When you are choosing your cosmetic products, you should always look at the ingredients, because the packages often contain misleading information to promote natural products, which actually are not natural at all and might contain only a few natural components. It is important to be guided by the certificates in choosing your pure natural products, however, there are many organic producers, who do not apply for certification, because it is time-consuming and costly.
Plant extracts and oils are mostly listed in Latin, which makes them easily detectable among the ingredients. It does not mean that everything else in there is synthetic; many natural ingredients also have complicated names attached to them. It is important to find out and memorise, which ingredients are harmful, so that you can make your decisions wiser and easier over time. Certified organic beauty products may contain up to 5% synthetic compounds, and usually there is a limited list of those, which compounds are the least harmful.
Mineral oils – paraffinum liquidum, vaselin, petrolatum, ozokerite, cera microcristallina – these prevent the natural functioning of the skin, they are not absorbed, but create a film over the skin.
Parabens – cause allergic reactions, rashes. There is some evidence of breast cancer relations, because the parabens mimic estrogen.
Sulfates – sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate – irritate the skin, eyes and bronches.
Propylene glycol (E490) – common allergen, may irritate skin, eyes and mucous membranes. In large quantities, can cause central nervous system disorders. PG is an alcohol with solvent properties, which functions as a carrier of substances into the skin, but thanks to its solvent properties it also damages the outer layer of immature skin, and should never be used on babies. PG should not be used when the skin has no access to air.
Methylisothiazolinone, methylchloroisothiazolinone and benzisothiazolinone – preservatives that are often used together in combination. In addition to other well-known skin irritations, these can also cause contact dermatitis.