By July 24, 2013 Read More →

The Dirty Dozen Ingredients in Personal Care Products

personal-careStudies show that people tend to spend hundreds and thousands for beauty and personal care products each year. These beauty and personal care products range from cosmetics to lotions and creams. They promise to make us look beautiful by keeping our skin hydrated, moisturized, and smooth. But have you ever tried to flip the bottle and check out its ingredients? Have you even wondered what methyl paraben or mercury even mean? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular dirty ingredients found in personal care products that may just be sitting in your bathroom or bedroom for quite some time.

Antibacterial – It is one of the most common components of almost all personal care products and its presence has even been applied to cosmetic products. It used to be a staple ingredient in most soaps and body products only. Some people think that it’s actually good to have an antibacterial product at home, which might be true. However, prolonged exposure to antibacterial products might actually weaken the immune system and might not be able to fight against common disease-causing germs like E.coli and Salmonella. When this happens, our bodies would start relying on antibacterial medicines and products that can bring other health issues. Avoid products with antibacterial substances and let your own immune system fight against these germs.

Pthalates – Have you ever wondered how come perfumes, lotions, or even your deodorant smells so good? These phthalates are responsible for these fragrant-smelling products. Unfortunately, it’s also responsible for causing liver cancer and birth defects to the animals that have been tested for its dangers. Pthalates can penetrate deep into the skin, making the internal body parts susceptible to its dangers. To avoid these products, go for those that are fragrant-free or those that are scented only with oils.

Lead and Mercury – These elements are mostly present in cosmetics. Lead is known as the brain and hormone toxin as it alters natural hormone processes, causing disruptions to the body’s natural flow. Couple of years ago, lipsticks of Clinique, Estee Lauder, and YSL were recalled because of its heavy presence of lead because it is the very item that is used to make lipsticks have lasting color on its wearer. In addition to that, lead can also cause skin irritation and skin cancer. This is the reason that some lipsticks cause chapped lips and swollen lips to those who are allergic to it. Therefore, avoid lipsticks that are long-lasting. Test lipsticks on your hand, too. If it does not swell or turn reddish, then it’s good for your lips, too. On the one hand, mercury is usually prevalent in eye cosmetics. It is known for its drastic effects to ones nervous system when a person is exposed to it for a long time. The next time you shop for cosmetics, it is best to go for plant-based products.

Petrolatum – A lot of us may be guilty of this because petroleum jelly is actually a very good healer for chapped lips and dry skin. It is even almost always present in most babies’ changing tables because it’s very good in healing diaper rashes. However, it can also cause skin allergies to those who are sensitive to it. Petroleum, on one hand, is not a renewable source, and, if we continue using petroleum jelly, we might actually run out of this resource soon.

Diethalonamine (DEA) – Usually present in most shampoos, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics, DEA is a popular ingredient for these products because they soften other hard ingredients. Sadly, DEA has been identified as a carcinogen, posing its user to be at risk to cancers. It also causes damages to kidney and liver. It can even alter the body’s natural processes because it also affects the central nervous system.

Formaldehyde – Though it seems very dangerous, formaldehyde is actually a staple in most baby bath soaps, eye cosmetics, paper towels, nail polish, and hair products and even in automobiles because it bonds several substances together. However, exposure to the said substance for a long period can cause a lot of physical ailments like nausea, asthma attacks, headaches, breathing difficulty, and involuntary sweating. It is also considered as a carcinogen, thereby, a product that should be banned from your personal care choices.

Parabens – If you have read methyl parabens, ethyl parabens, or butyl paraben in any of your cosmetics or skin care products, you have got to ditch that product today because parabens can cause cancer in the long run. Have you noticed those women who religiously apply skin whitening products in their face suffer from spots and blemishes in the long run? It is because of the paraben in those products that cause the allergic reaction to the skin, especially when that applied skin is regularly exposed to sunlight.

Take a look at the ingredients of your select cosmetics and personal care products now. Do they contain any of these? While a lot of people argue that these adverse effects only occur when the products are used at large amounts, scientists actually note that smaller applications of these products can accumulate in the long run, which can pose the user to risks to the mentioned health issues. Therefore, it is better to use organic-based or plant-based products before it’s too late.

About the Author:

A senior writer and editor of The Green Guide and a father of 3 kids (1 girl and 2 boys). Rob's special interests include geography, enviroment study and hiking. Rob has traveled to over 100 places in 30 different countries in the past three years. His exotic and fun experiences will be talked in his new book which is going to be published soon.

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