Why Artificial Chemicals Are Dangerous For Your Skin
A Bad Recipe For Healthy Skin
Did you know that the U.S. FDA only bans or restricts around 11 chemicals compared to the 1,328 banned chemicals by the European Union? You would be even more worried if you learnt that many of these poorly regulated substances are associated and linked to all kinds of harmful side effects, including skin irritation, birth defects and even cancer. Source.
These toxins and cheap fillers are absorbed directly by your skin, building up over time. Some stop your skin breathing naturally, can cause or worsen skin conditions such as acne and eczema and many have even been listed as having as carcinogenic properties.
Worse yet, many of these compounds sit on the surface of your skin (like your hands and lips) and can be easily ingested by you or the people you come into contact with.
So why do companies use them?
- It's cheap. It's easy to convince consumers they are getting value for money by giving them more - even if it's full of harmful chemicals!
- It's faster to produce. For companies looking to mass produce, there is no time for slow mother nature. Why wait for plants to grow naturally when you can create a artificial alternative in a lab and pump out a million bottles from the factory pipeline?
- It adds volume. By using the bare minimum of effective ingredients it helps companies profit at your expense. Thickeners, gelling agents and foamers add weight and volume so you feel you are getting more for your money and you use and buy more to get the effects you are looking for.
- It (almost) lasts forever. Companies don't like short shelf lives. That's why they often use preservatives so strong that you could use the same bottle 5 years later and not notice the difference. The trouble is, these artificial preservatives often counter any beneficial effects the products claim to have. We don't, which is why our products can cloud or solidify and is also why all our products have a best before date.
- It looks 'perfect'. We are used to seeing identical products with a uniform look and feel. But nature doesn't work that way. No two leaves are the same, the colors are influenced by the seasons, rains and natural variety of the plants. We aren't used to seeing products with natural bits inside, clouding, or anything that is 'unusual'. We are blinded by what the ads tell us things should look like, including ourselves. With us, there are no colors, fragrances or anything your skin doesn't need.
- Because they can. Poor regulations = no consequences
We know this can be completely avoided and isn't necessary in any shape or form. From artificial fragrances and colors to synthetic foamers, thickening agents and gelling compounds, you'll never find any of these in ANY our products. We've listed some of the most common and harmful chemicals that are frequently found in the majority of skincare products and why you should avoid them at all costs.
Readily penetrates skin, considered a probably carcinogen by the US Environmental Agency and could be in up to 22% of skincare products. Created when certain ingredients react with each other and so doesn't need to be listed as an ingredient
We've been fooled into believing that the more foam your skincare products create the better it must be at cleaning. Suds and foam do NOT equal better cleaning power and only give the appearance that better cleansing is occurring
Designed to help preserve products. However, when these end back in fresh-water systems it can create algae blooms which in turn use up the oxygen available for other aquatic life as well as blocking out vital sun from other plants beneath the surface
Frequently used to give skin and hair a shiny and smooth appearance. However, extended exposure can cause build up on the skin and scalp and clog pores. It is bad for the environment and can take around 400-500 years to biodegrade
A 1986 report by the National Academy of Sciences found 95% of synthetic fragrances were derived from petroleum (aka crude oil). Can also contain toxic chemicals and carcinogens and cause allergies and respiratory distress
Known for the damaging effects on skin such as dryness, redness and itchiness and making hair brittle dandruff prone. In production it is often used as a thickener but can also produce toxic gases when mixed with other ingredients, damaging the ozone
Also known as Petroleum Jelly (aka crude oil) these are promoted as being an effective moisturiser but actually only creates a seal that suffocates skin. Gives the illusion of fighting dryness but can aggravate skin conditions like acne
DBP and DEP are are used in cosmetics to hold colour and scents. Linked to endocrine disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity as well as cancer. The substance has been banned in the European Union but is still prevalent in the USA
Synthetic colors are often used to artificially enhance the look of products and do no increase the effectiveness at all. Many colors banned in Europe are still allowed in the USA despite containing carcinogenic compounds
The aim of synthetic chemical preservatives is to kill bacteria and stabilise products for years and years. However, they are all considered toxic in high doses but manufacturers argue the small amounts used are harmless
DEA / TEA
Ethanolamines are used as emulsifiers in cosmetics but also penetrate skin and remain in the upper layers after exposure to it. Has also been linked to causing cancers in the liver and damaging the male reproductive system. DEA is prohibited in Europe
Found in up to 85% of skincare products, parabens are a set of distinct chemicals that have been recognised as mimicking the effects of hormones in the body and is directly absorbed through the skin. Under the scanner for links to breast cancer
Polyethylene glycol is used as a cosmetic thickener, solvent, softener and moisturiser. It is a mild irritant but known to traffic other impurities they are usually mixed in with through the epidermis including 1,4 dioxane and heavy metals compounds
Synthetic Emollients often try to mimic the effects of natural emollients but instead coat the skin, preventing it from 'breathing' properly which can lead to irritated skin. Bad for the environment as many are non-biodegradable
Fast and cheap most companies opt for synthetic surfactants to aid mass production. They are often extracted through strong chemical processes, are excessively harsh and strip skin of its natural oils and balance causing irritation
These inert ingredients may not be harmful but they're not exactly good for you either. They do not make the product perform better and have no real benefits for your skin. Used to save companies costs and to create volume, bulk and texture
A common preservative found in many skincare products. Exposure to skin has been linked to allergic skin reactions ranging from eczema and hives to anaphylaxis. Advised to keep away from breastfeeding infants to limit exposure
SLS / SLES
These surfactants are cheap foaming agents used from pesticides to toothpaste to skincare. It is a known skin irritant, pollutes the environment and water systems and releases sodium and sulfur oxides when heated (such as in a hot shower)
Synthetic emulsifiers are usually derived from petroleum or hydrocarbons. They can penetrate the skin and some studies have found possible links with synthetic emulsifiers in disturbing the health of gut microbes