5 Reasons Why You SHOULD Be Ingredient Aware

Last year, I wrote a post on how exhausting I felt it was reading through and learning about product ingredients. Since then I’ve continued to learn more about the benefits, disadvantages and sometimes even possible side-effects of product ingredients.

When I first heard about “black-listed ingredients” I, like many thought “what a drag” and “why should I care?!”. But now I realise there are quite a few reason, I could only think of five but I’m sure there are many more…

1. So you don’t get ripped off.

Lots of products market or promote themselves for being organic or natural but when you read the ingredients they are far from that! A product only needs 1% of an organic items in it for them to print the word “organic” on the bottle – so the other 99% could be completely synthetic.

Also, I have also become aware of products that say they contain this and that (a natural ingredient or something) – let’s say for instance Shea Butter (or Butyrospermum parkii) but contain them in the smallest quantities. You can actually get a gist of the quantity of particular ingredient by looking at where it’s listed in the ingredient list. You will find, the ingredients at the top or start of the ingredient list (after water or aqua) are always the most active and those towards the end less so. If the product is branded with “Shea Butter” on the container but it’s listed way on the bottom on the ingredient list – it’s a rip off.

Furthermore, there are loads of product out there that carry a hefty price tag with absolutely cheap ingredients like petrochemicals in them (SLS, Mineral oil, Petrolatum). In some cases, 25% of the price is the companies passed on marketing cost rather what the product contains.

2. To know if a product will help or mask a problem.

I guess this point, follows from the first one. Sometimes a product says it will repair damage or fix a problem with your hair or scalp but in actuality it just masking the problem so you don’t see or feel it. Silicones in particular can mask hair problems very well giving damaged hair a smooth feel but not improving your hair health. Certain oils can take away visible symptoms of dry scalp or dandruff without dealing with issue of what is causing your dry scalp.

3. So you know what works for you.

After a while of analysing which products worked for me and what they contained. I can generally see now, if a new product might work because of it’s ingredients or if it won’t because it contains an ingredient that my hair doesn’t agree with.

4. In case of allergies.

I used to have an itchy scalp problem which I just couldn’t deal with – I did not what was caused it. I found out that one of the ingredients in my hair grease was giving me an allergic reaction. So a word advice if your scalp or skin is flaring up, check out the products your using.

5. Some ingredients are potentially dangerous.

Although studies have found disturbing results for cosmetic ingredients, many of them are yet to be deemed unsafe.

Parabens (Methyl, Ethyl) are preservative used in cosmetics and food which are known to be toxic. Parabens have been found in breast tumours. “Studies have shown parabens can have estrogenic activity in the cell, and some estrogens are known to drive tumor growth.” (Source)

“Mineral oil is harmful to the skin because it tends to form a thin layer on the skin, that resembles a layer of plastic. The human skin is an organ that plays a vital role in the production of vitamin D, in the cooling down of the body temperature and in the ejection of toxins from the body. The thin plastic-like layer that appears after the use of mineral oil based lotions, drastically slows down the process of vitamin D manufacturing… It has been discovered that the excessive use of mineral oil based lotions on the skin of infants and old people, many a times causes pneumonia like conditions. It is strongly recommended that pregnant women, stop the use of mineral oil based cosmetics as well as home appliances, as even the tiny droplets that are inhaled can prove to be dangerous.” (Source)

PVP/VA Copolymer is another petrochemical, when inhaled the particles can damage a person lungs.

I’m just naming a few ingredients here but you get the point, it’s very disturbing what they put in our cosmetics.

Well, I’ve named just some of my main reasons. If you have any to add or any disagreement, please comment!

On another note contrary to everything I have just said, I’ve been slowly moving towards natural/organic products but I’m not quite there yet because they are so hard to get hold of and expensive. Worst of all sometimes the cheap, toxic stuff just seems to work better. What do you think? Any suggestions?

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