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The ingredients in your skincare product could increase your cancer risk

by , 19 February 2013

If you suffer from skin problems - like eczema, allergic reactions or even psoriasis - there's often a hidden trigger in your skincare products that can cause your skin to flare up, writes Rachael Linkie from the Health Sciences Institute in a recent Daily Health Alert. But studies show skin problems could just be the start of your health issues. Some of the chemicals found in common skincare products have been linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems. Here's what you need to know to know to protect yourself and your family.

A study in the British Medical Journal estimated that 75% of cancers are caused by environmental and lifestyle factors, including exposure to chemicals.
While you may not willingly be exposing yourself and your family to harmful, cancer- causing chemicals, you might be doing it unknowingly. 
Take the skincare products you use twice a day. In all likelihood, they’re brimming with chemicals, artificial colours, synthetic fragrances, thickeners and preservatives. And they’re putting your health at risk of a variety of health problems – including cancer
Look out for these common skincare ingredients to reduce your cancer risk
The health experts behind Going Green, Cheap and Easy identify six chemicals in skincare products that are putting your health in danger. 
  1. Parabens: Used as a preservative in many cosmetics, parabens are potentially carcinogenic and could increase your cancer risk. 
  2. Aluminium: “Aluminium is used in personal-care products because it reduces the production of perspiration wherever it’s applied. Aluminium, considered to be a neurotoxin, has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease and cancer,” the report explains.
  3. Formaldehyde: Considered to be potentially toxic, an allergenic and a carcinogenic, formaldehyde is usually used to preserve tissue specimens in laboratories. But it’s also found in skincare products like shower gels, nail hardeners and bubble bath.

    “Formaldehyde has been classified as a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and as a probable human carcinogen by the US Environmental Protection Agency,” reports an article on the National Cancer Institute’s website.
  4. Mineral oil: Mineral oil is provides moisturising properties – hence its popularity in skincare products. But the problem is that, while the oil locks in moisture, it also locks in anything that would normally be excreted through the skin, such as toxins. And “toxins in the body are major causes of disease including cancer,” reports Treating-Cancer-Alternatively.com.
  5. Sodium laurel sulphate: Used for its foaming ability, Sodium laurel sulphate can potentially mimic oestrogen in the system, throwing the hormones off-balance. It’s also a known mutagen, meaning it has the potential to alter cells and cause cancer.
  6. Phthalates: are found in fragranced products and, like Sodium laurel sulphate, are known hormone disruptors that could lead to cancer. 
Before your buy, use this simple test to puton your skincare products to the test
“The next time you’re in the store aisle designated for hygiene products, pick up a bottle of anything off the shelf and scan down to the ingredients listing,” advises the health experts behind Going Green, Cheap and Easy. “Can you pronounce many of the words beyond ‘water’ and ‘alcohol?’” If you can’t, it’s time to rethink your skincare products – they could be increasing your risk of developing cancer.

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