On a daily bases our skin comes in contact with chemicals from our clothes, moisturisers, makeup, cleansers, deodorant, fragrances, toothpastes and the list goes on. On average, people use up to 10 different skincare or hygiene products a day and as a result, you could be exposed to approximately 130 different chemicals in which they contain.
Our skin is also our largest organ and what we put on it, we absorb. When the products we choose are made from harmful synthetic ingredients, these place a burden on our body systems, particularly the detoxification, immune system and endocrine (hormone) system which in turn affects our health and wellbeing. Some chemicals can be stored in the body for several months or years before they are eliminated and the more you use them, the more concentrate these chemicals become in the body. For this reason when it comes to skincare and the products we use, it is essential that we know exactly what they contain and what we are putting onto our bodies.
Widely used preservatives to prevent fungi, microbes and mould growth in personal care products. Parabens mimic estrogen in the body, which can cause fertility issues. Commonly found in makeup, moisturisers, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, facial and shower cleansers, shaving products, and scrubs.
Used as a solvent, plasticiser and fragrance ingredient. Concerns that it could cause organ damage particularly to the reproductive system. Commonly found in nail polish, hair sprays, perfumes, lotions, soaps and shampoos.
Used as a preservative and fragrance ingredient. Can cause skin irritation and acts as a hormone disruptor. Commonly found in lipsticks, eye shadows and petroleum products.
Used as a foaming agent and to adjust the pH balance of a product. Can cause irritation to the skin and possibly organ toxicity. Commonly found in a variety of make up-and haircare products.
Used as a preservative. Formaldehyde is a carcinogenic and can cause skin irritations and allergic reactions. Commonly found in nail products, eyelash glue, hair gel, hair-smoothing products, baby shampoo, body soap and color cosmetics.
A chemical combination of a possible 3000 ingredients, used to create scents. Fragrances can trigger skin irritation, an allergic reaction and with long term exposure reproductive toxicity and cell damage. Commonly found in most skincare products.
Used as conditioning and cleaning agent. There are concerns of PEGs being a carcinogenic, cause system toxicity and skin irritation. Commonly found in a variety of skin-care and makeup products
It can be very overwhelming and difficult to completely avoid all chemical additives due to them being so widespread in our everyday products and environments. However, keeping yourself educated is key.