The year 2011 was no stranger to controversy and forecasted warnings. The health and beauty industry was no different, as both consumers and health organizations scrutinized cosmetic companies for their use of dangerous ingredients. Here are some of the most talked about ingredients of the past year, and why you should watch out for them :
1. Parabens: One of the most controversial ingredients in cosmetics over the past year has been in the news for a couple years now. Parabens have been used since the 1950’s to prevent the growth of bacteria in beauty products, and around 85% of products contain them. However, parabens have been linked to cancer. The FDA says that the level of parabens found in products is not dangerous, but many health groups maintain that it doesn’t matter what level is found in any particular product. The level of parabens will build up in the body over time, which makes them dangerous no matter how much is in your products.
2. Silicone: Silicone is similar to mineral oil, and, when used as an ingredient in cosmetics, it coats the surface of the skin. There is not much danger in the ingredient silicone itself, but, when it creates a layer of oil on the skin, it blocks sweat from evaporating and prevents the natural release of toxins. The trapped bacteria can also cause infection and skin irritation. Silicone in large amounts has also been connected to tumors. It is often used in cosmetics formulated for long wear or color-stay.
3. Phthalates: Phthalates are knows as “plasticizers” and are primarily added to plastics to make them stronger or to liquids as a solvent. Phthalates are used in tons of products, including nail polish, hair spray, shampoo, lubricants, packaging, toys, vinyl flooring, and detergent. The danger they pose is disruption of the endocrine system. They have been linked to reproductive abnormalities and liver cancer.
4. Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a preservation fluid commonly used to embalm dead bodies by replacing the blood. It is also used in a wide variety of everyday products, including cosmetics and cleaning supplies. It is a known carcinogen and also causes short term symptoms like burning eyes, skin irritation, headaches and nausea.
5. Fragrance: Fragrance, although it seems innocent enough, is an ingredient that can hide an enormous amount of toxic additives. Due to trade secrecy laws, cosmetics manufacturers are allowed to group particular ingredients together under names like fragrance and parfum. Be wary of any products that contain fragrance, because you will not have access to the full list of ingredients.
Today’s guest blogger Kimberly Wilson writes on topics that include career, education, student life, college life, home improvement, health and time management.
Note: The post has been completely written by the guest blogger and the thoughts expressed are hers alone. mySkin does not endorse to any products or sites mentioned in the post.