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Skin Care: How Much Do You Know About Products You Put on Your Skin?

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We have all become more aware of what we put in our bodies - but what about what we put ON our bodies.

I have listed below some ingredients that you may find in your shower gels, shampoos, face products and anti-perspirants.

At the present time there is no legislation to give the percentages of ingredients, so just because an undesirable ingredient is third on a list of twelve does not mean it is present in a large quantity. However, if you have very sensitive skin or have had cancer, you should be more diligent in your choices. For example Euxyl k100 and Kathon CG are brand names of methylcholoroisothiazolinone and methliosothiazoline and were developed in the States in the 1970s as highly effective preservatives. However they are both potent allergens and are now used mostly in rinse off products in low dosages. For those with very sensitive skins a face cream (a product which is not rinsed off) with even a low dosage of Euxyl k100 or Kathon CG may bring a reaction. Changing the face cream may not solve the problem as both products widely used.- albeit in low dosages-. Armed with this information, it is possible to find a cream without these products which will usually solve the problem.

Aluminium Salts Aluminium hydroxychloride, aluminium chlorohydride aluminium sulphate. This is widely used in anti-perspirants as it blocks the pores, but has been linked with Alzheimers. It is also used in leather tanning. If you react to wearing a leather watch strap, it is the aluminium that is causing the problem. Try a hypoallergenic strap instead.

Acqueous Cream - paraffin and water in suspension

Paraffin/petroleum products Prevents absorption of vitamins, clogs pores and may be carcinogenic.

Spermataceti cetaceum obtained from the head of the sperm whale

Silk Amino Acid from dead silk worms

Mineral Oil blocks pores, acts as a barrier (which may be desirable ie on babies’ bottoms! Or because of weather conditions). However it will suppress normal skin function.

Further reading:
“A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients” Ruth Winter
ISBN: 0-609-80367-0
“Don’t Go The Cosmetics Counter Without Me” Paula Begoun
ISBN: 1-877988-28-6
“Cosmetics Watch” Maurene Charlwood & Cheryl Robertson
ISBN: 0-7160-2141-2