The Truth Behind Toxic Beauty Claims

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The Truth Behind Toxic Beauty Claims

Do you ever look at the ingredients list on your cosmetics products and wonder, ‘what are they?’ and ‘what do they do?’.

When you start doing some research, you will be bombarded with a series of articles listing cosmetic ingredients that are harmful and should be avoided at all costs. As with everything you find on the internet, we urge you to take a deeper look and get a balanced view before forming your own opinion.

Please don’t let the bloggers scare you unnecessarily with these horror stories, because many of the ingredients they deem to be ‘toxic’ are perfectly safe and are legally permitted for inclusion.

The cosmetic industry is one of the most tightly regulated sectors across the world and consumer safety is at the heart of all regulations.

Examples of Often Cited ‘Toxic’ Cosmetic Ingredients

Here are some components that are commonly portrayed as ‘toxic’ and ‘harmful’ but, are definitely safe and perform a key role in making the products function as designed.


What Are Parabens and Why Are They Used?

Parabens have been used in cosmetics, as well as food and drug products, as a preservative for decades. They perform a vital function in products containing water to prevent microbial growth and maintain product integrity. This is paramount to ensure safe final products.

The parabens you will most often see are methylparaben, ethyl paraben and propylparaben. Although there are many other preservative choices, these parabens are possibly the most effective preservative choice for a huge range of formulations.

What Are the Toxic Claims?

Critics claim that parabens penetrate through the skin and accumulate within the body to dangerous levels. Apparently, this can cause harm to reproductive systems, premature aging and breast cancer.

The almost zero of acceptance of parabens in cosmetics is a classic example of how fake news can take a perfectly legal and useful ingredient off the formulator’s palette.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

What is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Why Is It Used?

Typically known as SLS, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is a chemical used in cosmetic and hygiene products in order to turn liquids into a foam. When you brush your teeth or wash your hair, the lather and foam produced is often caused by SLS.

What Are the Toxic Claims?

Critics claim that SLS is a skin irritant that strips away essential oils. Some believe that it is especially harmful to people who live with sensitive skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.


What Are Silicones and Why Are They Used?

Silicones are ingredients used in many cosmetic products to make the formulation softer and more spreadable. You will usually find these in creams, serums and hair care products.

What Are the Toxic Claims?

Critics have claimed that silicones create a barrier that not only blocks other products from absorbing into the skin but also traps unwanted substances too. These congestion factors, they say, can lead to, acne, cell renewal interference and dry skin.

What Do the Regulations Say?

The cosmetic regulations are incredibly strict, especially within the UK and Europe.

In a nutshell, if there is a scientific basis for an ingredient to be considered as toxic to human health, it will not be allowed in cosmetic products or will be only permitted at very low, thoroughly tested levels. This includes natural products which you may assume to always be safe, but they too can also be extremely harmful and, if so, would not be permitted in formulations.

What Do Jarvis Cosmetic Developments Say?

At Jarvis, we are ISO certified and fully comply with all regulations, and we have a team of highly trained and well-informed chemists. They ensure we are always manufacturing products that are legal, safe and meet our client brands high standards.

All products we manufacture are comprehensively tested by our internal teams and by independent safety assessors who ensure both consumer safety and regulatory compliance.

If you would like to discuss this topic with our industry experts, please get in touch.


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