There is no better way to choose cosmetic products than to be aware of undesirable ingredients. Indeed, it's not enough to just go for the "green" packaging in supermarkets! Nothing indicates that they are good for health and the environment. To identify the right products and take care of your skin, Le Sybarite provides you with knowledge about the health impact of products used daily, under the names "cosmetics" and "hygiene products".
What is the impact of chemical cosmetics on the body?
While cosmetic, hygiene and beauty products are supposed to take care of our skin, they contain undesirable ingredients that can have a long-term impact on our health. One out of four cosmetic products is said to contain harmful substances.
This is a very controversial subject since it is difficult to have the necessary hindsight on all the toxic substances found in cosmetics. In fact, no studies have been conducted over the very long term, which makes it difficult to estimate the consequences of these undesirable ingredients.
However, it is known that, when used at close quarters, chemical cosmetics promote the development of certain diseases such as cancer and diabetes, and even have an impact on the reproductive system.
According to some scientists, what we apply to our skin is more dangerous than what we eat. The reason for this is that the enzymes in saliva and the stomach are able to neutralize or evacuate certain harmful substances, which is not the case with the skin, which ingests toxic products into the bloodstream. There is no filter for these undesirable ingredients, which quickly reach the vital organs.
Over time, these chemical molecules accumulate in the body and are responsible for major imbalances in the body. Some of these chemical molecules are endocrine disruptors.
What is the impact of chemical cosmetics on the environment?
The environment is not spared by the use of toxic products either, as they quickly find their way into nature, especially in water. Many ingredients in cosmetics are derived from petrochemicals, especially mineral oils. Indeed, the extraction, transport and refining of oil have a direct impact on the environment. To identify them, read the labels of conventional cosmetics: mineral oil, paraffinum liquidum, petrolatum, microcrystalline cera...
On the other hand, these are mainly products that can be rinsed off: shower gel, shampoo, scrubbing, toothpaste, which contain many toxic particles and which then end up in wastewater. Most of these components are non-biodegradable, and others are aquatic pollutants, which give a disastrous ecological balance.
The skin: what is it used for?
Your skin is the largest organ of the body and performs many essential functions for the organism. The skin :
- Protects your organs from injury. It participates in the proper functioning of the immune system by constituting a barrier against viruses and infectious agents.
- Has a thermoregulatory role. It helps maintain body temperature.
- Produces vitamin D, which is essential to health.
- Responsible for maintaining water balance.
The skin is an organ rich in receptors, which sends sensory and proprioceptive information to the brain, allowing the body to react. Much more than just the barrier of our physical body, the skin is essential to our health. The choice of healthy foods and good cosmetics is crucial to maintaining our health.
Every substance applied to the skin (natural or toxic) passes the skin barrier and can be found in the bloodstream after only 20 minutes. Some ingredients in cosmetics cause imbalances in the skin or hair and attack the immune system. In addition, chemical cosmetics often contain several undesirable substances which, when mixed together, turn into a chemical cocktail that is very harmful to health.
Can you imagine putting a petroleum-based day cream on your face every morning? Right away, your favourite cream becomes your worst enemy! Because we don't know enough, we trust brands and packaging. All you have to do is open your eyes wide to avoid being cheated.
20 ingredients to absolutely avoid in cosmetics
Sulphates are often found in foaming cosmetics such as shampoos and shower gels. They have a detergent power. Sulphates are aggressive and irritate the skin, and have a very poor biodegradability.
Benzophenones are suspected to be endocrine disruptors and allergens. They are used to protect you from the sun. They are found in sunscreen, but also in perfume, eau de parfum, deodorant, nail polish... They are totally forbidden in organic cosmetics!
BHA and BHT
BHA and BHT are synthetic antioxidants used to prevent oxidation and rancidity of fats (vegetable oils, butter...). They are endocrine disruptors and can produce allergic reactions in addition to being aggressive to the skin.
Parabens are synthetic preservatives, accused of being endocrine disruptors. They prevent the development of micro-organisms, particularly in products containing water. However, parabens are dangerous to health. The association l'UFC Que Choisir offers you a mnemonic way to remember certain toxic products: those for whom the word starts with P or B are simply "Not Good"!
Silicones: polluting and uninteresting substances
Silicones are used in cosmetics to give a shiny and silky effect, especially to the hair. In many skin care products, silicones are present to protect the skin from dehydration. However, they are considered to be endocrine disruptors, which are highly carcinogenic.
It is a synthetic sun filter, anti-UV. According to the association UFC Que Choisir, "Research on this ingredient has shown in vivo that it disrupts estrogen and thyroid function". It also fits the mould of the endocrine disruptor.
Thiazolinones: MIT and MCIT
MIT and MCIT are present in cosmetics for their preservative effect, especially in rinsed products. They are allergenic and irritating to the skin. They are also found in household products, which cause skin irritation and eczema. They are widely used in cosmetics because of their low cost.
These are synthetic dyes, present in particular in hair dyes and ephemeral tattoos. These ingredients are likely to cause allergies and irritate the skin.
Phenoxyethanol is a synthetic preservative, suspected to be an endocrine disruptor. The association UFC Que Choisir tells you more about it.
Triclosan is an antibacterial, suspected endocrine disruptor. It is believed to act on estrogen hormones and thyroid function. It has been shown that this component reinforces resistance to antibiotics. It is a preservative present in deodorants, toothpastes, cleansing gel, alcoholic hand gel, intimate hygiene cleaning products. Triclosan is irritating to the skin and eyes. In addition, it is toxic to aquatic organisms.
Cocamide DEA is found in shower gels, shampoos, make-up removers and soaps. They are synthetic compounds that are potentially carcinogenic and can cause itchy skin.
Mineral oils are purely synthetic ingredients with no nutritional qualities for the skin. They can be found in face and body creams, make-up, foundation, sunscreen products, etc. They are found everywhere. These oils are called "comedogenic": they irritate the skin and are non-biodegradable. If ingested orally, they are highly toxic because they accumulate in the organs.
It is a solvent used in nail polish. It is a carcinogenic and toxic substance for both the female and male reproductive system. It is harmful to the environment, fish and wildlife.
These ingredients, which are found almost everywhere in cosmetics, are preservatives. Their particularity lies in the fact that they slowly break down in the body by releasing formaldehyde, a very toxic substance that is considered carcinogenic. It is also an allergen.
PEGs are petroleum derivatives. This ingredient is used, among other things, to thicken cosmetic products. They are also solvents, softeners and humectants. They are not very biodegradable and are considered to be carcinogenic in the long term.
Quaternary ammoniums are found in shampoos and conditioners. They are very irritating to the scalp and skin, and are only partially or not biodegradable.
Aluminium salts are found in deodorants, antiperspirants. Aluminium is an endocrine disruptor, responsible for breast cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
It's a petroleum jelly, Vaseline type. It is found in hair care products, which gives shine and shine to hair, but also in moisturizers and lip balms. It is a petroleum derivative, mixed with other carcinogenic substances.
This substance is used to soften, smooth and moisturize products such as shampoos and deodorants. It is classified as an endocrine disruptor by the European Union, since it is capable of affecting reproduction in both men and women. Not surprisingly, siloxanes are also harmful to the environment, aquatic life and wildlife..
Many synthetic substances are hidden in perfumes, the source of which is often unknown. Once absorbed into the body, these products are suspected of being carcinogenic or causing imbalances in the nervous system.
How to decipher the labels of our cosmetics?
You no longer dare to look at the composition of your day cream that gives you oily skin or your shampoo that makes your head itch? You don't necessarily have the time or the desire to start making your own cosmetics and we understand you... That's why we give you a few simple tips to avoid falling into the trap of greenwashing and taking care of your skin!
Keep your eyes open on organic labels
If the beautiful branch of aloe vera that appears on the packaging attracts you by its "natural" side, this does not mean that the composition is clean! Indeed, it is difficult to pay attention to everything we consume. However, to help you make the right choice when buying cosmetics without having to worry about analysing everything, there are organic labels you can rely on to take care of yourself:
- Cosmos Organic
- Soil Association
- Nature and Progress
- USDA Organic
Rely on the words " Slow cosmetics"
The Slow Cosmetics label rewards brands that are committed to more responsible and less deceptive beauty. Volunteers from the Slow Cosmetics association examine each composition, the packaging and the advertising. They fight to ensure that everyone can consume better, for the benefits this brings for both health and the environment. If you see it on your products, you can trust it.
What are the natural alternatives to chemical cosmetics?
Do you know what you put on your skin every day? Do the creams in your bathroom really make you feel good?
Sybarite recommends that you choose organic cosmetics, free of chemicals. Indeed, toxic ingredients in cosmetics represent a risk to your health and the sensitivity of your skin.
If your conscience is awakening, you can't help but think about the consequences of these products on your health, but also on the environment and future generations. Certain tests carried out on animals (Sybarite is totally against animal experimentation!) show that the toxins ingested have created visible problems over two or three generations. We can deduce that it is the same for humans.
Often, it is the frequency of use and the "cocktail" effect of several chemicals that make a cosmetic dangerous.
Sybarite's organic cosmetics for men
We recommend you to be generous in quality, but minimalist in use.
To avoid getting chemicals in your body and on your skin, use our organic cosmetics for menthat take care of your skin and your health.
Natural cosmetic products do not contain many ingredients and the active ingredients are very effective. Organic products offer a better assimilation, being composed of plants that do not attack the skin.
Moreover, our organic ingredients contain the fundamental nutrients for your skin. Vitamins, antioxidants, trace elements, amino acids... support the skin's vital functions, hydration and protection.
The essential oils found in Sybarite products have an exceptional action on the skin. They are able to respond to specific needs that our skin has in a natural way. The skin reacts much better than to chemical cosmetic products!
Make your own cosmetic care
Deodorant, shampoo, moisturizer, soap... Today, all Do It Yourself recipes are available. If you have a little time and motivation, there's nothing better than creating your own cosmetics! Based on organic and natural ingredients, your tailor-made cosmetics allow you to take care of yourself without limits. It's a money-saver, and you largely limit harmful substances since making your own cosmetics does not require a lot of ingredients.