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February 17, 2015 4 min read
They lurk in many popular lotions, body washes, and soaps, just waiting to infiltrate our bodies by absorbing through our skin. They hide behind the masks of many different complicated names and chemical structures that the common shopper would neither understand nor be able to pronounce. And while pronunciation is not the real problem that these ingredients pose, the lack of understanding that the public has about them does pose a potentially severe issue that continues to grow and build as the years pass.
We call them preservatives, the substances often used to prolong a product’s shelf life by ensuring that bacteria and other undesirable cells cannot grow, and that time does not age the product. Common in most of the products lining the aisles of the skin-care and beauty sections, they typically make their way onto the user’s skin from head to toe, posing a collective of health problems years down the road. Yet many people continue to use these products on themselves and their children as well. Face naturals offers an exclusive look at the secret world of preservatives, and how to avoid them.
Preservatives are some of the skin-care industry’s most frightening ingredients, and contribute to a lot of serious health problems that become increasingly worse among the world’s population. Many of these chemical compounds can absorb directly through the skin and into the blood stream, effecting many of your natural bodily functions for the worst. We outlined some of the main culprits to keep an eye out for, and to avoid if you discover them in any ingredient lists.
First and foremost, watch out for any kind of paraben ingredient. We will continue to warn our readers and clients as much as we can against the effects of this preservative. When an application is applied over the surface of the skin, you put your self at risk for testicular and breast cancer, endocrine disruption, and male breast development. In fact, tissue samples taken from breast cancers show traceable amounts of parabens. It can also be found in large quantities in the urine of those using products containing this preservative.
Iodopropynyl butylcarbonate also prolongs shelf life as an effective but highly toxic preservative. It poses a threat as a neurotoxin, and can restrict fertility in adults. Pregnant women are also at risk, as this chemical compound can enhance the chances of miscarriage and other complications during pregnancy or birth.
Another carcinogenic ingredient that often enhances the stability of skin-care products, phenoxyethanol, could potentially enhance your chances of developing cancerous formations. High or continued usage or exposure to it may also result in future organ damage, as it creates more stress for their natural functions. More common concerns include irritation for skin, eyes, and lungs.
BHA and BHT both serve as preservatives in a number of products, including makeups and moisturizers. They cause endocrine disruption, and are cancer-causing agents that can prove harmful to the environment and the wildlife inhabiting it. EWG lists both as moderate to high hazards, with a moderate level of potential immunotoxicity. This pair of poisons can also cause skin sensitivity and damage to organ systems.
Benzyl alcohol has two forms: a natural one that occurs naturally and a synthetic formula. Beware the synthetic formula! Many manufacturers use the synthetic formula for cost effectiveness, which includes benzyl chloride and sodium hydroxide for the chemical compound. EWG rates its overall hazard as moderate. It can contribute to toxicity for the organs and the development of allergies. It may also be listed as benzenemethanol, benzylic alcohol, alpha-toluenol, and a number of other ingredient names.
You can better your skin’s health by kicking out all products containing the unnatural, chemically toxic preservatives. Most of them have been proven to irritate the skin on contact, and create allergies. Some can even wreak havoc on the systems and functions of your body’s organs, and create future problems for your children. Which would your prefer, a longer shelf life or a healthy product that will not have regrettable, long-term effects on your body?
Face naturals offers completely healthy and healing options through our products formulated with organic ingredients. We only use all-natural botanicals in our skin-care products to ensure the safety of you and your family. You can avoid the risks of understudied chemicals, and use the tried and true botanicals trusted for many years. Start a new tradition in health, and contact us to learn more about what products will work best for you. We look forward to helping you convert your chemically formulated products into a skin-care routine that heals naturally.
Harmful Ingredient Glossary
‘Dirty Dozen’ Cosmetic Chemicals to Avoid
Benzoic Acid – a Harmful Preservative
Preservatives in Skin Care – What to Look For and What to Look Out For
EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database
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