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Harmful Ingredients in Skin Care Products

Most of the skin care products on the market today are harmful to the skin, and potentially harmful for the body. Many women spend hundreds of dollars a year on skin care products and do not know that most of those products contain ingredients that are harmful to the skin or cause cancer.

There are over 7000 ingredients manufacturers can use in skin care products, with 1000 known to be harmful and 900 known to cause cancer. Do we need to die to look younger?

Each skin care product contains an average of 20 ingredients, and every time you use it, you are putting on at least 20 potential allergens on your skin, preventing or reversing the benefit of the product.

According to Dr. Getz, of Dundee Dermatology in Dundee Illinois, “Most of the skincare products on the market today are not what they promise [they are] not good for you.”

I asked him about the newest, but most promising, skin care product on the market now, called Atopalm. He hadn’t heard of it. As we discussed some of the high profile skin care products on the market today, he shook his head. “It’s almost impossible to grasp the latest trend and keep up with the market. We keep up with what has proven to work and what is good for the patient’s skin.

The next-generation skin care products are loaded with ingredients that are harmful to the skin. The immediate look or feel of one’s skin confirms the premise that this product will have years off their face. In fact, he says, many of the skin care products will age and damage your skin.

He recommends brands that you can get over the counter, at a fraction of the cost of a high-profiled skin care product. Two of his recommendations are CeraVe and the new Aveeno Eczema Care products. He gave me a sample of each product, and I took them home for the test.

Atopalm was did a good job on rough areas, but spending $36 dollars for a 2oz. jar is too much for me to spend on a moisturizing product. The Aveeno and CeraVe products performed just as well as the Atopalm product.

Sometimes the cost of the skin care products is good marketing. Consumers believe that if the product cost enough, than it must be better for them.

In addition, not everyone’s skin reacts equally from a product. While one may tolerate an ingredient well, another may develop liver problems. One ingredient may have more adverse reactions than another may. Dr. Getz adds, “Just because a product claims it is hypoallergenic, doesn’t mean you won’t have an allergic reaction to it.”

Here is only a small list of ingredients used in skin care products that are harmful.

Alpha Hydroxyl Acid. This common ingredient found in anti-aging products, promises to renew skin and erase wrinkles. Skin care products containing AHA exfoliate the bad and the good parts of skin, the dead skin cells and the skins own protective barrier. This protective skin barrier we have is essential to blocking out free radicals, known to damage and age skin.

Collagen. This insoluble protein is made of molecules that are too large to penetrate the skin. The collagen found in most skin care products is comes from animal skins and chicken feet. It forms layer of film that suffocates the skin. Sure, we have more collagen in our skin when we are younger, but the only way to restore that is by injection, not through skin care products. That is why many skin care companies now label their products as “collagen boosting” instead of “collagen” correcting the mistake and misrepresentation that collagen in the product and will penetrate the skin.

Diethanolamine (DEA). This is an alcohol, an ingredient used as an emulsifier, and emollient in skin softening lotions. If this ingredient is in products containing nitrates, it reacts chemically with the nitrates to form potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines.

Elastin. This ingredient is a protein like collagen. These molecules are too big to permeate the skin’s membrane.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). Harsh detergents like engine degreasers and auto cleaning products use this ingredient. This is absorbed through the skin immediately and retained in the eyes, brain, heart, and liver. Research finds that this ingredient can also cause cataracts.

Petroleum and Mineral Oil. Mineral oil is a byproduct of petroleum. The molecules in petroleum and mineral oil are too large to permeate the skin, just the same as lanolin and collagen. These ingredients provide a protective on the skin, which will help protect against free radicals. However, this will prevent fresh oxygen from entering the skin and traps in toxins, waste, and excess oil. This is a junk food for the skin.

Propylene Glycol. This is an element used in brake and antifreeze–an ingredient known to cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage. If you have any of these abnormalities, skin care products may be the last thing on your Wish List.

Dimethicone. This is an emollient moisturizer, an ingredient commonly used in many skin care products. It is harmful and causes tumors and mutations in laboratory animals. It is also cancer suspected.

DEA. This compound is used for pH control. This is toxic and currently under investigation for another ingredient known to cause cancer.

Glycerin. This ingredient is produced by combining water and fat. Unless the humidity of air is over 65 percent, glycerin draws moisture from the lower layers of the skin and holds it on the surface, which dries the skin from the inside out. This may help those with oily to combination skin types, but will not help those with dry skin.

My grandmother is 76 years old. She has never used skin care products, and her face radiates a subtle, healthy glow. What is her secret? She insists on using only Ivory soap on her skin. I never liked the smell of Ivory, but it is a staple in my beauty cabinet. It is the only product that has cured any of my skin care predicaments. In addition, it is pure and inexpensive.

Check your medicine cabinet and see if your skin care product has one of these harmful ingredients.

Source:
Dr. Stephen & Gina Antczak. Cosmetics Unmasked. Hammersmith London: Thorsons, 2001
Adrienne Denese, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Denese’s Secrets for Ageless Skin. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group,

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