6/1/12

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5 Harmful Cosmetics Ingredients to Avoid

It has been said that many women choose to suffer pain for the sake of beauty, but when it comes to unintentionally using products with harmful ingredients, being informed about what to avoid is a powerful tool. After all, there are plenty of safer alternatives!  Some substances found in cosmetics have been found to play a part in a variety of maladies, including cellular malfunction, severe allergic reactions, hair loss, and more. We spoke with GGC Spa Director Amanda Rigby to deliver you relevant, helpful information on the topic. Here are five ingredients that you should aim to avoid when choosing cosmetics products.

Avoid harmful ingredients that are found in many cosmetics products.
Avoid harmful ingredients that are found in many cosmetics products.

1. Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. “I would recommend avoiding sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate. These are common ingredients in cosmetics products, especially shampoos, cosmetics, and conditioners,” Amanda said. In fact, one article describes how these ingredients have been linked to urinary tract infections, eczema, dry skin, hair and scalp allergies, and more. These ingredients are also corrosive and can cause damage if they penetrate the brain, liver, or heart. So, avoid these ingredients!

2. Parabens. “Other ingredients to avoid are parabens, as they are suspected estrogen mimickers,” Amanda said. “High estrogen levels have been associated with higher risk of breast cancer.” This article explains more about why you should consider avoiding parabens.

3. Cocamide DEA, Lauramide DEA, and MES. These are common names that you will find for the chemicals DEA (diethanaolamine), MEA (momethnanolamine), and TEA (triethanolamine) in cosmetics ingredients lists. This article explains that you should avoid these ingredients because “they are hormone disrupting chemicals and are known to form cancer causing nitrates and nitrosamines.” They can be found in many products that foam and have been shown to play a role in increasing liver and kidney cancers.

4. Mineral oil and petrolatum. These ingredients are actually derived from crude oil, and, as described in one article, actually coat the skin. This disrupts the skin’s natural barrier and blocks fresh oxygen. “For these reasons, I recommend avoiding any product that is derived from crude oil,” Amanda said.

5. Fragrances. Although fragrances in lotions, shampoos, conditioners, and other products may smell good, they may also pose a potential health risk. One article also describes how over 4,000 different chemicals are used to make various fragrances and that many of them are synthetic. Many of these chemicals are actually neurotoxins that can infiltrate the bloodstream. This enables them to attack the nervous system, brain, spinal cord, liver, and immune system.

Whenever possible, it is wise to avoid these ingredients when choosing cosmetics products. If you are looking for safer alternatives to many common cosmetics products that contain these ingredients, our Spa & Salon offers a few choices. Neuma, our hair care line, is 100% vegan, organic, and free of parabens and sulfates. We are also launching a new hair care line designed specifically for curly hair types called Deva Curl. Deva Curl is also free of parabens, sulfates, and silicones. If you are looking for excellent, healthy skin products, you can find many from Skin Authority in our Spa & Salon. Skin Authority was one of the first full-line brands to eliminate parabens, dyes, fragrances, and animal testing. It’s important to be informed about potential health threats associated with certain cosmetics and to do what you can to avoid them. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, we encourage you to contact our Spa & Salon at 719.520.4988 or ggcspa@ggclub.com.

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