Do you pay attention to the ingredients in your skincare products? You probably watch what goes into your mouth, checking food labels to avoid the biggest offenders. But have you read the packaging on your skincare products? You may think it’s not as important, because after all, you’re not eating your lotion or body wash (hopefully). Hold up a minute, though—the skin is the largest organ in the body! And when do you usually apply lotion or facial cream? After you wash, when your pores are nice and open from the steam or hot water. This means that your skin absorbs whatever you put on it even more than other times. But why pay attention?
As it happens, product companies often include certain ingredients in skincare only because they’re cheaper for mass production. They don’t care about the health of your body, as long as they make a profit. And some of the ingredients they add in are just as bad for you as eating those preservative-laden foods.
Parabens are everywhere—in lip balms, lotions, makeup, skin creams—you name it. They’re listed under several names, but all end in -paraben (methylparaben, etc.). These little buggers unfortunately act like estrogen in the body, causing problems with hormones that can eventually turn into reproductive issues or even raise the risk of breast cancer. Basically, anything that disrupts hormone levels is something to be avoided.
While this may be one of the ingredients you overlook because it just looks like a jumble of letters, phthalates are one you’ll want to pay attention to. Phthalates are plasticizers, endocrine disruptors, and have been known to cause birth defects. Basically, they’re a chemical that gets added to plastic to make it more flexible; thus, they make the product able to stick to skin more easily. Some of the other health risks of phthalates include diabetes, autism, asthma, breast cancer, and fertility issues.
Sulfates, such as Sodium Lauryl and Sodium Laureth, are salt-based surfactants with little benefit. The majority of them only serve to give that rich lather in your shampoo, hand soap, and body wash. While most people feel that the lather is what gets your skin or hair clean, that is entirely false; the sulfates strip everything from your skin and hair, including beneficial natural oils. The result is dryness, irritation, and sometimes allergic reactions as well as oil overproduction to compensate. It’s best to avoid sulfates completely!
At one point, most antibacterial products such as hand soaps, bar soaps, dish soaps, and hand sanitizers contained triclosan. Thankfully, recent research has produced safer alternatives as well as proving that triclosan can potentially alter hormone balances and inhibit immune function. It also has been known to increase liver damage and contribute to the development of resistant germs—which is counterproductive, since that’s the very thing users are trying to avoid! Opting for a triclosan-free product is the best choice.
Despite its length, there’s no need to let a product ingredient list become daunting. Eliminating any dangerous ingredients from your skincare routine—even one at a time—will help to avoid health risks both now and in the future.
Luckily, BioRepublic makes it easy to avoid these four ingredients when shopping for sheet masks. All BioRepublic masks are formulated with healthy, natural ingredients and never include parabens, phthalates, sulfates, or triclosan. So you can relax when you’re wearing your BioRepublic mask, knowing that you’re helping your skin and your health!