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The Crap In Your Skincare You Don't Know About

The Crap In Your Skincare You Don't Know About

I bet you didn't think that the reason that you have bad skin, find clumps of hair on the floor, have a weak immune system...could be in the super trendy anti-aging sunscreen they recommended in Sephora. Here are the top horrid beauty ingredients to avoid. Seriously. (Infertility or crude oil by-products anyone?)

(A good rule of thumb - would you eat it? If no, don't put it on your skin either. It's all absorbed and it's all bad.) 

(we included a list on the bottom to save for your next shopping adventure)

1. SODIUM LAURYL/LAURETH SULFATE (SLS AND SLES)

This is a foaming agent that is found in anything that foams - your shampoo, body wash, face wash, soap, etc. It's so strong that it's used in concrete floor cleaners, engine degreasers, and car wash detergents. Think about that next time you want to run into CVS and get a Pantene. It's an infamous skin irritant. Since you're putting it on your skin, it's absorbed into your body and can result in harmful effects. It can corrode your hair follicles, cause cystic acne around the mouth and chin, and fuck your long-term hair growth goals, cause other crappy skin breakouts, oh, and, general cancer-related things. Basically, avoid at all costs. There are heaps of affordable SLS and SLES- free shampoos readily available now because companies are jumping on the no-cancer shampoo bandwagon. Probably better that way. 

2. PETROLEUM/PARAFFIN/MINERAL OIL

Yeah, petroleum. Let's talk about how it comes about. It's a petrochemical pollutant derived from crude oil. It's found in baby oil, lip balm, lipstick, lip gloss, mascara, moisturizers, concealer, foundation, face powder, mascara, hair gel, body wash, eyeshadow, paraffin treatments, petroleum jelly, and hair conditioner...and so much more. It seals the skin and creates a barrier which is protective, but doesn't allow the skin to breathe, which is essential for the function of our biggest organ. This sealing off leads to the slowing down of normal cell development, causing skin aging, etc. It was essentially used as an overall treatment for things starting from the late 19th Century, a time when cigarettes were prescribed by doctors as a stomach-ache cure. So don't.  

3. FORMALDEHYDE

Yeah FORMALDEHYDE. Like the DEAD PEOPLE STUFF. It's found in shampoo, body wash, nail polish, Brazilian Blowout treatments and other things. It's rarely listed as “formaldehyde” because they are sneaky. So, It hides behind ingredient names such as quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, Diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethyl glycinate, 2-Bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol), glyoxal and oxaldehyde.

It's been recognized by the EPA as a carcinogen, it’s linked to lung cancers, Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia, and myeloid leukemia. Wonderful. It permeates through inhalation. You know that smell of nail polish or nail polish remover in an unventilated room? And the whole case about manicure ladies being super sick? This is part of the problem. It’s banned for use in cosmetics in Sweden and Japan.

4. PARABENS

It's found in almost every type of personal care product. 

Parabens preservatives are commonly used to prevent bacteria and mold growth, but they can essentially mimic estrogen and disrupt the endocrine system. With prolonged exposure, this may lead to breast cancer, skin irritation, premature skin aging, DNA damage, fertility problems. 

5. PHTHALATES (DBP, DEHP, DEP)

They're found in synthetic fragrance, nail polish, hairspray.

Type of plasticizing chemicals used to make products more pliable or to make fragrances stick to skin. Phthalates disrupt the endocrine system and may cause birth defects.

They have been linked to kidney, lung, and liver damage. 

6. FRAGRANCE/PARFUM

Found in nearly all personal care products.

You know that horribly sweet, nauseating Lush stink you can smell from across the mall? Yup, that's it.

Synthetic fragrances used in cosmetics can have as many as 200 ingredients. There is no way to know what the chemicals are because formulas are protected under federal law’s classification of trade secrets. Fucked up, right? So, companies like Lush especially can claim that they sell super healthy products...but they don't. Anything with that chemical smell that gives you a headache is definitely a deal breaker (Bye Victoria's Secret fragrance.)

Some problems caused by these chemicals include including hormone disruption, headaches, dizziness, rash, hyperpigmentation, violent coughing, vomiting, skin irritation—the list goes on. Don’t buy a cosmetic that has the word “fragrance” on the ingredients label. Look for labels that say, “phthalate–free”. Or contact the company about the fragrance origin. Some are actually natural. You just have to figure out which. 

7. PROPYLENE GLYCOL

In cosmetics, baby wipes, lotion, toothpaste, shampoo, and deodorant...

Propylene Glycol causes serious health conditions including liver and heart damage and damage to the central nervous system if sufficient is absorbed by the body. It's used in anti-freeze solutions, in brake and hydraulic fluids, as a de-icer, and as a solvent. Don't you just wanna put that under your armpits? There is no difference between the propylene glycol used in industry and that used in personal care products. It has been known to cause allergic reactions, hives, and eczema. Mmmm. 

8. TRICLOSAN

Thit shit is in antibacterial products such as soap, hand sanitizer, deodorants, toothpaste, and cosmetics. 

Triclosan is an endocrine disruptor and enables bacteria to become antibiotic-resistant. The CDC stated that triclosan is found in 75% of the population’s urine. The American Medical Association advises against antibacterial soap at home to prevent the creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Antibacterial soap has been proved to be no more effective than regular soap. Triclosan may also impact human reproductive systems.

9. BHA

Exfoliants, perfume. 

The National Toxicology Program classifies butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” Need more? Ok. 

It can cause skin depigmentation. In animal studies, BHA produces liver damage and causes stomach cancers such as papillomas and carcinomas and interferes with normal reproductive system development and thyroid hormone levels. The European Union considers it unsafe in fragrance.

10. MINERAL OIL

Also a petroleum by-product. Often found in Baby Products. BABY PRODUCTS! If you didn't hear about the Johnson & Johnson baby death case - you should read about it. 

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