With all of the skin care and cosmetic products out on the market, it is no wonder that most of the general public have no idea what the ingredients are. Knowing how to take care of your skin naturally has become more and more challenging. Are these synthetic products safe, or are they harmful? Even products that are listed as “natural” may be harmful to your skin. Read on to learn what to look out for in your skin care product labels.
Synthetic fragrance is a very broad category, and you’ll find these ingredients on almost all of the labels found in cosmetic departments. You may see it listed as “parfum”, perfume or fragrance, but the truth is that these names are a broad term that covers hundreds of potential ingredients.
More than 90% of the ingredients in synthetic fragrances are derived from petrochemicals, such as phthalates, that are linked to liver and breast cancer, birth defects, diabetes, immune system problems, and nervous-system disorders.
What You Can Do
Look for skin care products that clearly state that they use no synthetic fragrances or perfumes in their products. Make sure this is part of their company ethos. Double check the backs of labels for perfume or fragrance. Your choices include using something completely unscented or products that contain some light essential oils or extracts. Ayr Skin Care uses a blend of essential oils and/or fruit juices and extracts in our products.
When you look at the back of skin care products, you will see things like Mica or color names like “yellow 5 lake” or “iron oxides (C1 77491). Any time you see numbers like this listed, it means that synthetic color, dye, or mica have been added.
Also be wary of products that are colored, but there are no colors listed, when discerning how best to take care of your skin naturally.
Here’s a good example of a makeup we found in a store listing ingredients such as ethylhexyl palmitate, polybutene, paraffinum liquidum, synthetic wax, microcrystalline wax, beeswax, polyethylene terephthalate, squalane, and a preservative. There were no colors or color numbers listed, but the makeup was green in color, indicating suspicious labeling practices. Keep your eyes open, and ask questions, and if something looks iffy in the label, it likely is!
You can detoxify your daily skincare routine by ditching these common synthetics and making the switch to skincare powered by the best ingredients nature has to offer.
Parabens are the most commonly known ingredient in skincare products, as it is the most widely used preservative throughout the history of cosmetics. Parabens have been used to formulate and preserve everything from your makeup foundation to deodorants and face creams. If you look on your ingredient list, anything ending in “ben” is probably related to the parabens group.
What is It?
Parabens are a family of preservatives derived from Para-hydroxybenzoic acid (see how they got the name?) On the pro side, people who formulate with parabens know that they will withstand anything!
Ingredients which will cause problems in most normal preservative systems (like clay and fresh fruit) fall by the wayside to parabens. You will see them on the label like this:
- Any of the above with “sodium” added after the term
We were at a beauty conference where a scientist was discussing the initial tests that were done a long time ago on rats and parabens. We won’t rehash the entire study, but the short version is that the scientist did not test the animals for cancer before using them in the experiment, nor was a control group utilized. For many reasons, such as these, the scientific community has had skepticism over discontinuing the use of parabens. If you were making something, and you were a scientist, and you heard that the study was not scientifically sound, and your ingredient worked, you would be hesitant to change it also. Now those additional tests have been performed that detect parabens in human breast cancer tissue, and more concrete studies are continuing.
Why Ayr Skin Care Does Not Use Parabens
Parabens have been shown to disrupt hormones and the immune system, cause skin irritation, and possibly interfere with the male reproductive organs and endocrine system. Yikes!
With all of that to consider, safer alternatives seem to make more sense to protect our skin. Ayr uses ingredients like food-safe preservatives, naturally occurring acids. Even some non-toxic preservatives can be irritating though, so we take special care to select ones which are unique to each type of product to best protect it from microbial growth, yeast, and mold, and which do not irritate sensitive skin.
You may have heard of the wonders of hydroquinone. As your Grandmother may have said, ”if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!” This strong chemical has been promoted internationally as a “must-have” for skin lightening. Hydroquinone works to decrease the production of melatonin in skin. Unfortunately, it has also been linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, and contact dermatitis. Over time it can lead to as the degeneration of collagen and elastin fibers in skin tissue. In 2006 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a ban on over the counter sales of cosmetic products containing hydroquinone. It has already been banned in Japan, the European Union, and Australia.
Ayr Skin Care’s Safer Alternatives
We craft our natural skincare products at Ayr to offer a safer alternative to the above!
As we age, our skin does become more blotchy and discolored due to normal aging skin and age spots. Many women are interested in finding ways to even out skin tone. Mulberry extract (Morus Alba) has an anti-tyrosinase activity which produces the desired effect of skin lightening without the side effects.
Tyrosinase is a copper-containing enzyme present in plant and animal tissues that catalyzes the production of melanin by oxidation (like the blackening of a sliced potato exposed to air). In addition, instead of breaking down collagen and elastin fibers like hydroquinone, mulberry extract actually has been shown to improve skin tone by slowing down the aging process with rich antioxidant properties.
Studies have shown that mulberry extract may also help with collagen to slow down the formation of wrinkles. We have chosen to use this organic mulberry extract in our Pure Moisture face cream for daily use.
One thing that differentiates our Tranquility Hand Cream from other creams and lotions is that it is formulated with anti-aging in mind. One of the first signs of aging occurs on the hands, so we include organic mulberry extract, as well as other extracts, deep organic butters and oils and planted-based allantoin to keep your hands looking at young as they can!
Toxins in Skin Care
While this short list is certainly not all that you need to look out for in skin care, we hope that the insight into these ingredients has helped you with deciphering your cosmetic labels and learning how to take care of your skin naturally.
At Ayr Skin Care, we are making the best planted-based and natural skin care products that we can, with your skin (and ours!) in mind every step of the way, from formulation to testing, and in long term stability and lab testing. We’ve got your back so that you can relax and enjoy the best non-toxic skin care! Questions about taking care of your skin? Please get in touch with us!
If you have any questions or comments, we would be happy to answer you personally! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.