A Beginners Guide To Paraben & Sulphate Free Skin Care Products
A plethora of skin and hair care products are launching almost every day. These grooming products promise you softer skin, spot-free face, radiant complexion, shinier hair, etc. Such pleasing promises entice you to add these skin care products on your dressing table and bathroom cabinets. You keep piling up so many cosmetics with this strong feeling that it might be the best solver for your skin woes. In the desperation to look outstanding, you forget to discriminate between good and bad for your skin and overall wellness. What hurts you the most is despite spending a small fortune on lotion, creams, shampoos, and moisturizers, you don’t reap the desired results. We understand how frustrating and painful it is for you.
Well! What do you do to make worthy skin care investment? Reading the individual ingredients on product levels is an important factor that you should keep in mind while purchasing your skin care products. We are sure that you have come across these two words i.e. sulphates and parabens. Several research studies and dermatologist’s observations have stated that it is good to use sulfate-free shampoo and paraben-free skin products.
A study published in the journal of applied toxicology has revealed that the presence of parabens in cosmetics is associated with negative impacts on skin cells and reproductive health. Similarly, Environmental Health Insights (EHI) has demonstrated that high concentrations of SLS (sodium lauryl sulphate) can cause hair loss and baldness.
Why are parabens and sulphates bad for you?
Sulphates and parabens are exclusively in skin care formulations and cosmetic products. However, over the years, parabens and sulphates have been creating a nuisance in the skin care industry due to their adverse effects. Several clinical and environmental studies have claimed their toxicological impact on human health and marine life. It is emphasized very strongly to refrain using parabens and sulphates based products.
What are Parabens?
Parabens are a group of synthetic chemicals commonly used as preservatives in personal care and pharmaceutical products. They are added in several products such as body lotions, shampoos, conditioners, toothpaste, makeup, sunscreens, and so on. As a preservative, the role of parabens is to increase the shelf life of products by hindering the growth of fungus, bacteria, and other microbes.
Parabens and their side effects
- Skin irritations
- Early signs of aging
- Hormonal disruptions
- The threat to marine life
1. Skin irritations
A study published in The Permanente journal has demonstrated the immediate hypersensitivity reactions from exposure to parabens. Parabens are known to trigger skin inflammations, irritation, and redness, especially with damaged skin. They may also worsen the skin allergies in those having pre-existing skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or contact dermatitis.
2. Early signs of aging
You will be shocked to know that this cheap preservative can make you age faster. Board certified dermatologist Rachel Nazarian explains that methylparaben causes collagen degradation and ultimately leads to cell death. Hence, to prevent your skin from premature aging, it is wise to choose paraben-free moisturizers for yourself.
3. Hormonal disruptions
You heard it right that the presence of parabens in your cosmetics can risk your reproductive health. A study cited in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) has stated that parabens can disrupt estrogen hormones. This common preservative mimics estrogen hormone and interferes with normal functions of body hormones, which subsequently leads to complications like infertility in females. Whereas some experimental studies explain that parabens affect the vitality of sperms in males.
4. A threat to marine life
The little known fact is that parabens are making their way into the bodies of marine species. Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T) has cited a research study claiming the buildup of parabens and their byproducts in mammals from United States Coastal Waters.
Some common parabens that you should avoid
- Alkyl para hydroxy benzoates
What are Sulphates?
Sulphates (Sodium Lauryl sulphate) are the common surfactants used in cleansing products. Being packed with foaming properties they are used in preparing shampoo, face cleansers, and many household cleaning products. However, several research studies have found that sulphates are not good for your hair, skin, and body.
Sulphates and their side effects
- Scalp irritations
- Hair loss
- Damage to skin
- Environmental hazards
1. Scalp irritations
In many cases, exposure to sulphate is found to cause scalp irritations, skin inflammations, and contact dermatitis. It is advisable to avoid sulphates if you are dealing with sensitive skin issues, eczema, and dandruff.
2. Hair loss
A study mentioned in the International Journal of Women's Dermatology explains that overuse of sodium lauryl sulphate has damaging effects on hair follicle. This strong surfactant strips off natural oils and protein while cleansing the dirt and impurities from hair. It makes your hair dry, breakage-prone, and lifeless. It causes potential damage to hair protein, which weakens the hair cuticles and leads to excessive hair fall. That is why it has become imperative to use sulphate free shampoo and conditioners.
3. Damage to skin
Frequent use of sulphate-based cleansers is known to result in potential damage to the skin's protective barrier. It degrades the lipids, ceramides, and essential fatty acid present in the outer layer of skin. The ultimate consequences are dehydrated skin, damaged, and inflamed skin.
Some research studies have suggested that sulphate has been found to cause clogging of pores and painful inflammations in people with oily skin. Skin care experts recommend sulphate free face wash for oily skin.
4. Environmental hazards
As a responsible human being towards our environment, it is important to avoid ingredients that are harming the life of other creatures. Sulphates are one such ingredient that has adverse effects on aquatic life. A study published in Environmental Health Insights (EHI) has also explained that exposure to sulphate causes harm to marine species.
Some common sulphates that you should avoid
- Sodium dodecyl Sulfate
- Lauryl sulfate sodium salt
- Sulphuric Acid
- Sodium salt sulfuric acid
- Sodium salt
- Dodecyl sulfate, sodium salt
Switching to parabens and sulphates free products is the correct approach towards healthier skin, strong hair, and a happy environment. Skin is the largest organ of the body, which works like a shield for protecting you from microbes, pollutants, and other many extrinsic things. At the same time, you should not forget the fact that skin has pores that can allow many chemicals to enter your body. Therefore, whenever you are applying, rubbing and spraying on your skin, do it with more caution.
Next time you, when you are in the personal care aisle, don’t buy any over the counter skin care products if it contains parabens and sulphates. Making the right choices in your skin care regimen is the key to skin and hair that you have anticipated once.