Harmful ingredients in cosmetics: learning to read the INCI will help us make more informed choices and avoid those ingredients that can put our health at risk. On this page we will see how to learn how to read the cosmetics label and which ingredients are dangerous for health.
The INCI acronym is the acronym ofInternational Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredientsand represents the list of ingredients in cosmetics. It is mandatory on any cosmetic launched on the market and the ingredients are listed according to the percentage: the ingredients mentioned first are the most abundant, while the percentage contained will be lower than those mentioned at the end.
Inci and natural ingredients
The ingredients obtained from plants that have not undergone chemical treatments are indicated with the botanical name of the species as well,sweet almond oilit becomesprunus dulcis oil. For more information on how to read INCI, please refer to the articleWhat cosmetics contain.
The list of harmful ingredients in cosmetics
What are the ingredients to avoid in cosmetics? The list is very long. First of all we can mention the substances obtained from the refining of oil; in cosmetics, mineral fats prevent perspiration and can fuel the appearance of comedones (blackheads and pimples). They are highly polluting but the cosmetic industry continues to use them because they are very cheap and stable from a chemical point of view. The ingredients to avoid from petroleum refining:
- Mineral oil
- Paraffinum liquidum
- Microcrystalline wax
- Microcrystalline Wax
Another risk category are preservatives. Among the many, to be avoided, Imidazolidinyl urea which can decompose releasing formaldehyde, harmful and carcinogenic substance. The list of preservatives:
- Imidazolidinyl urea
- Diazolidinyl urea
- DMDM hydantoin
- Benzylhemiformal, 2-bromine, 2-nitropropane
- 1,3-diol, 5-bromine, 5-nitro, 1,3-dioxane
- methyldibromo glutaronitrile
- sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
Other harmful ingredients in cosmetics to avoid are silicones, associate them with ingredients that end with -one, -thicone or -xane. Silicones create a sheath that makes the skin appear shiny, smooth and silky; in fact, they do not have emollient or moisturizing properties, it is just an effect dictated by this layer of coating that they create on your skin.
- (-thicone; -xiloxane; -silanoyl)
Another widely used ingredient istricosan,ubiquitous bactericide: used in deodorants, mouthwashes, cleansers and creams for the body and face. This substance can cause allergies and according to various researches it can favor the development of colonies of more resistant microorganisms. Its antibacterial action is broad-spectrum therefore it also destroys the beneficial bacterial flora. Much more dangerous is thechlorhexidine(chlorexidine), another bactericidal substance that can cause problems when it comes into contact with mucous membranes such as, for example, that of the mouth.
In addition to damage to health, the artificial ingredients used in the composition of cosmetics cause serious damage to the environment. The use ofcosmeticscan be avoided by exploiting natural ingredients for direct application or with the formulation ofDIY creams.
Those looking for a simple moisturizer can take advantage of the properties of coconut oil, almond oil and the famous shea butter and cocoa butter.
To fight oily skin, pimples and acne it will be enough to use a sulfur soap as well as to lighten skin blemishes you can use corn starch. In short, for every problem there are natural remedies that should not be underestimated. Everything can be prepared at home, even the most elaboratedo it yourself deodorantsbased on essential oils.
Harmful ingredients in cosmetics
After seeing the list of harmful ingredients to avoid, we recommend reading an in-depth book. Is titled "How cosmetics are made. Practical guide to reading the INCI” and aims to provide the necessary basis for reading an INCI label, so as to recognize the product we are about to purchase and its functionality. The first time you browse it can almost scare and appear too technical and specific text due to the long list of ingredients and formulas reported but once you start reading you will be immediately impressed by the clarity with which the author makes chemistry concepts accessible. acronyms and terms that otherwise would remain mysterious.
You might also be interested in the article
- TTIP failed! … at the moment
- Parabens in cosmetics
- Organic cotton jeans
- Phytocosmetics: meaning and recipes