Is there a link between additives in skin care products and dermatitis?
Chemicals in personal care and cosmetic products are known to cause contact dermatitis in a growing number of people. You may have noticed them on the labels of the products you use: parabens, phthalates, triethanolamine, methylisothiazolinone and many more.
They are difficult to pronounce, but are they safe? A recent Australian study examined one of these chemicals (methylisothiazolinone) and found that it was a common cause of contact dermatitis. They reported that the typical person has at least eight products in their home that contain it. It is found in many common products including shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, moisturisers and wet wipes used to change babies’ nappies. In Europe it is only allowed in rinse-off products because of its propensity to cause dermatitis, but no such legislation exists in Australia.
Your skin is your body’s largest organ and is an effective barrier between you and the outside world. However it does allow the absorption of many chemicals, including those found in personal care and cosmetic products. Some are “generally regarded as safe” but scientists still say that more research is needed as animal studies link these chemicals to chronic diseases. Others are known to be endocrine disrupting chemicals, which means they interfere with the action of hormones. The Endocrine Society cautions against their widespread use due to the potential for effects on systems in our bodies including reproduction, thyroid, insulin and glucose.
The bottom line is this: we think these chemicals are safe, but we cannot be absolutely sure. We know they are irritants to the skin and could potentially cause more harm. There are effective, chemical-free alternatives to most household, cosmetic and personal care products available on the market, such as in Kin household products and Wot Not wipes.
Call us at the Natural Chemist to discuss these and many more options.