Some of us tend to buy shampoos and conditioners based on our hair characteristics. But is this enough to make an informed decision?.
The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano
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We must bear in mind that most commercial hair-care products contain toxic chemicals that can even be life-threatening!
If you are interested in reducing your exposure to harmful chemicals, you should be alert when it comes to selecting cosmetic products. Particularly, shampoos and conditioners usually tend to contain a long list of ingredients, that may produce negative effects on your health. While some people are willing to make their cosmetics with natural ingredients, some of us might just prefer to stay informed on which ingredients to avoid when buying commercial shampoo. This is why The Woman Post brings you a list of chemicals to keep away from when selecting your favorite shampoo or conditioner.
You have probably heard of parabens before since many cosmetics are labeled “parabens free.” If you haven’t, this is a good opportunity to watch out for them. Parabens are xenoestrogens, which are natural or synthetic compounds that resemble the effects of estrogen or promote its production. However, that’s not all, according to research, they can also pose a cancer risk.
Triclosan is an ingredient contained in several consumer products to prevent or reduce bacterial contamination. So far so good, right? The trouble is that research has revealed that triclosan alters hormone regulation in animals, and might even promote the development of antibiotic-resistant germs. The antibacterial compound has been linked to immune system problems, uncontrolled cellular reproduction, and weight loss.
Sulfates may not be new for you, since it is very common to find tags on shampoo that mention they are “sulfate-free.” But do you know what they are and why are they harmful? Sulfates are detergents made of sulfur-containing mineral salts. They became popular in the cosmetic industry because they are effective, inexpensive, and easy to find. They also produce a foaming effect which was desired by the industry to give a “cleaning impression.” On a superficial level, they can dry the scalp and eliminate the natural moisture of the hair. Their biggest problem is that they contain hormone-disrupting agents and may also have traces of dioxane, which disrupts kidney function and is also known for being a carcinogen.
Also read: HOLIDAYS ARE IDEAL FOR A DIGITAL DETOX!
While the term “fragrance” may be confusing because we tend to think that it probably comes from essential oils, this may not always be the case! In the USA, the term fragrance is not regulated, which is why it may contain anything. According to Natural Society, there are more than 3,100 chemicals used by the fragrance industry under this category. As mentioned by the FDA, a fragrance is a combination of chemicals that gives each perfume a scent. Fragrance ingredients may be derived from petroleum or natural raw materials. The IFRA has mentioned that some of these ingredients may be linked to health effects including cancer, reproductive toxicity, sensitivities, and allergies.
5. Polyethylene Glycol
Polyethylene glycol is a compound derived from petroleum that has several uses in manufacturing and medicine. It is used in the cosmetic industry because of its thickening properties. Even though more research is needed to find out the possible health effects of this chemical, according to Natural Society, it may interfere with human development and may contain traces of the carcinogen Dioxane.
So next time you go shopping for cosmetic products, be sure to read more about their ingredients. Opting for DIY options may also be a great idea when it comes to taking care of our health!