The poison in your bathroom: Dangerous ingredients and how to easily replace them with natural alternatives
Chemicals are the best friends of the conventional cosmetics industry - they are cheap and have a good effect at first glance. They don't actually have a caring effect, but only give the appearance of it, while they cause lasting damage to your body, skin and hair.
Many synthetic ingredients lead to skin irritation, are even proven to be harmful to health and are associated with serious illnesses.
Since it's pretty hard to keep track of all the incomprehensible ingredient jumble, we'll show you which ingredients should set your alarm bells ringing. You will also find out which effective alternatives green cosmetics have to offer.
The red list of ingredients
Silicones – the nursing liars
Silicones are liquid plastic compounds. They are in shampoos and Conditioners are used to make hair shiny and smooth so it looks healthy. In skin care and make-up products, silicones are mainly used to make the skin look soft and even. They lay on your skin and around your hair like a plastic sheet. When washing, caring active ingredients cannot penetrate the hair, which dries it out in the long run. On the face, silicones clog your pores and sweat glands in the long term. The skin loses moisture, natural fats and becomes brittle. From an environmental point of view, too, silicones cannot be used without hesitation; they are derived from petroleum and are not biodegradable.
You want to pay more attention to silicone now? In the list of ingredients you can usually recognize them under the names "Dimethicone", "Methicone", "Polysiloxane" or "Cyclomethicone".
Green cosmetics rely on natural alternatives that care and are also visually appealing. True natural talents are, for example, olive oil, shea butter, coconut oil or essential oils.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) – Dangerous foam hitter
The chemical sodium laureth sulfate is a very aggressive surfactant. Surfactants are part of many soaps, shower gels and other detergents because they have a cleaning effect and, as foaming agents, ensure dense foam during washing. Originally, SLS was used to grease industrial machinery.
No wonder, then, that SLS is classified as an ingredient of concern. It dries out the skin and disrupts its natural barrier function. In addition, SLS can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
Studies are also currently investigating a link between SLS and cancer.
Incidentally, the environment will also be happy if you no longer allow SLS into your bathroom in the future; the chemical surfactant is obtained from palm oil.
There are alternative surfactants made from sugar or coconut that are much gentler on your skin. For example, our shower fluff contains a surfactant made from coconut!
Hormonally active substances – hormone cocktail in a jar
Hormonally active substances are unfortunately part of many conventional cosmetics. As the name suggests, these are chemicals that act like hormones.
These substances are often used as preservatives, softeners or as UV filters in sun creams. They are most commonly found in shaving products, toothpaste, sunscreen, and lip balm.
These synthetic substances are similar in their structure and behavior to endogenous hormones. If they are ingested through food or the skin, they increase or inhibit the body's own hormone effects.
The following health disorders are associated with hormonally active ingredients:
- Breast, prostate and thyroid cancer
- obesity and diabetes
- infertility and premature puberty
- cardiovascular diseases
If hormone-active substances get into the environment, they also behave like hormones there and disrupt food cycles and ecosystems.
Here we have provided a list for you in which you can see which substances are classified as questionable against this background.
Natural cosmetics and our puremetics products do not contain any of these hormonally questionable substances.
Parabens – Harmful Preservatives
Paraben is a chemical substance used in cosmetic products as a preservative.
The problem with parabens? They may have an allergenic effect. Even worse is their hormone-active effect! Parabens are among the hormonally active substances and are particularly suspected of being breast carcinogenic.
There is therefore a maximum concentration limit for parabens. Even if the paraben concentration in individual products is classified as harmless, it can exceed a critical limit as a result of the use of different cosmetic items. So better keep your hands off it!
Like many endocrine disrupting substances, parabens unfold their disruptive effect not only in the human body, but also in the environment.
On the list of ingredients, you can easily recognize parabens by the ending –paraben.
For the preservation of natural cosmetics, harmless natural alternatives such as essential oils, salts and alcohol are used.
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) – The evil chemist
A number of synthetic substances that are contained in many conventional cosmetic products are summarized under the abbreviation PEG. They are mainly used as emulsifiers and surfactants.
Due to their diverse properties, PEG substances are used in care and cleaning products, toothpaste and deodorants. In addition, PEG is cheap and therefore very popular with many manufacturers.
But watch out! The raw material for the production of PEG, ethylene oxide, is a highly toxic substance. It is mutagenic and fertility-damaging and carcinogenic.
If PEG is used in cosmetics, the natural barrier function of the skin is disrupted. This makes them more permeable to pollutants, which can weaken the immune system. As a result, the immune system can fight back with skin reactions or physical symptoms such as headaches or nausea. So hands off!
PEGs are also poisonous for the environment: they have a long shelf life and are stable, so it takes a long time for them to decompose.
To help you know which products to stay away from, look for the prefix “PEG-” on the ingredients list.
Fortunately, there are safe, natural alternatives. At puremetics, for example, we use the carbohydrate mixture maltodexrin to give our products the desired mixture and consistency.
And the moral of the story'?
As you can see, you are not safe from anything with conventional cosmetics. Substances that are harmful to the skin and harmful to health are found in a wide variety of products and continue to be used despite their questionable effects. They are very popular with many manufacturers because they are cheap and superficially achieve the desired effect.
But you have the choice, you can distance yourself from these ingredients and thus escape the clutches of the conventional cosmetics industry. This protects your skin, your body and our planet. This is how you set an example for a green future.
To make it a little easier for you, here are a few tips for you on how to easily and uncompromisingly avoid dangerous ingredients:
- Perspective in the ingredient jungle
In order not to lose track of toxic ingredients, you might create a list on your cell phone or use an app (e.g. Codecheck or ToxFox) that screens products for critical ingredients before you buy them. In addition, we at puremetics make it easy for you to be informed about ingredients and co. If you have any questions, we will be happy to help you at any time!
When you start dealing with ingredients, you will sometimes find that all your previous cosmetic products are poison for you. Don't get discouraged, start with an ingredient you don't want to use or target a specific product category.
- pro tip
Buy puremetics products now and never have to think about the poison cocktail in cosmetics again.
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