What to Avoid in Personal Care Products - Zafra

What to Avoid in Personal Care Products

There are thousands of chemicals in your products, many of which are being absorbed into your body. Many of these synthetic chemicals are skin irritants, skin penetrators, endocrine disrupters and are carcinogenic. This is not to scare anyone—although, well, it is pretty scary!—but this is more like a wakeup call for all of us to be very mindful of the products we use on our skin.

To help you make safer decisions in choosing skincare products, we’ve listed the top ingredients you should watch out for.


Parabens are a whole family of chemicals that help preserve shelf-life of products. You can find these in nearly every skincare product, from face wash, night cream, to masks. Parabens can mimic estrogen in the body disrupting, one’s delicate hormonal balance. They’ve been linked to breast cancer, and since they act as a hormone disruptor, they can lead to reproductive and fertility issues.


Commonly found in moisturizers and hand creams, fragrance is considered a trade secret which means that companies don’t have disclose what ingredients are inside. Often, the ingredients include tons of chemicals that can cause allergies, hormone disruption and lead to bigger health problems reproductive issues and infertility.


Many may get surprised by this—but retinol is not as good of an ingredient as many paint it out to be. Used in moisturizers and anti-aging skincare, this ingredient might help soften wrinkles, but it’s got some negative sides too. It turns out that it may damage DNA and speed the growth of skin tumors when used on your skin.


Check out your exfoliants and see if they may contain this ingredient. The National Toxicology Program classifies butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” It can cause skin depigmentation. The European Union considers it unsafe in fragrance.


Those tiny plastic beads in face or lip scrubs and exfoliating washes are made from polyethylene. These synthetic chemicals are considered a probable human carcinogen which readily penetrates the skin. Aside from that, polyethylene beads in scrubs and body washes also are not filtered by our sewage systems, meaning they can collect pollutants and travel into waterways, where they’re consumed by fish and marine animals.


Now that it’s almost summer season, you will see yourself applying more and more sunscreen. But what is this product that you apply in your skin made of? Oxybenzone is one of the highest-risk chemicals found in sunscreen. It acts like estrogen in the body, alters sperm production in animals and is associated with endometriosis in women.

Opting for natural and organic skincare

Everyone can agree that using more natural products is the safest bet for you and the environment. For more products you can trust and will surely love, check out the Zafra catalog!


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