The current amount of contradicting information about which skin care products are safe can leave you feeling overwhelmed. So, we’ve decided to provide some clarity.
As you know, skin is the body’s largest and least protected organ, which is why it’s incredibly important that we learn how to take care of it early on. And, there are most definitely right and wrong ways of going about it. Fact is there are numerous products available to everyone; plenty of them are harmless but, there also lots and lots of really bad ones. That’s why being able to tell which skin care products are safe is the first step to learning how to take care of your skin the right way.
It’s important for people to remember that whatever chemical composition their products of choice contain will eventually be absorbed by the skin since it’s highly porous. The rate at which this will happen is contingent on several factors: the concentration of the product, its solubility, the duration of contact, and the physical condition of the skin itself. Depending on whether the product is “good” or “bad”, the process of dermal absorption will create a route for toxic or healing substances to get inside the tissue.
Natural Products Versus Laboratory- Made Products
However, before we delve deep into which skin care products are safe and unsafe, we should first address the debate surrounding natural and laboratory-made products. You’ve probably seen tons of articles discussing the benefits of using natural creams and cosmetics, while debating the dangers of various chemicals present in synthesized ones. While the information provided in the articles is not inaccurate, it also tends to present only one side of a much larger picture. Let’s take a closer look.
Not all synthetic chemicals are bad. Just like not all natural products are good. For example, touching a highly poisonous plant can be just as (or even more) dangerous to your health as getting a chemical burn. Neither is great, and both should be avoided. Alternatively, a laboratory-made anti-biotic can combat an illness just as effectively (if not better) than a strategic regiment consisting of the right combination of herbs and spices. So, to put it simply, chemistry and nature can be equally dangerous or beneficial to your health.
Quality Ingredients Ensure Skin Care Products Are Safe
When we talk about natural and/or laboratory-produced skin care products, we must always revert back to the importance of quality. Good science can and does produce amazingly safe and effective products. And the same holds true for natural products that come from good and reputable sources. So, if a company has skilled workers dealing with healthy crops or engaging in quality science, the resulting skin care products are safe and completely worthy of your investment. The problem, however, occurs when companies skim on quality, but sell their products anyway.
It’s always important to know whether a company makes its products with integrity and concern for your wellbeing. At Merkaela, we believe in natural, sustainable, and responsible business practices, which is why these ideals are reflected in our products. We source the best available ingredients to ensure that our skin care products are safe, and strive to provide you with honest, sensible, and practical information about how to best utilize them.
And, we aim to provide information that can help you identify and keep away from harmful chemicals you may encounter in other personal care products. A few of these are listed below.
These are predominantly used as preservatives in makeup and moisturizers. Unfortunately they are also suspected endocrine disruptors and could lead to cancer.
Coal tar dyes tend to be contaminated with heavy metals that are toxic to the brain, and are possibly linked to cancer. They are usually assigned color index numbers followed by a digit (ex: FD&C Blue No1.).
The emulsifiers are used in foaming products, such as moisturizers and shampoos. They are related to chemicals MEA and TEA, and are suspected carcinogens.
Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. These preservatives slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which are linked to cancer, and are typically used in a variety of cosmetics, including shampoos and conditioners.
Ever wonder why so many brands are now claiming to be paraben free? That’s because these widely used preservatives are suspected endocrine disrupters that may interfere with male reproductive functions.
Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)
Fragrances, which usually involved hundreds of ingredients, are used in a variety of cosmetics and can trigger allergies as well as asthma. Furthermore, some are even linked to cancer and neurotoxicity.
These are non-biodegradable and are used in numerous cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Siloxanes are also suspected endocrine disrupters and reproductive toxicants (cyclotetrasiloxane) linked to tumor growth and skin irritation.
This is used in foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble baths, and has been linked to cancer. Related chemicals are sodium lauryl sulfate and other ingredients with the letters “eth”.
Unfortunately, these are just a few of the harmful chemicals found in common skin care products that are sold to over the counter to millions of people on a daily basis. And because there’s constant demand by consumers for new products to be released, quality often tends to fall behind quantity, in-effect endangering the wellbeing of the very people who drive that business forward.
At Merkaela, we believe that a certain level of honesty and transparency about our products and our business practices is required. The more you know about our philosophy and strategic approach to quality products, the more you can provide us with productive feedback. As a result, we can tailor to your demands and improve the quality of our service, while making sure all of our skin care products are safe for you, your body and your family.