Hey guys! I don’t think I have ever been more excited to write a post before. You guys know that I have been super into consciousness when it comes to the products I’ve been using and one of my main reasons why is definitely to take care of my body. Recently, I’ve really come to terms with the fact that we do only have one body and we should definitely be treating it kindly.
A week or so ago, I read a blog post by Morgan Lillian (you can read it here — highly recommend you do!) where she shared her top tips for skincare and anti-aging. She mentioned that our generation has such a higher likelihood than any before to “stay young” and age at a much slower rate because of our obsessions with looks, beauty, and health. It definitely caught my attention and I think it’s so spot on. We definitely one of the most self conscious of generations. But I think that’s old news to so many mainstream brands taking advantage of the fact by wrongly marketing their products. I can think of a ton of brands that claim to “rewind time” or be the “best” for anti-aging and beauty when in reality, if you really took a look at the ingredients in their products… they would beg to differ.
If you’re anything like me and you care what you are putting on your skin and in your body, even if it’s just for vain reasons, listen up! America has thousands of ingredients they allow in our every day products that other countries have had banned for years. Many times, they allow toxic chemicals to be used just because it makes the manufacturing process faster and cheaper. Let’s chat about some of the ingredients you may be using in your “anti-aging” products that may actually be detrimental to your body and to your skin.
The list below includes ingredients I’ve researched and wouldn’t necessarily be willing to use on my skin. This list is not exhaustive and I encourage you to do your own research to make educated decisions. I don’t know it all, but I have learned a lot just this year!
If you see this on a label, know that it ultimately should read “hidden ingredients”. So many manufacturers hide not so pretty ingredients under this label… generally labeling multiple ingredients as “fragrance” or “perfume”.
Formaldehyde releasing preservatives
Yeah, you know that stuff the dead frog came in when you took biology in high school? Formaldehyde is in so many skin care products to keep them from spoiling. Gross right? Some of the ingredients that contain this stuff are: sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, methenamine, Diazolidinyl Urea, DMDM hydantoin and quaternium-15. This stuff can release off-gasses and irritate your breathing but it is also absorbed through the skin. These ingredients have been found in make up, sunscreens, moisturizers, soaps, and cleaning supplies.
Parabens are really common in makeup and skincare products but don’t always show up on the label. Common parabens in makeup include: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylbaraben, butylparaben, and heptylparaben. Parabens can disrupt the endocrine system and mess with our hormones. Parabens can even act as estrogen in the body. Because parabens are likely hidden on an ingredient list, opt for things that are “paraben free”.
Mineral oil is obtained through petroleum and has the tendency to majorly clog pores and inhibit the skin’s ability to naturally clean itself.
BHA is known as a possible carcinogen and may be an endocrine disruptor. In animal studies, it caused certain cancers and is known to cause skin depigmentation. It is often used in fragrance and exfoliants.
This ingredient is restricted in Canada and Japan. It is an antibacterial agent and preservative used in personal care and home cleaning products. It can be linked to endocrine disruption and other organ system toxicity.
This stuff is rated 10 (worst) on EWG’s website. It is a known carcinogen that is often in hair products such as dyes and shampoos. It is also known as amino phenol, diaminobenzene, and phenylenediamine.
This one is tricky because so many people use retinol derived ingredients to combat aging. But, they can be toxic to our bodies and actually cause more damage when worn in sunlight.
This stuff is very well studied and is one of the most common toxic ingredients in sunscreens. It acts as estrogen in the body and can disrupt the endocrine system. In an animal study, it altered the production of sperm in males and can be linked to endometriosis in women.
Our skin is our largest organ so when we put artificial ingredients on it they are ultimately consumed. We often spend so much time worrying about what we are putting into our bodies that we forget that what we put on the outside is just as important. Our body has to work over time trying to protect itself from these types of ingredients which in turn can cause premature aging. I am by no means a scientist and this is all very basic research, but I hope it opens your eyes to some of the harmful ingredients we tend to reach for every single day. In my experience, opting for make up, bath products, skin care, and hair care products that don’t include ingredients like this give me the best results. My skin responds really well to natural ingredients.
Recently, I’ve began using Beauty Counter foundation (the “Never List” pictured above is by Beauty Counter) and for my face wash and serums I make them all myself with my essential oils and plant magic 😉 . I have begun to pay a lot more attention to the ingredient lists on the products I use on my body and while it was difficult at first, it’s become a lot easier now a days.
I’ve become a DIY aficionado and it makes me happy knowing exactly what is in the products I make for myself. It’s seriously liberating! Not to mention, it makes the process of ditching & switching a lot easier (no reading labels endlessly).
I have peace knowing that the products I use every day aren’t damaging my skin or my body. I have yet to “clean up” every product I use.. but it’s a slow learning process and every day I make better decisions for myself. I am so glad to have learned so much this year!
If you ever are unsure if a product is toxic or if you want to check out the ingredient list, this website is SO helpful. If you’re interested in making a lot of your own products and are into DIYs, learn more about the essential oils I use and why I chose them here.
What are some ingredients you choose to avoid? I’d love to know!