When choosing body creams, it’s important to be aware of certain ingredients that you may want to avoid due to their potential effects on the human body. Here are some common ingredients to watch out for:
Parabens: Parabens are preservatives used to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi in cosmetic products. However, they have been linked to hormone disruption and have been detected in breast cancer tumors. They can mimic estrogen in the body and may interfere with the endocrine system.
Phthalates: Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible. They are often found in fragrances and can also be present in body creams. Phthalates have been associated with reproductive and developmental issues, as well as disruptions to hormone function.
Synthetic Fragrances: Synthetic fragrances are a mixture of various chemicals that create a specific scent. They can contain phthalates and other potentially harmful substances. Fragrances have been linked to allergies, skin irritation, and respiratory problems in some individuals.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): SLS and SLES are surfactants used to create lather and foam in many personal care products. They can be harsh and drying to the skin, leading to irritation and stripping away natural oils. SLS can also be contaminated with a potential carcinogen called 1,4-dioxane.
Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Releasing Preservatives: Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and is used as a preservative in some body creams. Additionally, certain preservatives, such as DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, and quaternium-15, can release formaldehyde over time. Formaldehyde and these preservatives can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.
Mineral Oil and Petrolatum: Mineral oil and petrolatum (also known as petroleum jelly) are derived from crude oil. They create a barrier on the skin that can trap moisture, but they may also clog pores and hinder the skin’s natural functions, potentially leading to acne or skin irritation.
Synthetic Colors: Synthetic colors, labeled as FD&C or D&C followed by a number, are often derived from coal tar or petroleum sources. Some of these colors have been linked to skin irritation and allergic reactions, particularly in those with sensitive skin.
It’s important to note that the effects of these ingredients can vary from person to person. While some individuals may experience adverse reactions, others may not be affected at all. It’s always a good idea to read the product labels and do your own research or consult a healthcare professional if you have specific concerns or sensitivities.