While there is a whole wonderland of skin care products out there bear in mind the hidden nasties many hold. The consumer tends to buy into the marketing and hype surrounding the brands that churn out product after product. We get drawn into it and before we know it, we have parted with cash for something we actually know very little about.
I thought I would give you an insight into a few ingredients so you can be better informed when purchasing your skincare. However, I must stress this is only my personal view as a professional skin care therapist and my main concerns are to ‘treat’ the skin, especially when it comes to sensitivity, dehydration, pigmentation and ageing. There are many debates around the ingredients I am cherry picking and certainly many conflicting opinions.
The Skincare Ingredients Blacklist: Parabens
This for me is a big no, no! Parabens are chemical preservatives and whilst preservatives are important in products where water is involved as they prevent bacteria forming, there has been a study that showed that parabens have been found present in breast tumors. This hasn’t been backed by the medical industry because the study was only a small study, but at the same time, it has not been dismissed.
Parabens have a weak estrogenic mimicking effect and that, apart from the fact they can also cause an allergic reaction on the skin, is more than enough reason not to use them. Someone recently asked me ‘ Parabens have been found in fruit’ … so does that make it acceptable? I say, given the choice would you rather eat an organic fresh strawberry or one that had parabens? Over to you…. it is all down to educated choices.
The Skincare Ingredients Blacklist: Phthalates
Now this ingredient is used to give plastics their flexibility and is used industrially. Phthalates is used in skincare to act as a dissolving agent and is abundant in toxicity. In fact it has int been banned in many countries.
The Skincare Ingredients Blacklist: Artificial colours & Fragrances
So these are used to give a product their signature and make it look pretty and smell appealing. We buy with our senses! The problem is, they have no benefit to the skin and in fact can be photosensitive (react with sunlight) and cause irritation.
The Skincare Ingredients Blacklist: SLS
Sodium Laurel Sulphate is used widely as a detergent and cleansing agent, it has huge irritation and allergic reaction risks as well as serious health risks.
The list goes on…
So, my argument with manufacturers is why? Why use very cheap ingredients that bulk out products when there are BETTER alternatives? Why sell people products with nasties (in my opinion) that not only deliver no skin benefit but can actually be the main contributing factor to skin issues?
There is so much information out there and it is down to you to make your own conclusions. For those of you who are interested, an absolute gem of a book is ‘The Consumers Guide to Cosmetic Ingredients’ by Ruth Winter.
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