Have you ever stopped to think about what ingredients are in your foundation or concealer, and what it might be doing to your skin in the long run? Toxins like carcinogens, pesticides and hormone disruptors live in our personal care products, and there are NO regulations to stop companies from putting them there. Chemicals you would find in an autobody shop definitely DO NOT belong on our face, and studies are starting to show long-term health effects because of it.
Overall, what we place on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream, whether its good or bad. If you want to go clean, start with the products that have most of the “dirty dozen” ingredients in them. The next thing you want to think about is the level of exposure you're getting from the products you’re currently using - from those that aren’t deemed “safe”or “clean.”
The Dirty Dozen – 12 ingredients to AVIOD in Cosmetics
1. BHA (Butylated hydropxyanisole) and BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluen)
BHA and BHT are meant to be used as preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers, but have been linked to liver, thyroid, and kidney problems over time. These two chemicals are classified as possible carcinogens.
2. Coal Tar Dyes
On ingredient lists, these will show up as “P-phenylenediamine” or “CI” followed by a number. Coal tar dyes are recognized as a human carcinogen and have been linked to brain damage.
3. DEA (Diethanolamine)
This chemical is found in cleansers, shampoos, soaps, and moisturizers. It can cause skin and eye irritation. Have you ever washed your face and your eyes stung after? This is most likely why.
4. DBP (Dibutyl Phthalate)
DBP is a plasticizer commonly used to prevent nail polish from becoming brittle. Consistent use of DBP has been linked to hormonal disruptions.
5. Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives
On ingredient lists this chemical can be found as DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quaternium-15, and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. This chemical is mostly found in shampoos, child care products, and color cosmetics to increase the shelf time. This chemical has been known as a skin irritant and is now banned in Sweden, Japan, and the EU.
75-90% of color cosmetics contain parabens, making them the most widely used preservative in makeup and skincare products. The ingredient has been linked to hormonal disruptions, breast cancer, increased skin aging, and DNA damage.
7. Parfum (fragrance)
There are an estimated 3,000 ingredients included in the one word – parfum. These unknown chemicals can be linked to allergies and skin sensitivities since we have NO CLUE what’s in them.
8. PEG Compounds (Polyethyleneglycols)
PEG compounds are common in cream-based cosmetics as thickeners and softeners. PEG compounds have been shown to cause skin irritation.
Petrolatum is a petroleum jelly that is used in lip balms, lip sticks, and moisturizers as a moisture barrier. When properly refined, petrolatum has no known health concerns. However, petrolatum is often not fully refined in the US, which means it can be contaminated with toxic chemicals.
On ingredient lists, these end in “-siloxane” or “-methicone”, which are found most commonly in moisturizers, deodorants, AND water-repelling windshield coatings…yes, that’s right. Many of these ingredients in small doses have been found to impair fertility and cause hormonal disruptions.
11. SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate)
This foaming agent can be found in cosmetics like cleansers, bubble bath, and shampoo. The industry panel that reviews the safety of cosmetics ingredients records that SLS can irritate the skin and eyes, after approving its use in cosmetics.
Triclosan is commonly used in antimicrobial agents found in many soaps and detergents. There have been concerns surrounding this chemical around humans and in the environment including endocrine disruption, bioaccumulation, and the emergence of bacteria resistant to antibodies and antibacterial products.
Now that you got the low down on the dirty dozen, know that everything is tolerable with moderation. It’s probably unrealistic for you to throw everything away and start fresh with clean products. Just remember awareness is KEY into understanding what you are putting into your body.
How far do our products really go?
Our skin is the largest organ of the body, meaning what we put onto our bodies get absorbed internally, healthy or not. Isn’t our skin supposed to act as a barrier? Yes. You might see dramatic stats on the internet like “some chemicals can absorb into the skin within 26 seconds of being placed on our bodies and 60% of what you place on your bodies get absorbed into the skin.” While these stats may be correct for some chemicals, it is important to know which ones to stay away from.
There is a chemical and hormonal process happening within our bodies, and once different chemicals get absorbed into the skin, it can have an effect on that process. Our skin deserves to be taken care of with natural and clean ingredients that help it increase its longevity.
A growing body of research is showing that even small amounts of chemicals, when combined with other chemicals, can have unpredictable effects on the body. That’s uneasy to think about, right?!
If you take anything away from this blog, understand that it’s all about moderation. Learn about and avoid toxic ingredients that can have long term negative effects on your health. Stay away from synthetic fragrance, dyes, and preservatives.
Join our Aisling community if you want relevant and current information on beauty news and research. We want to share key information that helps you make smarter choices about what you are putting in your body!
A great first step is to pick out the products you have the most exposure to and switch them with clean alternatives or when you run out. Start with your foundation and lipstick; you put foundation all over your face (mostly everyday) and lipstick (because you usually end up ingesting it). Women on average eat 1 pound of lipstick a year.
Our Eco-Luxe Foundation is formulated with chamomile and lavender to calm down the appearance of redness and rosemary, thyme, and oregano to keep away bacteria and help with acne. Our Liquid Lipsticks have helpful antioxidants, such as elderberry, and comfrey and calendula to soothe the lips. These products are great options to switch to if you are looking into clean beauty.
We want you to understand the incredible benefits to every ingredient that is placed into our hand-crafted cosmetics. The safety and health of our customers is #1 to us and we want to hear your journey to safe cosmetics and us. Reach out to us on Instagram or Facebook to share your journey! That’s the Aisling Experience.