Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid

Most moms use skin screens, moisturizers and other skin care products on themselves and on their kids. However is any of the ingredients actually harmful to your kid? Here is a look at some of the things we find in skin care products that you might want to avoid.

Artificial fragrances: Quite often, these chemically produced artificial fragrances will be listed on the label as nothing more than ‘a fragrance'. Unfortunately, chemicals like these are often irritating, especially if you have sensitive skin. If your skin is sensitive and you suffer headaches, dizziness or rashes after using a particular skin product, the chances are pretty good that the culprit is an artificial fragrance. You should therefore stop using it immediately.

Artificial colors: Avoid any products that suggest they contain artificial colors for exactly the same reason that you would avoid artificial fragrances. These cause cancer!

In the UK and Australia, artificial colors are usually described as ‘E numbers' whereas in the USA, they will have an FD & C code number together with a description of the color. Some food colorings are known to be potentially harmful, in some cases possibly carcinogenic, so any skin care product containing them should definitely avoided.

Diazolindinyl Urea: This is a preservative chemicals that is sometimes used in make up and skincare products. This chemical is known to be toxic and can cause contact dermatitis and other skin problems, so it is one that should be avoided.

Methyl Paraben and Propyl Paraben are two chemicals that are used as preservatives to extend the shelf life of skincare products and make up. Once again, there is some evidence that these two chemicals are toxic and that they might be a cause of allergic reactions as well as breast and other forms of cancer.

Somewhat ironically, there is also evidence that a combination of parabens and sunlight accelerates skin ageing as well.

Propylene Glycol: Propylene glycol is a synthetic organic glycerin that is used in many different ways including in skincare products (as a moisturizer) and make-up.

This petroleum-based plastic is such a powerful solvent that it can eat through a steel tank in 48 hours, which is why it has to be stored in plastic drums. In the USA, the EPA considers propylene glycol to be so toxic that it insists on workers wearing protective clothing, goggles and gloves, yet it is used in some products in strengths of up to 20%.

Given these facts, it is perhaps not surprising that this is a chemical that is known to cause severe allergic reactions in some people.

In my next blog entry I will give you some more advice as to what chemicals to avoid in skin care lotions and sunscreens! After all we have to keep our families safe!