As the largest organ of the body, the skin absorbs everything applied to it. That’s why you have to be conscious of what you put on your skin.
“When you apply a treatment cream to your skin that contains estrogen, progesterone or testosterone, it chemically alters your entire hormonal system- including endocrine, musculoskeletal and nervous system.
“All are absorbed directly through the skin. It’s pretty powerful stuff,” says Nicole Sherwin – founder of Eco Diva Natural.
“So imagine applying the latest creams, washes, make-up and lotions to your skin without ever investigating if they contain potentially harmful toxic ingredients.
“Not only can certain toxins send your skin out of balance, potentially creating skin conditions like pigmentation, eczema, acne, rosacea, psoriasis and even premature ageing – but can disrupt your entire body and your brain – even leading to serious illnesses like cancer, Alzheimer’s, neurological disorders and even death.”
So, when shopping for skincare products, these are the ingredients you should avoid because they can be harmful to your skin.
Sodium laureth sulfate
Commonly used as a car wash soap, an engine degreaser, and garage and concrete floor cleaner, sodium laureth sulfate should not be used in beauty and hair products as it is known to surround hair follicles in shampoo to keep it from growing, with the result that hair falls out.
Cocamide, Lauramide DEA (diethanolamine)
Readily absorbed through the skin, this ingredient can potentially cause cancer. So, when shopping for cosmetics and toiletries, avoid products that contain cocamide at all costs.
Many skincare products contain synthetic substances – petroleum (chemical) based. Studies show that oral and topical application of petrochemicals in rodents resulted in anaemia, kidney degeneration, and nerve damage to the brain and spinal cord.
Also known as Methylparaben, Propylparaben, IIsoparaben, Butylparaben.
Parabens are a group of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
They have been linked to possible carcinogenicity as well as an estrogenic effect from being exposed to the continued use of parabens as preservatives.
The common ingredients in perfume are benzyl alcohol, acetone, linalool, ethanol, ethyl acetate, benzaldehyde, camphor, formaldehyde, methylene chloride and limonene.
Exposure to fragrance chemicals can cause headaches, eye, nose, and throat irritation, nausea, forgetfulness, loss of coordination, and other respiratory and/or neurotoxic symptoms.
Many fragrance ingredients are respiratory irritants and sensitisers, which can trigger asthma attacks and aggravate sinus conditions. These chemicals can also be found in many face and body moisturisers, shampoos, body washes and cleansers.
A few studies from the early 2000s concluded that aluminium in antiperspirants might increase the risk of breast cancer. They suggest aluminium compounds found in cancerous breast cells near the armpit are because of antiperspirant use.