The Ugly on Beauty Products

There’s no denying many cosmetics make us look, smell, and feel our best, but there can be some hidden dangers lurking behind the pretty packaging. It’s wise for everyone to be informed on the products they are putting on or in their bodies, but even more so for those with or recovering from cancer.

“Skin is the largest organ of elimination and when being treated by a powerful systemic treatment such as chemotherapy, it will try to excrete this toxin from the system,” said Laura Kelly, head of sales and marketing with Made for Life Organics. “This often causes the skin to become extremely sensitive – even to ingredients that have been no problem to use in the past.”

To reduce your risk of side effects that range from rashes known as “chemo acne” to more serious disruptions of endocrine functions, these are some of the additives that you should consider avoiding :

  1. Parabens are commonly used to extend the shelf life of beauty products. Parabens have been linked to hormone disruptors that mimic the hormones in the body and disrupt your body’s endocrinal functions.
  2. Alcohol in products can break down the skin’s surface layers, destroying compounds that are essential to healthy skin growth.
  3. Triclosan (TCS) is an antimicrobial agent used in many liquid soaps, shampoos, conditioners and toothpastes. It is a known endocrine disruptor and has proven to produce bacterial resistance.
  4. Lead, alarmingly, is present in more than 60 percent of commercial lipsticks. Seek out vegan or lead-free lipsticks.
  5. Phthalates are most commonly in mascaras and nail polishes to keep them flexible. It’s not worth the stretch when they affect the normal development of the central nervous system.
  6. BHA can be found in makeup and moisturizers, and are known to interfere with healthy hormone function. Stay clear.
  7. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and DEA’s are found in foaming products – shampoos, soaps, etc. They cause skin irritation and sensitization when used repetitively.

This is a basic list of the most common aggravators, but when in doubt, avoid common allergens such as fragrance, alcohol, and preservatives. Instead, natural, vegan, and organic products will become your skin’s best friend. Ask your healthcare provider for more details if you have any questions.

Some safe beauty products that can be found in your local drugstore, online or favorite makeup carriers are:

  1. Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment
  2. L’Occitane Moisturiszing Lip Balm
  3. Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance-Free Body wash
  4. Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Sunscreen SPF
  5. Bag Balm
  6. Dove Sensitive Skin bar
  7. Hauschka Rose Day cream
  8. All Bare Minerals, Lavera, Juice Beauty, Afterglow Cosmetics, Alima Pure, and Jane Iredale products.

For more tips and product information visit: cosmeticsdatabase.com, cosmeticsinfo.org, safecosmetics.org, and ewg.org/skindeep.