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Skin Care: Allergies, Hormones, Cancer

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 29 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
Skin Allergies dermatitis eczema

If you suffer from allergies it can be difficult to know how to tailor your skin care regime accordingly. Your skin is your body's first defence against infection and disease, but many modern skin care products contain harsh chemicals that can irritate sensitive skin. Your skin's personal reaction to these chemical is often a major contributor to allergies. Experts suggest that many women use as many as two hundred chemicals on their skin every day, with around sixty per cent of these being absorbed directly into the bloodstream.

Household Products Can Contribute
If you've got broken skin (for example, if you have eczema or contact dermatitis), this can increase your skin's absorption of chemicals. Some cleaning materials are also known to cause skin irritation. Washing up liquid and hand wash are just two examples of this. Solvents and certain mineral oils can break down the lipid structure of your skin. This can strip away the protective layer of your skin, which can then make it more likely that chemicals will pass through your skin into your body.

Shun Fragrances and Preservatives
Fragrances and preservatives are two of the main contributors to skin allergies. They often cause your eyes to be red, sore and watery, as well as skin that is red, sore and irritated. Around ninety-five per cent of the ingredients used to create fragrances in skin care products are made using synthetic materials, but the manufacturers aren’t legally obliged to name all of these ingredients on the product labels. Obviously, this makes it almost impossible to tell if a certain product is likely to cause irritation and allergic reactions. Natural fragrances are no better, as they can still contain synthetic ingredients. Organic skin care products are often the best bet, as they don’t contain preservatives, fragrance or synthetic ingredients.

Chemicals to Avoid
There are many potentially harmful chemicals in our skin care products, but here are a few to keep an eye out for:

Ammonium Glycerate is found is lots of popular skin care products, including moisturiser, cleanser, anti-ageing products, skin exfoliaters, eye cream, acne treatments, sun cream and tanning lotions. It is known to cause irritation to the eyes and skin, plus the lungs and the immune system. It’s also thought to be a possible factor in causing some types of cancer.

Artificial Colours and Dyes are found in a wide variety of products, and the chemicals found in them are thought to be a major reason why so more of us are developing allergies to skin care products. Many artificial colours and dyes are produced from petroleum and coal. They can cause irritation to the skin and eyes, as well as possibly causing certain cancers.

Benzoate Acid, Sodium Benzoate and Parahydroxy Benzoate are often used to preserve cosmetics and as an antiseptic. They are thought to intensify the symptoms of asthma.

Skin care for skin that is prone to allergies can be challenging, but there are certain steps you can take to treat and prevent allergies. Using skin care products that are designed for sensitive skin is usually a good option, as they will have far less of the potentially dangerous chemicals that can cause health problems later in life. Skin care products made from organic ingredients are the best option though, as they will be totally free from the fragrances and preservatives can trigger allergies in some people.

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