You come into contact with a large number products during your everyday life, and you probably don’t think about the ingredients of the products you’re slathering all over your body or even your children’s skin. These chemical and synthetic ingredients may have some questionable qualities that could be putting your health at risk. It can be hard to always find products that are all natural or have healthier ingredients, especially if you’re unsure what ingredients you need to avoid. Here’s a list of ingredients to try to avoid when shopping to get you started on your path to healthiness through label reading.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
You may have heard of these as SLES or SLS, and they can be found in just about any product in your bathroom. If it lathers, it probably has SLES or SLS in it. Soap, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, moisturizer and some mouthwashes can have this ingredient in it. This product is known to be a skin irritant, which isn’t something that most people want to apply to their skin, hair and mouth. It can also impact how your skin is able to absorb what is put on it as it can make the skin more permeable. No matter how nice those bubbles feel, it may be best to eliminate products with this ingredient from your shopping list.
Talc is found in a large number of products that you probably use every day, from the deodorants and antiperspirants that you use on your armpits to a variety of makeup products you apply to the sensitive skin on your face. Talc can be found in eyeshadow, foundation, concealer, bronzers and blushes. Plus, it’s in some sunscreens and other products with SPF. The key concern is that some talc may naturally contain asbestos, which is a carcinogen. Inhaling or ingesting this powder can be harmful and cause poisoning. This is pretty scary considering how much talcum powder some parents and grandparents put on their little ones.
Parabens are found in a huge number of products in your bathroom. Your shampoos, conditioners, soaps, body wash, hair products, lotions, shaving gel, makeup and toothpaste can all have parabens in them. This ingredient is used as a preservative, and studies are starting to show that it’s not as safe as previously believed. There can be a link between this ingredient and cancer along with potential problems with the reproductive system. These emerging studies may shake the foundation of the health and beauty product world, considering how many products contain it.
This is a popular ingredient in most lotions. Although this product is assumed to be safe by the FDA, there are instructions that tell users not to use this ingredient on skin due to its being a skin irritant and some people are allergic to it. Even though there are other ingredients located in your lotion with this, you’re still applying this directly to your skin which could result in irritating the skin you were probably trying to soothe by using the lotion in the first place.
Found in nail polishes and other nail products, this ingredient can be very irritating to your skin, lungs and eyes. It can also cause damage to your kidneys, liver and central nervous system. Toluene can cause brain damage, developmental effects and birth defects. This is certainly an ingredient that you’ll want to skip with your next nail design.
Now, this one is a bit of a trick ingredient because you’re probably not going to find it on the label of any of the products in your home. But what you may find is that there are other preservatives used in common products you use on your skin and body that will actually release formaldehyde. You don’t want this because formaldehyde is a carcinogenic item. These include Quaternium-15, Diazolidinyl urea, Dimethyl-dimethyl hydantoin and Imidazolidinyl urea. Be on the lookout to eliminate these types of preservatives from the items that you use as they can be sneaky when it comes to how they react when used.
It can be easy to assume that if it’s on a store shelf, it’s completely safe. But that’s not entirely true. Think about how often you hear about new studies that explore the dangers of things that we take for granted now, but later eliminate altogether, such as BPA. A little time today reading labels can help you pick the right products to use on your sensitive body parts along with your family members’ skin. It may take some time to find labels that are free of these ingredients, but it will be well-worth the peace of mind that you’ll achieve, knowing that you’re putting your family’s safety first.