Hidden dangers on ingredient label.

Posted by YUNASENCE on 5th Jun 2024

Hidden dangers on ingredient label.

Ever find yourself standing in the skincare aisle, staring at an endless array of bottles, jars, and tubes, all promising to make you look like a glowing goddess? But here's a little secret: some of those magic potions might be hiding a dark side. Today, we're diving into the mysterious world of toxic skincare ingredients. Grab a cup of tea, get cozy, and let's chat about what these nasties are and how they affect our precious skin and health.

Formaldehyde and Friends: The Creepy Preservatives

Preservatives are a must in your beauty care. They must be present to make your precious skin care investment last for more than 1-2 weeks. If any company makes a claim 'preservative free' - run! Either they are misleading you, or they are offering potentially unsafe products. Exception to this rule are oils, or products that don't contain any water. They only need antioxidants, like Vitamin E. 

Let's start with a spooky one—formaldehyde. Yes, the same stuff they use to preserve dead things in jars. Gross, right? Formaldehyde and its sneaky cousins (like DMDM hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl urea, Diazolidinyl Urea, Bronopol and Quaternium-15) are used to keep your products from spoiling. But here's the kicker: they can release formaldehyde gas, a known carcinogen. Over time, exposure can lead to nasty effects like skin irritation, allergic reactions, and even an increased risk of cancer. Yikes!

Parabens: The Sneaky Hormone Hackers

Next up, let's talk Parabens. They are also preservatives. These little guys (like Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, and Butylparaben) are preservatives found in everything from lotions to makeup. They might sound harmless, but they mimic estrogen in our bodies. Too much estrogen can mess with our hormones and has been linked to breast cancer. Double yikes! So, if you see anything ending in "paraben" on a label, it's time to rethink that purchase. Luckily, today we have a lot of much safer alternatives.

Phthalates: The Fragrance Fixers

Ever wondered why your lotion smells like a tropical paradise? Quite often - coconut? Thank phthalates for that. And on the label it's stated as 'fragrance'. Those colorful images of fruits or flowers on the packaging automatically give us association that this is what's inside. But it is not. Phthalates are found in various personal care products, fragrances and nail polishes, phthalates (such as DEP and DBP) help scents last longer. But beware—they’re hormone disruptors too. Studies suggest they can lead to reproductive issues and even affect fetal development. Triple yikes! Opt for products labeled "phthalate-free" to keep your hormone levels in check. Or better yet choose products either completely fragrance-free or those that utilize essential oils for scents. Usually you will find this closer to the bottom of the ingredient list. 

Coal Tar Dyes: The Colorful Culprits

Love vibrant eyeshadows and bold lipsticks? Be cautious of coal tar dyes. These are listed as "CI" followed by a five-digit number (e.g., CI 75470). They can contain heavy metals and are known to be carcinogenic. They might make you look fabulous, but the long-term risks? Not so much. Better not play a game of 'let's wait and find out'. By the way, the same applies to our food. Avoid artificial coloring.

Benzene: The Sneaky Sunblocker

Benzene might sneak into your sunscreen or other products. This one’s a serious no-no. Benzene is a known carcinogen, meaning it can cause cancer. So, next time you're slathering on that SPF, make sure it’s benzene-free. Not to be confused with Benzyl Alcohol, which is a preservative and in low concentrations considered to be safe.

Talc (with a Side of Asbestos): The Silky Smooth Saboteur

Talc is used for its moisture-absorbing properties, but when it’s contaminated with asbestos (a known carcinogen), it’s a recipe for disaster. Some talc-based products, especially older ones, can pose a cancer risk. Look for talc-free options to stay safe. Sadly, it is still quite common in personal care products.

Ethylene Oxide: The Sterilizing Saboteur

Ethylene oxide is used to sterilize some products but can be a contaminant. It’s a known human carcinogen and can also cause headaches and dizziness. Not exactly what you want in your skincare routine, right? On the label it usually appears as PEG or words ending with -eth, like Ceteth, Laureth, Cetareth..... 

1,4-Dioxane: The Unseen Evil

This one’s a bit of a ninja—1,4-dioxane is a contaminant rather than an ingredient, often found in products containing ethoxylated compounds (like sodium laureth sulfate). It’s linked to cancer and can harm your liver and kidneys. Since it’s a byproduct, it’s not listed on labels, so look for products that are “1,4-dioxane-free.”

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): The Hidden Hair Dye Hazard

Found in some hair dyes and skincare products, PAHs are another group of carcinogens. Long-term exposure can increase your risk of cancer, so it's worth checking your labels if you’re a fan of dyeing your hair or using certain skincare products.

The Bottom Line. Navigating the world of skincare can be a bit like walking through a minefield, but don't worry! The key is to be informed and make conscious choices. Look for products that are free from these harmful ingredients and opt for natural, organic alternatives when possible. Your skin (and your body) will thank you.

Remember, beauty should never come at the cost of your health. Stay radiant, stay informed, and keep glowing like the superstars you are! ?✨