Do you often have the habit of checking the label of skin care/ hair care products? Are you looking for paraben-free or sulfate free products? What are parabens and sulfate? Does it cause hair/ skin damage? Many of the products we use every day, including shampoos, conditioners, serums etc, include parabens and sulphates. Some studies have indicated that sulphates and parabens have an impact on the skin and hair. Keep reading to understand more about the effect of paraben and sulfate on skin and hair.
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What are parabens and sulfate?
Parabens are chemical compounds that serve as preservatives in cosmetic, hair conditioners and food products. They are essential in extending a product’s shelf life by stopping the growth of bacteria, fungi, and yeast. You can often see butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben and isobutylparaben in the ingredient list of many skincare products. Scientists have just begun to raise concerns about the safety of this ingredient in spite of using it for years in body washes.
Sulfates are also preservatives like parabens which are used in hair and skin care products. It creates a foam when added in face washes that makes it possible to wash oil and impurities from the hair. You can see sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) in the ingredient list of face wash and shampoos. However, its primary purpose is to remove any dirt and oil, it may also remove natural oils, causing dryness and hair as well as skin damage.
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Effects of paraben on skin and hair
Here are some of the harmful effects of paraben on our skin and hair:
Allergies on skin and scalp
Parabens can irritate and induce allergic responses of the skin when it is particularly applied to delicate or damaged skin. According to studies, parabens may be more aggressive for people who already have other skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, or a history of contact dermatitis and damage the skin as well as scalp. The continuous use of comparatively low amounts of parabens in medicines and cosmetics seems to increase the risk of allergy and skin damage. Because of this, topical creams which are used for redness, itching or swelling and some antibiotic ointments are rarely preserved with parabens.
Also check, Tips for Reducing Eczema
Speeds up aging
Despite the fact that parabens are an ingredient in beauty products meant to make our skin and hair gorgeous, studies suggest that methylparaben makes the skin more sensitive to ultraviolet radiation. Due to this, the skin cells can damage more quickly than usual. A study proved that the long time usage of methylparaben products can make them to accumulate on the skin and damage the keratinocytes. The skin ages prematurely as a result of this. Therefore, be cautious while purchasing skin care products.
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Parabens can be easily absorbed even through healthy undamaged skin and scalp. Parabens mimic the structure of a female hormone called estrogen. Estrogen hormone helps to regulate the menstrual cycle of women. A study shows that some girls may attain early puberty due to paraben absorption. According to some studies, paraben may affect thyroxine levels which could cause negative impacts on overall health.
Effects of sulfate on skin and hair
The harmful effects of sulphate on skin and hair is given as follows,
Irritation of scalp and skin
Sulfates can have substantial drying effects on someone who has delicate skin or scalp. According to studies, sulfates may also cause dryness, itchiness or flakiness in the scalp of people who already have other skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, or a history of contact dermatitis.They might think about switching to sulfate-free shampoos.
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Hair protein damage
Keratin is a protein which makes up hair. Our hair can get weaker, lose its strength and appearance if this protein is destroyed. Sulfates and hair protein deterioration are highly related. According to a study, soaking hair in sodium dodecyl sulfate causes loss of protein thereby causing split ends and hair damage. Also, sulfates damage the hair follicles and cause hair fall.
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Dry and frizzy hair
The sulfates are involved to remove oil from the scalp. So, it will become dry. When hair becomes damaged or dry, the cuticle (outer layer of the hair strand) begins to resemble a pine cone, with rough, open, and overlapping scales. When this happens, the hair loses moisture while absorbing moisture from the air. This causes the hair to swell, lose shape, become fragile, brittle, and appear dull. In a nutshell, it becomes frizzy!
Also check, Remedies for Dry and frizzy hair
Tips for skin and hair care
Skin care routine
- Cleanse your face twice a day to wear off the natural oil.
- Exfoliate to remove the dead skin and other impurities from the skin.
- Apply toners to keep the pH of the skin in check
- Moisturize your face
- Apply sunscreen to protect skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun.
Hair care routine
- Massage your hair with coconut oil or olive oil for 20-30 minutes.
- Wash your hair thrice in a week with sulfate free shampoos.
- Avoid hot water for washing your hair
- Comb your hair when it is dry
- Blow dry the hair
- Wear scarf and hat while going out to protect from sun.
Also check, Benefits of coconut oil
Foods for healthy skin and hair
Along with these following foods for skin and hair health, water plays a lead role in keeping your skin and hair healthy. Drinking enough water, hydrates your skin and it also flushes out the impurities and toxins from the body.
Loaded with omega 3, copper, phosphorus and zinc, it soothes inflammation, reduces acne and helps to keep skin radiant and healthy. Consumption of chia seeds also results in strong hairs. It is a high source of phosphorus, which is popular to encourage hair growth. Chia seeds contain all the 9 essential amino acids related to stronger hairs, skin and nails. All these qualities make chia seeds one of the best food for glowing and healthy skin.
This zesty vegetable is proved to have tremendous effects on your overall health. Tomatoes contain high amount of lycopene that makes skin less sensitive to UV rays. High in vitamin C, tomato treats oily skin and helps in achieving even skin tones. Packed with vitamin A, B, C and E, it also prevents hair loss, gives shine and treats scalp odor and dandruff. Eat it or apply it, it works both ways!
Quinoa seeds are gluten free and are high in protein, fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants make it a best food for glowing and healthy skin. 9 amino acids in it act as natural strengthener and protect the hair shaft and also help in repairing damaged hairs. It is rich in vitamin E which helps to fight free radicals, provides collagen and repairs deeper pores in the skin damaged from sun and pollution.
Also check, A super tasty quinoa recipe
Almond is one of the best foods for skin and hair health. it is rich in protein, magnesium, fiber, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acid, vitamin E, copper, zinc and calcium. It helps to reduce rashes, burns or any inflammation caused due to various reasons. Copper in it plays an important role in skin and hair pigmentation. Fatty acids in it promote healthy and required blood flow that promotes hair growth and makes hair shiny, strong and soft.
Also check, What are 6 other benefits of almonds for kids?
Citrus fruits are the best food for glowing and healthy skin, like orange, lime, grapefruit. It has high vitamin C contents. A medium orange gives you 130% of your daily vitamin C requirement. Other nutrients in citrus fruits include B9, lycopene, potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium, and B1. These nutrients provide a wide range of health, skin and hair benefits. The citrus acid present in these foods kills bacteria and makes your skin feel fresh, strengthen hair and fight dandruff.
Kid’s favorite dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, fatty acids and flavanols that results in glowing and healthy skin. The antioxidants in dark chocolate can help reduce roughness in your skin and protect it against sun damage. Dark chocolate is rich in cocoa loaded with zinc, iron, copper, and vitamins like A, B12 and K and also relaxes arteries and increases blood circulation that leads to healthier skin.
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