You may not think that the skin care products you use could be harmful, but it is possible. Some chemicals in common beauty and personal hygiene products have been linked to various ailments, including cancer, infertility, and birth defects. Former FDA experts recommend learning more about skin care products before making a purchase decision. Here’s how to ensure you’re buying safe skincare products.
- Check Relevant Websites
If you are concerned about the safety of your skincare products, there is a way to ensure that they’re safe. The Skin Deep Database can help consumers find out what’s in their beauty products and how it might affect them.
It offers an easy-to-use online system for evaluating ingredients found in cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, hair dyes, and other personal care items. So before buying any product for your skin or hair, make sure you take a moment to look up its rating on the database first.
You should also know if the manufacturer has ever had legal problems or filed complaints with the FDA because this could indicate potential unsafe practices.
- Read Labels
Labels are an important way to ensure you know what is in your products and the order of ingredients. However, it can be tough for you to make sense of all the long lists of words on a bottle, so it’s best to keep things simple by looking at these two labels: The list before “Oil Of…” or after that phrase; and Ingredients Listing (typically found under Product Details).
The first label will tell you if there are potentially harmful chemicals present, such as Parabens which may be linked with breast cancer. You want to look out for anything with “parfum,” “PEGs,” “SLS,” or any other unfamiliar ingredients listed in the same sentence as parabens.
The second label will tell you what’s in the product, with less room for confusion or guessing. You want to look out for anything that starts with “Sodium,” which usually indicates a chemical ingredient (or sometimes oil). If it doesn’t sound natural, write down the name and research more about how it may affect your skin type before buying.
- Avoid Unnecessary Fragrances
Some consumer products, such as soaps and cleansers, contain fragrance. Fragrance can be a skin irritant or allergen. Consider avoiding these types of products if you have sensitive skin or allergies.
The chemical compound that is used to produce fragrances in cosmetics may also act as an endocrine disruptor and carcinogen because it mimics the hormone estrogen. Research by Women’s Voices For The Earth suggests that this type of substance could lead to breast cancer. Keep your exposure low by limiting the use of body lotions with added scents. Instead, opt for unscented options when available.
Frequent use of synthetic fragrances has been linked to migraines, asthma, allergic rhinitis, and eczema.
If you are troubled by any of these symptoms or have a known skin allergy- avoid products containing fragrance. The fragrance is also sometimes used as a mask for other ingredients that irritate the skin (such as formaldehyde).
The Bottom Line
Skincare is an essential part of your hygiene. Having healthy and clean skin can improve your confidence and the way you feel about yourself. It’s a natural desire to want to ensure you’re taking good care of yourself. So, it helps if you know what ingredients are safe for you and what ingredients are not.