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by on Aug 24, 2013

5 Ingredients To Avoid In Your Hair And Skin Products

It wasn’t until I went natural that I discovered the importance of reading ingredient list. There are millions of skin and hair products on the market and with competition being so stiff, some companies will do just about anything to insure their products are cheap for them to make, yet expensive for you to buy. Even if that means using ingredients that are harmful to you with long term use. Here are 5 commonly used ingredients you should avoid.  Some you might already be familiar with, but others are sneaking into your beauty routine under the radar.

5 Ingredients Commonly Used in Beauty Products That Are Harmful To You:

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – Most curly heads already know to avoid this ingredient and opt for sulfate free products instead. SLS can be found in many products that create a foam or lather. Carpet cleaner, engine degreasers and dish soap all contain SLS. Do you really want that on your face or hair? Known side effects are skin irritation, eye damage, trouble with breathing and diarrhea. (Gross) Besides that it’s extremely drying to hair and skin.

Phthalates - These can be difficult if not impossible to spot on product labels because they often hide under the umbrella of “fragrance.” Phthalates are often used as “plasticizers” to promote flexibility and durability. They are also used as gelling agents in cosmetic and beauty products: shampoo, hairspray, hair gel, deodorant, nail polish, and body lotions.

Benzoyl Peroxide - When I found out how harmful this is I was a bit surprised. I’ve seen it listed on tons of acne fighting beauty products. I thought it was one of the good guys, but the truth is Benzoyl Peroxide has serious side effects and has been found to promote the growth of tumors because it acts as a mutagen. This mutagen causes DNA damage to both human and animal cells. Yikes! It’s also harmful via inhalation, so don’t practice your deep breathing exercises around the stuff.

Parabens – This is another ingredient that you probably already try to avoid. Parabens are used as preservatives and companies aren’t required to tell you on the label. Parabens can mimic the hormone estrogen. So continuous use can cause men to become infertile and women’s hormones to become imbalanced. Even more, researchers have found parabens inside female breast cancer tumors and believe there is a relationship between parabens and tumors. Be sure to look for products labeled “paraben free.”

Dioxin - Like parabens, this toxic ingredient is often left off labels. Antibacterial ingredients like triclosan, polyethylene glycol, emulsifiers and ethoxylated cleansers can contain dioxins. Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause cancer, damage to the immune system, nervous system disorders, reproductive issues and developmental problems.



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  • Bonita

    Wow!! Learn something new every day. And here I thought I had all the bad ones covered. Thank you

  • Karyn Washington

    going to take heed to this the second time around!