When you look at the packaging of beauty products, you may notice labels screaming ‘sulfate-free,’ ‘no parabens,’ ‘fragrance free,’ and ‘all-natural.’ What do these claims really mean, and how do you know what is actually important for the health of your skin? Here we will attempt to answer that question by explaining why you should consider beauty products without parabens and synthetic fragrances.
Parabens, which are preservatives that prevent bacteria from growing in products, have been widely used since the 1950s and can be found in about 85 percent of cosmetics. The most common types of parabens are butylparaben, methylparaben, and propylparaben. Why are they cause for concern? These chemicals easily penetrate the skin and can have unintended consequences on hormone function, male reproductive functions, and more. Studies have also indicated that when applied directly to the skin, methylparaben reacts with the sun’s UVB rays and damages DNA and promotes aging. Over the last few years, many brands have begun manufacturing paraben-free moisturizers, serums, sunscreens, anti-aging products, and other skin care applications in response to consumer concerns.
Synthetic fragrances (listed as “parfum” on many ingredient lists) are another item that you should pay attention to on your skin care packaging. While these scents aren’t necessarily synthetic, it’s still a good idea to double check the source of the scent on the company’s website. Many skin care companies include “fragrance” on their ingredients lists to protect their formulas, but pledge that it is and always has been botanically derived.
Other times, synthetic fragrances can contain mixtures of various chemicals that produce a desired scent. While they may smell nice, more than 95 percent of the chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petrochemicals and include benzene derivatives (a known carcinogen), aldehydes, and other toxins that have been linked to cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders, and allergies. Some of these chemicals are even listed on the EPA’s hazardous waste list. Yikes!
Not only can the effects of synthetic fragrances wreak havoc on your long-term health, but the chemicals are directly absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream, potentially causing skin irritation, headaches, dizziness, and rashes. Even if the packaging claims a product to be “fragrance free,” read the label carefully; products can still contain fragrance ingredients to cover up other chemical smells.
When it comes to the products that you rely on to protect your skin every day, it’s important to be knowledgeable about what goes into them. Carefully inspecting the labels on all of your bottles and sprays is an excellent way to start noticing which of your go-to products contain synthetic fragrances and parabens. From there, you can decide how you would like to proceed. In any case, you can never be too informed.
We take great pride in educating our clients on optimal skin care and health. All of our cosmeceutical skin care products are paraben-free, do not contain synthetic fragrance, are cruelty-free, and are never tested on animals. Contact us to schedule a free consultation so that we can discuss your unique skin care needs in greater detail.
Feature photo via Pixabay