Shopping for cosmetics to ensure our skin is glowy and healthy is becoming more of a challenge as the results of product studies are coming in. We may have primarily stopped using heavy metals in cosmetics, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all the ingredients are entirely safe.
Many ingredients frequently found in skin care products have been linked to endocrine disruption or labeled cancerous. Toxic ingredients can severely damage our health, which is why it’s important to be informed about what they are and how they list on the cosmetics you may be using. Here’s our list of toxic ingredients to be aware of in makeup and skin care products:
Avoid These in Your Moisturizers and Anti-Aging Creams
According to Safe Cosmetics, you should avoid these ingredients frequently found in anti-aging creams and moisturizers:
- Polyacrylamide, for acrylamide contamination;
- PTFE, for PFOA contamination;
- Petrolatum, for PAH contamination;
- UV Filters: oxybenzone, homosalate, Octinoxate;
- Placental extracts, as they may contain estrogen or progesterone.
Toxic Ingredients in Eyeshadows and Blushes
The ingredients frequently found in blushes and eye shadows, but they are on the Safe Cosmetics red list:
- Titanium dioxide
- Carbon black
- Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives: Quaternium-15, imidazolidinyl urea
Dangerous Ingredients in Sunscreen
Sunscreen protects your skin from UV rays, but it doesn’t mean all of the sunscreens on the market are safe. Among the ingredients to avoid, you’ll find the following:
- PABA (Para-aminobenzoic acid)
- Padimate O
The Problem with Fragrance
Fragrance, which is sometimes also listed on the ingredients list as Parfum, is a controversial ingredient. According to the current FDA regulations, companies aren’t required to disclose what’s inside their fragrance. It creates some health concerns, as it is a loophole that companies may exploit.
It is why it’s best to avoid fragrance in cosmetics as a general rule. It may contain acetaldehyde and benzophenone, which link to adverse effects on the kidneys, respiratory and reproductive systems, as well as endocrine disruption, tumors and organ system toxicity.
Another problematic ingredient frequently discovered in personal care products and cosmetics such as eye makeup, blushes and foundations are ethanolamine compounds. You’ll find them under several names on the ingredients list, but all will incorporate MEA, DEA, and TEA in the title. Alternatively, they may list as triethanolamine and diethanolamine. They’re used as emulsifiers, fragrance, and pH adjusters.
DEA in cosmetics is currently prohibited by the European Commission, as it has been proven to affect male reproductive health negatively, and it also might cause the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines. Other health concerns include bioaccumulation in the environment, organ system toxicity, cancer and more.
These lists can be overwhelming, especially when you start reading about the harmful and toxic ingredients that you probably use without knowing how damaging they are. To protect your health, it’s a good idea to go through the ingredients lists of the cosmetics you have and purge any products that contain these harmful chemicals.
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