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Dangers found in common, popular cosmetics

Learning about the dangers in your cosmetics is an important step to making healthier choices for your skin.
Learning about the dangers in your cosmetics is an important step to making healthier choices for your skin.(Photo by Gareth Gay/Getty Images)

Many people have heard the saying “if you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t put it in your body,” but the rules and requirements for what they put on their skin are usually far less strict. In a time where health and wellness are at the forefront of a majority of the decisions made each day by leaders and individuals, going with the healthier choices from what foods to eat to which exercise is best are common thoughts for today’s modern society.

But what about nutrition for the skin? It is the largest organ in the human body and one that is rarely considered when making healthy choices.

A large portion of the population unquestioningly slathers lotions and potions on their skin, hoping to reverse the years or get that Hollywood glow, without a second thought to what effect the ingredients in their cosmetics are having on their body. Poison is poison whether it’s ingested or absorbed, so for those trying to live a cleaner life, becoming educated on the dangers in your bathroom drawers is a priority.

Doing a quick Google search of “cosmetic dangers” will open up a world of horrors that might be too much for the faint of heart, but it is the first step in realizing that makeup and anti-aging creams aren’t as harmless as they seem. Swollen faces, burning scalps, and blistering rashes are just some of the effects of common cosmetic ingredients, such as sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate and phthalates.

Sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate is a popular word in the cosmetic industry, included in toothpastes, cleansers, and countless shampoos. It is used to degrease parts of the body and garage floors and car engines alike. Studies have shown that sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate causes eye and skin irritation while phthalates, a substance in plastics used for longevity, may contribute to damage of the organs and reproductive system.

These are just a couple of the many ingredients used in everyday cosmetics that can be harmful and even deadly. In order to make smart choices for health and wellness, we must become educated about what we are putting on our bodies and how we can substitute all-natural ingredients for ones with names like methylisothiazoline and propylparaben.

For a more complete list of toxic chemicals in common cosmetics and to see how popular brands rate on the healthy scale, visit the Environmental Working Group’s website at ewg.org. Also, subscribe and check back with me soon for recipes and steps on how to make your own tasty cosmetics!