Are you aware of how many dangerous cosmetic ingredients are in the products you use every day? While I don´t want you to panic that your shampoo and shower gel are out to get you, dangerous cosmetic ingredients are something that we all need to be aware of, because of their potential side-effects. Here are 8 dangerous cosmetic ingredients you should try to avoid.
1. Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
What makes the bubbles in your shampoo or bath foam? It´s most likely Sodium lauryl sulphate. But just because it´s so common doesn´t mean that it´s safe. SLS is suspected of causing skin irritation, and possibly reacting with other ingredients to create a carcinogenic substance.
Parabens are commonly used as preservatives in cosmetic products. However, they are potentially dangerous cosmetic ingredients. My dermatologist told me that they are being replaced because of the question mark over safety. The problem is that the preservatives developed to replace them have caused allergies in many people – including me!
Formaldehyde is another substance that I am allergic to, and it´s very difficult to avoid. It´s not only used in cosmetics, but in furniture and many other products. Yet it´s known to be carcinogenic. Avoid it as much as possible, as this is one of the most dangerous cosmetic ingredient (see cancer.gov for more information).
Fragrance makes products smell pleasant, but what´s in them? Well, we just don´t know! Manufacturers are not obliged to list the ingredients that comprise any fragrance used in a product, leaving you none the wiser as to what you´re putting on your skin.
Hydroquinone is an ingredient in skin-lightening products. It is banned in the European Union, Japan and Australia – and for good reason. It reduces melanin production, thus exposing the skin to the sun. The FDA has considered a ban. It´s crazy – pale people want darker skins, darker people want lighter skin – let´s be happy with what we´ve got!
6. Mineral Oil
Look at the products on your shelves. See how many contain mineral oil. Now, ask yourself this question – where does mineral oil come from? It´s a by-product of the process that turns crude oil into gasoline. Now do you want to put it on your skin?
7. Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Not so long ago, AHAs were the new big thing in anti-aging skincare. And we all want younger-looking skin, don´t we? The problem with AHAs is that they can cause skin irritation and photosensitivity. Although this effect does not last, these products should be used with caution (and avoided if you have sensitive skin).
Many people using hair dyes or having temporary henna tattoos have experienced skin reactions – sometimes very severe. This is down to an ingredient called PPD, which can be a very dangerous cosmetic ingredient. Avoid any temporary tattoos using dark henna, and hair dyes containing PPD.
It may be a nuisance looking through labels for these dangerous cosmetic ingredients, but your skin will probably thank you. We just aren´t sufficiently aware of how many problematic ingredients the products we use contain. Have you ever had a reaction to any dangerous cosmetic ingredients, and has it left you with long-term problems?
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