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5 Ingredients to Avoid in Your Cleanser

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As part of our facial skincare routine, most of us will wash our face at least twice a day. And, when it comes to our skin, we are all different. Some of us are fair, some are dark and many of us are somewhere in between in terms of skin tone. Some of us are still quite young while others may be more young at heart than in our physical age. In addition, we all have different skin types, whether it be normal, oily, dry, combination or sensitive.

But there is one thing we all have in common when it comes to caring for our precious skin – we should avoid toxic chemicals and harsh ingredients which are all too often found in conventional skin care products. Clever marketing has convinced those of us with sensitive skin to buy products containing ingredients known to cause skin allergies and irritation. Those with oily skin are encouraged to buy products that strip the skin of its natural oils to the extent that the body’s reaction is to produce more oil to make up for the lost oils, as so the cycle continues.

Organic Cleansers

At Naturally Safe, we believe that natural and organic skin care products are the best option when caring for our skin. But don’t fall for the shrewd marketing tactics and the careless use of the words ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ when buying your skincare products – read the ingredients label. Become familiar with the names of nasty ingredients and look for genuinely natural alternatives.

While there are numerous ingredients to avoid in your skincare products, as part of our ‘Check Your Labels’ series, here is our list of 5 ingredients to avoid in your cleanser and why:

  1. Parabens - preservatives like methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben and butylparaben are known to mimic oestrogen which means they can interfere with our endocrine (hormone) function and they have been linked to increased breast cancer risk for some years now. A recent study, however, has indicated that parabens may trigger the growth of breast cancer cells more than it has been previously thought and at much lower doses. Read more here.
  2. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulphate/Sulfate – known as surfactants, these sulphates give your skin that squeaky clean feeling but that is only because they strip your skin of its natural oils which are designed to protect it. Used in car wash liquid, garage floor cleaners and car engine degreasers, these sulphates have been associated with organ system toxicity and allergic reactions.
  3. Petrolatum – also known as petroleum jelly, this is a by-product of petroleum production and is used for its moisturising properties. It ‘locks in’ moisture but can clog the pores, effectively ‘suffocating’ the skin and causing irritation. Possible contamination with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) is also a concern as they have been associated with cancer. The European Union classifies petrolatum as a carcinogen and restricts its use in cosmetics.
  4. Fragrance – the word ‘fragrance’ can hide a whole litany of chemicals (including phthalates) that can cause headaches, dermatitis, allergies and asthma attacks. Phthalates in synthetic fragrances have been linked to reproductive problems and birth defects..
  5. Diethanaolamine (DEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA) & Triethanolamine (TEA) – associated with skin and eye irritation, may affect brain and body function and may cause organ system (liver, kidney) toxicity.
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