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Decode your cosmetics

This is perhaps the most important post of this blog,  I always wanted to publish it but never find enough time to sit down and write, hope I won´t  bore you too much and you find it interesting or useful. Lately, I´ve been offered to try out many "natural" products, I guess with the implicit idea of ??writing a post about its pros and a few cons, as a way of advertising. However, as I´m not tempted at all by pretty words on any label, though saying "natural ingredients", "eco", "bio" or "organic"... What only counts is the ingredient list, that and no other is the way to discover how much of "eco" and "natural" is in a product. This is the reason of this post, to emphasize the importance of actively avoiding  some harmful chemicals, many of them also listed as carcinogenic, and share some tips to learn how to read labels.

how to read a cosmetic label

pinterest

Este es quizás el primer post con el que quería empezar el blog, por una u otra razón siempre se me quedaba atrás, pero creo que es fundamental. En el último tiempo me han ofrecido a probar muchos productos "naturales", supongo que con la idea implícita de escribir un post acerca de sus pros y unos poquitos contras a manera de publicidad. Sin embargo, y como no me tientan las palabras bonitas de ninguna etiqueta, por más que diga "ingredientes naturales", "eco", "bio", "organic", etc etc.. lo que cuenta es la lista de ingredientes, ésa y no otra es la manera de descubrir cuánto de "eco" y "natural" hay en un producto. Este es el motivo del post de hoy, recalcar la importancia de evitar a toda costa ciertas sustancias químicas, totalmente perjudiciales para la salud, incluso muchas de ellas catalogadas como cancerígenas, y compartir algunos tips para saber leer las etiquetas.


Sabemos que nuestra piel absorbe más del 60% de los químicos que contienen nuestros cosméticos habituales, y estamos casi seguros que la gran mayoría de los productos que encontramos actualmente en el mercado mienten deliberadamente en cuanto a la presentación de sus productos, son muy laxos a la hora de llamar a sus productos "bio" y "natural", cuando en realidad aquel producto "natural" que ostentan, sólo se encuentra en un ínfimo porcentaje y al final de una larga y dudosa lista de ingredientes, todo menos "natural".

Qué es el INCI? La Nomenclatura Internacional de Ingredientes Cosméticos que determina cómo deben figurar los ingredientes, en latín y enumerados según su cantidad de manera descendente, esto es, la sustancia más cuantiosa debe aparecer en primer lugar y así sucesivamente. El INCI establece que todos los ingredientes aparezcan en la etiqueta. Esta será nuestra primera manera de valorar un producto, saber qué puesto ocupan las sustancias beneficiosas y poder distinguir las sustancias perjudiciales y nocivas.

Mencionaremos algunos de los ingredientes más peligrosos y que debemos evitar siempre, no os alarméis por sus largos y complejos nombres, en muchos casos basta con recordar un par de sílabas ya que todos los compuestos que contengan estas letras son peligrosos.

Phenol y Phenyl, utilizados como conservantes y colorantes, son un tóxico celular que a largo plazo destruye las paredes celulares. Evitad cualquier ingrediente que contenga esta palabra, pro ejemplo "nitrophenol", "clorophenol", "N-phenl-P-Phenylenediamine", "Phenylenediamine Sulfate"... encontraréis muchas similares y en un sinfin de productos. Para mí, son las más fáciles de distinguir.

PEGs: polyethylenglycol. Son los emulgentes, aunque de por sí son inofensivos,  hacen la piel más receptiva a sustancias. Esto es bueno si los aditivos son sanos, pero es nocivo si son venenosos. Los puedes reconocer por la palabra PEG seguida de un número, así como por las letras "eth" al final, por ejemplo "sodium laureth sulfate" (esta la encontraréis en una gran cantidad de productos como jabones, geles, champúes...), "steareth", "ceteareth", entre muchas otras.
Aceites Minerales: éstos a pesar de su bonito nombre, no tienen nada de naturales ni nutrientes, solo son aceites muy baratos derivados del petróleo. Se utilizan por su bajo coste y porque impiden el crecimiento de bacterias, además hacen que el consumidor note un efecto sedoso en el producto, cuando en realidad es sólo una apariencia, ya que tapan los poros, impiden respirar a las células y extraen la humedad de la piel. Producen un efecto "rebote",  al interrumpir su uso, uno siente que la piel está reseca y agrietada y siente la necesidad de volver a utilizarlo, para "re hidratar". Sucede muy a menudo con los bálsamos labiales. Son altamente cancerígenos. Los podemos encontrar con varios nombres: "Mineral Oil", "Paraffinum", "Paraffinum liquidum", "Petrolatum", y compuestos con las palabras "Paraffin-", "Petroleum...", así como la familia de las siliconas: "Silicone quaternium", "Methylsilanol", "vaselina"...

Fragancias artificiales: estos son quizás de los más peligrosos y nocivos porque contienen químicos que influyen en el equilibrio hormonal y pueden resultar cancerígenos y causar daños genéticos. Los encontramos en perfumes, desodorantes, anti-transpirantes. Palabras a evitar: "Acetyl hexametyl" (causa daños nerviosos), "Benzyl alcohol" (insensibiliza la piel), "Bromocinnamal" (irritante), "aluminium chlorhydrate" (lo encontramos en una amplia gama de desodorantes, pueden ser muy irritantes y son sospechosos de causar Alzheimer).

Colorantes: cualquier componente con las sílabas "anilin", "anilid", "acetanilid", al igual que iniciales "HC" (por ejemplo "HC orange 3"), "Acid" (por ejemplo "Acid Red 73"), "Pigment" ("Pigment Green 7") o "Solvent"  (como "Solvent Black 3"), todos ellos son altamente cancerígenos y tóxicos. 

Sustancias halogenorgánicas: causan alergias, son sospechosas de causar cáncer y, al no ser biodegradables, resultan altamente contaminantes. Combinan chloro, bromo, iodo, y las encontramos bajo nombres como "aluminium chlorohydrate", "methyldibromo glutaronitrile", "iodopropynyl". 

Formaldehyd: potente antimicótico, altamente cancerígeno por inhalación, se acumula en las células dañando las membranas, irrita, envejece la piel. Aunque está prohibido en la cosmética, se utilizan sustancias que lo liberan, aunque en la teoría no lo contengan. Los reconocemos por llevar la palabra "Urea"  (como ser, "Diazolidinyl Urea", "Imidazolidinyl Urea", "Polyoximethylene Urea"). No confundir con la palabra "Urea" a secas, que es derivado del ácido úrico y es bueno para la piel. También pueden llevar las letras "DM" delante, como "DMDM Hydantoin", "Dmhf". Otros conservantes liberadores de formaldehyd son "Dimethyl Oxazolidine". 

Phtal y Phthalate: se utilizan como suavizantes y disolventes, altamente tóxicos y cancerígenos e influyen en el equilibrio hormonal. Por ejemplo, "dibutylphthalate".

Protectores solares y tratamientos con retinol: se utilizan componentes como "Oxybenzone", "Benzophenone", "Methoxydibenzoylmethane" o "Dibenzoylmethane", todos ellos filtros cancerígenos, capaces de causar alergias en cadena, y están presentes incluso en las marcas más caras y exclusivas. Los encontramos no solo en protectores solares, sino también en cremas y tratamientos con retinol. 

En este link encontraréis una lista más exhaustiva de componentes a evitar, pero como os decía, basta con recordar algunas letras y sílabas, si en el interminable listado de ingredientes de un producto veis varias palabras que contienen esas sílabas, ya sabéis qué clase de producto es y cuán nocivo puede resultar para la salud.

Para finalizar, y dar un poco de ánimos después de un panorama tan gris, quiero compartir unos tips que a mí me han ayudado especialmente para cambiar a una cosmética un poco más saludable:

1.- buscar siempre los productos que tengan una lista breve de ingredientes (menos es más, cuando hay muchos ingredientes, significa que hay muchos químicos!)

2.- elegir los productos cuyos ingredientes estén escritos en latín (recordad que si está escrito en latín, refiere a plantas y hierbas, y eso es bueno!)

3.- desconfía de los productos del mercado, a veces hay ciertas lagunas en el listado de ingredientes, pero si veis que una crema sólo dice llevar aditivos naturales y coco o almendras, por ejemplo, y tiene una textura cremosa y delicada, y una fragancia increíble, es poco creíble que sólo lleve esos ingredientes y no haya "algo más" que no nos cuentan.

4.- compra los ingredientes y hazlo tú misma, luego de unas semanas utilizando tus propios productos, tu piel y tu organismo notarán el cambio, y te lo agradecerán! Seguramente desaparecerán muchos problemas, como alergias, caspa, irritación, sequedad, ezcema, piel atópica, etc. 

Espero haberos animado en este camino hacia una cosmética respetuosa con la salud y el medio ambiente y no haberos aburrido mucho!! Al final de este post os dejo algunos links de fuentes que he utilizado y me han parecido interesantes, y me despido hasta el jueves, deseándoos una muy feliz semana, llena de paz, luz y armonía! 

how to read a cosmetic label

el mejor jabón del mundo, y, como debe ser, natural, sin aditivos ni colorantes artificiales  (Jabón de Aleppo)
Aleppo Soap, the best soap ever, all natural, no additives or preservatives or colorings
We know that our skin absorbs more than 60% of chemicals contained in our daily cosmetics, and we are almost certain that the vast majority of products currently on the market deliberately lie about the presentation of their products, they are too lax to the time to call their products "organic" and "natural", when in fact that "natural" ingredient they flaunt,  only appears in a very small percentage and at the end of a long and dubious ingredients list, all but "natural"!

What is INCI? The International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients that determines how the ingredients should be detailed, in Latin, and listed by number in descending order, that is, the more substantial ingredient should be first and so on. The INCI states that all ingredients appear on the label. This will be our first way to evaluate a product,  identifying its beneficial and harmful substances.

We´re going to mention some of the most dangerous ingredients that must be avoided, don´t worry about their long and complex names, in many cases it´s enough to remember a couple of syllables and that all ingredients names containing these letters will be dangerous:

Phenol and Phenyl, used as preservatives and colorants, they are cell toxic, to a long term destroys cell walls. Avoid any ingredients that contain this word, e.g. "nitrophenol", "clorophenol", "N-phenl-P-Phenylenediamine", "Phenylenediamine Sulfate"... you will find many similar names and in a multitude of products. I find that these are the easiest to identify.

PEGs: polyethylenglycol. Emulsifiers, although they´re harmless by themselves, they make the skin more receptive to any  substance. This is good if the additives are healthy, but harmful if they are poisonous. You can recognize the word PEG followed by a number and the letters "eth" to the end, eg "sodium laureth sulfate" (you can find this in a lot of products like soaps, shower gels, shampoos...) "steareth", "ceteareth", among many others.

Mineral oils:  despite the pretty name, have nothing natural or nutrients, they are just too cheap petroleum oils. Used for their low cost and because they prevent the growth of bacteria, also make consumers notice a silky effect using the product, when in fact it is only an appearance, because they clog pores, impede breathing cells and remove the skin moisture. Produce an rebound effect when discontinuing use, you feel the skin is dry and cracked and feel the need to reuse it, to `rehydrate´. It happens very often with lip balms. They are highly carcinogenic. We can find various names: ^Mineral Oil´, `Paraffinum´, `Paraffinum Liquidum´, `Petrolatum´ and compounds with the words `Paraffin-´, `Petroleum ...´ as well as the family of silicones: `Silicone quaternium´, `Methylsilanol´, `Vaseline´...

Artificial fragrances: These are perhaps the most dangerous and harmful because they contain chemicals that affect the hormonal balance and can be carcinogenic and cause genetic damage. We find them in perfumes, deodorants, anti-perspirants. Words to avoid: `Acetyl hexametyl´ (cause nerve damage), `Benzyl Alcohol´ (desensitize the skin), `Bromocinnamal´ (irritant), `aluminum chlorhydrate´ (can be found in a wide range of deodorants, can be very irritating and it´s suspected of causing Alzheimer).

Colours: any component with the syllables `aniline´, `anilid´,  `acetanilid´ as initials `HC´ (eg `HC orange 3´), `Acid´ (eg `Acid Red 73´), `Pigment´(` Pigment Green 7´) or `Solvent´ (as  `Solvent Black 3´), all of them are toxic and highly carcinogenic.

Halogen organic compounds: causing allergies, suspected of causing cancer and as they´re not biodegradable, they´re highly polluting. Combine chloro, bromine, iodine, and can be found under names like `aluminum chlorohydrate´, `methyldibromo glutaronitrile´, `Iodopropynyl´.

Formaldehyd: potent antifungal, highly carcinogenic by inhalation, accumulates in the cells by damaging the membrane, irritating, ages skin. Prohibited in cosmetics, it is  released by the use of other substances, although in theory it isn´t included. Easily  recognizable for containing  the word `urea´ (such as, `Diazolidinyl Urea´, `Imidazolidinyl Urea´, `Polyoximethylene Urea´). Do not confuse with the only word `Urea´, which is derived from uric acid and it is good for the skin. It may also carry the letters `DM´before, as `DMDM Hydantoin´,  `DMHF´. Other Formaldehyd releasing preservatives are `Dimethyl oxazolidine´.

Phtal and Phthalate:  used as softeners and solvents, highly toxic and carcinogenic and influence the hormonal balance. For example, `dibutylphthalate´.

Sunscreen and retinol treatments components, such as `Oxybenzone´, `Benzophenone´, `Methoxydibenzoylmethane´ or `Dibenzoylmethane´, all filters carcinogenic, capable of causing allergies chain, present even in the most expensive and exclusive brands . Not only found in sunscreens, but also in creams and retinol treatments.

In this link you will find a comprehensive list of components to avoid, but as I said, just remember some letters and syllables, if you find several words containing some of these syllabes in the endless list of ingredients in a product, you will exactly know what kind of product it is and how much harmful it can be to your health.

To conclude and give some encouragement after such a gray picture, I want to share some tips that  have particularly helped me to switch to a slightly healthier cosmetic:

1. Always look for products that have a short list of ingredients (less is more, when there are many ingredients, means there are many chemicals!)

2. choose products whose ingredients are written in Latin (remember that if it is written in Latin, refers to plants and herbs, and that"s good!)

3. distrusts cheap commercial products, sometimes there are certain gaps in the list of ingredients, but if you find a cream that says it only contains  natural additives and coconut or almond oil, for example, and has a creamy and soft texture and incredible fragrance, it is hard to believe that it only carries just those single ingredients and there is "something else" that they´re not telling us what it is. 

4. buy the ingredients and do it yourself, after a few weeks using your homemade products, your skin and your body will notice the change, and will thank you! Be sure many health problems, such as allergies, dandruff, irritation, dryness, eczema, atopic skin, etc, will relieve or even disappear.

I hope you feel encouraged in this way to a natural cosmetic respectful of health and environment and wish I didn´t not bore you too much!! At the end you can find some links to sources that I have used and I found interesting, and I say goodbye until Thursday, wishing you a very happy week full of peace, love and harmony!

inci cosmeticos

pinterest
http://homeguides.sfgate.com/read-ingredient-labels-beauty-products-78309.html

http://www.vidanaturalia.com/como-leer-etiquetas-y-reconocer-los-ingredientes-toxicos-cosmetica-industrial/

http://www.ellahoy.es/belleza/articulo/como-leer-la-etiqueta-de-los-cosmeticos-el-tutorial/202427/

http://www.elcorreodelsol.com/blog/esnatural/ingredientes-cosmeticos-nomenclatura-inci

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