In recent years we’ve become increasingly conscious of what we are putting into our bodies. Nowadays it is not uncommon to spend time researching and studying food labels, but how much time do we spend checking the ingredients in our cleanser, moisturizer or bottle of shampoo?
Achieving a basic understanding of the ingredients included in a product you use, either internally or topically, can help you to make a more informed decision about whether your products are helpful or harmful. There are a bunch of potentially harmful ingredients that you should try to avoid such as synthetic fragrances, aluminum and parabens.
Even if a product is the most amazing, effective product available on the market, no one is going to purchase it if the smell isn’t enjoyable. Consumer research reveals that smell is one of the key factors which leads customers to buy and use a certain product. So it makes sense that companies want their products to smell as amazing as possible.
But, synthetic chemicals are often added to products in order to achieve a pleasant scent, and manufacturers don’t have to list the chemicals used as fragrance is considered to be a trade secret. This makes it difficult for consumers to make an informed choice about their purchases. We recommend buying from companies which label their ingredients comprehensively or to buy products which are free from synthetic fragrances.
Because of its abrasive texture it is commonly used in exfoliators to remove dead skin cells, but aluminum is a neurotoxin, with research showing that inhaling or injecting the substance can be toxic to the human body. Aluminum is now considered a more aggressive kind of exfoliator as its jagged edges actually harm and damage the top layer of the skin. Experts suggest using exfoliators with round beads that use naturally derived exfoliating particles.
First introduce in the 1950s to prolong shelf life, parabens are a type of preservative which prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. Concern over parabens has been a hot topic after research found them to have endocrine disruption effects, meaning the chemicals can potentially disrupt hormone systems and lead to disease in the body. Parabens also have a negative effect on the environment, so our tip is to always buy products which are labelled paraben-free.