Why do you use skincare products?
It may sound like a silly question. The answer should be obvious, right? Most will say, “I use skincare products to care for my skin, keep it young and fresh and prevent aging.”
But what if some of those very skincare products you used were actually causing the very aging and damage you’re trying to prevent?
In fact, many of those products can increase the damage done to your skin by other chemicals you encounter during the day, and lead to more serious internal damage, too.
In this post, we want to focus on the four skincare ingredients that you should be most aware—and wary—of. These four ingredients are likely to accelerate aging and can lead to real damage to more than just your skin, but to your internal organs and functions.
By the end of this post, you’ll have a new respect for your skincare products, and see everything you put on your skin in a brand new light.
This may sound crazy, but it’s 100% real. Water in skincare products can absolutely be a danger.
Why is that? Well, to begin with, the presence of water allows any water-soluble chemicals and toxins also present in those products to be absorbed into your skin and reach your bloodstream, where they’re dispersed throughout your body. Or, as one expert  explained, the water used in your skincare products might not be fully “clean” deionized or purified water. If so, the water itself may contain contaminants that could damage your skin.
The presence of water also requires manufacturers to add chemicals (like formaldehyde and parabens) as preservatives to keep mold and bacteria from growing. These chemicals, as you’ll see below, can be incredibly harmful to your skin and contribute to biological aging.
If there is both water and oil-based ingredients in your skincare products (which there almost certainly are), then chemical emulsifiers will have to be added to keep the water and oil from separating. Some emulsifiers—such as sodium laureth sulfate (also known as SLS)—can be toxic and may cause skin irritation.
The term “fragrance” is used to describe hundreds of different (unspecified) chemicals and ingredients that add fragrance to skincare products.
Many of them emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that not only impair air quality, but can cause a number of significant side effects—including asthma attacks, loss of coordination, irritation of the eyes and nose, throat irritation, respiratory irritation and symptoms, headaches, nausea, forgetfulness, and even aggravate existing sinus conditions. According to Health Care Without Harm , they are the primary cause behind allergic reactions to skincare products.
Fragrances can also be harmful to people with sensitive skin. The fragrances dry more quickly than other ingredients, and that evaporation process can pull moisture from the skin and cause irritation. The list of multiple unspecified ingredients used in “fragrances” may make it incredibly hard to pinpoint which ingredients are causing the skin irritation.
But there’s another side effect of fragrances that a lot of people don’t know about: they can dry out your skin.
Fragrances may have a negative impact on the barrier of lipids and moisture that protects your skin. The alcohols used in the manufacture of those fragrances can damage the fats or cause the moisture to dry up. This could leave your skin exposed to dryness, more sensitive to toxins and chemicals, and suffering as a result.
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Formaldehyde is one of the chemicals and preservatives historically used in water-based beauty and skincare products. It’s added to lengthen the shelf-life of said products, but unfortunately can decrease your shelf life.
Formaldehyde exposure on a low level can be an irritant (to your throat, eyes, and nose when inhaling the fumes), and on a high level can contribute to certain types of cancer .
According to the National Cancer Institute , even a small amount in the air (just 0.1 ppm) can lead to side effects like “watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat; coughing; wheezing; nausea; and skin irritation”.
Formaldehyde is usually added into skincare products in such small quantities that the more severe effects (such as skin burns) aren’t a serious concern. However, even minor amounts of formaldehyde in cosmetics have been known to trigger allergic reactions and skin conditions (such as rashes). And it’s not only in people who have sensitive skin!
What’s scary is that even if formaldehyde isn’t included in your skincare products, there are a number of other ingredients (such as DMDM Hydantoin in sunscreen lotion or Quaternium-15 often found in mascara) that can also release formaldehyde, causing the same damage .
For around 100 years, parabens have been added into water-based cosmetics and skincare products to act as a preservative, preventing the growth of mold and bacteria. Unfortunately, experts  agree that it can be a highly dangerous chemical over the long-term, contributing to everything from fertility impairment to hormone disruption to skin irritation to various types of cancer.
The most serious side effect of regular exposure to the chemical is harm to both the male and female reproductive system. The fact that parabens act like testosterone and estrogen in the body means they can disrupt your very delicate endocrine balance. Experts  warn that parabens could contribute to or cause:
Early puberty in girls
Lowered sperm count and motility
Affected length of the menstrual cycle
Fetal malnourishment and other reproductive development issues
Preterm birth and other birth outcomes
Certain parabens have been banned in the EU, though the FDA continues to permit the use of some in cosmetics .
These four ingredients are present in a lot of different skincare products, many of which you probably have sitting in your bedroom, bathroom, or living room right now.
Take a few minutes today to go look through the list of ingredients in the skincare products you use most. If you find any of the four listed above, it may be time to replace that particular product with a safer, more “natural” alternative that isn’t loaded with chemicals.
It’s not just your skin that will age as a result of frequent exposure to these chemicals, but your entire body.
If you’re wondering what you can do to protect your skin from aging without exposing yourself to chemicals, we’ve got good news: it can be done. The key is to find the right skincare products that will do good without all the harm.
The “ideal” skincare products should be:
Organic, which typically means free of the chemicals listed above.
Plant-based, especially the first few ingredients on the bottle. That way, you can trust they come from natural sources and won’t be loaded with chemicals (which is where the “Organic” label comes in so handy!).
Oil-based, and preferably free of water. Oil is already used in most of your skincare products in some form of another. Oil-based products that contain little or no water put your skin at less risk (as you saw above), while still providing all the nutrients and lipids your skin needs to maintain the protective barrier.
If you want to try a reliable product that does not contain any of the chemicals mentioned in this article because it is strictly and independently certified organic then you should try this dream cream by our partners at Purity Woods. With this product you can rest assured you are not feeding your body any synthetic and potentially toxic ingredients. Give yourself a glowing and youthful skin with this revolutionary product.
Be smart when you go skincare product shopping—your skin needs you to protect it as much as you need it to protect you!
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