Updated: Jun 12
Although most people don’t realize it, their favorite skin care products can contain harmful ingredients, toxins and chemicals. The fact is that the majority of store-bought, commercially-produced beauty products come packed with artificial colors, fragrances, preservatives and stabilizers that can easily be absorbed through the skin’s pores, potentially causing a range of negative long-term health effects.
Chemicals found in beauty products can be damaging throughout their entire life cycle, from the way they are produced and used by consumers, to the methods of their disposal and their negative impact on the environment. So what does this mean for your beauty routine? The good news is that there’s still plenty of natural ways to make your skin − and your even hair, teeth or nails − look their best without needing to buy expensive and harmful commercial products.
Women all over the world have been using natural skin care products for centuries and have some of the most admirable skin to show for it!
It is a reality that most mass-produced products we use everyday — whether for personal beauty care, household cleansing or storing things like foods in plastics — are loaded with endless synthetic ingredients that can wind up causing more harm than good.
Buying skin care products can be tricky these days, with so many different options available and endless, hard-to-pronounce ingredient lists on every face wash, lotion and scrub package. Knowing the potential for commercially sold products to absorb right into your skin and cause serious issues, you really want to keep an eye on what is being added to your products and how your skin reacts.
When looking for skin care products, follow the same rules that you follow for a healthy diet: hunt for unprocessed ingredients, without any harsh chemicals or anything artificial! Basically, the closer to the nature the natural skin product is, the more your skin will know what to do with its beneficial ingredients in order to improve your skin’s health.
Store-bought skin care products typically contain toxic ingredients and chemical fragrances that are linked to all sorts of issues − from hormonal problems, irregular periods and infertility to allergies and even cancer.
One of the most significant consequences of built-up toxin exposure from artificial skin care products is hormone imbalances, since many products contain hormone disruptors. These external, or exogenous, hormones found in commercial products are substances produced outside the body that may act like or affect hormones inside the body. They include synthetic hormones that negatively affect the endocrine system and can impact a women’s menstrual cycle, fertility and even hormone levels in men.
Often called endocrine disruptors, some of these chemicals’ molecular structures resemble natural estrogen so closely that they fit into the same receptors in the body. They either bind to these receptors — so your own hormones don’t work like they’re supposed to — and turn genes on and off, amplify the negative aspects of estrogen, or travel to the cells’ nucleus, where they exert a negative effect on chromosomes or DNA. How is all this allowed?
To put things into perspective for you, here’s a few noteworthy facts on store-bought beauty products:
• The regulation of cosmetic and personal-care products are slim; only an easy approval process exists in order for a product to be approved for commercial use.
• Most store-bought skin care ingredient labels can be downright scary! There are thousands of chemicals in your products − and make no mistake about it, they are usually being directly absorbed into your body. There is little government review or approval because the skin care industry is highly unregulated even in the U.S.
• The majority of skin care and beauty products, including cleaners, lotions and scrubs, use inorganic compounds and petroleum-based gels as their foundation. Mineral oils are not naturally harvested from plants. When an ingredient is made with chemicals, it actually clogs your pores. Your skin loses its natural ability to expel toxins, which leads to increased acne and signs of aging.
• A few harmful chemicals that are used in store-bought washes, scrubs and lotions include dangerous parabens (used for preservation), synthetic colors (derived from petroleum or coal tar sources), fragrance (which is associated with allergies and respiratory distress), toluene (which is also used to dissolve paint), and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS (which can cause kidney and respiratory damage). And these are just a few of the harsh ingredients!
• Putting chemicals on your body will limit your skin’s natural healing processes. Your body’s immune system, the health of your eyes, and your respiratory system can be damaged by unhealthy chemicals and additives. Also, many of these chemicals are skin irritants, leading to red, dry, flaky skin.