As a kid, I used to laugh at all the ingredients written on the back of the shampoo or the moisturizer bottle. Most of the words were unpronounceable! Moreover, trying to read them with the shower water at full blast in my face, or while holding my nose made it even funnier. Really, have you ever tried to say Imidazolidinyl or Cyclotetrasiloxane with your nose pinched shut? I bet you just did 🙂
This seemed to be fun earlier, but today, reading these very ingredients behind a lotion, a shampoo or even the baby’s nappy rash cream gives me shivers. These very ingredients in our makeup, sun screen, moisturizer, perfume, hair products etc. have been found to be carcinogenic, have developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergic and immunotoxic! What more, they have become extremely harmful for the flora and fauna around us.
While there has been buzz around the harmful effects of Parabens, Phthalates, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Sodium Laureth Sulphates, there are as many as one in eight of the known 82000 ingredients used in cosmetics and beauty products, that are unsafe! Here are few of the lesser known culprits to look out for:
These silicone-based compounds are used in moisturizer, makeup and hair products to give a softening, smoothening, quick drying and moisturizing effect. They have been found to cause uterine tumours, endocrine malfunctions and cause infertility.
Petrolatum or petroleum jelly is mainly added to lip balms, body butters and hair products that add shine. They could contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are known to cause skin irritations, allergies and are restricted by the European Union for its carcinogenic properties.
Mainly used as a preservative in almost all types of cosmetics, formaldehyde is also used in toilet cleaners – a known human carcinogen with more perilous effects on humans. Mostly found in skin care products under the names of DMDM HYDANTOIN, DIAZOLIDINYL UREA, IMIDAZOLIDINYL UREA, METHENAMINE, or QUARTERNIUM.
Retinyl Palmitate, Oxybenzone and Octyl Methoxycinnamate or Chemical Sunscreens
The active and inactive ingredients in sunscreens react with the epidermis of the skin. These reactions are seen in the form of allergies, inflammation and even DNA alteration. While these ingredients filter out the UV rays, they do not absorb Vitamin D either, and release free radicals that accelerate the anti-aging process, and speed the developments of tumors and lesions.
Talc is most commonly used in baby powder, face powders and powdered makeup. While, it is known to cause lung and ovarian cancer, its most harmful effects are seen in babies, where talc has been a culprit to causing serious respiratory disorders, even death.
Considering that the body absorbs about 60 percent of what you put on it, be really vigilant about the amount of toxins you are subjecting your skin to. Skin care will truly be skin care only when you check, double check, and research any product you want to use.
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