5 Dangerous Chemicals in Skin & Hair Care Products

Apsara Skin Care founder Sheetal Rawal poses outside in a blue button down. She is smiling at the camera and reaching for some leaves on a branch.

Above: Sheetal Rawal, scientist (human genetics) & founder of Apsara Skin Care

By: Ankita B.

By now, you're probably familiar with Apsara Skin Care's timeless motto; "Go natural. It is good karma!" This mission statement seeps into every corner of Apsara's business and guarantees that all products are cruelty-free, vegan, and without any harsh chemicals. The latter is of the utmost importance to Sheetal and her company—making sure that every ingredient used is natural, clean, and comes from the Earth.

Sadly, this is not the case for many skin and hair care products that are sold online, in drug stores, and many times—even by high-end brands. Harsh chemicals may seem beneficial but end up damaging the surface of your skin, sometimes making recovery almost impossible.

According to Web MD, the average woman in the US uses 12 cosmetic products composed of 168 chemical ingredients daily. Research indicates that not all of these chemical ingredients may be safe for human use. There is evidence that exposure to some of the ingredients found in cosmetics can lead to adverse health outcomes in humans.

I‌f you want to perfect your beauty routine, the first step is to cut out any of these harsh chemicals. Read on to learn about the five most harmful chemicals to avoid in your skin and hair care products. If you use Apsara Skin Care products, you have nothing to fear — they only use powerful Ayurvedic ingredients that are scientifically studied like neem, turmeric, sandalwood, and saffron. 

1. Parabens

What it is: 

Parabens can help reduce the growth of bacteria in cosmetic products. They are often used as preservatives in beauty products and foods, to increase their longevity.

Why you should avoid it:

A scientific study by the National Library of Medicine has shown large quantities of parabens in the tumors of people with cancer. Parabens can also cause allergic reactions, and absorb quickly into the skin, so they can be increasingly harmful to those with sensitive skin and scalp issues.

Try using Apsara's all-natural skin and hair care products to combat your beauty concerns in a clean and healthy way.

Related: "My Daily Skin Care Routine"

2. Formaldehyde

What it is: 

Formaldehyde is often used to hold human specimens in the healthcare and science industries. However, it’s also found in many hair care products.

Why you should avoid it:

Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen (a substance capable of causing cancer), so applying it to your scalp can cause lots of discomforts—including redness, itching, and general irritation.

3. Fake Color / Fragrance

What it is: 

The truth is, the most dangerous part of fake colors and fragrances is that we don't quite actually know what's in them. The reality is that so many chemicals qualify under the large "fragrance" blanket that you can't be sure about what you're getting. Some fragranced products may smell fabulous, but if you care at all about your health, don't give in to the temptation.

If your skin or scalp is prone to irritation, steer clear of any products that contain synthetic colors and fragrances. Many hair care products are dyed with synthetic colors to improve their appearance when poured into your hand, but these dyes may come from coal, tar or petroleum-based sources.

Try one of Apsara Skin Care's natural products instead. When you see "fragrance" on the product label of any of your skin, hair, or beauty products, be skeptical. It's a warning sign that the company is not dedicated to being natural.

Why you should avoid it:

Fragrance irritates your skin and at its worst, it poses a cancer risk. Some of the problems caused by these chemicals are; headaches, dizziness, rash, hyper-pigmentation, violent coughing, vomiting, and skin irritation. Synthetic fragrances also contain chemicals that can disrupt the body’s natural systems and cause irritation. Additionally, the chemicals found in fragrances might irritate the scalp, increasing the risk of hair loss.

Try some of Apsara's gentle and nourishing all-natural products, instead.

Review: "Apsara's products are very gentle; they're very nourishing"

4. Benzoyl Peroxide

What it is: 

Benzagel (benzoyl peroxide gel) is a topical (for the skin) antibacterial agent that also has a mild drying effect used to treat acne.

Why you should avoid it:

Given its potency, benzoyl peroxide can be irritating to those with more sensitive skin. The affected areas of the skin can become inflamed, red, dry, and even cracked if the benzoyl peroxide percentage is too high for your skin. The FDA warns that anyone who frequents sun exposure should be very cautious when using benzoyl peroxide products. Because benzoyl peroxide can shed layers of our skin, it becomes a lot more sensitive in the sun. The photosensitivity that it causes can result in skin damage and sunburn.

5. SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate)

What it is: 

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a prominent chemical found in hair care products because it helps produce more lather and foam. However, by giving your skin more lather, it also has the side effect of stripping your hair of its natural oils, which your scalp produces to nourish itself and your hair follicles. In response, this can cause several of hair and scalp issues including dry hair, hair breakage, and dandruff. When left unchecked, harsh chemicals like SLS could lead to more serious problems like thinning hair and hair loss.

Why you should avoid it:

Since sulfates are an aggressive type of chemical, they can also weaken the hair, resulting in increased split ends, breakage, dullness, and damage.

Related: What ingredients are dangerous to your skin & hair care?

If you need skin or hair care advice from an expert, fill out this form and we will send you a response as soon as we can! Go natural. It is good karma!

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