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These Skin Creams and Makeup Products Might Cause a Rash and Other Problems

Parabens Might be a Problem The next dangerous chemical to be discussed is parabens. Parabens are a form of preservative, which we have touched on briefly.… Trista - January 23, 2020
Parabens are preservatives that aren’t great for the skin. Shutterstock.

Parabens Might be a Problem

The next dangerous chemical to be discussed is parabens. Parabens are a form of preservative, which we have touched on briefly. Parabens are present in lotions, soaps, and makeup. If a product has water in it, parabens are likely to be present: they hinder the growth of bacteria. While this is useful, parabens can also cause skin reactions to occur in specific individuals. Examples of this chemical include methylparaben, propylparaben, isopropylparaben, and isobutylparaben. If paraben can be found in the name, you should avoid that product altogether. It was determined that 90% of parabens are carcinogenic.

You may be wondering why exactly parabens can be so destructive. They are known endocrine disruptors; one of its primary mechanisms of action is to mimic estrogen, thereby disrupting hormone levels and can even lead to breast cancer. While this may sound far fetched, several studies have proven it: one study, in particular, looked at tumors found in breast tissue and found an alarming amount of parabens, specifically methylparaben, in the samples taken. Another study found that 99% of all cancerous breast tumors contained at least one paraben.

You’ll find sodium lauryl sulfate in products that foam up, like soap. Shutterstock.

Watch Out for Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Both of these chemicals can be found in a range of products: skincare (such as face wash), cosmetics (such as foundation), shampoo, toothpaste, body wash, and mouthwash. These chemicals are what help these products to produce foam. They are both classified as surfactants and are known to cause skin irritation and cause allergic reactions. Sodium lauryl sulfate has also been linked with canker sores, disruption of the skin’s natural oil production, and eye damage. It has also been associated with an increase in acne around the chin and mouth. 

The sulfation method produces compounds known as nitrosamines. This process can only occur under certain circumstances: there must be a nitrosating agent and an amine ingredient present for this process to occur. Cosmetics are formulated to eliminate and decrease the number of nitrosamines present; if they do occur, they often appear in deficient levels in any given product. Today, the FDA is responsible for regulating and keeping track of the level of nitrosamines in cosmetic products. 

Clear beads of polyethylene that are used in many products, but contains an ingredient that is carcinogenic. Shutterstock.

Polyethylene/PEGs

While there are many more chemicals we could discuss, the last one on our list today is polyethylene and PEGs. Polyethylene can be found in a myriad of products, including scrubs, body wash, makeup, and toothpaste. Do you know those small beads found in some of the best facial scrubs on the market? They contain polyethylene! These beads can be found in face scrubs, lip scrubs, and exfoliating washes. Why are they used if they are known to be harmful? They are gentler on the skin when compared to other natural exfoliators such as walnut shells. 

What makes polyethylene so dangerous is the chemical called 1,4-dioxane, which has been classified in the United States as a human carcinogen. While it may not seem like much of a risk (we come into contact with carcinogens every day), the problem with 1,4-dioxane is that it is absorbed readily by the skin.

Another scary thing about this chemical is that it is often not listed on cosmetic labels! This notion is because the compound is produced after other agents have mixed within a particular cosmetic product. Switching back to polyethylene: this chemical is known as a skin irritant and is never recommended to be used on broken skin. 

Sources

https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2020-01-03/ever-get-a-rash-from-your-skin-cream-or-makeup-heres-why

https://www.webmd.com/beauty/skin-reactions#2

https://www.verywellhealth.com/allergic-to-skin-care-products-4121121

https://www.everydayhealth.com/pictures/skin-care-ingredients-allergic-reactions/

https://www.medicinenet.com/cosmetic_allergies/article.htm#what_makeup_brands_are_allergy_tested__which_cosmetics_brands_are_the_safest

https://www.redapplelipstick.com/2018/07/allergic-reaction-to-makeup/

https://dermnetnz.org/topics/contact-reactions-to-cosmetics/

https://coconutsandkettlebells.com/10-harmful-ingredients-makeup-skincare-products/

https://helloglow.co/ingredients-to-avoid-in-makeup-and-skincare-products/

http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/14-dioxane/

https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/18-natural-organic-makeup-brands-your-face-will-love-you-for

https://cosmeticsinfo.org/nitrosamines

 

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