5 Common Skincare Ingredients That Are Actually Toxic
The world of skincare can be overwhelming with thousands of brands selling thousands of products… Each trying to convince you that every new item is more crucial to your skincare routine than the last.
This nutrition bite keeps things simple and clears out the gunk that comes with navigating the world of skincare. When it comes down to it, it’s all about avoiding the wrong ingredients and finding the right ones.
5 Toxins to Avoid in Your Skin Care
A fantastic starting point to having flawless skin is avoiding skincare ingredients that deteriorate your skin.
This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many ingredients are not just allowed, but commonly found in skincare products that are actually terrible for skin! Below are major ingredient no-no’s that your skin will thank you for avoiding.
Phthalates are chemicals used to act as a binder in skincare and allow the formula to stick better on your skin. Unfortunately, exposure to these chemicals has been shown to disrupt hormone levels, increase your reproductive organ’s toxic load, and increase your cancer risk . Yikes.
When you see ‘fragrance’ listed on a skincare label, this is actually an umbrella term used to cover hundreds of different chemicals. Artificial fragrance in skincare is highly irritating and drying on the skin.
Even if you don’t initially experience any negative effects on your skin from fragrance, know that long-term use of fragrance in skincare can lead to a damaged skin barrier, redness, dehydrated skin, and dermatitis.
AND this labelling of “fragrance” can actually be any one of 1100 ingredients! As it’s a ‘secret formula’, they don’t have to list them out. If you have mystery illnesses or symptoms, “fragrance” from any cosmetic or household product could be the reason.
Petroleum is highly comedogenic, meaning it clogs your pores! This has all kinds of negative effects on your skin, such as hindering its ability to detoxify itself and blocking any beneficial ingredients in your skincare from being absorbed. It’s also made out of crude oil which is highly unsustainable, meaning it’s bad for your skin and the environment. No, thank you!
Parabens are a synthetic preservative, and are a known endocrine disruptor , making it a chemical you definitely want to stay away from!
Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done, as parabens are very widely used in skincare products. Deceptively deemed ‘safe at low levels,’ paraben exposure can easily build up from the many daily skincare products you use, increasing an individual’s toxic load well over the ‘low level’ range.
Though it’s true that caffeine can reduce puffiness and increase skin tightening, like a cup of coffee… the benefits only last a few hours. If used in excess, however, caffeinated skincare products can have a lasting effect…though it’s not a desirable one.
Caffeine can cause dryness and dehydration. Thus, when it comes to skincare ingredients, it’s best to opt for ones where only their nourishing benefits accumulate with use (and actually last).
How To Choose The Right Skincare Products
1. Ingredients First, Marketing Second
Skin is your largest organ and deserves to be taken care of. It absorbs about 60% of what you put on it, so you’d do well to ensure that what goes on your skin is clean and nourishing.
A good rule to follow when choosing skincare items is to prioritize ingredients. Pretty packaging and clever marketing don’t mean much in comparison to the skincare’s formula.
Instead of looking at the front packaging with terms like ‘natural’ or ‘organic’, READ THE LABEL. Here, you’ll find the ingredients list (in order of quantity, with the first ingredient being the highest amount used and the last being the least lowest) which will tell you more about the product’s quality.
Stick to well-researched and nourishing skincare ingredients (you’ll find that the majority are plant extracts) and avoid the ones we mentioned above.
2. Tailor Your Skincare Regimen For The Morning And Evening
Using the appropriate skincare products at the appropriate time of day can make a world of difference. Where morning skincare should prioritize protecting yourself from the sun, an evening skincare routine should prioritize restoring your skin from the day.
If a high-quality SPF is the most important product to put on during a daytime routine, having a certified organic night cream is the nighttime equivalent.
A quality night cream is one that helps to restore and repair your skin in addition to supporting your skin’s natural healing abilities, which work much faster when we sleep, and absorb more nutrients at this time. In fact, research has shown your skin repairs itself 3X FASTER at night!
3. Choose CERTIFIED Organic
Did you know that a product labelled as ‘Organic’ and those labelled ‘Certified Organic’ or ‘USDA Organic’ are worlds apart?
Organic is just another unregulated greenwashing term in the skincare industry, and holds little bearing on the actual product’s purity. Certified Organic, on the other hand, is given by a certifying third party label, and can’t be slapped on just any skincare product.
On products, this may look like having the actual words ‘certified organic’ on the label, or it can be a seal, such as one saying ‘USDA Organic.’ Whenever you’re able, choose certified organic skincare, the same way you would with food. Not only does the product have better quality ingredients, you get more skin-nourishing antioxidants with a product that has a certified organic label.