There are toxic chemicals in most face wash
Dangers of Chemicals Used in Face Wash
Modern living is hard on our skin and especially on our faces, which are always exposed to the elements and pollution whatever the weather. The skin is also extremely sensitive and we have to be careful what we put on it during our daily grooming rituals, particularly because the skin of the face is so thin when compared to other parts of the body. Unfortunately, manufacturers of face washes don’t seem as concerned about our skin or the long term damage that the chemicals used in face wash can cause.
As business competition has increase, the quality of personal care products filling our drugs stores has decreased, with manufacturers cutting corners and always searching for a cheaper way to make their products to turn a bigger profit. Usually the easiest way to reduce the price of a cleaning product is to look for a mass produced chemical cleaning agent (often from industrial applications) and that is exactly what many of the large face wash manufactures have done. As you will see below, chemicals from anti-freeze and engine degreaser are finding their way into grooming products with alarming regularity. For you and your family to be safe from such chemicals, using a chemical free face wash is imperative. You must avoid the toxic chemicals found in most face wash on the market. You can read more in our article about chemicals in Face Scrub – HERE
Skin conditions such as eczema are becoming an ever increasing problem as the body’s immune system reacts to the wide range of chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis. It may be hard to believe that our face washes from large brands and widely available could be making a contribution to modern ailments on the same scale as, for example, pollution from cars. However, when you take a look at some of the chemicals being used in face wash, you can decide for yourself.
Mineral oil, a by-product of petroleum production and comes from crude oil, is one of those products which we are led to believe is harmless, but it can indeed be harmful for the skin. In face wash it is often used to lock moisture into the skin, but while your skin may give the appearance of being moisture rich, this type of product can actually have the reverse effect. If oil is applied to the skin, the pores do not secrete the body’s own natural oils, which means that as soon as you stop using oily face wash you may start suffering from dry skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.
Alcohols and Parabens
Alcohols and parabens can be found in many personal care products including face wash. In the effort to increase the shelf life of products, alcohols and parabens are used as preservatives. Anyone who has ever used the alcohol based hand sanitizer commonly found in hospitals will know that the alcohol evaporates off and leaves the skin feeling dry. Exactly the same process occurs when it is applied to your skin when you use regular face wash, but the damaging effects do not stop there. Alcohols and parabens absorbed by the skin have been linked to some forms of cancer and can also confuse the hormone balance in the body as they act in a similar way to oestrogen.
Propylene glycol is a chemical used in face wash as well as being very common in the cosmetics industry. Its purpose is usually to lock moisture into a product or to carry a fragrance. It is also commonly used in the world of automobiles where propylene glycol is a key ingredient in anti-freeze. Anti-freeze carries toxic warnings on the bottle since propylene glycol is a skin irritant and can lead to liver and kidney damage. Unfortunately – not to mention unbelievably – our face wash may include the same dangerous chemical but the bottle carries no warning.
Sodium Laurel Sulphate
Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS), or sodium laureth sulphate as it is also known is found in around 90% of all personal care products is another ingredient that is damaging to the skin. The harmful effects of SLS are often disguised by manufacturers who add the words “coconut derived” or something similar to try and convince you that SLS isn’t harmful. This couldn’t be farther from the truth, with SLS known to cause carcinogenic dioxins and nitrates to enter the bloodstream. SLS works as a powerful degreaser and is also used in engine degreasers.
Dibutylphthalate and Diethylphthalate (DBP, DEP) also known as “Phthalates” are used to speed up the absorbing of face wash into the skin, particularly medicated face wash, for the treatment of acne. Alarmingly both the Department of Health and Human Services and The Environmental protection agency have expressed concerns that Phthalates are potential human carcinogens. Due to a number of severe allergic reactions to these chemicals, L’Oreal Europe has stopped its use (although they are the only major brand to do so). L’Oreal America continues to use these dangerous chemicals at the time of writing in spite of the known allergic reactions.
Colors in face wash products are often very mysteriously labelled by manufacturers. It is typical for the ingredients list to simply say ‘color’ or have the FD&C or D&C chemical code, such as ‘FD&C Yellow 4’. This coding sysmte means that it is very easy to hide a dangerous chemical and many colorants are known toxins and/or carcinogens. A large number of the hidden colorants will be coal tar based and as such, may be a contributing factor in the development of a number of cancers.
Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA) are some of the most common chemicals used in face wash, as well as other personal care products. It was estimated in the early 1990s that 100,000 tons of DEA was produced annually in the US alone (USITC, 1990) and that figure will have risen substantially by now. Most DEA is used to balance the PH levels of products to match the skin’s pH, however it is known to be extremely hazardous and can lead to massive organ failure, particularly of the liver and kidneys. Studies using rodents have shown that DEA leads to spinal chord and brain damage as well as liver and kidney damage. (Melnick et al., 1994)
Use Chemical Free Face Wash
There are chemical free products on the market which present an alternative to chemicals based face wash and have the same cleansing effects without the dangers. Chemicals used in face washes can be disguised or hidden, with misleading labelling of ingredients with codes – something that is still legal. Until the FDA can regulate face washes more closely, the best way to avoid chemicals is to choose and all natural and organic product. There are a number of manufacturers who have already moved away from the cheaper but harmful chemical face washes and now offer safe, natural face wash. Of course, when you’re done washing your face, you want to use a chemical free organic face cream too.