With all the different types of face wash on the market, it is hard to know which ones are safe. Many of the top brands advertise their face wash as natural or gentle when in fact, the ingredients used are anything but gentle on your skin. A wide-range of chemical ingredients appear in face washes. The potentially harmful ones are linked to skin irritation, endocrine disruption, hormone disruption, and even cancer.
Let’s take a look at some of these ingredients:
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)/Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) – These chemicals allow face wash to achieve a nice, foamy lather. But this foam actual ends up stripping your skin of it’s protective oils, thus causing your body to produce even more oil. Even more alarming is that it can be contaminated with a chemical called 1,4-dioxane, which is a known carcinogen.
Parabens – Parabens inhibit the growth of mold and bacteria in products and increase the shelf-life. In 2004, a study found evidence of parabens in the biopsies of breast tumors. Though there was no evidence that the parabens caused the tumors, parabens act similar to estrogen and can lead to hormone imbalance in both men and women.
Possible ingredient names: methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben
Petroleum and Mineral Oil Derivatives – Petroleum is an inexpensive, odor-free ingredient used to lock moisture into your skin. Petroleum goes through a refining process to remove any known carcinogens. Just like the petroleum used in lip balms, there is no way to regulate this process and ensure that all the carcinogens are removed.
Possible ingredient names: mineral oil, petrolatum, liquid paraffin, paraffin oil
Diethanolamine (DEA), Momoethnanolamine (MEA), Triethanolamine (TEA) – These chemicals prevent ingredients from separating or allow a nice, foamy lather. These chemicals can react with other chemicals in a product to form carcinogens.
Fragrance (Parfum) – Fragrance is a vague term used to describe the scent chemicals used to mask the unpleasant smells of other chemicals. Companies used catchy phrases such as Tropical Breeze or Sun Ripened Raspberry to trick you into thinking that your face will smell amazing. In fact, fragrance can contain numerous proprietary ingredients and there is no way to know if these ingredients are healthy.
So what are some clean face wash options?
All of these face washes are free of the harmful chemicals listed above. In addition, each contain a rating of 3 or lower on the Think Dirty app. The next time you run out, make the switch to one of these clean face wash options!
You might also like: Make the Switch to Clean Lip Balm