There is a lot of talk about DIY beauty and how it is changing the face of personal care. With the explosion of skincare products, there is a shift towards the realm of home remedies and homemade treatments. Consumers have a lot more control over the quality of their skincare products and this creates a lot of opportunities for experimentation with products.
The chemical agents used in the production of cosmetics are the ones that are causing the biggest outcry over the use of synthetic chemicals. Though the use of chemical agents has been known for a long time, the widespread use of those agents is due to the fact that they don’t pose the same health concerns as natural ingredients. With the proliferation of the ingredient parabens, there has been a renewed interest in homemade skincare products. That said, there are types of parabens you need to be aware of:
- Phthalates: Phthalates are used to harden plastic, adhesives, and vinyl. As a man-made chemical, phthalates mimic the effect of natural substances like copper and zinc. These chemicals are prohibited by the United States Food and Drug Administration but they can be found in beauty products including nail polish, hair products, moisturizers, and shampoo. When the body is exposed to phthalates, it causes a variety of problems. They are associated with a variety of cancers and reproductive problems including infertility, pregnancy loss, and cancer of the reproductive organs. In many cases, studies have shown that exposure to phthalates has a large impact on one’s chances of developing breast cancer.
- Triethanolamine: Triethanolamine is a synthetic chemical commonly used as a preservative in skincare products. It also has properties similar to vitamin A found in some vitamins. One study showed that while this compound does not increase the risk of cancer, its long term effect on the skin is a cause for concern. Its effects include drying, roughness, and irritation, especially if a person’s skin is very sensitive. Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to diethanolamine can decrease the skin’s natural ability to create collagen. Because of this, the risk of fine lines and wrinkles increases.
- Sebacatech: Sebacatech is a synthetic chemical agent created in the 1970s. It is used in the manufacturing of cosmetics, rubbers, adhesives, and medical devices.
- Botox: Botox is a highly useful drug that has been used to control muscle contractions since 1926. Botox is used to prevent the inflammation of the muscles responsible for facial expressions. While the cosmetic benefits of Botox have made it popular in a number of areas of beauty, the potential side effects have caused a number of major cosmetic companies to ban its use. This means that using Botox to treat facial expressions is not allowed in any cosmetics produced by major cosmetic companies.
Botox is available to consumers who get injections or who take botox, a prescription medicine used to reduce facial movements. When there is an excess of Botox in the body, the fluid that moves through the blood vessels that are responsible for facial expressions will slow. Because of this, the muscles responsible for facial expressions are weakened.
Though there have been very few reported cases of adverse reactions to Botox, there have been a number of reports of accidents related to botox. Cases have included falls, facial paralysis, and the accidental swelling of one’s eyes or the nose. While botox itself has no effect on the skin, the fact that the chemical may be inhaled means that there is a risk of breathing in too much Botox, which can have some unpleasant effects.
So far, there have been no major clinical studies done into the safety of skincare products that contain chemicals that are derived from these substances. The best advice that you can give yourself is to make sure that you know what is and isn’t safe to use when making your own beauty products. This is not only for the sake of safety but also for your own well-being.