Cosmetic labels, with their long lists of ingredients, may be overwhelming. That’s why we decided to research the three most commonly found ingredients in conventional cosmetics – to help you understand which synthetic substances are present and how you can avoid them.
Don't be fooled by its name. Mineral oils don’t actually come from minerals! If you find in the composition of cosmetics paraffin oil, paraffin liquid, liquid paraffin, or liquid petroleum, vaseline, or hydrocarbon oil, then it is definitely not a natural product. These synthetic substances come from the petrochemical industry. It no longer sounds like something you want on your skin, right?
Although they may originally have been industrial lubricants, today these substances are a common part of even children's products. Why are they so abundant in cosmetics composition? The answer is simple. They are preservatives, stabilizers, effective solvents, and, above all, substances that soften the skin. Another reason is their price on the cosmetics market. Mineral oils are cheap, durable, and affordable.
And what is their effect on the skin? Apart from creating an impermeable film, they provide no benefits to the skin. On the contrary, an airtight film can cause skin imperfections – from enlarged pores, to allergies or acne. In short, the skin suffocates, and you prevent its ability to breathe. It’s best to avoid these ingredients.
Alternative: BIO quality vegetable oils that softens and nourishes, naturally.
PEG and PPG Emulsifiers
If you can see in the composition of your favorite cream or body lotion Polyethylene Glycol or Polypropylene Glycol, then you know emulsifier chemicals are present. Emulsifiers are basically ingredients that are added to cosmetics to help combine oil and water components in the product. This is the only way to hold these two liquids together. They therefore improve the texture in creams, milks, and wherever the resulting consistency is important.
Due to their low molecular weight, these emulsifiers can penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin. They therefore increase the absorption of active substances. Here you may be thinking, but that's what it's all about. But instead, increasing the permeability of the skin doesn't only mean absorbing the good substances we want. This means that other synthetic substances also get into the deep layers of the skin and the body. This can lead to clogging and widening of pores. Also, they are produced using toxic gases and may contain carcinogenic substances. All in all, PEG and PPG are not ideal for use.
Alternative: Sugar surfactants, which are made from vegetable oils. You can find them as: Sodium Coco Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Lauryl Glucoside, or Capryl Glucoside.
Oh Those Silicones!
Silicones, an infamous group of substances. You can find them widely used and widely available in skin, body, and hair cosmetics, identifiable by their endings -cone, -thicone, -thiconol, -siloxane whose -silane. At first glance, the polymers can smooth the skin and hair, and improve the application of products. So why are they bad? Firstly, they are non-biodegradable. Some are water soluble, others are not. In addition, the results will soon disappear. They can put excessive strain on the skin and hair, which at first look perfectly repaired and smoothed, but over time can cause breakage. Similar to mineral oils, they form a film on the skin that prevents it from breathing. They cause skin dehydration, and the increased production of sebum, pimples and blackheads.