How Dangerous are Sulfates and Parabens in Skin Care Products?
In the past years, sulfates, parabens, and petrolatum have become big buzzwords in the beauty industry, but nobody explained how these ingredients could harm you.
Manufacturers of organic and natural skin care products claim that these are toxic ingredients that can cause sensitivity, redness, and irritation. However, they didn’t explain how these substances cause these given adverse effects.
So, before you give in to sulfate-free and paraben-free hype, know what these substances are, and understand what they do to your skin.
What are sulfates?
Sulfate is a result of the reaction between sulfuric acid and another chemical. It’s salt. It’s also the broader term used to define synthetic sulfate-based chemicals like sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Both of the chemical compounds are formed from plant sources like palm oil, coconut, and petroleum. These are commonly found in your skincare and hair cleaning products. SLES and SLS are used in personal care and cleaning products because it creates a lather, giving an impression of the product’s cleaning abilities.
What are the common concerns on Sulfate use?
While sulfate is generally not harmful to you, it has become controversial because of its petroleum origin. One of the central concerns about sulfates is the long-term adverse effect of its production. Petroleum products are negatively linked to greenhouse gases, pollution, and climate change.
Aside from these, there are other concerns about sulfates:
- Health: Long-term use of SLES and SLS can cause lung, skin, and eye irritations. 1,4-dioxane, a cancer-causing substance for laboratory animals, can contaminate with SLES. The said contamination can occur during the product manufacturing phase.
- Environment: Aside from SLES and SLS, another controversial substance is palm oil. Owners of palm tree plantations are known for destroying the tropical rainforests to make room for palm trees. Sulfate-based products that are washed down straight to the drain can be lethal to aquatic animals. This is why manufacturers and consumers are seeking natural skincare products as safer alternatives.
- Animal testing: Most sulfate-based products are used on animals to check the irritation level on the human’s eyes, lungs, and skin. This is another reason why many consumers say no to SLES and SLS containing products.
What are parabens?
Paraben is a kind of preservative that was first known in the early 1950s. Back then, it was used to lengthen the shelf life of most health and beauty products. Parabens stop bacteria and molds from growing.
The research initiated by the American Chemical Society revealed that approximately 90% of typical grocery items contain paraben. Aside from that, around 85% of health, personal care, and beauty products also contain parabens.
What are the common concerns on parabens?
A 2018 study conducted by Rahul Tade revealed that parabens cause contact dermatitis to some individuals who were under cutaneous exposure. Aside from that, parabens were also implicated in various contact sensitivity cases, aquatic animal toxicity, and endocrine disruption.
Also, in a study conducted by EWG Senior Scientist Tasha Stoiber, it was likewise revealed that parabens might function like estrogen in the human body. They can disrupt the normal functioning of the hormone systems in both female and male reproductive systems. It can also disturb the female’s birth outcomes, fertility, and reproductive development.
All these lead to the conclusion that parabens and sulfates are not safe ingredients to be used in health and beauty products. Given these, it’s time to shift to natural skin care products and save yourself, the animals, and the environment.
For sulfate, paraben, petrolatum, and artificial ingredient-free skincare and beauty products choose brands like Anokha. Anokha cares for your skin, for the animals, and the environment, that’s why they’ve committed to only manufacture 100% natural skin and beauty products.