Though some of us may not realise it, many skincare products are packed to the brim with a cocktail of synthetic chemicals, of which many can poorly influence our health and wellbeing. Whether they’re in the form of artificial fragrances, parabens, formaldehyde, or anything in-between, these ingredients can contribute to skin irritation, dermatitis, and a variety of other undesirable conditions.
Luckily, natural skincare alternatives are available from skincare companies such as Kubu for those wanting to look after their skin without synthetic chemicals in their skincare routine. To do so, you must know which chemicals to keep your eyes peeled for.
Want to learn more about the harmful effects of chemicals commonly found in skincare products?
Here are 7 chemical ingredients to eliminate from your skincare routine.
Parabens work as a preservative in beauty products, helping to stop bacteria from forming within. However, studies have suggested the chemical may have adverse effects on our health and wellbeing. Although more research is required, parabens have been linked to an increased risk of some health conditions including breast cancer.
Parabens can be found in deodorant, shampoo, and other personal care items, so if you’re eager to eliminate the chemical from your skincare regime, consider opting for a natural version of these products.
Formaldehyde is also used in cosmetics to stop the growth of bacteria in products, however the chemical has also been suggested to poorly impact our skin health. Despite being found in products like shower gel and moisturisers, formaldehyde can often trigger inflammation and dermatitis.
Formaldehyde is used in many personal care items other than moisturisers and body wash, including toothpaste, hand soap, cleansers, and more.
3. Artificial Fragrances
While browsing a skincare product’s ingredient list, you’ll often see ‘artificial fragrance’ slotted into the list. This particular ingredient is essentially a cocktail containing hundreds of diverse chemicals, impacting our wellbeing in different ways. The poor effects of artificial fragrances on our health can be extensive, including links to headaches and asthma.
Natural scents can smell amazing and products such as our face serum range have no artificial fragrances and are instead scented with natural plant and essential oils.
4. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Have you ever wondered what makes your shampoos or body washes foam up? For this, you can thank sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS. However, this chemical can have some counter-productive results on the skin, often causing irritation and even dryness by removing the skin’s natural oils.
Sodium lauryl sulfate can be found in a variety of skincare products, though there are natural alternatives available so you can avoid experiencing negative reactions from exposure to the chemical. For example, coconut oil can be a worthy foaming alternative, while also helping to hydrate the skin - a winning combination.
5. Polyethylene Glycol
Polyethylene glycol is often added into skincare products to help deliver the nutrients and ingredients deeper into the skin. Though it’s due to this reason that the chemical is bad for skin health – as all ingredients, including the unhealthy ingredients, are all delivered into the body much faster due to polyethylene glycol. Polyethylene glycol can also contribute to skin irritation.
Mainly found in nail care products, toluene helps to remove nail polish. Although, the chemical can also poorly affect our wellbeing, delivering short term effects such as dizziness and headaches. Plus, in serious circumstances, toluene can also contribute to reproductive damage.
If you’re hoping to eliminate toluene from your nail care routine, there are plenty of natural home recipes for nail polish remover, involving vinegar, lemon, or even hand sanitiser.
Oxybenzone absorbs the sun’s UV light, helping to protect our skin from sun damage. For this reason, the chemical can be found in many sunscreens and skin care products. Oxybenzone is also used to stabilise and strengthen the color and scent of some skincare products.
However, the chemical has been linked to skin allergies, and there is some debate surrounding whether or not oxybenzone is linked to cancer, although more research is required to really understand these risks. There are also some concerns if this chemical may damage coral, and therefore the US State of Hawaii has banned the sale of sunscreens with this chemical.
For those wanting to switch to a natural sunscreen, mineral-based sunscreens are available, with alternative ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium oxide.