Monday, June 8, 2009

Five Ingredients to Avoid in Personal Care Products

These 5 ingredients have no value to your skin; but are often added because they increase profit by "stretching" the contents volume; or they lower cost as they are less expensive than the "good stuff." #1 - Mineral Oil. This provides a luxurious feel, but has no benefit to the skin. Mineral oil is a by product of distillation of gasoline from crude oil and does nothing to nourish the skin. It may even inhibit moisturization. It just "sits" on the skin surface. Look for oils which contain natural components that benefit skin, like jojoba and/or sweet almond oil. #2 - Propylene Glycol, or PG. It acts as a surfactant, allowing the product to spread evenly over the skin. It's also used in anti-freeze and brake fluid. It protects products from extreme temperatures, so that they do not freeze or melt. Natural surfactants, like disodium coco-glucoside citrate, made from sugar, or decyl polyglucose, from corn, coconut and/or palm extracts, leave skin moist, will not irritate, and are non toxic. 3# - Polyethylene Glycol (PEG). It cleanses, attracts moisture (a humectant) and emulsifies (mixes oils and water together). Although often in skin products, you can also find it in oven cleaner and other industrial cleansers. Natural alternatives include vegetable glycerin or cetyl alcohol (from palm oil.) #4 - Sodium laryl sulphate. In fact, all the "sulphates" should be avoided. They are known skin irritants. #5 - Avoid artificial fragrances. Not only are they skin irritants, but when listed as "fragrance," or "parfum," they often contain phthalates, which are known hormone disruptors. Stick with unadulterated essential oils for fragrance, and reap the benefit of their therapeutic value, as well as scent. Or, go fragrance free!

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