Just because it’s Vegan Doesn’t Mean it’s Safe
When buying our beauty products, we always find ourselves standing in the aisle reading the long list of ingredients, and scratching our heads wondering what on earth we should be avoiding. So we made the move to organic and now, even vegan beauty products. But that doesn’t mean we should stop looking at the ingredient list. Blogger Millie Garret has shared some of the things we should look out for next time we’re on a beauty product shopping trip.
Millie Garret has been working in the beauty industry for many years. She believes that the secret to perfect skin is taking a holistic, natural approach.
Vegan products, in general, are more natural and eco-conscious than other types of products. The ingredients used in vegan products aren’t derived from animals – instead, they contain more plant-based ingredients which are often safer. However, there are certain chemically-produced compounds that can be found in some vegan beauty products that you may want to avoid.
Parabens are often used in deodorants, lotions, and antimicrobial creams. I’m starting this list with parabens because they are the widest-known (and noisily discussed) compounds in beauty products which have been linked to certain types of cancer, reproductive toxicity, and immunotoxicity among other side effects. There is no proven direct causation, but there is evidence that parabens appear in tissue samples from breast tumors.
Because parabens are such a wide concern, most product packaging and website information will advertise that the product is paraben-free, and free of other harmful ingredients.
Triclosan is another compound found in products like antibacterial soaps and toothpastes. It is used as an antibacterial and antifungal agent, but it has been known to affect breast tissue. Again, there is no evidence directly linking it to the causation of breast cancer and other hazardous health concerns, but it is easy enough to avoid.
Carcinogens cover a wide variety of substances that may also be linked to different types of cancer. 1,4-dioxane and 1,3-butadiene have been ranked as possible carcinogens and can be found in shampoo, body wash, and spray sunscreens and foundations. Use caution when it comes to buying some products. Remember that your skin is your body’s largest, living organ. Putting potentially cancer-causing chemicals directly on to it is not wise.
Phthalates are found in all sorts of plastics, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and cleaning materials. High exposure to phthalates can disrupt reproductive development, and is linked to breast development at a younger age in girls, and irregular testosterone production in young boys.
The ingredients on beauty products will not list “phthalates”, however there are easy ways to avoid them. Some will advertise that the product is phthalate free, which makes it easy; however phthalates can be hidden under the acronyms DBP, DEP, DEHP, BzBP, and DMP, and may also be listed simply as a “fragrance”.
It seems like there is a harmful chemical around every corner, but there are surefire ways to avoid buying harmful skincare and beauty products.
Making your own cleansers, moisturizers, exfoliators, and makeup takes a little work, but you will be 100% sure of each and every ingredient, and you will have 100% confidence that it was made without cruelty to animals. Many of these recipes contain honey or milk, but even something as simple as Epsom salt and water or pure coconut oil can do wonders for your complexion.
Having a strong knowledge of harmful substances is also good because when you are purchasing products you will know exactly what to avoid.
It’s hard enough finding reliable, cruelty-free skin and beauty products, but there are many additional chemicals that should be avoided as well. Very few of these compounds have been proven as harmful or banned by the FDA, but learning more about them will help you assess any risks they may carry.
Hope this helped in making you more aware. The key is to not worry (it does no good for your hair and skin), but just be careful about what you buy and use.
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