There’s more to a tube of lipstick than a pretty colour- sometimes a lot more, with a few undesirable ingredients thrown in for good measure. Next time you stand in the drugstore beauty aisle, remember this list of key ingredients which should be avoided at all costs. Here’s our guide to finding safer and healthier cosmetic picks:
1) Sodium lauryl or sodium laureth sulfate: Often used as a chemical agent added to shampoos due to its foaming and cleansing quality, SLS has been suspected to be a health and environmental concern by the environmental awareness group EWG. It has a harsh nature which can actually damage hair and skin, instead of simply helping you scrub clean in the shower.
2) Synthetic fragrance: We’ve all enjoyed the occasional contrived scent- whether it’s an artificial vanilla body spray or a strawberry scented gloss. Unfortunately, synthetic fragrance is has the potential to be a beauty danger. While natural fragrance or essence comes from essential oils, lab-made fragrance comes from petrochemicals, making petroleum a key player in creating your favourite perfume.
Related: Earth Conscious Beauty Brands
3) Parabens: In recent years, haircare and makeup lines have promoted their goods as being “paraben free, due to the backlash against the toxic preservative (which has been known to be carcinogenic). Parabens reach under the skin, and have been controlled by the European Union. Unfortunately, Canadian beauty addicts need to read labels carefully- with no current restrictions on the preservatives on this side of the border.
4) Titanium dioxide: Next time you shop for a new nail polish colour, weigh your options carefully! Titanium dioxide is also found in sunscreen, and is a harmful mineral compound (bright white in colour). To add more thought to that at-home manicure, nail polish’s best friend acetone (the compound found in nail polish remover) is also toxic in nature and a potential skin irritant.
5) Benzoyl Peroxide: Commonly found in over-the-counter cleansing facial washes which treat acne, benzoyl peroxide has been described the EWG as a compound which should be avoided. It also has reproductive risks, making it a product for pregnant women to definitely stay away from.