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10 Toxic Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

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Taking care of your skin goes beyond merely looking good – skincare means taking care of our largest organ. Skin is responsible for several functions. It protects other vital organs, our bones, muscles, ligaments, and nerves. As much as 60% of what we put on our skin gets absorbed which is why Sealuxe promotes the use of natural and organic ingredients with our thoughtfully formulated line of products.

Here’s a smattering of some ingredients you might want to consider staying away from:

ALCLOXA

Technically known as aluminum chlorhydroxy allantoinate, alcloxa has constricting properties that can be sensitizing to skin.

DEA (DIETHANOLAMINE), MEA (MONOETHANOLAMINE), AND TEA (TRIETHANOLAMINE)

These -mines are widely used to thicken the water phase of cosmetics. They’re usually found in products that foam such as facial cleansers and soaps. They are also found in eye make-up, fragrances, hair products, and sunscreens. Linked to liver tumours.

PEG (POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL)

Ingredient that can alter and reduce the skin’s natural moisture capabilities as it functions as an absorption enhancer which allows for better penetration of the skin. PEGs are typically found in cleansers that dissolve oil and grease.

YARROW EXTRACT (ACHILLEA MILLEFOLIUM)

Said to have skin-smoothing properties but no reputable sources back that claim up. Can lead to skin sensitivity and photosensitivity.

DMDM HYDANTOIN & UREA (IMIDAZOLIDINYL)

Preservatives that often release formaldehyde which can cause joint pain, skin allergies, headaches, and loss of sleep. While these chemicals are usually found in skincare products, cosmetics, shampoos and conditioners, and detergents, the official word is that they’re often in such low doses that they’re considered safe to use. We’re still not sold, though.

PHTHALATES

This large group of chemicals is used to increase the flexibility and strength of plastics. It is often not listed among the ingredients on products as manufacturers are not required to list them as an ingredient as they’re considered to be part of the chemical formulation of “fragrance” (it is used to help lengthen the life of the scent). In addition to synthetic fragrance, the most common phthalate used in skincare is diethyl phthalate (DEP) which helps moisturizer penetrate the skin. Best to stay away from any artificial fragrance. Linked to chronic diseases.

 SILOXANES

Look for ingredients ending in "-siloxane" or "-methicone." Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Not only is this chemical harmful to humans but it is also harmful to fish and other wildlife.

SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS) SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE (SLES)

Detergent that makes products foam, lather, and bubble. It’s not an important ingredient and can lead to irritation (they used to be considered carcinogenic but that claim has since been proven false).

P-PHENYLENEDIAMINE AND COLOURS IDENTIFIED BY “C.I.” FOLLOWED BY A FIVE DIGIT NUMBER

Coal tar is a mixture of many chemicals, derived from petroleum, Coal tar is recognized as a human carcinogen and the main concern with individual coal tar colours (whether produced from coal tar or synthetically) is their potential to cause cancer. Health Canada’s Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist and Canada’s Cosmetic Regulations prohibit all but seven of these colours in eye makeup and other products used in the area of the eye. However, dozens of coal tar-derived colours are still widely used in other cosmetics. Some have been flagged for future assessment under the government’s Chemicals Management Plan. P-phenylenediamine is permitted only in hair dyes and must be accompanied by a warning that the product “contains ingredients that may cause skin irritation on certain individuals” and if used near the eyes “may cause blindness.”

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