The safety of cosmetics and personal care is a concern for many of us. Like most relationships come to light regarding the health effects of chemical ingredients in these products, one cannot but wonder what is safe to use. On the one hand, we need to protect ourselves from the Sun, make us look younger and more beautiful, clean any dirt and oil, effectively covering blemishes and prevent unsightly sweat stains. On the other hand, we also want these products to be completely safe. While there is no 100% guarantee, there are tips to follow in order to make a purchase.
Packaging-colour and shape of packaging can greatly affect our purchasing decision. For a product advertised as “natural”, companies often use green or other natural colors in their package. People tend to associate nature with the color green.
Natural-just using the word “natural” in the product description does not mean anything. There is no regulation or standard that is set for “natural”. Instead of searching the USDA organic certification.
Recommended physician or dermatologist tested-this might just be the opinion of one or a few doctors, not necessarily a majority. While some doctor recommended products are of sound quality, consumers need to check the ingredients before you fall for this marketing hype.
While the proper sun protection is important to prevent sunburn and skin cancer, not all sunscreens are equal. The chemicals found in some sunscreens can be harmful to your body such as oxybenzone. Choose those with zinc or titanium as active ingredients. Instead of high SPF, just SPF 30 and reapply often. Also, wear hats and protective clothing cover for intense sun.
These are some potentially harmful chemicals commonly present in cosmetic products. Whenever possible, try to avoid them.
Toluene-commonly originating from crude oil, toluene is often added to sprays, nail lacquers and other cosmetic products. Exposure to large amounts can lead to disorders of the nervous system, kidneys, liver and cardiovascular system. Effects of low-level exposure are unknown.
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)-is a solvent commonly used in Nail Polish. May cause damage to the reproductive system.
Skin-whiteners In some cultures, clearer skin is considered a sign of beauty or high-class. People use products to lighten dark skin to skin lightening treatment or discoloration spots on the skin. However, these products are potentially toxic. In countries with lax regulations, such products may contain mercury, which is a known toxin. In the United States, the skin lightening products can contain 2-4% hydroquinone. Long-term use of skin lighteners may increase the risk of skin cancer and cause permanent discoloration.
DMDM hydantoin-this preservative releases formaldehyde, which can cause allergic reactions. Its use is much more prevalent in America than in Europe.
Ceteareth-this could be a contaminant (potentially carcinogenic) within personal care products.
The health effects of these chemicals are controversial, so use sparingly.
Oxybenzone-this is FDA-approved for sunscreen, but some are concerned with potential hormonal disorders, according to the Environmental Working Group. The Center for Disease Control had studied chemistry and find its presence in up to 97% of the u.s. population, showing its prevalence as an ingredient in personal care products.
Or retinyl palmitate retinol-vitamin a is. Is frequently used in antioxidants and anti-aging cosmetic products. However, some argue that it may increase the risk of cancer.
Triclosan in SOAP, cleanser, lotion, detergents and other cleaning products as an antibacterial agent, this chemical is unknown effect on human health, according to the CDC. The FDA said the chemical’s safety after animal studies indicated that can hormonal system of disturbance.
There are many more questionable chemicals in our personal care products. We came in contact with them on a daily basis. For many of them with unknown risks, we are essentially human guinea pigs to test. There is no doubt that we all want to look our best.