When shopping for skin care products, you may not think much about potentially toxic ingredients. Many skin care products appear to have natural ingredients, but this is not the case. What you apply on your skin can be harmful. It is, therefore, important to learn about the hidden toxins in everyday face creams and how to avoid them.
One of the hidden toxins in facial cream is propylene glycol. It is helpful for forming a soluble solution, helping to moisturise the skin and increasing the penetration of other ingredients in skincare products. Although they seem to be harmless, propylene glycols are usually contaminated with many harmful chemicals that are delivered straight into the skin cells. These chemicals include arsenic, cadmium, nickel, iron, ethylene oxide and lead. The majority of manufacturers of skin care products claim to remove these harmful substances.
It is important to take certain precautions to avoid harmful ingredients and check to ensure you are purchasing a natural face cream. Some face creams appear to be free from propylene glycols, but these toxins may be listed under a different name. As you buy skin care products, you should look out for ingredients such as Ceterath 20 and polyethylene glycols followed by a number sequence such as PEG2, PEG4 and PEG7.
Another harmful substance to look out for when buying skincare products is Phenoxyethanol. This is an artificial preservative that is commonly utilised as a paraben substitute in skincare products. In the year 2013, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued a public warning against using a nipple cream that contained this ingredient. The FDA said that Phenoxyethanol is mainly used in medications and cosmetics, but it can depress the central nervous system and cause diarrhoea and vomiting. You can avoid this ingredient by searching for oil based skincare products because they do not need additional artificial preservatives to extend their shelf life. Examples of natural and certified organic oils include avocado, jojoba, rosehip and wheat germ oil.
Artificial fragrances in cosmetics can also be harmful. Although they seem harmless, they can disguise thousands of chemicals. The law does not require the manufacturers of cosmetics to disclose individual chemicals in fragrances because they are considered to be trade secrets. To avoid fragrances that may contain harmful chemicals, you may select products containing natural oils and essences such as natural instinct.
The other chemicals that could be harmful are parabens. These substances can interfere with hormone function. Parabens may mimic oestrogen, and they have been found in tissues of patients who have breast cancer. This raised questions about a possible link between cancer and parabens in skincare products. You can avoid buying facial creams that contain parabens by looking for ingredients with paraben in their name. Examples include butylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben and propylparaben.
The other ingredients to look out for as you buy skincare products are butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA). These substances can interfere with hormone function, and they are known to be harmful to fish and other kinds of wildlife. BHT and BHA are closely related artificial antioxidants, which are widely used in moisturisers and other cosmetics as preservatives. These substances can induce allergic reactions in your skin, and they are categorised as a possible carcinogen. It is, therefore, important to avoid purchasing creams containing BHA and BHT.
Many moisturisers and sunscreens also have Diethanolamine (DEA) and its compounds. This ingredient is used to make cosmetics creamy. It also plays the role of a pH adjuster by counteracting the acidity of other ingredients. DEA and its compounds are known to cause moderate to mild eye and skin irritation. In lab experiments, exposure to high doses of DEA has been shown to cause precancerous changes in the thyroid and skin as well as liver cancer. If human skin is exposed to DEA and its compounds for many years, severe damage can occur. DEA compounds may also react with nitrites in skincare products to form nitrosamines, which are classified as possible carcinogens. At times, nitrites are added to products as anti-corrosive agents. Related ingredients include triethanolamine (TEA) and monoethanolamide (MEA). Like Diethanolamine, these ingredients can react with other chemicals in face creams to form nitrosamines.
Some preservatives used in cosmetics release formaldehyde, which is known to cause cancer. As you buy skincare products, it is prudent to look out for Diazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydrantoin, Methenamine, Imidazolidinyl urea and Quarternium-15. These formaldehyde-releasing agents are utilised as preservatives. They are a cause for concern because they release minute amounts of formaldehyde slowly and continuously. By choosing not to buy face creams containing the ingredients above, you can keep your skin hydrated and healthy without exposing your body to potentially carcinogenic toxins.