Scrolling through Tik Tok and feeling very triggered by an influential skincare influencer’s claim on my FYP. This person claims that she has worked with many scientists and also got her Esthetician license to make her own skincare line, which is brilliant. Most things she says is educated, articulate and reputable BUT I was horrified after seeing her post a few times down playing the absorption of toxins and defending large corporations being caught out after yet another scandal with yet another one of their product ranges containing known carcinogenic substances.
What does this skincare tik tokker claim?
This Tik tokker claims substances in skincare like parabens & known toxins that are linked to health hazards are not a concern due to the dose. The dose is key.
She then goes on to slander clean beauty companies for fear mongering & essentially mocks people who are concerned about chemicals in skincare by saying things like “water is a chemical”, “parabens are everywhere” “you are breathing in Benzene everyday”.
So are these bad ingredients really that bad?
Now I must say, I do agree with her. The dose is important. And i do have a problem with demonising ingredients like Parabens. While they do have a weak estrogenic effect, on their own they are not proven to affect human health, however in combination & concentration with other agents they may have the ability to affect human health.
If you are applying something like a face mask once in a blue moon that contains concerning ingredients in these micro doses the chances of health effects are considerably low if any.
However, if you are applying these micro doses daily, over the long term there is a higher chance of it affecting your health due to the accumulation, reapplication, and the combination of toxic load from other products and sources such as the chemicals you clean with, the foods you eat, water you drink & the air quality you breathe just to name a few.
Out of all the skincare products available, when it comes to sunscreen for the face, there may be a higher risk association to these potential health concerns because of the consistent use and reapplication required. At Sunny Skin we create safe SPF formulations & exclude potential irritants or ingredients with known links to potential health concerns.
What are these ingredients and why are they bad?
I don’t think this Tik tokker means harm in anyway she is beautifully brilliant but she is seriously down playing the absorption ability of ingredients like parabens which have been found in human breast tissue and umbilical cord plasma.
Parabens are not the only ingredients we should be mindful of in skincare, here are a few other common ingredients that have been scientifically linked to health concerns
- Certain chemical UV filters in Sunscreen
- Formaldehyde (or formaldehyde forming ingredients)
In addition, often skincare influencers who don’t come from a professional skincare background have become obsessed with textures of skincare, you only have to look up #texturetuesday on Instagram to see the obsession.
Filler ingredients are responsible for textures and are the non active part of skincare, sometimes in order to achieve the impressiveness of a #texturetuesday worthy post, these products are bolstered and watered down with fillers that are also linked to health hazards. Some of these potentially harmful filler ingredients include
- PEGs (emollients, thickeners, solvents, and as a penetration enhancer)
- Ethanolamine compounds (emulsifiers to blend oil + water)
While this tik tokker is 1000% right in saying the key is the dose, being mindful in overall exposure from personal care products, skincare products & all aspects of consumption in your lifestyle is key to reducing your overall risk to linked health concerns from scary skincare ingredients.