5 Skin Care Ingredients That Harm Your Skin

Your skin is something that needs taking care. After all, you want it to look good for as long as possible. There is an array of products that claim to be good and beneficial for your skin, but do you really know what’s in them?

The Idle Man lists the top 5 skin care ingredients that you should avoid.

1. Paraffinum Liquidum

Paraffinum liquidum is a distilled petroleum by-product that, in basic terms, means liquid petroleum jelly. This is a highly refined mineral oil that is used in cosmetics, lotions and creams to help reduce water loss. So, is paraffinum liquidum safe for the skin? In small doses, yes, but from a number of research, it has been found that high usage contains contaminants that could potentially affect your health.

Paraffinum liquidum in cosmetics can clog your pores which can lead to blackheads and outbreaks. It’s side effects can include an increased chance of outbreaks due to bacteria already on and trapped in your skin, which is the very reason you are using the lotion in the first place.

2. Phenoxyethanol

Phenoxyethanol (which is recognised as a paraben) is a synthetic preservative that is used in facial and body cleansers, moisturisers and as a stabiliser for perfumes and soaps. The preservative is used to increase the shelf life of a product and stop any potential contamination of the product when in use.

Phenoxyethanol in cosmetics can have potential concerns or dangers which include allergic reactions such as eczema, hives and anaphylaxis. It can also cause reproductive damage and affect the brain and nervous system in infants. However, phenoxyethanol dangers can still occur if the toxin is used in moderation  over a long period of time.

3. Triclosan

Used mainly in anti-bacterial soaps and deodorants, triclosan is an antibacterial agent and preservative that is used to kill bacteria and fungus and prevent odours. This agent is known to effectively kill all bacteria, which is ultimately the problem as not all bacteria is bad for you.

Many studies have shown that this is developing into a bug and that harmful bacteria have become resistant too. This antibody resisting bacteria over time is also, seen to be a hormone or thyroid disrupter. When taken into consideration, triclosan is an unnecessary ingredient in soaps and deodorants as there is proof that it brings no additional benefit to the product.

4. Phthalates

Phthalates are a class of substances that are used to increase the flexibility and softness in plastics. It is commonly used in hairsprays to help form a flexible film on the hair, in nail varnish to reduce cracking and as a solvent or fixative in fragrances. There have been links to a few reproductive risks and issues concerning individuals who are exposed to these chemicals regularly and in moderate amounts.

It is rather confusing is that ‘phthalates’ won’t be seen written on the label of any products. Instead, it is included as part of the ‘fragrance’. This means that if you want to avoid any phthalates, then buying products that are naturally scented with essential oils is your better bet.

5. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a colourless gas that is often used in the cosmetics industry for hair gels, hair smoothing and washing products, body washes and any colour cosmetics. This solution is added to your products to help prevent bacterial growth.

This has a fair few problems with some being more serious than others. It is widely known as a respiratory irritant that can cause chest pains, throat and nose irritation. With other evidence linking it to causing cancer, ALS and other nervous system consequences, this ingredient should be avoided.

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