Many people ask me ‘What chemicals should I avoid in my skincare?’.
Although the list is much longer than what I have laid out below, we’ll start with these five.
Each of these chemicals have a growing body of evidence that shows the long term health concerns such as reproductive issues and cancer by many government regulatory bodies around the world.
|Chemical||What do they do?||Health Concerns||What to look for:|
|Parabens||Inhibit bacterial growth in products such as shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, liquid soaps||Endocrine disrupters, mimics oestrogen and causes cancer and reproductive issues||ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben|
|Phthalates||A preservative and helps to prolong scents in products||Endocrine disrupters, mimics oestrogen and causes cancer and reproductive issues||DBP (dibutylphthalate), DMP (dimethylphthalate), DEP (diethylphthalate), DEHP (Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate), BzBP (benzylbutyl phthalate)|
|Formaldehyde||Found in nail polish, nail glue and eyelash glue. Also found in hair straightening products, baby lotions and shampoos and hair gels.||A known carcinogen it is banned for use in cosmetics in Japan and Sweden.||Formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol)|
|Fragrance||Could be made up of any number of chemicals that do not have to be disclosed to the consumer.||Because you don’t know what is in it, you don’t know what it could do or what it could react with.||Fragrance, Perfume, Parfum|
|DEA is an emulsifier used in shampoos and body lotions. TEA is a fragrance and pH regulator. Also found in cleaning products, eyeliners, mascara, foundation, blush, sunscreen.||Cancer, Liver tumors, bioaccumulation in the skin, liver and kidneys (the chemical is unable to be removed or broken down and accumulates in these organs resulting in organ toxicity) Male infertility as DEA alters sperm structure.||Triethanolamine, diethanolamine, DEA, TEA, cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA, DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA oleth-3 phosphate, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, stearamide MEA, TEA-lauryl sulfate|
Do you really expect me to read the long list of ingredients on the back of everything?
If this is all sounding too much, there is an easy way. Download the EWG ‘Skin Deep’ app for Android and iPhone. It has a scanner that lets you scan the barcode and then the product is given a rating depending on how safe it is. Although it is a US based organisation, they are constantly adding products to the list from other countries.
The other thing to do is look for products that state that they are free from these nasties. More and more companies are producing chemical free products that are absolutely beautiful and work!
At Earth and Skin, we stock products from Mukti Organics, Evohe Skincare, ECO tan and Vanessa Megan. All are natural, organic and chemical free.