Skincare products

What ingredients are toxic to skin?

Toxic Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

Good health and the importance of knowing the ingredients of the products we consume and use on our body has been a rising concern in recent times.

The importance of health and wellness is becoming more and more obvious to us, especially with the rising number of diabetes, heart problems and various lifestyle diseases that we see around us.

Some of the most common ingredients found in beauty products include parabens, carbon black, petroleum jelly, oxybenzone, phthalates, formaldehyde, ethanolamines, etc. These ingredients are known to cause side effects such as rashes, allergies, asthma and even cancer.

As we started digging deeper into this topic, we realized how serious it is. Seeing that many brands actually don’t indicate even on their labels that these ingredients are present in their products, we decided to educate you about these harmful and toxic ingredients.

Chemicals can be found in everyday products, food, water, air, pharmaceuticals, household cleaning products, building materials, personal care products and more. Overexposure to chemicals can cause a variety of health problems including irritation, allergies, hormonal imbalances and even cancer.

The skin is one of the largest organs in your body. It is porous and acts as a semipermeable membrane. This means that it absorbs both the good and the bad. Even when you may not notice immediate adverse reactions to chemicals, they can build up in your body over time causing trouble.

Top 5 Ingredients that are Toxic for the Skin

While it is not widely known, the world of cosmetics is filled with toxic chemicals. From causing acne to causing cancer, these chemicals can ruin your skin. However, these toxic chemicals are also found in many commonly used household products as well. 

Here are 5 common ingredients that are toxic for the skin, and other products you should avoid:

  1. Petroleum Jelly: 

Petroleum jelly is an oily substance also called petrolatum or paraffin or mineral jelly. It is primarily used to protect surfaces, like the skin, from moisture loss, but has also been used in products to help soften and smooth the skin. While there are many petroleum jelly products that are available to the public, it is not always easy to discern what they are. There are many products that contain petroleum jelly but do not explicitly disclose it on the label.

This makes it difficult for consumers who want to purchase products that will be beneficial to their health. Petroleum jelly can clog pores and prevent them from properly exfoliating the surface layer of the skin. This can lead to a buildup of dead skin cells that may lead to a number of problems, including acne breakouts and rashes.

It is particularly important for those who have sensitive skin types to avoid using petroleum jelly since it can cause serious irritation and make ailments worse.

Petroleum jelly has a moistening effect, but it is a heavy oil that can clog pores and cause acne. It also prevents the skin from breathing, which can cause irritation. 

  1. Formaldehyde: 

Formaldehydes are known to damage and irritate the skin. This is because formaldehyde causes cellular and genetic mutations and alter the normal structure and function of cells.

The presence of formaldehyde in cosmetics is a very common cause of an allergic reaction. The symptoms of an allergic reaction include redness of the skin, itching, skin rashes, swelling, blistering etc.

Formaldehyde is a colourless gas with a pungent odour that exists naturally in our environment. The toxicity of formaldehyde depends on how it is used, i.e., the concentration at which it is applied to the skin and for how long.

If you haven’t heard of it before, formaldehyde is often used in products like nail polish removers, hair straighteners, and facial tissues. It’s also found in most nail polishes (including some that are labelled as “3-free”), hair colours, eye shadows, liquid foundation, skin bleaching creams and hair dyes. For this reason, they can be harmful to your skin if they come into contact with your skin.

The thing is, this chemical is very hard to avoid. Also known as formalin, formaldehyde is a colourless gas that’s derived from the contact of water and a solution of urea that has been treated with a strong acid.

  1. Cetyl Alcohol:

Cetyl alcohol is a fatty alcohol that's drawn from coconut oil or palm kernel oil. As a thickener, emulsifier and surfactant, it works well in beauty products to control consistency and can help dissolve water-insoluble oils. Unfortunately, Cetyl Alcohol acts as an irritant to the skin and eyes so you should avoid using products containing it. This ingredient is also comedogenic so it may break down the lipids in the skin, causing pimples.

  1. Sulfates:

Sulfates can be found in many personal care products that we use on a daily basis. These chemicals contribute to the look and feel of products, but what they do not contribute to is the overall health of your skin. 

Sulphates are used as foaming agents, wetting agents, detergents, etc. They are frequently used in shampoo, shower gels, laundry washing powder, dishwashing liquids, fabric softeners, bath oils and other household products. However, their usage has been linked to different serious health conditions.

  1. Artificial Fragrances:

Artificial fragrances are harmful chemical compounds used in almost all shampoos. The human body has its own detoxification system and most of the time artificial fragrances and sulfates pass right through the body. However, these harmful chemicals can build up in your system, increasing your risk for skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis over time.

Take Away

There are many other toxic ingredients that you should never apply to your face and skin. The aforesaid 5 toxic ingredients are found in many cosmetic products, so if you are looking to have healthy skin, it is best to avoid all of the above. However, if you are using Mars by GHC’s products, you do not have to worry about the above toxic ingredients as we only use natural and science-backed ingredients in our products.