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How safe are the ingredients in your skin care products?

Here is the harm glycol based products can do to your skin.

Skin care products are made from various chemicals along with natural and artificial ingredients. The naturally available ones may not pose any harm to the skin, but, to bind these natural ingredients and give them the perfect consistency, fragrance and enhance the properties of the products, several chemicals need to be added, which in the long run pose a threat to not just the skin but the body too. If you have closely observed the ingredient list of your skin care products, glycol -- either propylene or butylene, is commonly used. We discussed if glycols were beneficial to the skin with our skin expert Dr. Shefali Trasi Nerurkar and here s her opinion.

The good

Whether glycol is actually good for the skin is a debate. It surely has moisturising properties and helps keep the skin hydrated over a long period of time. Both butylene and propylene glycol are preservatives and hence used in most sunscreens, body creams, lotions and even cosmetics. Glycol basically locks in the moisture of the skin and prevents the escape of water or moisture. Hence, it gives a moisturising effect. To know more about ingredients you should look for in skin care products, click here.

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The bad

The moisture locking is good in moderation. Glycols absorb the moisture in the top layer of the skin and makes it look fresh and supple. However, in the long run, the layers of your skin begin to dry out as the seal does not allow moisture to penetrate in the skin. This leads to flaking and itchiness. Propylene and butylene glycol can cause skin irritation, dermatitis and hives due to the moist skin cells. Repeated exposure may also lead to sensitivity or skin allergies, especially to propylene glycol. One must avoid these products containing these two agents, especially facial contact, says Dr. Nerurkar. Propylene glycol and butylene glycol easily penetrate skin and weaken protein and cellular structure. Avoid excessive contact with these two glycols as they may have severe effect on the body, including brain, liver and kidney abnormalities. You may try a natural remedy like melon ice tea for wrinkle free, glowing and young skin.

Should use of glycols be completely prohibited?

FDA claims that Propylene glycol and butylenes glycol are safe in small doses; over exposure to skin care products and cosmetics containing glycols can be harmful. Another ingredient on your watch-list is sulfate. Here s why you should use a sulfate free shampoo and a list of sulfate free shampoos available in India.

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