What we never use?

Every day, we use many products ranging from toothpaste, soaps and shampoos to lipsticks, sunscreens, and perfumes. Have you ever counted the number of ingredients in each product and wondered whether it is safe or not? According to a report, the average woman uses 12 products a day containing around 150 unique ingredients. Some of the ingredients are harmful and cause severe adverse effects such as hormonal imbalance, cancer, nerve disorders when used for long term. Specifically, kids and teens have delicate skin and hair structures and are more prone to the effect of certain ingredients.

‘Tikitoro’ products are meticulously formulated with safe ingredients and are free from proven toxic ingredients such as parabens, GMO, sulfates, silicones, formaldehyde, and other harsh chemicals. Let us understand how and why these chemicals are harmful and why Tikitoro never uses them.

Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs):

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with normal hormone functions in humans. The synthetic chemicals can imitate hormones and accumulate in the body over time, resulting in hormonal imbalance, organ toxicity, and irreversible cell damage. The most commonly found EDCs in personal care products include parabens, phthalates, bisphenols, triclosan, and retinoids. Studies demonstrate that these chemicals are linked to cancer, especially breast cancer, nerve damage and mood disorders. This is why Tikitoro keeps these away from its products.

Chemical sunscreens

The ingredients oxybenzone, octinoxate, benzophenones, homosalate, and PABA used as sun protection actives are all absorbed into blood after one use and detected on the skin and in blood even if they have not been used for weeks. These chemicals absorb UV rays that cause photosensitivity and skin cancer rather than protecting them. These are also known to interrupt hormone function and cause thyroid disorder, breast cancer and impaired growth and development. The chemical sunscreens and nanomaterials in lip balms or sunscreen sprays could be ingested and might affect lungs, over time.

Harsh chemicals:

Sulphates such as SLS/SLES are used as foaming agents in personal care products like shampoos, soaps, toothpaste. They strip-off the natural oil present in skin and make it dry and flaky. In addition, they cause irritation when they come into contact with eye. Drying alcohol used as solvent in certain creams and lotions can dry the skin and disrupt the skin renewal process. Polytetrafluoroethylene (PFTE), commonly known as ‘Teflon’ gives a sleek finish to products and is used in moisturizers, lotions, lip balms, etc. PFTE is derived from perfluorooctonoic acid (PFOA), which may contain residual amounts of PFOA in the final ingredient. Potential contamination with PFOA can cause cancer, endocrine disruption, delayed puberty and altered immune response.

Plastics and Silicones:

Plastics and silicones are not just harmful to body but also have a huge impact on the environment. Acrylates are common ingredients in nail products and are proven to cause skin irritation and damage. Acrylates are associated with developmental and reproductive toxicity, cell and nerve damage, and organ toxicity. Though polyacrylamides are not a concern by themselves, they are made by combining many acrylamides, strongly suspected to cause cancer. Silicones such as dimethicone and cyclomethicone commonly used in conditioners can accumulate in the hair over time, leaving it heavy and dull. They also clog the pores and could cause acne and blackheads. Nonetheless, they are detrimental to aquatic organisms and are best avoided.

Formaldehyde releasers and other harmful preservatives:

Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRPs) are used in many personal care products, particularly in shampoos and liquid baby soaps as preservatives. These chemicals, which help prevent microbes from growing in water-based products, can be absorbed through the skin and have been linked to cancer and allergic skin reactions. Chemicals such as quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, bromopol and glyoxal release small amounts of formaldehyde over time and hence termed as ‘formaldehyde releasers’. They also cause severe health concerns like skin irritation and damage, especially in kids and are also associated with developmental toxins, hair loss, scalp burns, asthma and nerve damage. When inhaled, formaldehyde can cause dizziness and suffocation.

Petroleum derivatives:

Petroleum derivatives are the most frequently used ingredients in skin and hair care products and concerns regarding some ingredients like polyethylene glycol (PEG), ethanolamines, petrolatum, toluene, paraffin wax, EDTA have been raised. PEG and ethanolamine derivatives such as diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA) are reported to cause cancer and respiratory disorders. Likewise, Toluene, used as a solvent, can affect the immune system and increase the risk of blood cancer. Low quality paraffin wax and mineral oil are contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are reported to cause allergy and skin irritation.

When you pick up any products for the skin or hair, take some time to read the label. Even if you are not sure about all the ingredients, check for the key terms listed here. Nevertheless, remember that not all synthetic chemicals are harmful, and not all natural products are safe. It is a matter of mindful formulation and good quality ingredients, both of which we strictly follow!

Meet the Author 

Dr. Priya Nethaji has a professional doctorate in Pharmacy. She loves experimenting with skincare products and does extensive research for safe products

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