The health of your body depends on what you eat, and the same way, the health of your skin and hair depends on what you feed it with. In the fast lane to get glowing complexion and lustrous locks, you often subject them to whatever you can lay your hands on. But wait a minute. Have you ever taken out time to read the list of ingredients on the skin care, hair care, and cosmetic products that you buy? If you don’t you may well be surprised, for all that glitters is definitely not gold.
From parabens to sulphate and ammonia, there are many ingredients whose short term benefits may land our body in trouble over the long run. Read on to know why they are harmful, and what alternatives you could choose.
You love the lather that your personal hygiene products give you, and the squeaky clean effect that they leave you with. Well, this is made possible with ingredients such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. This surfactant has detergent properties, and as a result can strip your skin and hair of its natural oils and moisture. This ingredient is also widely recognised as a skin irritant – all the more reason why you should stay away from products with sulphate if you have sensitive skin. However, the impact may be little or none if the product is wash-away, like a shampoo. To be on the safer side, you could choose products that are free from sulphate.
No one wants their skin care or cosmetics to be infested with yeast and fungus. That’s where parabens come in handy. Different forms like methyl paraben, ethyl paraben, propyl paraben, and butyl paraben are used as preservatives in your creams, soaps, moisturisers, under arm deodorants etc. so that these products remain fresh and intact as they were packed, for a long period of time. However, some researchers and doctors believe that these chemicals may be linked to breast cancer and fertility issues. While there is no conclusive evidence yet, many feel it is better to stay away from this ingredient. Instead, the use of natural or plant derived substances such as ethylhexylglycerin or Phenoxyethanol could be a safer choice.
Ammonia is used in hair colour for better penetration and deeper colouring. This ingredient opens up the hair cuticle, allowing the pigment to penetrate the hair better. However, if you’ve tried using hair colour with ammonia, you definitely know what you’re up for. It comes with a pungent, nauseating smell, and often irritates your eyes. Inhaling ammonia vapour could also lead to irritation in the throat and cough.
Over time, ammonia damages your hair and leaves it dry, brittle, and unhealthy. Ammonia-free hair dyes or colour are a better alternative. They create a shiny, rich hair colour minus the odour, and fade gradually with successive washes.
It serves well to check the labels of skin, hair, and personal care products before you buy them, and to ensure that your body isn’t soaking up something that is bad for it. After all, a stitch in time can save nine!