Harmful Chemicals And Cosmetics - What You Should Know
Let us start with some good news: Prebiotic skin care is what Aleavia does best. In fact, providing folks looking for an organic, plant-based skin care brand is pretty much all we do!
But the term “prebiotic skin care” is not a commonly known one yet. If you happen to have found our blog and website by researching the term “prebiotic skincare,” or something to that effect, then we tip our collective hats to you! Soon, however, the term will become as much of a 21st century household name as probiotics and “gut health” have become over the past few years.
Why do we think so? The two ideas go together, really. Probiotics refer to adding good bacteria (to your gut, usually), whereas prebiotics, or prebiotic skin care, is about nourishing the beneficial bacteria that already exist — whether it be in your digestive tract or on your skin’s microbiome, the living ecosystem of trillions of microorganisms that affect your skin’s health.
Feeding the good microbes offers the byproduct of starving the harmful microorganisms that exist. When you apply to your skin organic ingredients like Acadian Sea Kelp, aloe vera, Dead Sea Salt, citric acid, soy lecithin, and extra virgin coconut oil, the benefits are many:
- Healing burns, sunspots, scars, wounds, and blemishes
- Brightens skin.
- Balances skin’s pH levels
- Softens skin.
- Moisturizes skins through the natural promotion of hyaluronic acid production.
Again, this is a high-level description of what is happening on the cellular level when using Aleavia prebiotic skincare products. For a more thorough description of prebiotic skin care in particular, simply follow the resource linked above!
Chemicals In Cosmetics
As we have stated before, we are an organic skin care brand that has a passion for providing people with the most healthy, radiant skin they’ve ever had. Another passion of ours is to provide our customers, and readers at large, with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about what they put on their face and body. A cousin of the skin care industry, cosmetics get our attention in today’s post because we want folks to know that many popular products contain harmful chemicals that include hormone disruptors, carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and beyond.
In today’s post, we will take a look at a few of these chemicals and detail what you need to know about them along with the cosmetic products they are commonly found in.
Coal Tar Dyes
That is right, coal-tar derived colors are commonly used in cosmetics for no other reason than to make a product look more appealing. You can identify them by a five-digit Color Index (C.I.) number, but they are also at times labeled as “FD&C” or “D&C” preceding a specific color’s name and number.
But should we really care? Yes, we absolutely should, as coal tar is an official human carcinogen. Coal tar colors, both synthetic and natural, are strongly linked with a potential to cause cancer. Moreover, these colors often include metal compounds that have been determined to be toxic to the brain. Many of these aluminum compounds and metals are banned as food additives but are found in cosmetic products like lipstick — certainly, something that can be ingested. And while we understand that there are rebuttals about the amount of these substances that need to be ingested for adverse possibilities to come to fruition, we would rather err on the side of caution.
You might be like us and would have figured that because people figured out that lead was bad enough to be removed from pencils back in the day, that major cosmetic brands would be decent enough to not put it into lipsticks, foundations, or toothpaste. Well, we all thought wrong.
Almost a decade ago, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics discovered that lead could be found in more than 50 percent of the 33 different brands of lipstick that they tested! And, no, we don’t think these cosmetic brands are evil incarnate by any means, as evidenced by the fact that lead enters these products through manufacturing contamination rather than them being intentionally infused with lead. Regardless, the fact that you can easily ingest lead is alarming; it’s a neurotoxin that’s connected with diminished fertility, hormone imbalance in females, and even miscarriage. Again, we’ll err on the side of safety and go with companies that produce controlled, small batch products rather than trusting the name brands.
We have arrived at the chemical that most people are familiar with, parabens. We wouldn’t be surprised if a cursory understanding paraben lead you to research more, which in turn has led to this blog and learning more about organic, prebiotic skin care from a plant-based skin care company!
We digress because there are serious issues that need to be addressed regarding parabens. Did you know that the European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has determined parabens to be a “Category 1” priority substance due to the body of evidence that shows they disrupt hormone function? The body easily confuses parabens with estrogen, and that is not the half of it. They can also cause disrupt the nervous system, the immune system, and the reproductive system — three systems we would like to be left to their own, natural devices, thank you very much!
A final note about parabens: Do not be fooled by phenoxyethanol, a commonly used paraben replacement that actually delivers many of the same problematic effects as parabens. Japan has already banned the use of phenoxyethanol, while the U.S. FDA has stated that it can “depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea” in infants. Suffice it to say, do not use it in your skin care or cosmetic products!
BHA & BHT
The final two ingredients we would recommend being mindful of, and probably just avoiding in general, are BHA and BHT, or butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene, respectively. Both are synthetic antioxidants that are found in skin moisturizers, lipsticks, and many other cosmetic products. Used as preservatives, they can cause allergic reactions, have been determined to be a possible human carcinogen, and there is substantial evidence that BHA and BHT can interfere with regular hormone function. Not to harp on the negatives here, but there is more. Rodents that have been tested with long-term exposure to BHT have contracted liver, kidney, thyroid, lung, and blood problems. There is more, but we hope you get the idea. However, in the name of fairness, a United Nations Environment Program assessment noted that BHT was safe for human use. We are not sure about you, but when the jury is still out, again, we prefer the route of organic caution.
Why It Matters
These chemicals have no business being in or on our bodies. At the end of the day, many name brand companies are only concerned about what they can get away with insofar as it affects their bottom line. The good news, however, is that it leaves room for cosmetic and skin care companies that genuinely care what they put in their products. Here at Aleavia, we believe in the power of organic, plant-based purity. Our vegan skin care products work to rebalance your skin, helping it do what already wants to do.
Instead of using antibacterial products or something similar, prebiotic skin care nourishes your skin in an incredible way. Say goodbye to polar extremes of oiliness and dryness, and shop Aleavia Plant-Based Skincare today!
Written by: Aleavia
The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Safe & Chic, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.