Now that we clearly know why we should stay away from toxic ingredients , do we know what particular ingredients to avoid in our skincare ?
Cosmetic ingredients are very tricky to understand with one ingredient having more than five names, you might be led to believe that you are using completely "safe" , "natural" , "no nasties" , "no toxins" , "completely organic" products but instead are putting other nasty ingredients instead of those particular ones or the same ingredients that you wanted to avoid disguised as another ingredient.
Its painful to be part of this ecosystem where you deal with trust issues every single day , in the food industry , health and wellness industry and the skincare industry. Afterall we all want our skin to look amazing without compromising on it long term or compromising on our eithics.
Lets look at a brief list of ingredients listed below that are known carcinogens and skin allergens , hence why you are better off avoiding them. There might be studies backing up the fact that these are toxic and there might also be some studies done to state that the evidence was inconclusive terming them as safe under regulated percentages. But with the cost so high , would you be willing to take a chance on them if you can easily replace them ?
1) Synthetic fragrances - Unfortunately , these are mentioned everywhere on maximum commercialized products and also are known skin irritants. These often contain phthalates which are also hormone disruptors. Look for products with fragrance derived from essential oils as these have wonderful properties and add so much more potency and effectiveness to any formula apart from their wonderful natural aroma. Even pure hydrosols can give a wonderful aroma to the products without any side effect.
2) Parabens - They are the most widely used form of preservative which helps in extending the shelf life of the product, but this anti-microbial chemical also has hormone disrupting effects and should best be avoided. There are multiple names of this particular ingredient and this could easily seep in your vanity without you ever noticing. Some other names for this mischievous ingredient - methylparaben , ethylparaben , propylparaben , butylparaben, etc.
3) Urea - Generally known as diszolidinyl urea , imidazolidinyl urea , DMDM hydantoin , sodium hydroxymethylglycinate are preservatives that have the potential to release formaldehyde in small amounts enough to cause contact dermatitis.
4) Petrochemicals - these are petroleum by products derived from crude oil. Ingredients like petroleum , mineral oil , paraffin are derived from non renewable resources and when used in cosmetic products form a barrier when applied to the skin causing clogged pores. Being readily available in very cheap prices , it is still being used in commercial products as a strategy to keep the product prices low.
5) Synthetic colors - These are made from coal tar and contain heavy metal salts that may deposit toxins onto the skin , causing skin sensitivity and irritation. Studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic. These are labeled as FD&C or D&C , followed by a colour and a number. This does nothing beneficial to the skin and has only negative effects.
6) Synthetic polymers - Ingredients like sodium polyacrylate and carbomer come from petroleum and adds to the viscosity of skincare products. They are highly processed and their manufacturing process creates toxic by products.
7) Sulphates - These are still being widely used in most haircare and skincare products to add cleansing properties to the product. Ingredients such as sodium lauryl and sodium laureth are harsh detergents that give products their latherability. Othen derived from petroleum , sulphates can also be contaminated with pesticides and can cause eye and skin irritation. There are so many nature derived gentle surfactants in the market right now , and sulphates should best be skipped.
8) Silicones - This ingredient mentioned on your product label as dimethicone , cyclomethicone , cyclopentasiloxane help in making any formula much softer contributing to a better sensory feel of the product. It provides an artificial and short lived smoothening effect to your skin and hair to compensate for the drying effects of surfactants. The biggest drawback is that it accumulates on your hair and skin and creates product buildup over time and is extremely bad for the environment as it takes 400-500 years on an average to decompose.
At Fiducia Botanicals , we have vowed to stay away from all carcinogens , allergens , skin irritants, harsh chemicals and all petroleum by products. Checkout our entire product range to see what nature has to offer without compromising on sensory appeal of the product , effectiveness or ingredients used to make them. We are conscious of our surroundings , of the ingredients used in each of our handcrafted formulations and the intention behind our brand.
If you haven't checked out our previous blog post on how to be more aware as consumers , check it out now.
An exercise for you - CHECK ALL YOUR LABELS today and comment down in the comments section that which known skin irritant creeped into your product without your realisation.