This is the second article in my Get to Know Your Products series, where we look into the ingredients lists on some popular products that are meant to take care of your skin. For this article, I'm continuing with the long ingredient list from Olay's Age-Defying Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream used in the previous article:
But for more commentary and information about why these ingredients are added in the first place, please read the first article in the series.
To quickly recap on the purpose of this series: the fact is that many common ingredients found within cosmetics and within the majority of commercially available skin care products are actually extremely toxic and are potentially very harmful to our health as a result. Here we’ll be taking a look at a few more examples of some of the most common and most harmful ingredients found in skin care products, and what this could mean for health in general.
1. Titanium dioxide
Titanium dioxide is an absorbent, odourless mineral that is mainly used in order to provide opacity, thickness, or whiteness to various skincare products and treatments, like sunscreens. Worrying research however, has pointed to the fact that titanium dioxide could be a highly carcinogenic ingredient, which in simple terms means that it could cause/contribute towards cancer. Carcinogenic compounds attack our cells, causing them to malfunction and to mutate into cancerous cells. The particles of this oxide are particularly dangerous if they are inhaled.
2. Benzyl alcohol
Benzyl alcohol can be found in many different products, from exfoliating masks to hair coloring products. In sufficient quantities (over 5-10% usually), it can lead to serious irritations and numbness on the skin. In some countries it is banned in infant skin care products.
Sometimes labeled "paraffin wax" or "paraffin oil," paraffin is an extremely common ingredient found in pretty much all generic store-bought cosmetics and skin care products. Sometimes referred to as "mineral oil," it is naturally derived from petroleum and is used primarily as a thickener/emulsifier, fragrance component, and skin conditioner in these products. Recent studies however, have revealed some pretty worrying facts regarding paraffin-based ingredients, as it has been found to be very harmful to our health and well-being. To begin with, the paraffin itself could very well find itself contaminated with various toxins which themselves have been found to contribute towards cancer, and various respiratory problems in some individuals as well. Paraffin (mineral oil/petroleum) can also also clog pores on the body, trapping bacteria and their toxins in your skin, which can then cause spots and blackheads to develop - exactly the thing you wanted to avoid in the first place!
James L Poole
I am a holistic health therapist: Emmett Technique practitioner, aromatherapist, nutritional therapist, and Reiki healer. This is my blog about natural healing.