproduct. It is not truly oil made from minerals as the name implies. The types of skin moisturizers containing mineral oil work by trapping water under the skin by forming a layer of oil on top of it. Too much of this wetness can turn the skin too white, soggy or soft. Mineral oil, especially when industrial strength strains are used in skincare cosmetics, have been found to cause pimples and blemishes on the face. The oil can clog the pores, making the skin unable to release toxins through sweating. It is also possible the mineral oil may be a cancer-causing agent.
Many skincare products contain fragrances which can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. The ingredients that make up the fragrances are not usually listed on the cosmetic container due to a loophole in the law allowing for “trade secrets” in fragrances. There may be quite a few secret or hidden ingredients contained within the product, many of which contribute to the smell the user experiences. Some of the ingredients in these scent can be toxic chemicals, especially to women who are pregnant as certain chemicals can disrupt hormonal balance, putting up a red flag for cancer concerns. Some people are also allergic or very sensitive to many fragrances. This puts not only the user at risk, but those around the user by way of secondhand scent. Allergic reactions can include contact dermatitis, headaches and asthma symptoms. Fragrances that contain hormone disrupters have been linked to thyroid problems, sperm issues and even cancer.
1,4-Dioxane may be found in trace amounts in certain cosmetics and skincare products. It is not used as an actual ingredient, but can be formed as a byproduct of other ingredients during the manufacturing process. Manufacturers are not required by law to include the use of 1,4-Dioxane on their ingredients label for this very reason.
Skin absorption studies performed by the Food and Drug Administration have found that Dioxane is absorbed through the skin when it is contained in skin lotions. Dioxane has been found to be an issue in baby shampoo and lotions. This substance is a possible carcinogen.
These are preservatives found in many cosmetics, moisturizers and hair care products. The most commonly used parabens are methylparaben and propylparaben. They have been linked to breast cancer tumors due to their estrogen-like properties.
Alcohol, when listed as an ingredient in skin care products, should be avoided. Alcohol is a drying agent. It helps the body lose water, not keep it in. It can cause red areas on the face, similar to rosacea, as it dilates blood vessels. These dilated blood vessels can become permanently damaged with continued use of alcohol-based products, giving the skin a reddish, flushed color that is undesirable.