Are your cosmetics harmful?
*WARNING: this post is not light and fluffy, scientific and rather lengthy, but will save your life.
Have you ever asked yourself what are these ingredients and why are they in my cosmetic products? Do you read the labels of your favorite products?
This post is necessary because roughly only 25% of the beauty industry is natural. (Luckily by 2019, the naturalistas will have taken over 37%!) Also I come into contact with people all of the time who have never researched their products to see if they are healthy, why they make them feel the way they do, or even checked to see what is in them that works or doesn't work. This tells me I have a lot of work to do, and I am so up for the challenge.
I went into a retailer and captured the ingredients of a moisturizer. I did not name the brand because my intent is not to bash a company, only to make you aware of what you are putting onto your skin and to show you what to look for on the back of that box before you buy the product.
Some of these ingredients have low to moderate risks. Good Right? WRONG! Why are ingredients with any risk at all in your cosmetics? That’s like eating a big pot of soup with only a smidge of lighter fluid. All in moderation! When used in great quantity (ie. me using synthetic products for 22 years and now I'm attempting to undo the damage) these ingredients could pose BIG problems such as cancer, infertility and hormone and immune system disruptors.
Ingredients on product labels are listed in order of quantity. If water is the first ingredient, the product is comprised mostly of water. Most of the ingredients in this “moisturizer” claim to aid in giving skin a smooth feel. These ingredients are then counteracted by alcohols (ending in -ol and yl) which in turn dry the skin. That makes sense.
What happens when a fatty alcohol is mixed with acid to remove the water? (why, just why?!) Esters are formed and they are usually emulsifiers to make the product feel more emollient and less oily. They are also stabilizers. How to spot esters: look for two words. First word ending in -yl second ending in -ate (underlined in black). You don’t want these in your cosmetics.
The real ingredients are highlighted in green. Sadly there are only 4 Ingredients that were made by God's green earth. Water, Glycerin (animal or plant based), argan oil and rhubarb. I am very thankful for the development of science, but this is ridiculous. To further prove my disdain and to keep you cognizant, I will inform you on what a few of these ingredients are and what they do to your body.
Ingredients highlighted in red are listed below in closer detail.
Cyclopentasiloxne- Silicone Emollient
- Toxic to your organs (your skin absorbs 64% of what you out onto it which goes into your bloodstream and circulates through your organs..............)
- Mild skin and eye irritant
- Banned in Europe for use in moisturizers but *notice it is at the top of the list of this moisturizer* It may contain traces of cyclotetrasiloxane (D4), which is classified in the EU as toxic to reproduction.
- May disrupt functions of other non-reproductive organs
- Under investigation as dangerous to marine life in Canada
Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate- Aluminum Salt of Chemically Modified Starch
- Controversial opinions
- Toxic to the human nervous system and is a suspected developmental neurotoxin.
- The aluminum compounds are also suspected respiratory hazards.
- Can cause Alzheimer's Disease and lung disease
- Watch out for this in your food. "Modified Corn Starch" may have high traces of metal and can be toxic
Steareth-2 Waxy Compound, Surfactant
- Skin irritant/ skin sensitizer
- Toxic to animals
- Eye irritant
- Clinical trials: In a study after 24 hours, skin was irritated and had significant transepidermal water loss- it actually dried the skin out.
Acrylamide/ Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer- Emulsion Stabilizer
- Restricted in Europe in certain cosmetics
- Toxic if inhaled (but yet used in face powders in the US at 0.7%)
- Rated as having toxic effects in moderate doses (Don't you moisturize each day? That's an excess of moderation!)
Why are these ingredients in our beauty products? Why were they deemed as "safe"? Cosmetic houses have a duty to make sure the ingredients will not harm their consumers in any way. This is not meant to scare you, but to bring awareness. If you cannot pronounce it, research it please before you buy it. Please read your labels. It is not too late to switch to clean products, and to transition your skin back to a youthful glow. The application of knowledge is power.
How do you feel about these ingredients? Comment below.