When it comes to the cosmetic counter or your local grocery store, do you ever really read the labels and what kind of chemicals are in the every day cosmetic products you use? Did you know that there are common cosmetic chemicals that are considered a higher risk chemical than others? So here are a few common cosmetic chemicals you should avoid when it comes to your daily beauty routine.
Many people are used to reading labels at the grocery store—fat content, calories, fiber, etc. But reading labels on the cosmetic aisle has never really been on the forefront of most. Labeling is one of the easiest ways that some cosmetic brands get your attention. Not just from color of the labeling, but from the key words: all natural, fragrance, etc.
The word fragrance is one of the trigger words to avoid. Not all companies that use the word fragrance are required to disclose just what makes up (what chemicals) make up that fragrance. Scary though, right? But why is fragrance a bad thing… Well for starters, the fragrance that might often attract you to certain product is usually made from a blend of natural and synthetic ingredients which can have a lot of unknown toxic chemicals. And for many women with sensitive skin, fragrance can be an irritant and cause underlying skin problems. But thats not it. Fragrance can also have toxic hormonal effects and has even been linked to increased risks of different types of cancer.
Next one up: Parabens. This is one that is more commonly heard of in terms of a chemical but is one of the most dangerous (yet it’s found in over 70% of cosmetics—YIKES!). Parabens are a chemical that helps to preserve the makeup. Just think of that, these chemicals are meant to give products long shelf life…although I want my face to look great, do I want something on my face that allows a product to sit on the shelf until 2022?
Retinol’s…here’s one that MANY women tend to flock to. Retinol have proven anti-aging benefits, however, if they’re used more than just for a standard evening night cream and they are exposed to high levels of sunlight, they can become carcinogenic. As a personal user of a night time cream that does contain retinol, I was blown away when I first learned this. So when choosing your day time moisturizer be cautious of the ingredients!
Onto a chemical commonly found in mascaras… petroleum distillates. Petroleum distillates are often used within mascaras (and other beauty products) as a cheap emollient, or also known as moisturizer. But with prolonged exposure to this chemical it has been known for skin drying or cracking and has even been linked to hazardous health conditions such as cancer. In fact, the European Union even based certain petroleum distillates in cosmetics due to the concern of them being known carcinogens… so why are they still available here?
On the upside though, there are many cosmetic companies out there that are vegan, chemical free and you merely must do your homework on them. One of our favorite partners at The Breast Cancer Charities of America is Thrive Causemetics. Their products are 100% vegan and cruelty-free and are known for always being formulated without parabens, sulfates, phthalates and fragrances.
Do your homework; be educated about not only what you’re putting in your body (food) but on your body/skin. Make a simple list on your phone of the top cosmetic chemicals you’re waiting to avoid so that the next time you’re standing in the cosmetic aisle, you’re not at a loss for what to be looking for/avoiding. You’ll be surprisingly amazed at how many options (at many different price ranges) there are out there.