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Harmful Skin Care Ingredients
Harmful Skin Care Ingredients
For detailed information on what
to look for when purchasing aromatherapy products, visit the How
to Buy Aromatherapy Products Article.
Consider avoiding products that contain the following
Fragrance Oils / Perfume Oils
Fragrance oils, sometimes referred to as perfume
oils, usually contain synthetic substances. Over time, some
individuals become sensitive to the aroma of fragrance oils and
experience headaches. Others may develop skin sensitivities/excema
to the fragrance oils contained in skin care products. Fragrance
oils are typically listed as "fragrance" on ingredient
labels. For more information about fragrance oils, visit AromaWeb's
What are Fragrance Oils article.
Mineral oil, also known as baby oil, is a byproduct of petrolium
production. Mineral oil is inexpensive and is a common ingredient
in many skin care products including lotions and cosmetics. Even
high end lotions and cosmetics can include mineral oil. Mineral
oil, however, clogs pores and prevents the skin from breathing or
Like mineral oil, paraffin wax is a byproduct of petrolium production
and is not healthy for the skin. Paraffin wax is also the wax most
commonly used in candle making. When burned, paraffin wax emits
toxins that can be harmful when inhaled. See AromaWeb's Aromatherapy
Candles article for more information on the ingredients you
should look for in natural candles.
FD&C and D&C dyes are synthetic and are reported to be carcinogenic.
They also may cause skin sensitivity. Look for products that promote
they are colored with natural botanicals including but not limited
to rose petal powder, red sandalwood powder or cosmetic grade clay.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, abbreviated SLS, is used primarily in bubble
baths, shampoos, liquid soaps and other products where good lather
is saught. It is even found in toothpastes. At the time of this
writing, it is even used in the Tom's of Maine line of natural toothpastes
- with the exception of its newer non-SLS line). SLS, however, draws
moisture from the skin and can cause drying and irritation. Those
with psoriasis, eczema or other skin conditions should avoid or
at least limit use of products with SLS.
Propylene glycol is still used in skin care and cosmetic products.
It, however, is known to cause sensitization.
Diethanolamine, abbreviated DEA, is used for its emollient and emusification
properties. Studies have revealed that DEA is carcinogenic and should
Isopropyl alcohol is drying and can cause sensitization. Although
isoproyl alcohol can kill germs and is helpful medicinally, it should
be used sparingly. For perfumery and room freshening applications,
high proof vodka or perfumer's alcohol is considered acceptable
to use as a very limited quantity of alcohol contacts the skin.
Not to be confused with hydrosols/distillate
waters, floral/flower waters are waters that are scened with
synthetic fragrance oils. Some manufacturers use the term
hydrosol and floral water interchangably, so be sure you're getting
a natural hydrosol.
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