When it comes to skin and hair care, sometimes it’s better to just stick to the basics. Many of these so-called “beauty enhancing” products actually harm your skin in the long run. So before you slather heaps of chemicals on yourself, spare a thought to the impact it might have on your health.
The ongoing trend of self-care replete with a day/ night time skincare and haircare routine might have some apparent good results, but only externally. Internally, they have the potential to cause some serious health concerns. For example, people who obsess over their skincare routine often have the tendency to miss out on interaction with the sun and fresh air, which is a source of some important nutrients.
Another myth perpetuated by the cosmetic industry is “Exposure to UV light causes cancer.” The fact on the contrary, is that regular exposure to sunlight actually decreases the risk of skin cancer.
The composition of these beauty products often includes toxic chemicals that are added to increase the shelf-life of the product, improve its texture, or to reduce its cost. We are told that these toxic chemicals have been added in “acceptable” quantities. However, prolonged usage of the product containing toxic chemicals even within “acceptable limits” can cause much damage to our skin, hair and overall health. Therefore, it is advisable to limit the exposure to such beauty products.
Personal care products (PCP) are those which we use daily for hygiene, health, grooming, and cleaning. They’re in every household and we’re exposed to them constantly, making it easy for them to have an impact on our lives.
- Skin and hair care products
- Sunscreen or UV-blocking lotions
- Insect repellents
- Perfumes, etc.
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We’re all familiar with reading labels on the food we eat, but how many of us take the time to do the same with our personal care products?
Just like we should be aware of the toxic chemicals in our food, we need to be cognizant of the ingredients in our skincare, hair care, and makeup products. Let’s make a concerted effort to avoid using products with harmful chemicals.
We all are exposed to these toxic chemicals via 2 routes:
1. Direct route: inhalation, ingestion, dermatologically and absorption.
2. Indirect route: Environmental contamination
The regular use of personal care products (PCPs) is also a threat to the environment. Irrespective of whether we apply these products on our bodies externally or ingest them, they are eventually washed off and are drained out as part of the waste water. The toxic chemical content in waste-water has an adverse effect on human and marine life. To make matters worse, PCPs are considered necessary, are readily available and affordable.
Let’s know the top offenders:
- Sodium Lauryl/ Laureth Sulphate (SLS and SLES): a foaming agent that harms organs over time and can irritate the skin, induce cataracts, and cause skin irritation
- Petroleum/Paraffin/Mineral oils: excessive usage promotes skin diseases and premature ageing.
- Formaldehyde: an agent that causes cancer, is also known by the names quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethy|glycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol (Bronopol), glyoxal, and oxaldehyde.
- Synthetic scents and perfume: A single scent may contain up to 200 ingredients. Any products with “fragrance” listed as an ingredient should be avoided.
- Parabens: are harmful to the endocrine system because they mimic estrogen. Labels may list isobutyl paraben, butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben as examples.
- Mercury: often known as thimerosal and Merthiolate, is a metal preservative that is in the brain. Neurodegenerative illnesses may result from this.
- Phthalates: These plasticizing substances have been connected to congenital disorders and liver, kidney, and lung damage. They bear the designations BDP, DEHP, and DEP.
- Hydroquinone: The chemical hydroquinone, which is used to lighten skin and stop the synthesis of melanin has been related to cancer, organ damage, and skin irritation.
- Propylene Glycol/ Polyethylene glycol (PEGs): The antifreeze chemical propylene glycol/polyethylene glycol (PEGs) has been causing skin conditions and organ damage.
- Triclosan: It is an antibacterial product that you might see in a lot of different household items, like hand soap. It’s important to be aware of this product because it can cause antibiotic resistance. This happens because triclosan kills all bacteria, good and bad. When it does this, it also wipes out your body’s natural microbiome, which is a defence against viruses. It also deeply affects thyroid hormone and cholesterol synthesis. In other words, this product can majorly disrupt your metabolism.
- Siloxane and cyclical silicones: These are two more ingredients that you should be aware of. They’re not environment friendly and they can cause endocrine disruption.
- Ethanolamines: They are usually pretty safe, but they can be allergens to sensitive skin. So if you have sensitive skin, you should look out for monoethanolamine (MEA), diethanolamine (DEA), and triethanolamine (TEA).
- Oxybenzone: It is a potential endocrine disruptor.
- Resorcinol: It is normally present in hair colour and bleaching products. These products are known to cause immune disruption and skin irritation.
- PFAs and PFCs: These are fluorinated chemicals that have been linked to serious health effects, including thyroid problems and even cancer.
There is no doubt that chemical-based beauty products have a major impact on our skin. The ingredients in these products can penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream, where they can cause a variety of problems. Some of the most common side effects of beauty products include skin irritation, allergic reactions, and even cancer. In addition, these products can also disrupt the body’s natural hormone balance ( endocrine disruptors ) which can lead to a variety of problems, including acne and other skin conditions.
The health impacts of conventional personal care products doesn’t mean you have to give up your favourite products. You can find all-natural personal care products that are non-toxic, gentle, and eco-friendly.
And in case you have already become a victim of beauty or personal care products, you needn’t worry. You can contact us at Wellfinity. We help people reverse their chronic diseases by finding and addressing the root cause.
Come see us and be healthy and vibrant again!
Source credit for this blog: Dr Garima Kumar, FM Clinic