Research has shown that not all of the chemical ingredients used in skin care products are safe for human use. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not ensure that the chemicals used in these products are harmless, and only intervenes if people complain about a product because they suspect it has harmed them. Hydroquinone, which is found in skin lightening products and certain cleansers and moisturizers, can cause ochronosis and leave “disfiguring and irreversible” blue-black lesions on exposed skin. A survey by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed that the average American adult uses nine personal care products every day, containing 126 different chemical ingredients.
Nearly 80% of the products contained at least one of the “Dirty Dozen” ingredients, and more than half of the products contained multiple offenders. These include formaldehyde-releasing preservatives such as hydantoin DMDM, diazolidinylurea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quaternium-15 and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. American women use an average of 12 products a day (almost 200 chemicals) a day, according to a 2004 study by the EWG. The FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said that the health effects of phthalates, parabens and many other environmental chemicals are inconclusive.
Siloxanes (which end in -siloxane or -methicone) are silicone-based compounds used in personal care products to soften, soften and moisturize, but they are endocrine disruptors and can damage the reproductive system. A recent report by the EWG revealed that more than 40 countries have banned 1,400 chemicals in cosmetic products, compared to nine in the US. Harmful compositions can cause allergies, discoloration, textural alterations, or permanent damage to the skin or hair. The organization rates some common beauty products on a scale of 1 to 10, from those that are generally considered safe to those that contain chemicals that raise the most concern.
A recent study has revealed that the skin can absorb up to 60 percent of the chemicals in the products it comes into contact with. This is why it is important to be aware of what ingredients are used in your skin care products and to choose natural and organic options whenever possible.