Protect your Skin: Know the Ingredients in your Favorite Products

Just like any girl watching The Notebook, our skin is sensitive; it is our largest organ.

The millions of air particles, consisting of exhaust, germs and everything else under the Sun, touch the skin first.  It must be a tough job defending the body against those millions of harmful particles and still maintaining its own vitality. With no breaks, overtime pay or even a simple thank you, the skin deserves a medal for the relentless stress, wear and tear it endures.

Yet there is something we can do to show our appreciation and to make the job of being the largest organ easier. It all starts with choosing the right products.

When it comes to choosing products for our grooming rituals, we tend to go with what smells the best or looks the most appealing. According to Vanessa Henderson, Founder of Optimize Wellness, “These foreign chemicals get absorbed by our skin and into our blood stream, affecting our health, hormones and central nervous system.”

There are three main culprits to watch out for: parabens, synthetic fragrance and sodium laureth sulfate.


They are commonly used as preservatives in facial moisturizers and foundations. Parabens are easily absorbed and stored by the body over time. Studies have shown parabens mimic estrogen, which is known to play a role in cancer development.

Synthetic Fragrance

The trouble with scented products is that they contain dozens of synthetic chemical compounds, many of which are toxic. Even more Bad News Bears, companies do not have to disclose the fragrance’s ingredients as it considered a trade secret.

“Do not rely on the product being advertised as fragrance free or organic. Even if it says fragrance-free there can be a masking fragrance that can go undetected by consumers,” Henderson says.

Sodium laureth sulfate

This is a foaming agent most often added to toothpaste and shampoos. Studies have shown links to cancer and corrosion of the skin (yikes!)

If you are still need guidance on product choices, you can download a free app called Skin Deep, available in both the Apple and Android stores. You simply scan the barcode of a product and get a safety rating. These ratings are based on scientific literature and industry research.

We can no longer allow pastel colors and ocean breeze scents to be at the helm of our purchases. Let’s start making better choices.


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