The Hidden Dangers in Body Care Products

When people shop for body care products such as hair conditioners or skin moisturizers, they are seeking to buy products that will be good for them – improving the quality of their skin and hair. However, there are ingredients in many body care products – even expensive, salon-produced brands – that are harmful to the user. Most of these ingredients are ones that the average consumer will not recognize as harmful, and so he or she may go for years using the dangerous product without having a clue as to how harmful it is.

One such dangerous substance in many body care products is parabens. Parabens are a preservative that may lead to the development of cancer. Another such ingredient is petrolatum. Petrolatum is waxy and can clog pores, coating the skin and preventing air, which skin needs, from reaching it. It can also strip the natural oils from your skin, promoting dryness, and can cause increased sensitivity to the sun. Oxybenzone, a common ingredient in sunscreen, can alter one’s DNA and cause cancer – the very thing sunscreen is intended to avoid! Alcohol can irritate and dry out the skin. Synthetic fragrances (those not derived from natural essential oils) can also irritate the skin. Phthalates are often found in synthetic fragrances, and can disrupt hormone production, particularly influencing reproductive capability in men. Synthetic dyes can be carcinogens. Some body products even contain formaldehyde – the very same substance used to preserve dead bodies! These are only a sampling of the products that have the potential to cause much more harm than good to your skin!

Anything you apply to your skin will be in some measure absorbed by your skin – just like nicotine is absorbed via patches to help smokers quit the habit. The same is true for any other product, including skin and hair care products. That means that the chemicals in your body care products will be inside you, altering your skin’s cells – and many of these are products that you apply every day. A frightening thought! That is why, no matter how reputable or expensive a brand may be, you should still approach using its products with caution. Look for products that do not have the ingredients listed above, but do have other healthy ingredients, such as tea tree oil, jojoba oil, witch hazel, evening primrose oil, and silk proteins, to name a few. Also, make sure that any fragrances listed in your product’s ingredients are essential oils – these are natural scents that do not have the negative side effects of synthetic fragrances. If they are essential oils, the label will indicate that this is so.

Do not be deceived by a price tag! Often the best body care products containing healthy ingredients that will truly improve your skin and hair are not very expensive. If you keep these factors in mind, you are likely to select a great product that will be good for you and exceed your expectations. Read the label before you buy!