Harmful ingredients in your beauty products –

We use beauty products throughout our lives, and this holds true for both men and women. We take these products for granted. My mum for one, used hair dye all her life; little did she know (and in the good old days products were not that sophisticated in their making) that she would be inhaling chemicals. She landed up with mild fibrosis when she turned 70. Thank god we caught it in the beginning, and then landed up my Ayurvedic doctor’s doorstep and he cured her permanently. This could have gotten worse, if not caught in-time. Many of us don’t realize that we take in a lot through our pores and nose (inhaling); and these chemicals are endocrine disruptors, by this I mean that which interferes with what your hormones do for you. Eventually leading to allergies, itching, even cancer in the long-run. 

Also, just because it screams organic; it does not mean your product is chemical-free. You must check out all the ingredients. The only way of knowing for sure is going through the list below, and avoiding them in your beauty products. So, read on – 

  1. Parabens (prevent mould/bacteria): Mimics estrogen and is found in body washes, shampoos, facial cleansers, deodorants, and makeup. Leads to increased skin aging, interferes with reproductive functions (males well), plus causing DNA damage.
  2. Synthetic Colours: Note of you make has FD&C (food) or D&C these letters will come before a colour (e.g., FD&C blue), these colours are derived from petroleum or coal tar sources meant to be carcinogens.
  3. Phthalates (increase flexibility and softness): found in in nail polish, perfumes, hair spray and lotions, perfumes, colognes. Mimics estrogen, leads to breast cancer and reproductive issues in men and women.
  4. Triclosan: Found in toothpaste, antibacterial soaps and deodorants. Interferes with the thyroid, reproductive hormones and rise in antibiotic resistant bacteria. Causing child development, reproduction and cancers in the long run.
  5. Fragrances: Triggers allergies, respiratory issues, skin problems, found in all beauty products practically.
  6. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS): Practically all your foaming products will have SLS. It combines with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, a carcinogen. Potential harmful effects on lungs, eyes, skin, and kidneys.
  7. Sunscreen-related chemicals: Enter skin easily, leading to cellular damage in the body, of which long-term effects are cancer. Listed as PABA, benzophenone, avobenzone or homosalate in the ingredients.
  8. Lead: Highly toxic metal when leached into your system, interferes with neurological and organ damage. Many cosmetics have lead: lipsticks, eyeliner, hair dyes and eye/lip pencils.
  9. Toluene: A petrochemical obtained from coal and tar; generally used as a thinner in paints. Leads to skin issues, suppresses immune function, and related to cancers of the blood, including lymphoma.
  10. Formaldehyde: It is used as a preservative in cosmetics, also a carcinogen and is linked to cause respiratory and neurological issues. 

How to choose safer cosmetics? 

  1. Read labels and avoid the ones with the above listed ingredients.
  2. Use organic, but read labels.
  3. Recognize brands that emphasize free of animal-testing.
  4. Trust the brand you build a relationship with.
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