Finding the Right Skincare Products

People often tend to opt for toxin and chemical free skincare products but only after suffering from a skin disorder or an autoimmune disease or other concern. But what if we didn't wait and went ahead and started living cleaner now?

Most skincare products on the market now, have so many chemicals and toxins in them that they can do more harm to our body than good.

How to Find the Right Skincare Products?

Finding the right skincare product that will suit your skin is not an easy task. As many of you already know, it's like a life journey! For example, many autoimmune diseases, such as Lupus, affect our skin; therefore, patients often rely on different skincare products to protect their skin from damage. These products should be carefully selected as the chemical and toxins (if included in the product) can lead to inflammation, which can make things worse. If you are suffering from any autoimmune disease, make sure you are taking suggestions from your Doctor before buying any product to be used on your skin, and be sure to conduct patch tests prior to using the product all over. A great place to test the product is on the inside of your arm where the elbow is.

Things to Avoid for living a “Clean Life”


Living a “clean life” should be a topmost priority for every person. By living a “clean life”, it is implied that you are using products that are healthy for your body. These products are not only limited to what we eat but also to what we apply to our skin, hair and nails and what we use as cleaning aids around the house.  

Go on and have a look at the labels of the items in your bathroom, under the kitchen and laundry sink. From cheap to expensive skin-care products sold in any store, you will find a combination of dangerous chemicals and synthetic ingredients. Remember, anything that you use on your skin is being placed on your largest organ. Your skin is porous, so it will absorb the ingredients into your body. Take for example medicines that come as a patch, that’s because your skin will absorb it.

For skincare products, there are certain ingredients, which you need to stay away from. The following excerpt was taken from Vanessa Cunningham’s article, “10 Toxic Beauty Ingredients to Avoid”.

  • Parabens are widely used preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast in cosmetic products. Sounds good, right? Not so fast, they do more than that. Parabens possess estrogen-mimicking properties that are associated with increased risk of breast cancer. These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. They can be found in makeup, body washes, deodorants, shampoos and facial cleansers. You can also find them in food and pharmaceutical products.
  • Synthetic colours. The most common are FD&C or D&C, followed by a colour and a number. These are synthetic colours commonly derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. Synthetic colours are suspected to be a human carcinogen, a skin irritant and are linked to ADHD in children. The European Classification and Labelling considers it a human carcinogen and the European Union has banned it.
  • This category is scary, because what does “fragrance” mean anyway? This term was created to protect a company’s “secret formula.” But as the consumer you could be putting on a concoction that contains tons of chemicals that are hazardous to your health. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep Database, fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system. It can be found in many products such as perfume, cologne, conditioner, shampoo, body wash and moisturizers.
  • A group of chemicals used in hundreds of products to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics. The main phthalates in cosmetics and personal care products are dibutyl phthalate in nail polish, diethyl phthalate in perfumes and lotions, and dimethyl phthalate in hair spray. They are known to be endocrine disruptors and have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive birth defects in males and females. Unfortunately, it is not disclosed on every product as it’s added to fragrances (remember the “secret formula” not listed), a major loophole in the law. They can be found in deodorants, perfumes/colognes, hair sprays and moisturizers.
  • Tricolson is widely used antimicrobial chemical that’s a known endocrine disruptor — especially thyroid and reproductive hormones, and a skin irritant. Studies raise concerns that triclosan contributes to making bacteria antibiotic-resistant. There also wasn’t enough supporting evidence that washing with antibacterial soaps containing triclosan provides any benefit over washing with regular soap and water. Tricolson can be found in toothpastes, antibacterial soaps and deodorants.
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). This surfactant can be found in more than 90 percent of personal care and cleaning products (think foaming products). SLS’s are known to be skin, lung, and eye irritants. A major concern about SLS is its potential to interact and combine with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, a carcinogen. These combinations can lead to a host of other issues like kidney and respiratory damage. They can be found in shampoo, body wash/cleanser, mascara and acne treatment.
  • Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRP’s) preservatives are used in many cosmetic products to help prevent bacteria growth. This chemical was deemed as a human carcinogen by The International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC) and has been linked to occupational related cancers: nasal and nasopharyngeal. It is known to cause allergic skin reactions and it may also be harmful to the immune system. It can be found in nail polish, body washes, conditioners, shampoos, cleansers, eye shadows, nail polish treatments.
  • A petrochemical derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. You may see it on labels listed as benzene, toluol, phenylmethane, methylbenzene. Toluene is a potent solvent able to dissolve paint and paint thinner. It can affect your respiratory system, cause nausea and irritate your skin. Expecting mothers should avoid exposure to toluene vapours as it may cause developmental damage in the fetus. Toluene has also been linked to immune system toxicity. It can be found in nail polish, nail treatments and hair colour/bleaching products.
  • Propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is an alcohol commonly used as a skin-conditioning agent. It’s classified as a skin irritant and penetrator. It has been associated with causing dermatitis as well as hives in humans — these sensitization effects can be manifested at propylene glycol concentrations as low as 2 percent. It can be found in moisturizers, sunscreen, makeup products, conditioners, shampoo and hair sprays.

Conduct your own due diligence and understand if the above products are avoidable in your household. Most of the above ingredients are included in the skincare products you are buying for yourself and your family.

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