Skin care or skin scare?

Start choosing products that promise more than just beauty.

It is easy to fall for highly raved-about skincare products when you see great reviews with buzzwords like “natural,” “holy grail,” and “sustainable.” It’s understandable — we only want the best for our skin and take cues from others’ experiences.

However, these products — no matter how appealing — may still contain toxic chemicals that build up into real and serious risks for your body, your family, and even the environment.

To help Filipinos combat disinformation and make wise choices as consumers, proudly local brand Human Nature encourages the habit of doing the 3Rs — read the label, replace unsafe products, and raise awareness — one step at a time.

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Human Nature encourages Filipino consumers to make it a habit to read product labels.

Looking for the right skincare products is pretty much like looking for your right match. To help you find your “The One,” here are the top ingredients to keep an eye out for in product labels, and their natural counterparts.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS/SLES). Suds from face wash, soap, or shampoo usually caused by SLS. This chemical may strip your skin and hair of essential moisture, cause irritation, and make them dry. Instead, try the gentler, non-stripping surfactants like sodium cocoyl isethionate (coconut-oil-derived) and decyl glucoside (coconut-derived).

Parabens. They prolong the shelf life of common skincare and cosmetic products, but may cause irritation and allergic reactions. Instead, try plant-derived preservatives like rosemary essential oil, gluconolactone (from corn), and glyceryl caprylate (coco, palm, and glycerin derived).

Mineral oils. They are used in lotions, moisturizers, and makeup removers. While it’s known to lock in moisture to heal dry or irritated skin, it can also clog pores, suffocate the skin, and damage the skin barrier. Why not try cocoa butter, virgin coconut oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, passion fruit oil, and castor oil?

Silicone. Usually found in conditioners and hair styling products, silicone can make your hair look silky and healthy. However, this harmful ingredient coats skin and hair like plastic, which may lead to clogged pores as well as speed up skin aging. Instead, try cocoa butter, virgin coconut oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, passion fruit oil, castor oil.

Lake dyes/FD&C colors. A product looks natural but has striking colors? It most likely contains an added synthetic dye. Lake dyes in personal care products may contain contaminants which may be neurotoxic, possibly carcinogenic, and may cause skin irritations. Its natural counterpart is mineral oxide pigments.

Why risk it when you can choose beauty, safety, and health at the same time? Start choosing products that promise more than just beauty. Remember, read the label, replace unsafe products with natural alternatives, and raise awareness.