As we enter 2018 we all feel the need to put some thought into what we want to change this year, how we can better ourselves and where we can help have a positive effect. Well, we have come up with the idea of doing a beauty regime detox. That’s right, we are all very aware of what we eat, what it contains and whether it’s good for us or not; but why aren’t we the same with the products we use?
We put thousands of chemicals into our bodies without really considering what we are doing, your body wash, hair products, toothpaste, antiperspirant, moisturiser, makeup, and probably many more, all contain a range of chemicals, but do you know if any could be harmful to you?
It’s time for us to become wiser with our product choices and protect our bodies from potential risks such as carcinogenic chemicals (chemicals that have been linked to cancer) and endocrine disruptors (chemicals that could interfere with the hormonal system and cause disruptions which can lead to adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immunity effects). Below we have identified some chemicals for you to be aware of and where you are most likely to find them:
Triclosan – This is a chemical best known for its anti-bacterial properties (1). The problem is that studies have found concerns that the wide use of triclosan contributes to making bacteria antibiotic-resistant (2). Triclosan has also been identified as an endocrine disruptor, particularly affecting pregnant women, developing foetuses, and breastfeeding babies (3). This chemical has been put on the ‘Ditch the Junk Guide for Safer Cosmetics’ by Breast Cancer UK (4).
You should watch out for Triclosan in; antibacterial soaps, deodorants/antiperspirants and toothpaste.
Phthalates – Phthalates are a group of chemicals mainly used to soften and improve the flexibility and durability of plastics. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors, and exposure to phthalates has been linked to breast cancer, developmental issues, decreased fertility, obesity and asthma (5). The main phthalate chemicals to avoid in cosmetics and personal care products are dibutyl phthalate in nail polish, diethyl phthalate in perfumes, deodorants and lotions, and dimethyl phthalate in hairspray (6). These are a little harder to identify as they will sometimes be listed under the term fragrances, this is to protect secret formulas.
You should watch out for Phthalates in; deodorants, perfumes/aftershaves, hair sprays, nail polish and moisturisers.
Parabens – Parabens are a group of widely used preservatives that help prevent the growth of bacteria, mould and yeast in cosmetic products. These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have been put on the ‘Ditch the Junk Guide for Safer Cosmetics’ by Breast Cancer UK (4). You can identify parabens on labels by their individual scientific names methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben & butylparaben. Parabens have been found to mimic the production of estrogen, this particularly becomes a problem when they are mixed with heregulin (a growth-promoting substance that’s normally found in breast tissue); when this happens the number of parabens needed to stimulate growth is 100 times lower than normal (7). This indicates that parabens are particularly a threat when cancerous tumours are undiagnosed.
You should watch out for parabens in; makeup, body washes, deodorants, shampoos and facial cleansers.
It is near impossible to avoid every single chemical, but you can become more aware of what chemicals are present in the products you use, and you can make an effort to reduce the amount you expose your skin to. When looking for chemical free personal care products, it is a good idea to start with natural and organic products where possible. Plus, swap deodorants for products that are free from parabens such as the dandi patch. There are lots of organic make-up and skin care bloggers that talk you through options available so check them out for more ideas.
We wish you luck with your beauty regime detox!
Disclaimer: Professional advice should be sort if you are at all worried about any chemicals in your products or medical issues associated with them. This blog is in no way a comprehensive treatment of the subject of chemicals. We have referenced our work so you can look further into findings and to our knowledge, the content of this blog is correct at the time of publishing, but no warranty is given to that effect nor any liability accepted for use of this blog.