Did you know a lot of mainstream beauty products in the US contain known carcinogens that are banned in the EU? Many of these ingredients are also known skin irritants and have no therapeutic benefits.
This week, Camila (Miaerba.com) and I went on location in a local Walgreens and picked our top 5 mainstream beauty products we’ve kicked to the curb and why.
We hope this gives a little more insight into what you’re actually putting on your skin :)
To more transparent skincare!
Camila: Good morning everybody.
Lindsey: Good morning Miami. It’s Lindsey Victoria here from A Life Well-Balanced
Camila: And Camila Olivares from Mia Erba, thoughtfully sourced, naturally made skincare
Lindsey: Which is exactly the reason why we’re here today. We are going to go inside and have a look at some common ingredients that we’re putting on our skin and look at the ingredients to avoid in these products.
Camila: The reason we’re doing this today is because a lot of these ingredients are known to have high toxicity levels and that means that if you’re using them for a prolonged period of time, they will have negative effects on your body so we’re going to try to avoid them. Let’s go inside go and figure this out!
Camila: Secret. It’s a typical deodorant that most women are using. They have great marketing but too bad that most of their ingredients are very toxic. You have Aluminum as one of the main ingredients, it’s up to 18% and the Aluminum is actually very clogging. It’s a very controversial ingredient. It’s said that it could cause breast cancer in women. For that reason alone, I would not want to use it. The US has very lean regulations for labels and ingredients but Dimethicone is definitely one of the ingredients to avoid and is banned in the rest of the world. It also has mineral oil, which we’ve talked about mineral oil in our previous videos, and that one just basically doesn’t do anything. It just sits on top of your skin and doesn’t really do anything for you. So all these ingredients don’t have any therapeutic benefits. They’re not really doing anything for you. They only mask a problem, they’re not going to fix anything. So this is definitely one of the ones that we would drop in the trash.
Lindsey: The next product that we want to show you that we think that we should be dropping in the trash is mainstream shampoo. We’re going to show you Pantene Pro-V here. This is a shampoo a lot of people have. The main ingredient, No. 1 is water. Most mainstream shampoos have about 70% to 90 % of water, so it’s just basically just water. Then the next second biggest ingredient is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a known irritant. The reason why it exists actually is that it’s used to induce eczema so that we can test for treatments. If you have really sensitive skin on your scalp, you’re basically just using something that’s mostly water and a known irritant. Mainstream shampoos aren’t really doing much for you. Drop it in the trash.
Camila: A very common problem, especially in sunny places like Miami, is something like melasma, which I myself have suffered from, and so what we do is we look for skin lightening creams. One of the most popular ingredients to help with that is something called Hydroquinone. You’ll find it in Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Fade Cream. Hydroquinone, unfortunately, is a known carcinogen. So I personally choose to stay away from it. It is very lightening, it’s effective but it’s a known carcinogen so you gotta weigh out what you want to put into your body.
There’s a lot of ways to naturally fade these darker spots, like licorice root extract, for example, is something that we use in the plant-based skincare world to help with skin lightening. There’s no need to use a carcinogen on your face to fade the dark spots. You can use plant-based ingredients.
Lindsey: The next product we are going to talk about is toothpaste. I know that Camila and I have talked about Colgate in some of our previous videos, but the reason why I like to avoid any sort of mainstream toothpaste, especially Colgate, is again, one of the main ingredients in here is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. The only reason they put this ingredient in there is to help for lathering, but it’s a known irritant. So if you’re somebody like me… I used to get canker sores a lot and I was wondering ‘Why am I getting canker sores all the time?’ Well, the irritant and the lathering is stripping away mucous and drying out your mouth, so making you more prone to canker sores. The minute I stopped using Colgate, I stopped getting canker sores. I personally use something called doTERRA, which everybody knows I love doTERRA essential oils. They’re using essential oils, natural ingredients, and those essential oils completely have stopped me from getting any gingivitis, any cavities, anything. I haven’t had a cavity in like ten years so I would say drop this one. Drop Colgate.
There are many other alternatives on the market. I’m going to tell you guys about Tom’s of Maine. The thing about Tom’s is they do put Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in it. Again it is a lathering agent. If it’s just the only thing that you could find, I would choose Tom’s over Colgate just also because of all their practices. There’s no animal testing, they share every ingredient, its purpose and its source over at their website. So from a perspective of a holistic marketing campaign and the story behind Tom’s, I’d be using Tom’s over Colgate. But avoid this one (Colgate) at all costs.
Camila: I felt really passionate about having to bring this one up because I grew up using Dove and watching their commercials about woman power and how it made our skin so soft and smooth and glowing, and they did a really great job of selling it to all of us, so it broke my heart a little bit when I started reading the labels of it and I became more educated on about what ingredients I wanted to use and I was really looking for more natural plant-based ingredients. Unfortunately, if you read the label of Dove, they do something called ‘Green Washing’ and it’s what their marketing is. There’s really nothing natural about it at all. It has all the same fillers, the same synthetic and toxic ingredients that we’ve been talking about today to avoid. Fragrance is something that you find in everything, and that can also stand for a preservative. It can stand for a synthetic aroma and at the end of the day, this doesn’t have any kind of therapeutic benefit for you whatsoever. So, unfortunately, this is another one that we’re going to have to say bye to.
Lindsey Weissert is the author of A Life Well-Balanced, a lifestyle blog dedicated to helping people live a more balanced life – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.