The smiling faces of beautiful women on a TV advertisement look appealing, but are facial cleansers really as safe as they look? Actually, many skincare products contain ingredients that may be toxic or irritating to your skin. Here are five common ingredients you should avoid:
Formaldehyde and related compounds are used in many modern skincare products. If that makes you uncomfortable, you’re not alone. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, which means it can cause serious health problems such as cancer. Avoid any of these dangerous formaldehyde variants: diazolidinyl urea, bronopol, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea or hydroxymethylglycinate.
2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Countless cleansers and body washes contain sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate. These intense cleaning agents are good at removing oils, dirt and makeup. So, what’s the problem?
For one thing, SLS is too strong for many skin types. Underneath that bubbly exterior, your skin is being subjected to a severe onslaught. SLS completely decimates your face’s natural oils. It’s not surprising that sulfates can lead to significant irritation or rashes in some people. Your best bet is to steer clear of this harsh chemical.
3. Parfum or Fragrance
The word “parfum” seems sophisticated and enticing. Many women look at fragrances in cosmetics as something attractive. However, there’s a dark side to parfum that you can’t ignore. In the cosmetic industry, parfum refers to many different ingredients that the manufacturer considers a secret formulation.
This can include dangerous chemicals such as phthalates that may interfere with healthy hormone function. All in all, there are about 3,000 chemicals that qualify as fragrances. Many of them can cause asthma problems, allergic reaction and headaches.
4. Petroleum-Based Ingredients
Synthetic oils are added to many facial cleansers to help ingredients reach deep into your skin. However, petroleum-based products can also irritate the face, and cheaply sourced oils can be contaminated with cancer-causing compounds. Here are several types of synthetic oils:
From a skincare perspective, synthetic oils can’t compete with the beauty of natural oils, either. Petroleum products rest on top of the skin, which can trap dirt and oil. In contrast, natural oils replenish and rejuvenate your face’s layers.
5. Isopropyl Alcohol
Alcohols are used to give cleansers a lighter feel and sometimes to add disinfectant properties. Not all alcohols are a bad thing; fatty alcohols such as stearyl alcohol can actually hydrate dry skin.
However, isopropyl alcohol, denatured alcohol (SD alcohol 40) and ethyl alcohol have the opposite effect. They make your skin drier and drier every time you use them. Needless to say, that can also provoke irritation.
Incredible Natural Alternatives
You don’t have to subject your skin to these harsh chemicals. Enjoy a soothing beauty routine with your favorite essential oils and natural ingredients. Organic facial cleansers have amazing benefits for skin moisturizing, repair and wrinkle control. Apple cider vinegar can clear up acne without damaging healthy oils. Extra virgin olive oil removes your makeup quickly and nourishes your face instead of harming it. Try honey and coconut oil as a cleanser for sensitive skin.
Topical Organic Oils
There are plenty of other effective organic oils for restoring skin's elasticity. One of the keys is ramping up collagen production. This plumps and hydrates sagging or wrinkled skin. Here you can see the dramatic results when Argon Oil, Jojoba Oil, and Apricot Kernel Oil are used together to replenish a youthful glow.