When it comes to our skin, most of us are guilty of following trends and falling hook, line, and sinker for glamorous TV commercials. Unless someone is a qualified beautician or thoroughly knows their stuff when it comes to skincare, then picking out the right brands can be a minefield. According to Women's Health, there are a few ingredients that we should avoid at all costs, and they're more common than one might think.
Parabens. The rise of organic products over the past few years has brought with it a lot of awareness, but most people still don't realize how bad parabens are for the body. These preservatives, that are either methyl-, butyl-, ethyl-, and propylparaben, all prevent the growth of bacteria in common off-the-shelf beauty products, but there's a reason why brands like Lush are dead against them. There's strong evidence that suggests that parabens mess with hormone levels. One study found that a decrease in menstrual cycle length was linked to the level of increased parabens in urine.
Sulfates. Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate are ingredients used in shampoos and other bath products such as bubble bath or shower wash to create lather that helps clean hair. While they may look and smell like they're doing a great job, sulfates can do more harm than good. They're known to strip skin of moisture and natural oils, meaning that users could end up dryer than the loofahs they're using.
Phthalates. Perhaps one of the worst offenders on this list are nasty phthalates, which help fragrances last longer. We all love a product that smells delicious and makes us feel good, but these guys are the worst of the worst. Readily absorbed into the skin, they mimic estrogen which in turn disrupts hormone levels - and can even lead to breast cancer. Often, this will simply be listed as "fragrance" on a bottle.
Pegs. Otherwise known as polyethylene glycol, this ingredient is an emulsifier that works to allow other ingredients to be more easily absorbed. Worryingly, they are often peppered with ethylene oxide, a known carcinogen.
It may be easy to grab and run when it comes to beauty products, but taking extra time to select all-natural ones could save you a world of trouble in the future.