The Bad Ingredients Getting Absorbed by Skin
One of the reasons we highly recommend using natural skin care products (especially deeply penetrating serums) is to prevent bad ingredients from being absorbed by skin, and potentially infiltrating your bloodstream. Check out these sneaky toxins that are riding the Trojan Horse of serums right into your skin and, potentially, bloodstream:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS)
Found in conventional foaming products such as shampoo, face cleanser, body wash, and even toothpaste (yikes!). SLS and ALS can cause severe skin irritation, and both can be easily absorbed into the body. These sulfates can build up in your internal organs, increasing the potential for related long term health problems.
These are preservatives found in foods, beverages, packaging, and more. According to the American Chemical Society, parabens are also in 85% of personal care products — that’s the majority of your product options! The EPA has concluded that parabens can artificially mimic estrogens in the body, leading to a host of problems — including various disorders and cancers. If you’re worried about these chemicals in your personal care products, we’ll tell give the down low on why parabens are dangerous and how to avoid them.
Causes severe skin irritation and sensitization. May cause allergic contact dermatitis, and has been linked to causing damage to the kidneys and liver. Propylene Glycol is commonly found in many facial creams and other personal care products.
Alcohol is a common solvent used in many skin care products. While it does have potent disinfecting properties, it can easily strip your skin of its protective barrier (the natural acid mantle), making your skin more prone to bacteria, infections, and dryness. No thanks! Choose natural skin care products made with witch hazel instead, or vinegar if you’re shopping for household products.
Ethanolamine Compounds (DEA, TEA)
A chemical group of amino acids found in cosmetics and household cleaning products. DEA (Diethanolamine) is used as an emulsifier (helps to harmoniously blend oil and water) in shampoos and cleaners, and TEA is used as fragrance and pH adjuster. In 2012, cocamide DEA, which is a chemically modified form of coconut oil, was added to California’s list of harmful chemicals after the International Agency for Research on Cancer published its review of the chemical’s safety.
This is a neurotoxin that is said to be worse than mercury, as it is a “known human nervous system toxicant”. Another worrisome side effect of aluminum powder is that cumulative exposure can hinder the body’s ability to eliminate mercury: a naturally present element found in certain fish consumed by humans, which can be poisonous if allowed to accumulate within the body. Aluminum has even been linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Artificial colorants believed to be toxic and carcinogenic; labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and number, i.e. FD&C Red 40. Many are made with heavy metals and aluminum, which are toxic to the body when accumulated.
PEG is used as a thickener in skin care products and cosmetics. PEGs interfere with the skin’s natural moisture balance, leading to increased signs of aging and leaving the skin vulnerable to bacteria.