Highstreet Cosmetic Ingredients

Ingredients used in highstreet brands of skin and hair care

If you are using highstreet cosmetics, you may be shocked to find out what goes in your shop bought cream.

Cosmetics Unmasked

According to Dr Stephen and Gina Antczak, authors of the book 'Cosmetics Unmasked', over 7000 ingredients are available to manufacturers for use in cosmetics and toiletries. This includes nearly 1000 aromatic and perfume chemicals. More than a thousand of these ingredients are known to have harmful effects on the human body, especially when used over a period of time. Almost 1000 of the total ingredients may have been manufactured in such a way as to be potentially contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals.

The authors of the book also point out that some completely natural ingredients, such as some essential oils, can cause sensitivity amongst some users and are therefore not without problems. However, none of these have been known to cause cancer or disrupt hormonal balances and development.

Up to 60 % of what we put on our skin is absorbed in the body

Every day we use products to care for our skin and hair - from hand soap, shower gels, facial washes and toners to hair spray. It is a widely recognised fact that up to 60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed by the body. Then it does not come as a surprise that our skin is used as a route of medication, for example nicotine replacement and hormonal patches, as well as pain-killer and anti-inflamatory plasters.

The Skin is the Body's Largest Organ

Many skin care ingredients are absorbed through the skin and it has been proved that certain chemicals can increase this absorption rate, which means more chemicals enter the body. Parabens and Sodium Lauryl Sulphate have recently been the subject of health scares in the press. Following these scares many people are now looking for skin care products without chemical ingredients. In this ever increasing toxic world, we come into contact with many harmful substances on a daily basis.

When so many ingredients found in high-street cosmetics are being linked with scare stories about cancer and other health issues, doesn't it seem logical to avoid such ingredients?

Toxic Overload

Perhaps individually or in the proportions used in separates products, these substances may not be harmful, but considering the amount of products we use on a daily basis, one could raise the issue of toxic overload to the body. And coincidence or not, there is a reported sharp increase in breast cancer cases in younger women, asthma, contact dermatitis, eczema and other skin conditions, especially in children and babies. Considering how many chemicals we are surrounded by in our everyday life, from fabric retardants covering every single fabric in our houses to car fumes and other environmental pollutants, it makes sense to at least limit the amount we 'ingest' via our skincare.

We hope you find the 'Story of Cosmetics' video a good illustration as to what is and/or can be wrong with the commonly sold highstreet skincare products