Is Water The Main Ingredient In Your Skin Care? If So, You Need To Read This!

When we drink water we get the best of it’s benefits; after all it is the best hydration for our bodies. Water helps to lubricate our organs, provides oxygen to our blood and is good for our skin. BUT… externally, it’s not the best source of hydration for our largest external organ. Actually, when we put water directly on our skin it evaporates and takes some of our natural oils with it, drying it out.

Once this happens our skin becomes dry and flakes or cracks. The need to apply a moisture becomes more important in helping re-hydrate, but this can also become an issue. While pure water is not harmful to our skin (and we NEED water to live), when added to skin care the benefits can get dicey.

Ever noticed how moisturizers list water as the first ingredient? That’s because not only is water used, but also because it’s one of the main ingredients; like 75-95%. This is not because it’s a great source of hydration. Nope. It’s because water is cheap. There is no need to add water to moisturizers, let alone allowing it to be one of the main ingredients.

The addition of water only leads to more bad ingredients. Water creates bacteria, mold and fungus. In order to keep skincare from growing these, guess what? YEP, toxic ingredients are added. This is where preservatives like parabens are added and (now we know) can create health risks. Formulas that contain oil and water need an emulsifier added. A few common emulsifiers are sodium lauryl sulfate and polyethylene glycols; these cause irritation and disrupt the skins barrier. All of these present health risks and can irritate skin causing more issues.

And if that isn’t enough to worry about, skin care companies don’t have to disclose the source or purity of the water used. SO…. it could contain contaminates like fluoride and chlorine. There is a reason we continue to say '“ what you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it.” Our skin is the largest organ and absorb what we put on it. If you wouldn’t drink a contaminate, you certainly shouldn’t put it on your skin.

“So what should I look for in a moisturizer?” I am so glad you asked…

  1. Stay away from moisturizers that contain water. If there is no water, then there is no need for toxic additives and preservatives.

  2. Stay away from synthetic ingredients, including dyes and fragrances.

  3. If other skin care (like cleansers and toners) contain water or tea, they should also contain either vitamin E or rosemary extract as a natural preservative. Again, stay away from toxic ingredients.

  4. Look for oils like olive oil, jojoba, argan, coconut, grapeseed, rosehip seed, carrot seed, Shea and camellia. These are some of the best oils to use on your skin.

“What are toxic ingredients to stay way from?” Another great question! Here is a short list I snagged from Gillian Deacon’s 2011 book, There’s Lead in Your Lipstick. I highly recommend checking this book out.

  • DEA/TEA/MEA: Suspected carcinogens used as emulsifiers and foaming agents for shampoos, body washes, soaps.

  • Ethoxylated surfactants and 1,4-dioxane: Never listed because it’s a by-product made from adding carcinogenic ethylene oxide to make other chemicals less harsh.

  • Formaldehyde: Probable carcinogen and irritant found in nail products, hair dye, fake eyelash adhesives, shampoos. Banned in the EU.

  • Fragrance/Parfum: A catchall for hidden chemicals, such as phthalates. Fragrance is connected to headaches, dizziness, asthma, and allergies.

  • Lead: Known carcinogen found in lipstick and hair dye, but never listed because it’s a contaminant, not an ingredient.

  • Mineral oil: By-product of petroleum that’s used in baby oil, moisturizers, styling gels. It creates a film that impairs the skin’s ability to release toxins.

  • Oxybenzone: Active ingredient in chemical sunscreens that accumulates in fatty tissues and is linked to allergies, hormone disruption, cellular damage, low birth weight.

  • Parabens: Used as preservatives, found in many products. Linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity.

  • Paraphenylenediamine (PPD): Used in hair products and dyes, but toxic to skin and immune system.

  • Phthalates: Plasticizers banned in the EU and California in children’s toys, but present in many fragrances, perfumes, deodorants, lotions. Linked to endocrine disruption, liver/kidney/lung damage, cancer.

  • Polyethylene glycol (PEG): Penetration enhancer used in many products, it’s often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, both known carcinogens.

  • Silicone-derived emollients: Used to make a product feel soft, these don’t biodegrade, and also prevent skin from breathing. Linked to tumour growth and skin irritation.

  • Sodium lauryl (ether) sulfate (SLS, SLES):A former industrial degreaser now used to make soap foamy, it’s absorbed into the body and irritates skin.

Live Well!

Tara Raj, CPC, ACC, CNWC
Co-Owner & Creator of Earth’s Farmacy
Earth’s gift to you!
What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it!