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Skin Care - What to Avoid


Choosing the right skin care products for you can be a daunting task, what with thousands of products and a multitude of brand names from which to choose. Due to insufficient knowledge about the true nature of cosmetic ingredients, your choice of a natural skin care product may be greatly influenced by celebrity endorsements and media advertisements, and not by intelligent decision.

While most high-end brand names are expected to carry skin care products containing the best ingredients for your needs, some affordable products found in supermarkets, health food stores and pharmacies can do the job just as well as their expensive counterparts. It is not always about the price or name of the product, or its packaging, as it is about the safety and effectiveness of the ingredients found in it.

Not all chemicals found inside your tube or jar of cosmetics can be good for your skin or your health in general. Some cosmetic ingredients that may seem to be good for your skin may later pose some health risks to your body should they enter your bloodstream. Studies have shown that some chemicals can be unsafe, so that you should take time out to check the labels or packaging of a product you are about to purchase.

Avoid buying products that contain any of the following:


The members of the paraben family are often listed in beauty products as methylparaben, ethylparaben or propylparaben. Parabens are used in cosmetic products for their preservative qualities. In recent years, studies and research has shown the presence of parabens in breast tissues taken from breast cancer patients. While the mere presence of this chemical family does not necessarily point to them as the main culprit of breast cancer, the correlation between parabens and breast cancer cannot be ignored. In this sense, parabens may increase your chances of developing cancer and should be avoided accordingly.

Synthetic colors

Synthetic colors are generally used to make a cosmetic product pretty. These chemicals are derived from non-biodegradable petroleum and are known to cause skin irritations and allergies.


Phthalates are derived from plastics. They are often incorporated into cosmetic creams as skin softeners and moisturizers. Scientific studies, however, have raised an alarm about the use of phthalates in skin products because these chemical substances can enter the body and cause serious health problems such as cancer and genetic defects in children born of users of such skin care ingredients. For this reason, some countries like the United Kingdom have already implemented a ban against the use of phthalates in personal products.

Sodium lauryl sulphate

Sodium lauryl sulphate is commonly used as a foaming ingredient in soaps and shampoos. The problem with this chemical is that it is highly corrosive and causes eye and skin irritation on contact. There are growing concerns about the more serious effects of sodium lauryl sulfate because this chemical can easily enter the body through the skin and may become a risk factor for cancer because of its oestrogen-like properties. Despite evidence of its potential harmful effects to human skin, sodium lauryl sulfate continues to be used in many personal products because of its cheap cost.


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