Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of your body? Yes, just stop and think about that for a moment. When was the last time you thought about what you were putting on your skin and what it might be doing to you?
Last week I wrote about looking at food labels as a way to help you get added sugars out of your diet. This week I’d like to point out some ingredients in your beauty products that might be doing you more harm than good. But keep in mind I am not a health professional or a scientist.
Parabens are a commonly used preservative, that have been linked to things such as breast cancer, early puberty, skin rashes, and more.
Think artificial colors are just in food? Think again. I thought about this subject when I took a recent trip to Lush, a “natural” beauty products store everyone raves about. And the products are beautiful . . . and chock full of artificial colors and other nasty ingredients.
And yes, obviously, if you’re coloring your hair, most likely you’re putting artificial colors all over your head, too. And yes, for a few years, I did color my hair too. I used more natural products, but eventually, the ingredients in even those more natural products started to bother me too.
Artificial colors have been linked to things like hyperactivity and yes, cancer (does it seem that all roads lead to cancer?).
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
It’s the stuff that makes your shampoo foam. The problems with it are very similar to the problems with parabens.
This one is a tough one. Propylene Glycol, at 100% strength, is antifreeze. Just a small amount of antifreeze (which tastes sweet, apparently) can kill your cat or dog.
The propylene glycol used in beauty products is very diluted.
You do have to wonder, though, what exposure will do over time.
Guess what? It’s in my shampoo. I think it’s even tougher to find good, actually natural shampoos that work than more natural makeup.
It’s a popular ingredient in lip balms. It’s also been linked to cancer, premature aging and/or photosensitivity, and oddly enough, dry skin and chapping!
I don’t expect you to stop coloring your hair or ditch your shampoo. Keep in mind, too, that the statement “natural” on products has absolutely no meaning whatsoever. Heck, I saw a commercial for Trix cereal just this week that touted the fact that it has no artificial colors in it, as if that makes it a nutritious breakfast!
If you start to at least look at what you’re putting on your body and hair, I’ll be happy. There was definitely a day I never gave it a thought, too. And I won’t say that I never buy products that contain some of these ingredients, either — obviously.
I read the labels on my beauty products and try to make the best choices I can. Knowledge is power!
More reading on the subject:
- What are the dangers of parabens in skin care?
- 7 Reasons I hate artificial food dyes
- Dangers of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Is propylene glycol dangerous?
- What is propylene glycol and why you should avoid it
- Side effects of Petrolatum
Cosmetic lines I like (no affiliate links):
Have you ever thought about the ingredients in your beauty products?