• Chemicals in Conventional Skincare Products 24 May 2015 | View comments

  • Ok, I have been asked to contribute to a regular feature Blog on a variety of nasty and potentially harmful chemicals that are in most conventional skincare products. After studying this in some detail for my qualifications, it is a subject that I found both fascinating and also shocking. Fascinating because of the amazing things our skin and body can adapt to and shocking at the amount and types of chemicals that are present in everyday conventional skincare products, these include, preservatives, toxic chemicals, synthetic fragrance/flavours, and can you believe it in some products the use of slaughter-house by-products….yuk! Is it any wonder we get ill, the list of chemicals goes on. Some chemicals may case no harm but others can cause a whole host of skin irritations and hormonal disruptions as well as having negative effects on the environment, for example the micro beads that have been used in skincare cleansers are now being phased out because they have been found in fish, we eat the fish and actually end up ingesting these harmful micro beads! Also chemicals in products that have been flushed away down our sinks and bathtubs can end up in the water system, the water then used on crops and in turn ending up back in our food system.


    Everyone should understand that using ‘gone off’ skincare products that may be full of bacteria can be just as harmful to our health as the chemicals themselves, therefore some kind of preservatives may be necessary, however, there are other natural and less harmful products that can be used to extend the shelf life of a product. Why are these chemicals used? well because they are inexpensive, they extend the shelf life of products extensively so these products can be mass produced and a lot of profit is to be made. The average woman uses approximately 500 chemicals a day, it takes 26 seconds for the skin to absorb a large percentage of whatever product we put on our skin in to the blood stream. Some of these chemicals can contribute to a whole range of health complaints and some of these chemicals have been detected in human tissue.


    I have been conducting my own research on a very well know high street brand product that has been clinically proven to give anti-wrinkle results. Whilst conducting my research I can see that a number of other people have also conducted their own research on the very same product and have named & shamed the well know brand. I won’t be naming and shaming in any of my posts as this is not what I am about. Some individuals really are not bothered about what they are putting on their skin as long as it works for them and that is perfectly fine, it is there choice to do so. I am about raising awareness for those individuals that are concerned and informing them that they do have a choice to purchase natural and alternative products. When I looked at the ingredients list of this well know brand product I could see that one of them is used to smooth out plastic products as well as containing not just one but a number of Parabens, personally I do not want to put a product on the delicate skin of my face that is used to smooth out plastic products.


    This is my first Blog post on this and the feature chemical for this post is known as a Paraben. Some of you may have heard of Parabens as they are widely used in skincare products such as shampoos, creams, body lotions etc. These chemicals are used for preservative properties, to inhibit microbial growth and are inexpensive for the manufacturers. Parabens may be harmful if ingested, they may cause irritation of the skin, eyes and the respiratory tract, may cause allergic skin reactions, have been known to effect the hormones and have also been found in breast tumours. From April 2014 a number of Parabens have been prohibited in cosmetic products in the EU, these are isopropylparaben, isobutylparaben, phenylparaben, benzylparaben and pentylparaben, whilst these chemicals have been banned from use, manufacturers could still market their products up until October 2014, whilst every cosmetic manufacturer needs to comply with this by July 2015 so there may still be products on the shelves that contain these banned substances.


    The most common Parabens still used are methylparaben, ethylparaben, n-propylparaben, n-butylparaben and isobutylparaben. Commonly used parabens are endocrine disrupting chemicals which means that if they get in to the human body they have the potential to impact on both men and women, some can mimic the female hormone of oestrogen, all parabens have been shown to bind to human oestrogen receptors and therefore increase the oestrogen responsive genes in human cells and oestrogen can increase the development of breast cancer. ‘Breast Cancer UK supports the phase out of all Parabens from all cosmetics and products designed to be on the skin’.  Parabens are banned in other countries like Japan and Sweden and are under review in the UK and a well know health care shop in the UK will not stock any products containing Parabens.


    Personally I avoid any nasty chemicals in cosmetic products especially Parabens and eat organic foods where possible. If you want to avoid Parabens altogether take a look at the ingredients list on your beauty products and avoid anything ending in Paraben. There are also a couple of really good Apps out at the moment, one is called Think Dirty and the other is Skin Deep, both Apps allow you to search for a whole range of cosmetic products and each product is rated accordingly by chemical content. Look out for my next blog covering another chemical that is widely used in skincare and cosmetic products.


    24/05/15 © D-L Dutton 



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    Sarah Created on 27/05/2015 22:41

    Brilliant & informative article
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