The beauty industry has many benefits; among them, the innovation and the creation of new products with fantastic ingredients with the ability to improve our lives, keep our skin healthy and even make us feel better in our own body. However, it also has a dark side that we rarely think of.
Cosmetics is one of the sectors that has experienced the greatest boom in recent decades. The oldest cosmetics were created thousands of years ago, although linked to religious rites and reserved for shamans or priests. The first decorations of the body used by the civilian population were probably the tattoos, of which they have found indications of their use already in the year 6,000 BC. The first evidence of cosmetics similar to those we know now has been found in the Egyptian people about 4,000 BC. The majority had animal or vegetable origin, although some mineral products, sometimes highly toxic, such as mercury were also used.
Between the 16th and 18th centuries, there was a great development of cosmetics and several new products were introduced, still manufactured mainly based on plants. But it was from the beginning of the 20th century when cosmetics became popular, until today it has become an almost essential product in most homes.
Although there are a lot of safe ingredients and full of benefits for our skin, nails and hair, it is also possible to find ourselves - even today - with a lot of substances that we do not give much importance but that can be very harmful to health.
That's why, and because the information is power, we will explain to you what they are and why you should avoid some of the most famous chemical compounds in the industry, how to find them on the labels of your favorite products and chemicals are the potential damages you face on a daily basis.
BHA and BHA
This used primarily in moisturizers is an endocrine disruptor and according to the FDA "is expected to be a carcinogen" in high concentrations. Butylated hydroxyanisole can also be guilty of skin depigmentation and in animal studies, it has caused liver damage, as well as papilloma-like stomach cancer and carcinoma, and interference with thyroid hormone levels.
Look for it in your blush, eyeliner, mascara, makeup base, and conditioner.
This byproduct of coal processing that is banned in the European Union but not in America, is predominantly included as a dye and hair shampoo and is known to be carcinogenic. In the list of ingredients, it is also possible that you find it as a color plus a number like ‘FD&C Red No. 6’.
This is probably one of the most dangerous. Not only because it sounds totally harmless, but because a lot of beauty and personal care products list it among its ingredients.
The problem with the fragrance is that, thanks to certain protection of the “secret formulas of the companies” they do not have the legal duty to explain what chemicals make up these fragrances, so they could include, from one hundred percent safe compounds to some of the ingredients that we mentioned before.
This condom, also banned in the European Union, is still used in America, especially in bath and hair products, such as straighteners, and even on famous Brazilian blowout. He is known by the International Agency on Research on Cancer for being a human carcinogen and for causing respiratory damage, extreme skin irritation, asthma, neurotoxicity, and developmental toxicity.
Also stay away from DD hydantoin, Diazolidinyl urea, methenamine, and quarter-15, as these ingredients release formaldehyde, which makes them as harmful as the substance itself.
PARABENS OR PARABENS
This ingredient, used in a wide variety of cosmetic products as a preservative is another great endocrine disruptor. These have been linked - in a large number of studies - to breast cancer, and have even been found in cancerous tissue of this type.
This ingredient has also been proven to cause hormonal alteration, DNA damage and increased skin aging; and is found in virtually any product. So, to make it simple, simply search your tags for butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, or virtually anything that ends in "paraben" or variations of hydroxybenzoate, hydroxybenzoate or ester.
PHTHALATES or PHTHALATES
This group of chemists is banned in Europe and Japan and accused of being an endocrine disruptor, which means that it brings with it a wide variety of hormonal problems and can cause developmental problems, infertility, and even a link to diabetes and Some types of cancer.
Look for it in perfumes, deodorant, cream, spray and nail varnish; and try to avoid above all things, DBP, DEHP, DMP, DEP, dibutyl/diethyl ester, and 2-benzene dicarboxylic.
SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE or LAURYL SODIUM SULFATE
This compound, also known as SLS or SLES, is found in almost 90% of personal care and cleaning products; especially in those that foam like shampoos, cleansers and bath products. The problem with this substance is that it can be found contaminated with ‘1,4-dioxane’, which can cause cancer, skin, lung and eye irritation; as well as damage to the kidney and respiratory system.
Simply search your tags for any term that ends in "sulfate" and be sure to remove them from your beauty arsenal.
TALC or TALCO
Also known as magnesium silicate, this distance contains particles with asbestos that have been linked to ovarian cancer and respiratory problems; So, although supposedly all the talc found in the cosmetic industry is free of asbestos, it is best to continue considering this compound as toxic or harmful.
Cosmetics with animal origins?
Another cruel edge that we ignore from the cosmetic industry is the slaughter of an immense amount of animals to obtain ingredients that end up in the products we use daily, of which we ignore the background of their origin. Among them we cite the following:
- Lactic acid from fermented dairy and bovine blood. Casein is a protein found in dairy products.
- The adrenaline that is obtained directly from the glands of mammalian animals.
- Beeswax that comes from beehive hives. Royal jelly is a segregation of the hypopharyngeal glands that young bees possess, which is integrated with stomach substances to feed the larvae. The propolis also produced by bees, is used in personal hygiene products.
- Albumin comes from the egg and is a protein.
- Biotin, also known as vitamin B8, B7 or H, is found in dairy products, from which the alpha hydroxic acid used for exfoliants is also obtained.
- Silk is segregation produced by the silkworm glands or bombyx more.
- The sperm whale or spermaceti is extracted from the skull or the head region of sperm whales and whales, widely used for fuels, in the pharmaceutical industry, lubricants, and candles.
- Collagen is a protein, a molecule of collagen, which is part of the skin and bone tissues of mammals. Another animal protein is keratin.
- Glycerol or glycerin is what results from the degradation of lipids during digestion. There are also alternatives to plant origin.
- Sperm, is the seminal fluid of mammals, is also used in cosmetics.
- Marine oil usually comes from shellfish, fish, crustaceans and marine mammals.
- The gelatin is a set of slaughterhouse waste, such as brains and others, which together with the bones are boiled for extraction. It has a vegetable alternative.
- Turtle oil is extracted from different species of turtles. The mink or mink oil is extracted from this mammal which is also cruelly exploited by the fashion industry in addition to cosmetics.
- Musk oil also known as musk oil is obtained by extracting it from the musk deer gland.
- Lactose is a sugar that is usually extracted from bovine milk.
- Uric acid can be found in fecal wastes and urine and is composed of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen.
- The placenta is an organ that develops during the pregnancy of mammals, serves as a provider of nutrients and oxygen to the fetus, also helps eliminate waste from it.
- Provitamin A, beta carotene, b-carotene or carotene are extracted from the liver of mammals. Panthenol is similar to vitamin B5 alcohol or pantothenic acid.
What solutions are out there?
For the elaboration of cosmetic products, there are countless natural ingredients that are beneficial for our skin, hair, without the need to use harmful substances.
Ecological cosmetics ensure that in the production of the products have not been used
With basic hygiene, precaution and awareness care, most of these discomforts are avoided. According to the expert, to prevent the most common dermatological health problems, which are sometimes initiated by using poor quality products on the face and that can spread to other parts of the body, the following steps should be performed:
- To achieve a healthy and natural makeup is to acquire good quality products.
- Brushes and applicators for makeup should be of good quality, changed at least every two months and kept in a hygienic place, avoiding contact with areas that can contaminate them.
- Makeup removal is an essential part of dermatological health, which should be done daily. The makeup that helps us to have a better appearance and protect the pores of the skin against impurities of the environment during the day, must be removed at night to remove all contaminants that have been adhered to and also allow the pores to stimulate The skin rest.
- Check expiration. A makeup base has an average life of one year. Find the dates and remember them.
- Cover your products well. Bacteria found in the air can cause side effects.
- Wash hands and tools. This habit will prevent various dermatological diseases.
- Pay attention to the texture. If your cosmetics change color or smell, do not use them anymore.
- Do not lend makeup. It is a personal article, so no one else should use them; With this, you will prevent many infections.
- Change after an illness. After contracting any infectious disease on the skin of the face or eyes such as conjunctivitis, it is important to change the pencil or eyeliner fluid, eyelashes, etc.
Avoid the dangers of industrial cosmetics
Simplify your routines
The first formula to simplify your daily routine is to avoid using two products when one may be enough.
Do an "audit" of your bathroom and its components, and do not hesitate to get rid of everything that is unnecessary.
Do not go over what is obvious
Do not be fooled: before purchasing another product make sure that it is not your daily routine or your habits that are causing you the problem you want to tackle.
That is, do you have dry skin? Ask yourself if you drink enough water. Have you lost the luminosity in the skin? Think if you are having a deep and restful sleep.
If you continue smoking, you may notice dark circles that you cannot undo for many products you use. In this case, it is your fault.
Cut chemical consumption
It is not practical to think that you can trim all the chemicals in your daily routine and it is not necessary either. However, some are very harmful to health and continue to include them in the products.
The big question so far was whether plant creams were really as effective as those that contained the high technology of active ingredients.
In recent times this concern has dissipated and there are already companies that combine the latest scientific innovations with natural ingredients. In fact, every day there are more traditional or newly created brands that join this trend, including more natural products and taking advantage of their fantastic properties.
Cosmetic products, such as makeup, are a fundamental part of promoting personal beauty. However, most make-ups with synthetic and chemical ingredients cause long-term facial skin effects. Not for nothing it is always strongly recommended to remove make-up before bedtime, although, sometimes it is the same make-up remover that can cause negative effects over time.
AntiAging nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and E are used in cosmetic products to fight against free radicals that involve inflammation and aging inside our body. Externally fight wrinkles and skin spots.
The best plants for skincare are Goji, rosehip, and blueberry, for its rich properties in vitamins and antioxidants. They also have regenerative effects and stimulate the production of collagen. For this reason, they are included so frequently in current cosmetics.
On the other hand, calendula and chamomile have anti-inflammatory and calming properties, which make them ideal for reducing swelling and concealing dark circles and even relieving allergic reactions.
Natural oils such as jojoba and argan, as well as lavender and incense, contain a high percentage of ceramides and vitamin E, which, when applied, our skin retains hydration and at the same time works on cell regeneration.
As consumers, we are increasingly aware of the toxins we are exposed to daily. Unfortunately, the toxins and harmful chemicals we are in contact with are not only in food but also in the products we use daily during our beauty and body care ritual.
Even if you are aware of the chemicals you should avoid and always try to always choose products labeled "natural", not all beauty products are produced in the same way and many companies benefit from the legal loopholes to label their products as "organic" "Or" natural "when in reality they are anything but that.
New brands are constantly appearing to promote healthy and chemical-free products, but if you look more closely at the labels of their cosmetics, you will realize that most contain hidden chemicals that you should avoid at all costs. While some of these components present few risks to your health, others are known to be carcinogens or negatively affect your body.
To minimize the risk it is convenient to use products with the least possible number of compounds that act as preservatives and fragrances. In addition, as long as possible, avoid the ingredients mentioned above.
It is advisable to use hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested makeups. In addition, more occlusive cosmetics, which merge deeper with the skin, can worsen the allergic reaction by increased contact and penetration.
Sonia Corredor/Shimarz Blog Writer