Natural skincare: harmful ingredients 101

Good morning!

Let me start by saying, that I don't call myself an expert by any means, but as natural skincare is just something I am really interested it, I try to gather as much information as possible, and know what ingredients to avoid. It is however a personal preference, and I am not saying you all should do it. But for ones who would like to know, I though I would type out a little summary because when you only start dwelling into the natural skincare worlds, things can be very overwhelming, as well as controversial.

The first no no, is mineral oil. I feel like this is self explanatory, come on, who would like to put something derived from petroleum on their faces? I would like to say no thank you to that, my pores are clogged bad enough as it is!

Then we have dimethicone. It is a silicone based polymer, which is linked to organ toxicity, as per Environmental Working Group data and in my mind is stored away in a blacklist and I will never (from now on) buy a product with it.

I don't know about you, but I don't like mysterious letter in my products, especially ones which doesn't really reveal what they are. Therefore MEA, DEA & TEA will go on my blacklist as well, especially since as with most synthetic ingredients, they are linked to cancer..

Sodium Lauryl (Ether) Sulfate is found in basically every foaming shower product: be it a shampoo, a shower gel or bubble baths. Besides being linked to toxicity, there is also some evidence of it causing hair fall outs. Not only that, it is also used in the cleaning products, especially ones to remove stubborn dirt. Why would someone in their right mind want to use that on their hair or body?... This goes straight on my never again list.

PEG, also known as polyethylene glycole, from what I understand, is to be avoid at any costs, not only due its toxicity, but as well as it having effects on nerve system (hello, anxiety, is that why I have you?). There is even evidence, that it can be harmful to human development, according to California Environmental Protection Agency. So as with all other harmful chemicals, this goes on the no no list..

Parabens. They have many names, on the product label look for and run away from butylparaben, parabens, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, sodium methylparaben, sodium propylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, benzylparaben. They are commonly used as preservatives in skincare and are linked to disruption of endocrine (hormone) system, and commonly found in breast cancer tumorous. Not only that, they apparently also get into Eco system and is harmful for marine life. As a vegetarian and a person with pretty eff*d up health as it is, I wouldn't want to add cancer to the list while being harmful to animals.

Formaldehyde, usually found in nail polish, is confirmed to be a possible human carcinogen. We all know that awful stench it has, and it should come as a common sense, that nothing having such an intense smell is good for you and your skin. My mom works with it constantly, and she has lost two colleagues and who is to say it wasn't linked to this chemical?...

Triclosan is a common antibacterial agent, found in soaps and hand sanitizers, and quite often called a devil ingredient among natural skincare activists. It is even banned in Minessota. So if there even is a state in USA, where usually there is no, or very little cosmetics regulations, banning the ingredient, why would I use it? I say no thank you to that.

I am not quite sure, what to make out of this, but phenoxyethanol is quite often mentioned as a harmful, stay away ingredient. It is a preservative, quite often used in natural skincare products. Well, obviously, a natural skincare product with oil and water combination would go to waste within couple weeks otherwise. I feel like I need a little bit more data on this, but I will try to avoid this ingredient if possible, but won't be storing it on the same list as mineral oil, PEG's and parabens.

As always, I am pro your personal choices and I believe you are entitled to make your own decisions, however, I wanted to have some information collected into one place and although I also realize that this is very overwhelming, and for those who are just starting to venture into the natural skincare world, there is beginner's rule which helps you at least put some products back on the shelf "if you can't pronounce it, don't buy it". I am sure I have left something out, but this could be used as your basic guide if that is a topic you are interested in.

P.S. I quite often encounter the point of view, that natural cosmetics aren't effective, the counter-arguments often consists of people getting reactions from natural products, and I am not here to dismiss that. Obviously, it takes time to find your products, both with natural and not brands, but once people hear word natural, they expect miracles and forget that not all unnatural products work for them. Don't do that, read reviews, ask experts, test samples and build your own clean skincare routine!

What is your stance on natural products? Do you avoid harmful ingredients as the plague or don't you care? Do let me know!

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