As a model you endure much wear and tear on your skin. Between all the makeup changes at one photoshoot or the fact that makeup artists aren’t always gentle. Your skin becomes tired and will react. Largely due to the ingredients in what you are putting on your face and how you are caring for it.
Makeup and skin care industries are getting better at regulating and researching the effects of ingredients. However, still today some cosmetic companies claim they contain natural herbal extracts. But if you read the label, you will be surprised at what you have been putting on your face. If you don’t understand the word, that doesn’t mean to assume that it is good for you. There are still many chemicals that are commonly used which have negative effects on your health. Best for your skin and health to educate yourself on what chemicals to avoid. Researchers report that 1 in 8 of the 80,000+ possible ingredients used in personal care products use industrial chemicals. These chemicals include carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, hormone disruptors, plasticizers (chemicals that keep concrete soft), degreasers (used to get grime off auto parts), and surfactants (they reduce surface tension in water, like in paint and inks).
Gross! So how does this impact your skin? Another thing to consider is how these products effect the environment. I would suggest taking a look at the ingredients list on all of your cosmetics.
David Suzuki has put together a very informative list he calls “The Dirty Dozen”, which explains the top 12 ingredients to avoid and why. Some countries have already banned the use of several of them. https://davidsuzuki.org/queen-of-green/dirty-dozen-cosmetic-chemicals-avoid/
- BHA and BHT. BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) can induce allergic reactions in the skin. The use of BHA and BHT in cosmetics is unrestricted in Canada.
- Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine. Coal tar-derived colours are commonly used in cosmetics, generally identified by a five-digit Colour Index number following “C.I.”. A coal tar dye used in many hair dyes is P-phenylenediamine. Many of the different coal tar dyes are classified as toxic and must be accompanied by a warning that the product “contains ingredients that may cause skin irritation on certain individuals” and if used near the eyes “may cause blindness.”
- DEA-related ingredients. DEA is found in moisturizers and sunscreens, while cocamide and lauramide DEA are found in soaps, cleansers, and shampoos. Forms of DEA have been classified as hazardous to the environment however the use of DEA compounds are unrestricted in Canada.
- Dibutyl phthalate. In Canada 6 phthalates have been banned in children’s items but non restricted in cosmetics. Examples: di-butyl-phthalate, di-ethylhexyl-phthalate. It’s commonly used as a plasticizer in everything from skincare, cosmetics, nail polish, and perfume to hair products and deodorants. Known to cause damage to the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system. Suspected of causing birth defects, lowering sperm counts and a breast cancer risk.
- Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. Formaldehyde is a restricted ingredient in cosmetics in Canada, but no restrictions on low-levels of formaldehyde. Examples: diazolindyl urea, imidazolindyl urea. It’s a common synthetic preservatives which releases formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, which is irritating to the mucous membranes and known to cause contact dermatitis, headaches and internal bleeding. Commonly found in nail products, this chemical is a known carcinogen, allergen and irritant.
- Parabens. Most common preservative in cosmetics, estimated at 75-90% cosmetics contain at least a low level paraben. They are also used as ingredients in fragrance, but you won’t find that listed on the label. Fragrance recipes are trade secrets, so there’s no requirement to disclose fragrance chemicals in the list of ingredients. Examples: butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben. These are common preservatives linked to breast cancer.
- Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance). Products may still contain fragrance with a masking agent and marketed as “fragrance-free” or “unscented”. There are thousands of chemicals used in fragrances, most have not been tested for toxicity. Many of these unlisted ingredients are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines, and asthma symptoms. Synthetic Fragrances eg. parfum, vanillyl butyl ether. The simple term “fragrance” on an ingredient list can refer to a combination of any of the thousand separate ingredients used to make up the “fragrance”, many of which are phthalates (ie. toxic carcinogens and hormone disruptors).
- PEG compounds, Propylene Glycol and Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) are petroleum-based compounds used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. PEGs are widely used as cosmetic cream bases. PEG compounds are not safe for use on damaged skin, but Health Canada deems it as a “moderate human health priority”. Made from the same chemical that is used to create anti-freeze, this chemical easily penetrates the skin and is linked to damage of the liver, kidneys and brain.
- Petrolatum. Petrolatum is mineral oil jelly used to lock moisture in the skin in many moisturisers and in hair care products to make your hair shine. In Europe they have limited the use of petrolatum but not yet in Canada. Examples: mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin, dipropylene, glycol, butylene glycol, disodium EDTA, tetrasodium EDTA, trisodium EDTA, polybutene, triclosan, polyethylene.
Petroleum by-products interfere with the skin’s natural functions, clog the pores, exacerbates acne, and are highly likely to be contaminated with carcinogens that are linked to breast cancer.
- Siloxanes. Siloxanes are a silicone-based compound used in cosmetics to soften, smooth, and moisten your skin. Environment Canada has regulated and deemed types of siloxanes to be toxic. It is not regulated in cosmetics.
- Sodium laureth sulfate SLES is used in cosmetics as a detergent and also to make products bubble and foam, such as shampoos and facial cleaners. Commonly used foaming agent that is considered a skin irritant and carcinogen, and is known to cause skin rashes and allergic reactions
- Triclosan. Triclosan has been found to be very harmful to our environment as well as toxic when absorbed through our skin. Health Canada’s Cosmetic Ingredient Hotlist limits the concentration of triclosan in cosmetics. However, all the small amounts add up in your system.
It’s important to be educated on what you are putting on your skin. We trust far too much that retailers and the government have our best interest. Check the ingredients list on your cosmetics and read up on the ingredients and you may be able to figure out why you have all of a sudden been experiencing a change in your skin appearance. Natural is the best way to go and that is why I wanted to start Faceplant. Make products with no preservatives or chemicals and all ingredients are organic. I choose my ingredients carefully to ensure they are all vegan and cruelty free.
Don’t be too hard on yourself going through your cosmetics. The fact you have made the choice to go natural is one step closer to a healthier you, and it’s better for the environment.