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Five Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in Skin Care Products

Oct 23, 2014 11:18PM
When purchasing skin care products, it is easy to focus on the benefits without paying attention to the ingredients. Unfortunately, this can lead to purchasing products that are not safe for your skin as well as the rest of your body. Here are five toxic ingredients to avoid in skin care products:

1. Parabens. Did you know that this ingredient has estrogen-mimicking properties, meaning that it can increase the risk of breast cancer? These chemicals, absorbed through the skin, should be avoided at all costs.

2. Synthetic coloring. When reviewing a product label, look for those that say FD&C or D&C. These will precede a number and color, such as FD&C blue 1. There are plenty of skin care products without synthetic colors, so you don’t have to feel pressured to buy one of these.

3. Fragrance. When you see this on a list of ingredients, you may not know what it means. In short, this term is in place to protect a company from others unveiling its “secret formula.” However, it also means that there could be a harmful ingredient present, such as one that can cause allergies and other side effects.

4. Triclosan. This antimicrobial chemical is known to do more harm than good to the skin. Many studies have shown that the use of this ingredient can make bacteria antibiotic-resistant.

5. Phthalates. Used in a variety of products, this group of chemicals is most often associated with its ability to improve flexibility in plastic. The primary phthalates in skin care products are dimethyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate and dibutyl phthalate. These have been linked to an increase in breast cancer and as an endocrine disruptor.

The next time you are buying a skin care product, read the label before hitting the checkout line. If you see one or more of the five ingredients above, it is time to reconsider your purchase.

 Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics. 

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