Over recent years people have started to really look at what is in their food and understand from an ingredient list, what is and isn’t good for you. Unfortunately this happens a lot less when it comes to skincare.
The skin is our largest organ in our bodies and we need to make sure we look after it. So I have done a lot of research into cosmetic ingredients and created a simple dirt ingredient cheat, to help you keep an eye out for what to avoid and why.
Why use dirty ingredients?
There are many reasons that our cosmetics supplier use these dirty ingredients. They are usually cheaper than their cleaner alternatives. Dirty ingredients also act as thickening agents, prevent mouldy products, create foamy lathers and much, much more. But we don’t have to put up with this as there are so many amazing products on the market that do not have such toxic side effects. Bare in mind that even some organic cosmetics may contain some dirty ingredients below – click here read my post on what truly makes a product organic.
What do the side effects mean?
A Skin irritant is a substance which, while not corrosive, causes a temporary or reversible inflammation of living tissue (such as eyes, skin, or respiratory organs) at the point of contact.
Allergies are when the ingredient could cause your skin to have an allergic reaction, this could be as little as red, itchy skin to extreme reactions such as hives.
A carcinogen is any substance that has the potential to cause cancer in living tissues and exposure can occur from the inhalation, ingestion, or absorption of many different types of substances.
Hormone imbalances occur when an ingredient interferes with the production, transportation, breakdown, binding or elimination of our hormones. This includes our thyroid, adrenals, ovaries, pancreas, hypothalamus and pituitary glands.
Reproductive defects can occur similarly to hormone imbalances. This is when an ingredient interferes with the bodies natural development and maintenance of the reproductive system.
Toxic references an external toxin which are toxins outside of our bodies, that can be ingested or absorbed. External toxins are capable of causing disease on contact with our skin.
The Cheat Sheet
Do you need something faster?
If you are still not sure or would like a guide that can do the research for you while you’re shopping, download the “Think Dirty” app. This app provides a dirty rating on a scale of 1-10 listing the chemicals in your products that make them “dirty”. The other amazing part of the “Think Dirty” app is if the product you have selected rates high on the dirty scale, it will recommend much cleaner alternatives. Pretty cool eh.
Like to learn more?
The great thing about today is that we have the internet, so no need to go rummaging through the library to do research. However if you would like a book to use as a reference I recommend reading A Consumer’s dictionary of cosmetic ingredients.