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Vogue 6 Skincare Ingredients Which Are Harming The Environment
Many of us know the ingredients we do want to find on our skincare product labels - think hyaluronic acid to hydrate, vitamin C to brighten and salicylic acid to exfoliate - but what about the ingredients we want to avoid? Some of the chemicals hidden in our serums, masks and moisturisers can have a harmful effect on the environment after they’re washed from our faces, down drains and ultimately into our oceans, where they can damage marine life.China Will No Longer Require Animal Testing On Cosmetic Products
China Will No Longer Require Animal Testing On Cosmetic Products
Fortunately, there are plenty of great alternatives, providing all of the care your complexion needs without any of the controversy. Here, discover six everyday skincare ingredients linked to ecotoxicity, and some great products which do just as good a job without them.
Oxybenzone and octinoxate
You may already have heard about oxybenzone and octinoxate, after a bill to ban the two chemicals commonly found in sunscreens was passed in Hawaii last year. The two chemicals are believed to have a damaging effect on coral reefs, increasing their vulnerability to bleaching and preventing their growth. Of course protecting your skin from the sun is important, but there’s a wealth of great mineral and non-toxic sunscreens out there that you can use instead.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Comfort Sun Lotion SPF30.
Triclosan is an antibacterial agent sometimes found in toothpaste, shampoo, soap, face wash and hand sanitiser. It has been found to be toxic to aquatic bacteria, is considered to have a particularly negative effect on algae, and has even been observed in dolphins. And it’s not just marine life it’s harmful for. The FDA has actually banned the sale of antiseptic washes containing triclosan in the US because of its potential risks to human health, and whilst the EU are phasing it out, they’ve stopped short of banning it. So for yourself and for the environment, consider finding another way to wash your hands.
Dr Bronner’s Hemp Rose Pure-Castile Soap.
If you know anything about the clean beauty movement, you have almost certainly heard of parabens. A family of preservatives widely used in skincare, they are believed to disrupt hormone function, though some dermatologists argue that the low levels in which they are used in beauty products prevents them from having a significant effect. However they’re increasingly believed to have a negative effect on the environment, since their ubiquitous usage in cosmetics means that they are released into waterways and have been found in marine mammals. Due to the controversy surrounding them, and the availability of alternative preservatives, many beauty brands have chosen to stop using them; look for products labelled paraben-free to make sure.
Lumene Glow Boost Essence.
Michelle Pfeiffer Is Launching A "Clean" Fragrance Line
Siloxanes are part of the silicone family, finding their way into skincare products such as moisturisers, primers and serums thanks to their ability to smooth and soften. But are they harmless? Norway has lead the charge on research into the effects of siloxanes, after high levels were found in several locations in the Nordic countries. Research is still ongoing to establish the extent of their effects, but it is thought that siloxanes may bioaccumulate in aquatic food chains, making them toxic for fish and other organisms. Either way, you can still get silky-smooth skin without them.
Drunk Elephant A-Passioni Retinol Cream.
Plastic microbeads may be banned in rinse-off cosmetics in the UK and US now, but most countries around the world still allow products containing them to be made and sold. The tiny plastic spheres, generally found in face exfoliators, body scrubs and toothpaste, wash down our drains and into waterways, where fish and other marine life often end up consuming them. If you’re in a country that hasn’t banned them, check that your scrubs instead contain natural granules such as apricot kernels, coffee granules or sugar.
Aesop Redemption Body Scrub.
Synthetic fragrance is an ingredient in so many of the products that we use day-to-day, from cleaning products to skincare to perfume, that it is far from surprising that experts have noted a build-up in the marine environment. Since the ingredients don’t get broken down by wastewater treatments, fragrance chemicals can accumulate in the tissues of fish and other wildlife. On top of that, synthetic fragrance is a common skin irritant, so your complexion will thank you for cutting it out.
Neal's Yard Remedies Vitamin E & Avocado Night Cream.