We will often judge a product by what ingredients it tells you on the label "enriched with honey" "Infused with sweet almond oil", you know the spiel. That might be the only natural ingredient in the product, but we will get on to that another time.
The first step to improving your skincare is to turn the bottle. There are some nasties lurking in there that we need to avoid at all costs, and they can be found in the most expensive of products, so don't be fooled into thinking that if you spend more you are getting better ingredients.
Here is a list of 6 ingredients that definitely shouldn't be in your skincare. Check out your current routine and see how many you should be putting in the bin!
These are used as a defence mechanism against bacteria in skin products, and have been found to disrupt physiologically important functions in the body. They also have a mild oestrogenic effect on the body and can cause skin reactions.
You'll find these in your skincare labelled as 'methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben and heptylparaben, or anything paraben'
2. Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES)
You will find these lurking in your shampoo, toothpaste and body and face wash as they are primarily used as surfactants, or to 'make bubbles'. Particularly, these sulphates are associated to people who suffer with eczema and dry skin as the product upsets the layer of protective oils on the skin, making it more permeable to other ingredients, that could cause further damage.
3. Mineral Oils and Petroleum
If you find these on the ingredients list of your product, know that your product has probably cost pence to produce, even if it cost you a hefty sum. This product is favoured by the skincare industry as it is CHEAP. It is a by product of the crude oil industry, and is practically given to skincare companies as it costs for them to dispose of it. Mineral Oils have little benefit to the skin and often make up a majority of the product.
Petroleum Jelly is another form of petroleum and is found in your 'balms' or vaseline for example. When you apply these to your skin, it instantly feels more hydrated, but the product is actually dehydrating the skin. These are not allowed in Organic and Natural Certifications, and they are from a non-renewable source.
Formaldehyde has been classified as a known human carcinogen. This means it disrupts human function and causes cancer. Now, you probably won't see this on the ingredients list, however, this doesn't mean its not in there, unfortunately. With the presence of certain chemicals and particularly if the product is older and has been exposed to heat, formaldehyde can be released into the end product.
Look out for;
- Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate - found in shampoos, baby wipes, cleaning agents, lotions and many more.
- DMDM hydantoin - used as a preservative and antibacterial in products. Also a potent skin, eye and lung irritant that can cause burning, itching and blistering of the skin.
- Quaternium-15 - an antimicrobial and antistatic agent often found in hair products.
- Imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidynyl urea and polyoxymethylene urea - used in shampoo, conditioner, blusher, eye shadow and lotions.
5. Methylisothiazolione (MI) and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (MCI)
These bad boys cause rashes and dermatitis. They are used synthetic preservatives but cause horrendous skin reactions as a side effect.
Find these in your skincare as Triethanolamine, diethanolamine, DEA, TEA, cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA, DEA-cetylphosphate, DEA oleth-3 phosphate, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, steramide MEA, TEA-lauryl sulphate.
These are used as foaming agents, emulsifiers and stabilisers, but they have been shown, in animal studies, to cause the formation of known carcinogenic nitrosamines.
Once you make the swap from these nasty toxic ingredients, to good antioxidant and vitamin rich organic products, you will notice that your skin will change for the better. You wouldn't believe the difference it makes. Try it, and let us know how you get on!