We use a whole lot of chemically laden products in our day to day life that contains dangerous toxic chemicals in them. Completely eradicating them from our lives all of a sudden is close to impossible so we should at least take a step to reduce the use of them for a healthy living and surrounding. All these days I was unaware of the harmful effects these everyday products can cause and I was really surprised to find some of these products in my own home. Here is a list of 5 products that we probably are using them daily which can have some serious health effects if we continue to use them in the long run.
1.Anti-bacterial Hand Wash
Have you ever thought that washing your hands can be dangerous? Are you someone who uses anti-bacterial hand washes every day? I would say you will have to have think again before buying those anti-bacterial hand washes. The active ingredient in most liquid hand washes is Triclosan or Triclocarban which is an anti-bacterial chemical that kills germs. It not only kills the good bacteria but continuous usage can cause increased antibiotic resistance to bacteria. Triclosan can get absorbed through the skin or mouth very easily and gets stored in the fat cells in our skin which manifest through urine, blood and breast milk. Exposure to Triclosan have been linked to many health concerns like endocrine disruptions, birth defects, heart problems, muscle weakness, thyroid dysfunctions and even cancer. The European Union has even banned the use of Triclosan.
Alternative solution: Good old plain warm water and a mild bar soap (not an anti-bacterial soap) can do the same job as these hand washes.
Other products with Triclosan: Triclosan can be widely found in toothpastes too. So do check the ingredient list of your toothpaste for this dangerous chemical.
Found in: Lifebuoy Hand washes, Colgate Total Toothpaste
Anti-perspirants are widely used by many of us to have sweat-free and odor-free underarms. It temporarily works to prevent sweat from reaching the skin surface and minimizes the growth of bacteria that causes bad odor. The main active ingredient used in most anti-perspirant roll ons is Aluminium. This can be in the form of aluminum salts, aluminium chloride, aluminum chlorohydrate, etc . These aluminum compounds when it comes in contact with sweat form a gel like layer and block the pores thereby reducing sweat. When antiperspirants are applied immediately after shaving, the aluminum can react to cause skin inflammation and rashes due to the razor nicks and can be absorbed into the skin which can be harmful. Continuous usage of aluminium-based antiperspirants can lead to aluminium toxicity which is believed to be linked with breast cancer, kidney damage, nerve damage and Alzheimer’s disease.
Alternative Solution:Look for non-aluminum based ones or make your own deodorants. One simple alternative to roll on deodorants would be rubbing some extra virgin coconut oil-baking soda on your underarms to keep sweat and odor at bay.
Other products with Aluminium: Aluminium is used in soda cans, canned foods, cookware, shampoos and is also used majorly as a food additive in processed cheese, baby formulas and cake mixes.
Found in: Nivea Deodorant Whitening Smooth Skin, Sure Women Dry Shield Anti-Perspirant Roll On.
3.Day Cream with SPF:
Yes you read it right! Your day cream can be harmful too if they contain wrong pairing of ingredients. Most of the whitening/anti-aging day creams with SPF contains Retinol or Retinyl Palmitate which is great for promoting collagen production, reduce wrinkles and lightening skin. Retinol is a form of vitamin A which can also be retinoic acid, retinaldehye, adapalene, tretinoin, tazarotene, isotretinoin. You might have seen these ingredient in most of the night creams as these are great anti-oxidants and are great for slowing skin aging. However, it is not safe enough to be used during the daytime when there is sunlight as it increases photosensitivity in the skin when it comes in contact with UVA and UVB sunrays. Vitamin A in the presence of sunlight react to form free radicals which can damage skin’s DNA and lead to development of skin discoloration, lesions, tumors and cancers. Too much of vitamin A buildup can be very toxic and cause many health problems such liver damage and osteoporosis in women. It is for this reason it is strictly advised against the use of any forms of vitamin A during pregnancy as it can harm the growing foetus.
Alternative Solution: Opt for a day cream that do not contain any forms of vitamin A and keep your retinol creams strictly for the nights. You can also go for physical sunscreens.
Other products with Retinol: Some internationally available sunscreens are known to contain Retinol.
Found in: Lakme Youth Infinity Skin Firming Day Cream with SPF 15 PA++ , Pond’s Age Miracle Cell ReGen Day Cream SPF15 PA++ ( Fortunately I do not have these creams, so couldn’t picture those. You can check their ingredient list in their respective official websites.
Most of us have used baby oil in our life thinking that it does good for our skin. I myself have a big bottle of baby oil too which I use it to remove my makeup. Now I will have to think again before using it. Baby oil which is predominantly made of Mineral oil is a by-product of petroleum. In earlier times, mineral oil was used in machinery to provide that gliding action in cutting metals. Imagine us using that all these days in our face and body :O When mineral oil is applied on the skin, it coats the skin forming a thin plastic-like layer that does not let the skin to breathe and eliminate toxins. Also it is known to be comedogenic and can block pores aggravating acne. Mineral oil toxicity has been linked to decreasing lung function, collagen production, hormonal disruptions and can cause vitamin deficiencies in babies.
Alternative Solution: Instead of baby oil or mineral oil, go for extra virgin coconut oil or olive oil for moisturizing or removing makeup. They work great for everything. Even better you can make your own coconut oil naturally in your home.
Other products with Mineral oil: Another infamous product with this by-product is the good old Vaseline petroleum jelly. Nobody wants something that comes from crude oil to be put on our skin. Mineral oil is present in many of our personal care products, so do check for its alternative names too like petrolatum, paraffin, liquid petroleum.
Found in: Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil, Vaseline Petroleum Jelly
Before the invention of compact powders, talcum powder is the one that was widely used in our households to keep our skin dry and give brighter look. Talcum powder is made from a mineral Talc which absorbs moisture from the skin and helps to keep them friction-free and dry . The problem is that talc contains asbestos when it is in it’s natural form. Asbestos is a harmful carcinogen and we might not know unless the company says the talc used in their products is asbestos free or not. Since most talcum powders are available in loose form, accidently inhaling them can cause serious respiratory problems especially in infants. Extensive use of talcum powder has been linked to increased risk of ovarian cancer and lung cancer.
Alternative Solution: Go for powders made with corn starch or rice starch. Or you can always make your own DIY face powders.
Other products with Talc: Talc is found in most baby powders, compacts, eyeshadows, etc.
Found in: Pond’s Talcum Powder, Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder.
I have not included products containing parabens, sulphates and many more in this list as its ill-effects are widely known. Also there are tons of other harmful products too we are probably unaware of . So it is ideally very important to check the ingredient list of each and every product we buy to safeguard ourselves from these toxic chemicals. By doing so we can, not only protect ourselves and have a healthy life but also protect our surrounding from these toxic materials.
Stay healthy & happy !
Also check out
- Certified Organic Skincare Brands in India
- Natural/Organic Makeup products in India
- Chemical-free lipsticks available in India
- Cruelty free makeup brands in India