Skin, Lip and Body Care

Toxins and Skincare 101: How Safe Are The Products We’re Using?

+ CV Skinlabs Team

Could synthetic chemicals in your skin-care products be linked to cancer? Could they be making your symptoms worse? Samuel Epstein, MD, the chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, says, “Because skin so readily absorbs cosmetic ingredients, it is prudent to avoid those chemicals that may cause adverse reactions, such as allergies, irritation, and cancer.”

Unfortunately, many products (even the ones claiming to be “natural”) are loaded with a hefty cocktail of carcinogens and skin irritants. Ingredients like parabens, petroleum,synthetic colors and fragrance are some of the many toxic chemicals mixed into our favorite formulas. Some of these chemicals can be so toxic that-according to the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)-to handle them by themselves would require the handler to wear rubber gloves, boots and safety glasses. How scary is this?

Skin that has been compromised will absorb toxins more readily than healthy skin, so be very cautious. The article, “Toxic Chemicals in Skin Care Products” suggests avoiding nearly any product with unrecognizable (or hard-to-pronounce) ingredients. Although you always want to choose products with “paraben-free” on the label, it’s still important to check ingredients personally to ensure your safety. The author of Smarter Beauty Blog explains: “I don’t want everyone to become paranoid beauty shoppers, but it is quite alarming to discover so many ingredients that are known carcinogens and still allowed in beauty products. Especially since they seem to be items we use every day.”

The Cancer Prevention Coalition warns, “Cosmetics are the least regulated products under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). The FFDCA does not require pre-market safety testing, review, or approval for  cosmetics.”The beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. With that much money being made, we have to wonder if these large companies really care about how toxic their lotions and potions are. We have to take care of ourselves and become our own authorities. (Click here to read our article on “Toxic Truth” in personal care products and here to read about the dangers and alternatives to petroleum-based products.)

Luckily, it can be easier than you think to choose products that are toxin-free and beneficial. Start by researching your favorites at the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (which focuses on rating beauty products and their ingredients for safety), or by picking brands that have the least (and most recognizable) ingredients. Click here for our top 21 ingredients to avoid.

Join the fight against unsafe products at Safe Cosmetics.

Have you had any reactions to toxins in skincare or cosmetics? Have you found a fabulous natural product that has helped soothe and calm your skin? Please share your comments, advice or favorite products.

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