2 Common Ingredients In Your Skin Care Shelf to Detox
From drugstore to luxury, many skincare products contain ingredients that have been linked with breast and other forms of cancer
March 8th is International Women’s Day, and a good reminder for all of us busy women to evaluate our overall health.
It is also a good time to revisit your lifestyle choices and eliminate unhealthy foods, habits, and products. Skincare is an important part of our lifestyles and our body comes in direct contact with multiple skincare chemicals every day.
Regardless of whether you are pregnant and nursing or single, as a woman, it is very important to ensure that our skincare products are free of toxins and harmful chemicals.
Did you know that a lot of skincare products contain ingredients that are potentially carcinogenic (cancer-triggering) and can affect our hormonal health?
Here are two skincare ingredients that you should avoid to eliminate any risk to your body’s hormonal balance and immunity.
Are Parabens Really Dangerous?
The debate around parabens began with a clinical study that suggested that exposure to parabens encourages the growth of breast cancer.
However, this in itself is not enough scientific evidence to conclude that parabens directly cause breast cancer.
Due to the ubiquitous presence of the many forms of parabens as preservatives in multiple products, parabens have also been found in healthy cancer-free breasts as well as in other parts of the body. So, are parabens really dangerous?
Yes, and we’re talking to you SK-II! The famous SK-II Facial Treatment Essence unfortunately has methylparaben. What we do know for sure is that parabens exhibit estrogenic properties.
This means that they weakly mimic estrogen when absorbed by the body and thus ends up in breast tissue.
This, in turn, can disrupt hormonal function. Hence, exposure to external estrogens, in the form or parabens or other chemicals, has been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer.
An argument in favor of using parabens in skincare is that their concentration is too low to pose any health risk.
While that may be right, using multiple products containing parabens leads to cumulative paraben exposure, which may make it dangerous for us, the consumers.
Instead of blindly trusting these skin care manufacturers and brands to somehow regulate our parabens exposure while still creating products with parabens, it might be best to avoid products with this ingredient to minimize any risks to your hormonal health.
How To Eliminate Parabens From Your Skincare
- Check the ingredient list of your skincare product for any ingredient with the suffix paraben. These include methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. If any paraben is present in the formulation, look for a different product that is paraben-free.
- Parabens are essentially used as preservatives in skincare formulations. Any water-based skincare product requires a preservative to prevent microbial growth. Hence, instead of looking for the preservative-free label, opt for products that use a different safer preservative, such as phenoxyethanol.
Once you start reading skincare labels, making the switch to paraben-free products won’t be hard at all. As an example, the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is a cult-favorite, but it contains methylparaben.
An excellent alternative to this product is the Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence that contains a nearly identical bio-fermented complex sans the parabens. The latter contains phenoxyethanol as a preservative, making it a safer and smarter choice.
Phthalates, The Secret Toxins In Your Skincare
Phthalates are commonly used in cosmetics and skincare to hold color and are also a component of fragrance.
They have been found to cause birth defects and reproductive issues in animals exposed to the ingredient during pregnancy and birth.
Phthalates are hormone-mimicking chemicals and come with the risk of disrupting normal hormonal functions and potentially causing breast cancer.
How To Eliminate Phthalates From Your Skincare
Eliminating phthalates from your skincare may not be as simple as reading the ingredient list.
This is because phthalates are usually a component of fragrance, and companies are not legally obligated to disclose each ingredient of the fragrance.
So, when you see fragrance mentioned in the ingredient list, it may contain phthalates without any mention of the ingredient on the label.
Fragrances and mixtures are considered trade secrets by the law, so skincare brands can get away without mentioning what goes inside them.
How do you then ensure that your products are free of phthalates? Here are a few things that you can do –
- Email the brand and ask them specifically whether the product contains any phthalates. Most transparent brands will be happy to share this information with you.
- Opt for products that do not have any phthalates listed as a separate ingredient. This way, you will minimize the risk of consuming any hidden phthalates.
It is high time that we as consumers become more aware of the ingredients that go into the products that we use.
Instead of blindly relying on a brand’s claims that a product is 100% safe, do your own research. Also, ask the right questions to hold the brand accountable.
We are already so exposed to pollutants, stress and toxins every day. The least we can do is keep our skincare toxin-free!
So, the next time you pick up a new skincare product, make sure to read the label and avoid these ingredients!