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10 Toxic Chemicals You Should Always Avoid In Your Skin Care Products

By Pooja Kaushal

Let's get ready to review our skin care products. How many of us have given a thought to the ingredients used in them? The attractive packaging and attention-grabbing commercials force us to believe that investing in over-the-counter skin care products is 'essential' for our skin. It hardly matters what goes into making them.

With time awareness has started spreading. Time and again questions are raised about the safety of skin care products. Here we too try to take a look at some such ingredients that have crept into our homes and into our system through some products we use.

You can get all your skin care products and check if any of the following chemicals are present in them or not. If they are, dump them. You cannot compromise with your health, especially if the threat is as serious as cancer.


1. Coal Tar:

Feeling surprised? You may not find it listed as coal tar. This goes by the chemical name of aminophenol, diaminobenzene and phenylenediamine. Identified as a carcinogen you will find this in hair dyes and dandruff-treating shampoos. It has been banned in many countries but still used in some.


2. Formaldehyde or Formaldehyde Releasing Preservatives:

This is another carcinogen found in nail products, shampoos, baby shampoos and body washes. The presence of this ingredient can cause skin irritation, cancer, interfere with growth, hamper brain development and induce asthma in children.


3. Hydroquinone:

Fair skin is desired by many. The skin care product industry has cashed in on this desire and produced products containing hydroquinone. It is a skin lightener with serious side effects. When tested on animals it was found to lead to tumour development.


4. Mercury:

We all know mercury is bad. But do we know that the skin lightening lotion that we may be using contains mercury? It easily gets absorbed by the skin and leads to mercury poisoning.


5. Mineral Oil:

Minerals and oils may sound good together but they are quite the contrary. This byproduct of petroleum jelly is widely used in baby oils and moisturizers. When used it forms a very thin layer on the skin and impairs the skin's ability to release toxins.


6. Parabens:

Recently I bought a shampoo which claimed "Paraben Free". It aroused my curiosity about the product and what I found was not less shocking. This chemical has the ability to cause cancer, reproductive toxicity and endocrine disruption.


7. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate:

This is often found in soaps, body washes, shampoos, tooth pastes, etc. Once used as an industrial degreaser this chemical is now a part of our daily cleansing regime. This carcinogenic ingredient has the ability to harm the nervous system.


8. Triclosan:

An endocrine disrupter, harmful to the reproductive hormones and thyroid is how we can describe the chemical Triclosan. This is often found in skin cleansers, toothpastes and deodorants.


9. Phthalates:

These may give a good fragrance but they even have the ability to block a man's testosterones and cause damage to his reproductive system. And if that is not all phthalates have been linked to risks of breast cancer too.


10. Oxybenzone:

This chemical is used in sunscreens to help block the UV rays. While it may do that externally it causes harmful effects internally. Skin irritation, hormonal imbalance, low birth weight and damaged cells are some such threats it poses us to.

If you have been checking your skin care products you may have come across most of these in the ingredient list. Now the ball is in your court. Do you still wish to use these products? Give it a thought.

Read more about: shampoo body lotion
Story first published: Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 20:00 [IST]
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