A good moisturizer is a vital part of your skincare routine. It helps to keep the balance of oil just right, makes sure that your skin is not too dry or too shiny, and plays a central role in preventing the emergence of the early signs of aging. However, many of the ingredients commonly added to moisturizers are toxic to your body and can increase your risk of developing certain serious health conditions.
Have you ever looked on the back of YOUR moisturizer to read the ingredients? I bet that you had no idea what any of them meant or how they would affect you. We are going to break down and explain some of the most popular ingredients used in moisturizers and how they are a health risk.
1) Diethanolamine (DEA):
DEA has been shown to interfere with the production and action of several hormones, and some studies also suggest that it can cause kidney and liver cancers. If you are pregnant, you have additional cause to avoid moisturizers that contain DEA, as it can interfere with the production of memory cells in an unborn body. The structure of DEA also means that it can be quickly and easily absorbed through human skin, so any moisturizer that contains DEA will result in large quantities of the chemical making it into your bloodstream. This is a worrying result if the chemical is as dangerous as recent investigations suggest.
Parabens (such as methylparaben and propylparaben) are preservatives that are commonly added to all kinds of skincare products, including moisturizers. However, scientists have repeatedly shown that frequent and sustained exposure to parabens increases your risk of developing breast cancer. This is because they are capable of mimicking the female hormone estrogen. Parabens are also connected with neurological disorders due to their ability to cause nervous system toxicity and are linked to severe skin irritation (including painful rashes and local swelling). Reports from the Environmental Protection Agency show that methyl parabens, in particular, can promote developmental, hormonal and metabolic disorders. You should always try to buy beauty products that are free from parabens, and many beauty companies now explicitly advertise the fact that they do not use parabens.
Formaldehyde is widely known to pose a risk to human health, but it is nonetheless often added to shower gels, shampoos and skin creams (such as moisturizers). If you use moisturizers that contain formaldehyde, you are putting yourself at an increased risk of developing asthma, chronic fatigue, a weak immune system, migraines, and problems with an irregular heartbeat. You should also avoid chemicals that release formaldehyde, such as Diazolidinyl Urea.
Due to the fact that a lot of the ingredients that go into beauty products do not smell particularly appealing, almost all moisturizers contain extra chemicals that are carefully chosen for their ability to create a pleasant and fresh smell. However, it is permissible for companies to print ‘fragrance’ on a list of ingredients no matter how many chemicals were added to create the smell of your moisturizer. In many cases, ‘fragrance’ will mean the inclusion of hundreds or thousands of extra chemicals, many of which come with serious health hazards. Some are linked to minor allergies involving skin redness, rashes and bumps, but others are connected to problems as severe as vertigo, migraines, and mood disorders. The Environmental Working Group has scored fragrance as being an eight out of ten on the scale of toxicity, so moisturizers without fragrance are obviously the safest ones to buy.
Acrylamide is found in most facial moisturizing creams, but several studies have shown that exposure to this chemical is associated with an increased risk of cancerous tumors.
6) Sodium Lauryl Sulfate:
Sodium lauryl sulfate (or SLS) is an ingredient in engine degreaser and floor cleaner, but its effectiveness means that it also added to the vast majority of personal care products. Moisturizers are no exception to this, and you should be extremely concerned about using any such creams. For one thing, there is a growing body of evidence that strongly suggests that using products containing SLS increases your risk of developing certain types of cancer. It reacts with other chemicals found in moisturizers to produce dioxins and nitrates, and these carcinogenic compounds can then be easily absorbed into your bloodstream through your skin. Further, research on animals has shown that being exposed to SLS can lead to a wide range of health problems (including sight damage, bowel disorders, depression and respiratory distress). It should also be noted that SLS is known to be such a strong skin irritant that it is the chemical most commonly used to test the effectiveness of treatments that are specifically designed to heal damaged skin.
7) Phenol carbolic acid:
It has been warned that this common ingredient in moisturizers is capable of causing paralysis, seizures, respiratory distress and circulatory collapse.
Always check the boxes and websites of any products you are interested in purchasing, and if you cannot find information about the ingredients in a moisturizer then you should err on the side of caution and buy something else.
A great alternative to using a moisturizer is Fractionated Coconut Oil. Our raw, natural Fractionated Coconut Oil has no additives, preservatives, or chemicals of any kind and is comprised of only the purest fatty acids with the shortest Capric and Caprylic Acid chains. The result is a refined, moisturizing, non-clogging, non-irritating carrier oil or base oil with multiple uses in any beauty regimen.