Did you know that the largest organ of the human body is the skin? Skin serves the purpose of protecting our interior organs, not to mention the muscles, ligaments, nerves, and bones inside of us too. While it’s true what we put inside of our bodies in the way of food and beverages is important for our health, being conscious of what we apply to our skin is equally as imperative.
What you apply to your skin is absorbed into your body. Since the FDA doesn’t regulate the skincare industry, you might be applying more than you bargained for with certain products that are supposedly designed to benefit your skin. That means everything you use – from your cleanser and lotion to your sunscreen and makeup – has the potential to either benefit you or harm you.
While there are many great natural products available, there are just as many that still use dangerous chemicals and additives. Here are the things to look out for on product labels to ensure you make safe choices for your skin’s health!
DEA, MEA And TEA
Diethanolamine (DEA), monoethanolamine (MEA), and triethanolamine (TEA) are all clear liquids that smell a bit like ammonia. You’ll usually see these nasties in products that foam up like your facial cleanser or soap. Other places they could be lurking are in your hair care products, sunscreen, eye makeup, and fragrances.
When you see “no parabens” on a product label, that’s a good thing. But do you know what parabens are? They’re not always labeled, but these are used as preservatives and can affect your hormones. If you see methyl, butyl, ethyl, or propyl on a label, stay away!
Officially known as polyethylene glycol, PEG can change your skin’s natural moisture factor. That’s not good since you want your skin to stay full of hydration with its barrier intact to protect your skin. You’ll often see PEG in cleansers because it dissolves oil.
If phthalates look familiar, that’s because they’re used in plastics to increase flexibility. You won’t always see them listed on a label either which is even more alarming. But if you look closely at your cosmetics labels, products that simply list “fragrance” on there are usually guilty of including phthalates.
Propylene Glycol And Butylene Glycol
This gruesome twosome acts as a surfactant. As gaseous hydrocarbons, when in liquid form, they penetrate your skin so rapidly that they can destroy the cellular structure and essentially undo all the good you’re trying to do for your skin.
SLS And SLES
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are detergents that create that foaming sensation with your products. The scary thing is you’ll find them in the majority of commercially-produced personal care products. Even scarier, they’ve been linked to cancer, organ toxicity, endocrine disruption, and skin irritations.
There are many dangerous chemicals and additives lurking in the products we use daily. However, by diligently reading labels and choosing natural brands, you’ll cut your risks tremendously and have a healthier life!
Looking for 100% chemical-free, all-natural nourishing face and body oils? Check out Earth & Elm Nourishing Face Oil and Earth & Elm Nourishing Body Oil. Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral health and skincare. If you are looking for more health resources check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Jennifer Raskin is a freelance writer, wife and mom that loves cold weather despite her location in Florida, cooking, reading, watching ‘80s movies, weight-lifting, and wine tasting.