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Top 5 Ingredients To Avoid In Cosmetics

  • 5 min read
Labels and ingredient lists on skincare product can be a confusing one to crack if you do not know what you are looking for. At Naturisimo we have a clear cut list of those ingredients, we say absolutely no-no too which you can see in our 'about us' section. Unfortunately, there is an overwhelming number of products in the beauty aisle now which claim to be 'natural' and 'organic' when in reality there could be the smallest amount of these ingredients in the product, and the rest are packed out with nasty chemicals and toxins. We're here to help you not get caught out! We are fortunate that there is now a lot of information in regards to what ingredients are considered safe and what has been linked to health or skin concerns. If you are worried about what you put on your skin but do not know where to start, we've taken a look at 5 of the main culprits which are banned from Naturisimo but are still widely used in the beauty industry. Parabens Parabens are the common preservative used in cosmetics, and they are used to maintain the life of a product, so this stops your face cream or foundation from growing bacteria and mould. Sounds good right? How could something which prevents the growing of mould and prolongs the use of a product be bad for you? This nasty ingredient contains estrogen-mimicking properties that are widely associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. It is quickly absorbed into your skin and traces have been found in breast cancer tumours from preliminary testing. Parabens can be found in some cosmetics including makeup, body washes, deodorants, shampoos, face washes and cleansers. They can be identified in an ingredients list as methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutyl paraben, among other names. The best way to avoid this ingredient is to simply check your labels. Many brands will label their product 'paraben-free' to make it more noticeable. However, this will not always be the case. As we know, it is possible to use natural alternatives in cosmetics. However, the shelf life will often be a little shorter then items which contain chemical preservatives, but you should get a good 6-12 months from opening with many natural products. Manufacturers have found other alternatives to using chemicals in their items, and many artisan brands will create their range in small batches to prolong the shelf life as long as possible. Some natural manufacturers have successfully used natural elements as a preservative in their items such as vitamin E oil, rosemary extract and antimicrobials. All of these work in their way to preserve a natural formula, but there are a few ways to make sure you do your bit too to get the most out of your natural cosmetics:
  • Ensure you have clean hands when applying anything to your skin, this way you will not introduce bacteria to your product and then onto your skin. Alternatively, use a spoon or spatula to remove your product from the jar to your skin to avoid transferring any bacteria inside at all.
  • Store your products in dark environments or opt for opaque packaging to keep them away from the effects of sunlight.
  • Ensure your packaging is always airtight, natural products can oxidise and go off when exposed to the air.
banner_20Jul16_2 Rosemary extract can help prevent the shelf life of oils.
Mineral Oil There has been a lot of discussion and controversy recently around the use of mineral oil in skincare. A simple search on Google about mineral oil will pull up many arguments on both sides of the conversation. Mineral oil is a by-product of petroleum and has been linked to being the cause of breakouts and skin concerns. It is used in skincare to form a barrier over your skin to prevent the loss of moisture, but this can also prevent toxins from escaping your body. There are many cases that state 'cosmetic grade' mineral oil is so refined it is safe to use and is not the cause of skin problems. However, there is no getting away from the fact it is a bi-product of petroleum and when it is found in many baby skincare products and other cosmetics, how close do you want to be putting this into your dry skin? Mineral oil is a banned product from our site, and we favour products which include plant and vegetable extracts such as the Weleda Baby Calendula Baby Oil which is made up of sesame seed oil and calendula extract which will protect your baby's skin from moisture loss. SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) If you think of a bubbling, foaming body wash or bubble bath, then this item probably contains SLS. SLS is a foaming agent which has been linked to irritating the skin, lungs and eyes. It is a nightmare ingredient if you suffer from sensitive or very dry skin as well as skin concerns such as eczema. SLS works by breaking down the surface tension on your skin and separates molecules to create a better interaction between the product and your hair or skin; this is where the lather (or bubbles) come from. It is an inexpensive chemical, so it can also be found in industrial strength cleaning agents such as detergents and engine degreaser. There are natural alternatives to enjoying a relaxing bath, without the skin-drying chemicals which create bubbles. Neom has found the perfect blend of essentials oils in their Neom Bath Foam Tranquillity which creates the perfect pampering bath experience using only 100% natural ingredients and no harsh additives.
banner_20Jul16_1 Bath time does not have to involve chemicals to be relaxing!
Phthalates (Pronounced 'Th-ah-late') This chemical is banned in the EU as a plasticizer for children's toys, but it is allowed and present in many fragrances, perfumes, deodorants and lotions. We're continuously baffled as to how this is okay. They were used to soften plastics in toys and to stop them from cracking or becoming brittle, so imagine what this does to your skin? It is added to daily cosmetics to help lotions penetrate the surface of the skin and soften your skin, which helps make fragrances last longer. The main phthalates in cosmetics are dibutyl phthalate in nail polish, diethyl phthalate in perfumes and lotions and dimethyl phthalate in hair spray. However, it is not always easy to find out if your perfume contains this chemical. You may find some fragrance brands list in their ingredients a variation of the phrase; 'a blend of secret essential oils'. What this could mean is they do not have to disclose the actual ingredients in an attempt to keep their signature scent a secret, which is acceptable, however, it could also be hiding chemicals or nasty additives. Phthalates have been linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer, reproductive defects and known to act as an endocrine disruptor (or hormone disruptor). DMDM Hydantoin DMDM has commonly been used a preservative in cosmetics to kill off fungi, yeast and bacteria, but this preservative also releases a small amount of formaldehyde. The more you are exposed to formaldehyde-releasing ingredients you are more likely to develop an allergy to this particular additive. People with a formaldehyde allergy are likely to develop skin reactions or rashes when coming into contact with the compound. It is also known to have a high risk of causing a irritating response in your eyes and on your skin. You can find this preservative in almost any cosmetic including hair care, colourants, soaps, makeup, shaving products and sunscreen.
banner_20Jul16_3 No chemicals here!
This is unfortunately by no means an exhaustive list of ingredients which we have waved goodbye to in our products, but just a scratch on the surface of ingredients and chemicals which we avoid at Naturisimo. If there are any other ingredients you want us to look into in the future, or explain further, please let us know on Twitter @Naturisimo_UK. Shop here for natural, green beauty: Naturisimo

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