Health + Wellness

End Your Toxic Relationship With These 5 Skin Care Ingredients


skin care ingredients

You can probably name several things that get under your skin, but do you know what you’re putting on your skin?  At this point you know that Gorilla Glue isn’t safe, but what about that moisturizer that makes your melanin glow?  Although words like “natural” and “sensitive” are printed on the front of the container, some of the ingredients printed on the back do quite the opposite.  Here are 5 common skincare ingredients that you should break up with today!

Parabens Are Not Your Friend.

You’ve probably seen the description “paraben-free” on the labels of products in the beauty aisle. Why is paraben-free something for companies to brag about? Well, parabens are a group of chemicals that are used in cosmetic products and skincare products. Parabens are used in products to prevent the other ingredients from breaking down and growing harmful mold and bacteria. Sounds like a thoughtful thing for companies to add, right?  Well, that’s not the case. When parabens enter the body, they can cause disruption of the hormonal system.  Parabens can behave like estrogen in both men and women.  This can interfere with how the body produces hormones and lead to reproductive and fertility issues.

Finding Parabens in Your Products

As mentioned previously, parabens are a group of chemicals. Scoping out the parabens in your products is not difficult because most parabens have “paraben” in the name. Here are the names of some parabens that may be lurking in your products: Menthylparaben, butylparaben, polyparaben, putylparaben, and phenoxythylparaben.

Petroleum May Not Be As Safe As It Sounds.

Petroleum jelly is a household go-to for moisturizing cracked lips, ashy knees and elbows, and everything in between. Petroleum can be found in several lotions and cosmetics. If you use petroleum that has gone through the proper process of refinement, it is considered safe.  However, petroleum that is used in the U.S. is often not fully refined and contains toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). 

The International Agency for Research on Cancer lists 14 PAHs as likely to cause cancer and one PAH as a known cause of cancer.  In the US, there are no requirements for the refinement of petroleum and the PAH content in the products you use. 

How can you tell if the petroleum in your lotion is safe? If the label states that the petroleum was fully refined, then it is considered safe to use. Fully refined petroleum is known as white petroleum.

Finding Petroleum In Your Products

Petroleum can find its way into several of your skincare products. Here are some of the names that you should look for: Mineral oil, paraffin oil, petrolatum, and white petrolatum (fully refined and safe to use).

RELATED: Sensitive Skin? These Skincare Products Ingredients Are For You

What’s Hyde-ing in Formaldehyde?

The word “formaldehyde” is usually associated with a mortician’s needs in his tool bag. So, what is it doing in your skincare products? Just like parabens, formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing products (FRPs) are used as preservatives. Formaldehyde prevents microbes from growing in water-based products like shampoo and liquid soaps for your face, hands, and body.    

Not only is formaldehyde used in skincare products, but it is also used in several products that come in contact with your skin like

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