Should You Worry About Toxic Ingredients in Cosmetics and Skin Care Products?

Should I be worried about toxins in my skin care products?

Toxic ingredients in cosmetics and skin care products are a hot topic in the world of beauty. But how concerned should you really be about what goes into your products & onto your skin?

THERE'S TOO MUCH INFORMATION OUT THERE

There's far too much confusing information out there about the dangers (or lack thereof) of synthetic chemicals and additives in skin care and beauty products. 

For far too long the public have been exposed to products that, in reality, could contain absolutely anything.

The result is that we, as consumers, are overwhelmed and under-informed when it comes to making educated buying decisions. 

It was an increasing awareness of exactly this state of affairs that led us to create Dress Up In You.


THE TOXIN-FREE MOVEMENT IS GAINING SPEED

There's a huge shift towards cruelty-free and vegan products - and an equally large movement towards eliminating the toxic ingredients in cosmetics and skin care products. 

Brands everywhere are flocking to create and heavily market 'free-from' ranges that don't contain parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals & the like. 

Out of this market trend, 2 clear sides have emerged:

THE NATURAL BRIGADE

The proponents of the toxin-free movement believe that chemicals have no place in your skin care products.

They sometimes cite statistics like:

  • '60% of chemicals put on the skin enter the bloodstream' and,
  • 'It only takes 26 seconds for chemicals to be absorbed into the body and even end up in a mother's breastmilk'

THE BEAUTY BRAINS

On the other side you have those with the view that the dangers of so-called toxic ingredients in cosmetics and skin care products are being massively overstated. Many think that 'engineering' skin care products can lead to them being much more effective. 

You'll spot them citing the robust structure of the skin and the nature of chemicals themselves as proof that toxins aren't anywhere near as big a health threat as the Natural Brigade would have you think. 

They also talk about 'greenwashing' - where companies list natural sources for the ingredients in their products in order to harness the 'halo effect' associated with non-synthetic ingredients. Yet these scientifically-minded people state that common skin care ingredients like cocamidpropyl and sodium citrate can only be produced in a lab - even if the source is 'natural'. 


SO WHO'S RIGHT? 

Getting to the bottom of whether so-called toxic ingredients in cosmetics and skin care products are a real health hazard is complex. It requires taking a closer look at both the way your skin functions as well as at the nature of the chemicals themselves. 

In Part 2 we'll be looking at exactly that. (coming up next week)

James LongleyComment