Tag Archives: Cosmetic Ingredients

Cosmetic Ingredients That Aren’t so Safe

Woman reading beauty product label

The Food and Drug Administration regulates cosmetic products, but how strict are these regulations? The answer may shock you. The cosmetics industry is largely unregulated; there is no pre-approval by the FDA before a product arrives on your shelves and there is only a very small and minimal approval process for color additives or any ingredients classified as over-the-counter drugs. If you aren’t already, get into the habit of thoroughly reading the ingredient list of every product you purchase, and if you see any of the following, look for something else.

Synthetic Colors
Synthetic colors are widely used in cosmetics, but you definitely want to think twice before purchasing something containing them. If the ingredients list on your label includes FD&C or D&C, then those ingredients are representative of synthetic colors. The “F” represents food and the “D&C” represents drugs and cosmetics. Synthetic colors are written so that the letters come right before a color and a number. These synthetic colors are produced using petroleum or coal tar sources, are dangerous because they are suspected human carcinogen, are a known skin irritant and are linked to ADHD in children. The European Union classifies synthetic colors as human carcinogens and has thus banned them from being used in cosmetics.

Fragrance
Fragrance may seem harmless enough, but this cosmetic ingredient is actually one of the most troubling. The term “fragrance” began being used as a way to protect a company’s “secret formula.” Because of this, cosmetic companies do not have to divulge what ingredients are actually being used in their “fragrance.” Fragrances are well-known for causing health problems like allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and even some reproductive issues. Since you have no idea what chemicals or toxins are present in a “fragrance,” it’s best to steer clear of this ingredient.

Formaldehyde
Cosmetic companies include formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives to inhibit bacteria growth, which seems like it would be a good thing. However, this chemical has been identified as a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Carcinogens. Formaldehyde is also known to cause allergic skin reactions and is potentially harmful to your immune system.

Toluene
This chemical is derived from either petroleum or coal tar sources, and it may be labeled as toluol, benzene, methylbenzene and phenylmethane. Toluene is a very potent solvent and can be used to dissolve paint, which is an indication that this ingredient should not be going onto or into your body. Toluene may also cause nausea, skin irritation and could be harmful to your respiratory system.

Triclosan
Triclosan is a chemical antibacterial that can be found commonly in products like toothpaste and soaps. However, there is no supporting research that using soaps containing triclosan is more effective than washing with regular soap and water. Because of this, there is no reason to subject yourself to the potential harm caused by triclosan that includes skin irritation and thyroid or reproductive system disruptions. Additionally, studies have raised concern that using products containing triclosan may lead to creating bacteria that is antibiotic resistant.

Reading labels is important in every aspect of your life, from the food you choose to the beauty products you apply to your skin. When it comes to cosmetic ingredients, avoid the one above because it’s better to play it safe than to risk your health.

How Skin Care Mixes and Matches Ingredients

Various cosmetic ingredients in beakers There are a number of skin care ingredients which can be paired up with each other to make both of them work better on your skin. You need to think of these ingredients like your zodiac signs. Some pairings are likely to give you excellent compatibility and a lifetime of happiness while others are likely to end up as a disaster. This post from Vine Vera concentrates on offering you with insights of skin care ingredients that work like bread and butter as well as ingredient combinations that you simply must avoid at all costs.

Ingredients that work like bread and butter

Here is a list of ingredients that you can mix with each other without having to think twice about their effects on your skin.

  1. SPF and Antioxidants. According to Women’s Health Magazine, SPF is just one of the ingredients that shields the skin from the sun. Antioxidants also play a huge role in ensuring that the harmful rays of the sun don’t harm your skin. Some of the ingredients that you should always be on the lookout for include Ferulic Acids, Grape Seed Extracts, Vitamins C and E, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Green Tea and Coenzyme Q10.
  2. AHAs and BHAs. Those looking for clear looking skin can pair Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) together. AHAs such as Glycolic Acid exfoliate your skin and loosen the dead skin cells from the outermost layer of your skin. BHAs such as Salicyclic Acid help you to fight acne and unplug pores.
  3. Retinol and Hyaluronic Acid. Retinols are one of the best over the counter ingredients for your skin. However, you can make them even more effective by pairing them with hyaluronic acid. Retinols can end up drying your skin and giving you a parched look. This is where hyaluronic acids play a huge role. These acids are lubricating substances that bring back the moisture content and allow your skin to look supple, young and plumped up all over again.

Ingredients that simply cannot tolerate each other

There are some ingredients that pair up like bread and butter. And then there are those who can’t stand each other like many divorced couples.

  1. Vitamin C and Alpha Hydroxy Acid. Vitamin C and Alpha Hydroxy Acids are acid-based substances. Therefore, pairing them with each other increases the chance of peeling, irritation and redness. In fact, many AHAs need to be washed after some time n order to allow the skin to tolerate them.
  2. Retinol and Benzoyl Peroxide. While Retinol and Benzoyl Peroxide are excellent ingredients when it comes to warding off your acne problems and preventing any further occurrences when you combine the two together, they can lead to a number of issues such as lasting redness, excessive peeling, scarring, blisters and skin pigmentation.
  3. Vitamin C and Copper Peptides. Both Vitamin C and Copper Peptides are extremely effective when it comes to increasing the levels of collagen and elastin formation in your skin. However, when you combine the two, they end up negating each other, therefore rendering the other ingredient useless.
  4. Retinol and Sunscreen. Retinol helps in boosting the generation of collagen in the skin and as we all know sunscreen shields us from damaging rays of the sun. Logically we can assume that products with sunscreen are used during the day when your skin is exposed to the sun. Since using Retinol makes your skin extremely UV sensitive it is strongly advised for Retinols to be used at night, or for those more sensitive to the sun, during winter and fall. Mixing Retinol with sunscreen for use during the day just doesn’t make sense!
  5. Retinoids and SPF. Mixing retinoids with SPF is not a good idea. Retinoids are known to make the skin more sensitive to the UV rays of the sun. Therefore, you should always be ensuring that you don’t use retinoids, especially when you need SPF protection.