Have you ever read the ingredient list on your favorite personal care products or household cleaners? Chances are that if you are using conventional products, you wouldn't recognize many of the ingredients listed. Think of the number of products you use just to get yourself ready each morning - toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving cream, mouthwash, lotion, makeup. That could potentially be thousands of different chemicals going on to your skin each day! When I started looking into my own products a few years ago, it didn't take me long to start making the switch to "cleaner" products. Your skin is your body's largest organ and is used to help remove toxins from inside. However, when it is blocked with all of these products, it is not able to function optimally and can lead to issues in the future.
For this week's Friday Five, I'm sharing 5 Harmful Ingredients to Avoid in Your Beauty Products. Have a look through your own products this weekend and see how many of them contain these 5 ingredients. I bet you'll be surprised!
1. Mineral Oil
Mineral Oil is a common ingredient in lotions and cosmetic products. It can also be in products in the form of paraffin wax, petroleum, or paraffin oil. It is derived from petroleum (yes, like the petroleum you put in your car!) and can be harmful to not only your skin, but also your internal detoxification systems. These products block your pores, and make it difficult for your skin to eliminate toxins. Over time, this can lead to skin disorders or breakouts. In addition to these issues, Mineral Oil does not actually provide any benefit to your skin. It acts as a barrier, preventing water loss from the skin, so it is not actually hydrating your skin.
Aluminum is most commonly found in antiperspirants. Similar to Mineral Oil, it is used to block your sweat ducts and prevent you from sweating. The problem is, sweating is another way that your body eliminates toxins, as well as regulates your body temperature - both very important functions! In many cases, antiperspirants are also paired with a deodorant, which are full of harmful fragrance chemicals. In addition to clogging your sweat ducts, Aluminum can affect your brain function in high doses, and has been linked to Alzheimer's.
Parabens are typically used in beauty care products as a preservative. They are considered to be "endocrine disruptors", which are chemicals that interfere with your endocrine system, and can cause issues with fertility or reproductive organs, immune system, neurological issues, and have been linked to certain types of cancers (breast cancer being one!).
4. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS)
SLS is used in cosmetic and household products such as shampoos, dish soaps, body washes and cleansers. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (and Sodium Laurel Sulfate) contain chemicals that are known carcinogens, called 1,4-dioxane. These chemicals can also cause damage to the nervous system over time, and can be harmful to the environment when washed down your drain!
5. Parfum (Fragrance)
Fragrance or Parfum is an ingredient found in almost all cosmetics and and bath products (even ones that claim to be unscented!). Each scent is made up of dozens and dozens of chemicals, most of which have not been tested for their effects on humans. These fragrances can trigger allergies, asthma, headaches and have been linked to cancer.