Women of color do plenty to make their skin glow and stay looking young but can you imagine the ingredients put in skin care products that the manufacturers don’t tell us about or how it can damage our radiant skin? Better yet; they do list them, but we don’t know what the ingredients mean or we are just unaware of the damage they are capable of doing.

Before you buy new skin care products 

If you are looking to buy a new product, ask yourself is it because the old one is creating havoc on your skin? This is something worthwhile to think about, isn’t it? Just so we all know, I am going to share with you three skin care ingredients women of color should avoid when shopping for a new product or before picking up the product you are already using.

1. Phthalates

What in the world are they? The first time I saw the word, I thought they misspelled it. Who has time to figure those hard-to-pronounce words out; it’s not likely we know what they mean anyway, right? Okay… so you go on about your business and forget to look it up until something triggers the idea again. No worries… I am going tell you about phthalates.

Phthalates are best-known as hormone-mimicking chemicals or a grade of chemicals used to make plastics more pliable! Phthalates cause a broad range of adverse effects to those exposed to these chemicals and guess what? It’s what helps lotions sink into our skin. Did you just go “hmm?” I did. Now that you’re getting to know more about phthalates, what will you do the next time you shop for a skin moisturizer or fragrance? Providing you’re concerned, I’d say, read the label.

Equally important, the next time you shop for cosmetics, consider purchasing phthalate-free cosmetics and personal care items. Manufactures don’t want us knowing is they do not have a responsibility to list phthalates on a label. Remember this the next time you’re at the fragrance counter. Almost any package listed as a “fragrance” is likely containing phthalates. That’s right; masses are unsuspecting and are exposing themselves to phthalates simply by applying it directly to their skin. In light of this, we must do better. Buy skin care products that are 100% pure, no additives, no preservatives, and best of all, phthalate-free!

2. Parabens

Parabens are man-made chemical preservatives mistakenly identified as estrogenic and they are disruptive of normal hormone function. By the same token, they do have some value as they prevent yeast, bacteria and mold from forming in cosmetics and that’s a plus but I’m still not sure if I want that on my skin, are you? Sounds a little creepy to me. Parabens are in our deodorants, make-ups, lotions, shaving creams, facial scrubs, shampoos, conditioners and moisturizers.

They are prevalent in about 85% of the products we use every day and we absorb this through the skin. It’s no wonder why females and African Americans have higher concentrations of methyl parabens and propyl parabens than males.

We are constantly spraying on perfumes, shampooing and conditioning our hair and applying makeup, facial scrubs and lotion. If you are wondering why they include African Americans in the equation, it’s because we are ashy individuals! Black women or African American women put on more lotion than any other ethnic group out there.

Are you just as blown away as I was to learn these products contain parabens? It was a major wake-up call for me. I decided to commit to using only organic body oils, deodorants and lotions made with sunflower oil, coconut oil and cocoa butter made by Shea Butter Moisturizer. Like millions of other women of color, I trust them.

3. Sulfates

Sulfate compounds found in personal care products like body washes, shaving foams and facial cleansers are harmful. Understand sulfates are a specific ingredient used to make cleaning products bubble or form a thick foam. Repeat and underline – cleaning products! Sulfates produce suds that are remarkably rich, however this is not so good when it comes to my skin!

Moreover, sulfates are corrosives that strip away protective barriers and moisture away from the skin. Add to that, they can irritate the skin, scalp and eyes. When certain skin cleansers and soaps containing sulfates upset the moisture balance, they dry out the skin. While it’s true, sulfates produce a large amount of lather, but it’s not worth it.

Be careful to take note of these 3 skin care irritants and avoid them even if it means trading in your favorite brands. There are other foaming washes and bath gels that work without stripping us of the natural qualities of our beautiful brown skin. With this in mind, why don’t you try organic facial scrubs, shower gels and body massage oils? You won’t regret it.


Source: Multicultural Beauty

Image: Max Pixel

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