Keeping it simple and natural sure is the best for our skin. However, at this era where our environment is unhealthy, skincare is essential. We cannot afford to just leave our skin as is! As simple as going out of your house, our skin is already sullied. The least you could do is a facial cleanser and a moisturizer, if you don’t really want slopping so many products on your face. Be careful though, not because you’re using a facial cleanser and a moisturizer your skin is clean and healthy, you should pay attention to choosing the right products.
Personally, I decided to go natural, organic and vegan (or at least animal cruelty free) for my skin (yes not only for my face but my whole body as well). Most of the products on sale in your usual supermarkets are probably infested with chemicals that are harmful to your skin. You may have seen Paraben free or Sulphate free on some of the skincare products you have at home. These two are just some of the harmful chemicals that were present for a very long time in our daily products. To help you out, here are other examples you should watch out for:
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS or SLES)
Who doesn’t love foam? When we bathe, shower or shower, we are so used to foaming products. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLS for short is the chemical agent that produces that foam effect which is suppose to make washing easier. However, this chemical dries and irritates the skin quite easily. For shampoos, do not be surprised if your scalp itches from to time, it’s because this chemicals robs off natural oils that the scalp produces.
- Diethanolamine (DEA)
Another chemical that you can mostly find in cosmetics and shampoo is DEA, like the latter it is also a foaming agent and makes that creamy consistency in our products. It’s surprising that this organic compound have been present for so many year while being carcinogenic to humans!
- Monoethanolamine or Ethanolamine (MEA or ETA)
This organic compound is mostly used in detergents, emulsifiers, polishes, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Why it’s dangerous : it can cause eye and skin burn through contact with possible serious damage and when inhaled or absorbed through skin may damage throat, nose, lungs, liver and kidneys. High exposure can damage your nervous system.
- Triethanolamine (TEA)
This chemical compound is used as emulsifier or neutralizer of fatty acids and pH. It’s commonly found in detergents, dishwashing liquid soap, cosmetics such as body lotion, shaving cream, moisturizer and shampoo. Like the previous ones, this can cause irritation due to its high toxicity – I don’t really understand why it’s used in skincare producs while being dangerous for the skin …
Since it’s summer, this might be the chance, to check if your sunscreen lotion is safe to use. This chemical is widely use as UV absorber in sunscreen products though associated with photoallergic reactions. What you risk: cellular level change.
This chemical is associated to endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity and cancer. Good news is, it was banned in European Union but not sure elsewhere. So here’s how you should identify this highly toxic chemical in your everyday products: phtalates, DEP, DBP, DEHP and fragrance (should be careul with perfumes now …). If you’re fond of nail polish, like I do … start by reading the ingredients now.
Looking at the ingredients each time you use a product can be time-consuming. Here’s a useful tool to help you simplify the task. I found this site that analyzes the ingredients of your products. It seems chinese to me so I’m not sure if it’s really reliable at first but, if you look at the safety points and look up that particular ingredient on Google. You can check out this site if you want to know more about a certain ingredient.