As the first and (arguably) the most important steps in your skincare regime, putting an emphasis on choosing the right cleanser is crucial in determining the health of your skin. Though companies have made attempts to produce cleansers with clean ingredients, there are still several products on the market that contain ingredients that are detrimental to your health. That’s why doing your research on a product’s ingredients, even on the lengthy complicated ones, before purchasing is important.
Sounds difficult? We believe that making the switch to clean beauty products shouldn't be, so here’s the top three harmful ingredients you should steer away from!
Parabens are one of the most common families of chemicals that can be found in your face wash. Ranging from methylparabens to butylparabens, parabens can be found in almost all your skincare products due to its ability to elongate a product’s shelf life. However, it also has the ability to mimic estrogen (the primary female sex hormone) and cause hormonal imbalances leading to reproductive and fertility issues.
For alternatives try using a product that uses sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, or tocopherol (vitamin E).
As harmless as it sounds, fragrance is a top offender when it comes to making that difficult switch to clean beauty products. The word itself is an umbrella term that covers the identities of hundreds of chemicals that illicit allergies, asthma, hormone disruption, headaches, etc. Specifically, when found in a cleanser, fragrance can be drying and irritating. For an ingredient that does not add any effectiveness to your cleanser, it seriously should be cut out.
If you can’t live without these sweet scents, try using products that derive their scents from essential oils or fruit/plant extracts.
These synthetic chemicals can often be found in the ingredient list ending in "-siloxane" or "-methicone." It is used in face washes to increase the smooth feeling when applied, however, it has no tangible benefits to our skin. Unfortunately, it has been proven to be potentially toxic and even suspected to be an endocrine disruptor and causes fertility issues. It also has an environmental impact specifically on our aquatic organisms.
It is really important to thoroughly look over all the ingredients in your skincare before shopping. When we educate ourselves on the fillers and toxins in our skincare products, we are able to easily transition into using effective clean beauty that brings out our glowing skin. This knowledge is power and can give clean beauty brands the platform they need!
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About the Author:
Cameron Rosario is a first-year health science student at McMaster University with an interest in dermatology. When she is not writing skincare blogs or studying, she is always looking for new ways to get involved in the ethical skincare world.