Beauty can be lethal…and we are not talking about drop-dead looks! Controversial chemicals in your beauty products can be responsible for different forms of cancer and other health conditions. Did you know that 60% of what you apply on your skin gets directly absorbed by the body? Most of us, men and women alike, expose ourselves to personal and beauty care products at least 6-8 times within a 24-hour period. So you are more likely to be exposed to toxic pollutants and carcinogens through your daily personal care regimen, than any other activity in a given day.
You are probably aware of the evils of paraben and lead, and make it a point to look out for products free of these. But it is not just these better-known controversial pollutants that are a cause of concern now, with the recent media attention that certain beauty procedures have drawn.
Reading labels carefully is the only prudent way to go. Anyway, given the lack of regulations in beauty industry labeling, you can never be too sure that your beauty product is not secretly corroding away your health. Watch out for anything that has synthetic coloring ingredients, emulsifiers, copolymer, triclosan, and forms of urea as a preservative. Although there are close to 800 potentially carcinogenic ingredients in beauty products, here’s listing out a few that are commonly found:
- Alcohol (Isopropyl): Commonly found in hair colorants, body lotion, hand lotion, after-shave, perfume and fragrance. It can cause depression, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.
- Artificial fragrances: Most beauty products contain fragrance and this includes shampoo, conditioners, facial skincare products, soap, bath products, and sunscreen. Many of the properties in fragrance are potentially carcinogenic and toxic, and can affect the central nervous system.
- Sodium lauryl sulphate or (SLS): Present in 90 per cent of all shampoos and really anything that foams. Research has shown it is damaging to the immune system, the eyes and skin and can also be carcinogenic.
- Polyethelene glycol (PEG): Found widely in facial cleansers to dissolve the oil and grease on our skin and makes the product creamy. They disrupt the immune system by stripping our skin of it’s natural moisture and are also potentially carcinogenic.
A lot of these ingredients are not as toxic by itself but become very dangerous in combination with other chemicals, like SLS. You can find more on the dangers of toxic ingredients in your beauty cabinet here.