So, the good thing to do is to up your know-how on the ingredients that you massage into your skin every day. No, this is not a DRILL! It’s a super simple process that you absolutely MUST follow. Here’s the first thing to know: Several cosmetics you see on shelves contain chemicals that are responsible for weight gain. They contain parabens, heavy metals such as lead or mercury, plastics and industrial products that directly affect your body-weight. In a nutshell, these chemicals mimic the effects of estrogen. And the big issue is that extra estrogen leads to excess fat which will be stored in your system.
Research shows that some of the chemical ingredients used in cosmetics are ‘endocrine disruptors’ or ‘obesogens’. This is the same disruption that is caused by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) in women which results in metabolic abnormalities. Putting these chemicals directly on the skin is far worse than ingesting them in food. When applied directly on the skin, the toxic cocktail is absorbed easily through the pores, and messes up your hormones, imitating effects of high estrogen. This disrupts the balance of the body that could lead to a number of health problems, including weight gain.
Men are equally, if not more affected by parabens and other toxic chemicals, leading to skin ageing, diminished muscle mass and high estrogen – the last a cause for gynecomastia, a condition which leads to larger breasts and erectile dysfunction.
At a Glance: Ingredients you need to Avoid
Almost 25,000 chemicals are used in preparing different types of cosmetics. Yes, that’s right – but hold on! Don’t panic, you do not need to burn the midnight oil researching the products before setting out to buy that indulgence cream! If you look out for four key products in your cosmetics, it will suffice to keep you ship-shape and glowing – naturally. Look out for the following:
- Phthalates: Phthalates are ingredients used to add fragrance and colour in a product. According to a review of endocrine-disrupting chemicals and obesity development in humans, phthalates are generally associated with an increase in body size. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5615111/)
- Parabens: Parabens are synthetic chemicals used as preservatives. They are estrogenic and an excess of estrogen promotes obesity. Products that are likely to contain parabens may be hiding in your favourite shampoo, sunscreen, moisturizer and shaving gel! The thing to do is read labels! And remember parabens usually have a prefix to them – methylparaben, propylparaben and ethylparaben – are some common ways they present themselves. Alternative: Look for products with natural preservatives such as grapeseed oil and vitamin E.
- 1,4-Dioxane: Not only is this ingredient harmful to your skin, weight and general health, but the chemical has also directly been categorised as a harmful toxin by the American Agency For Toxic Substances & Disease Registry. Known to be carcinogenic or cancer-causing, this ingredient can harm your liver and kidneys as well.
Chemical sunscreens: Check your labels for oxybenzone and octinoxate. Both of these can penetrate your skin deep and work as endocrine-disruptors.
The question puzzling you by now must be: Then what do I use? Since nearly all the products you may have been using for long contain these substances! For instance, phthalates are likely to be in all your products to make them sweet-smelling and therefore more alluring. Then are the chemicals such as formaldehyde and polychlorinated biphenyls that may be carcinogenic or toxic.
The good news is there’s a solution! Switch to natural alternatives. Organic and natural elements not only act as better preservatives with pleasing natural scents but also help your skin heal. Today, with increasing awareness, many earth-conscious companies are creating toxin-free organic products without using parabens, phthalates and other endocrine disruptors.
Super Smelly is proud to be part of this elite group with an additional feather in its cap: It is India’s first zero-toxin certified personal care brand curated for Gen Z! Excited? Go ahead – pick your favourite Super Smelly product today and show some skin-love!