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Make-up makes more of your type, creams and lotions soften our skin and deodorants help against body odor. However, most people forget that in many products also harmful ingredients are hidden. We reveal which ingredients you should pay attention to and avoid when buying your cosmetics next time.

Chemical club instead of care: What is in our cosmetics?

The hair shines, the make-up sits - that such results are often achieved through chemistry in cosmetics, is obvious. Many would like to do without it. Because some of the substances are suspected of being harmful to health and even carcinogenic. We give tips on which substances you need to pay special attention to in cosmetics and how you can quickly and reliably identify them on the packaging. On certain syllables or endings, the consumer can expose unwanted ingredient groups and thus consciously avoid:

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Silicones - the transformation artists among the ingredients

Silicones come under different names and seal better than any other substance. Therefore, they are used in many ways, such as for sealing joints or for the production of car paints. But they are also often included in creams, make-ups or shampoos because they serve as an oily component and replace high-quality vegetable oils. However, the substances smooth skin and hair only superficially, the natural regeneration is impaired by the skin foreign film. Tip: The consumer recognizes silicones based on the ingredients (INCIs) with the ending "-cone" or "-xane". The following applies: The further up the material is listed, the higher the concentration. Review portals like Codecheck.info recommend alternative products without silicones.

Nitrosamine - Carcinogenic pest in liver and kidney

Nitrosamines are among the most carcinogenic substances and are easily absorbed through the skin. They either arise from nitrosamine contaminants, including during cosmetic storage, or form only when the product comes into contact with the skin - in this case, the nitrosamines can not be detected before. Once lodged in kidney and liver, they cause great damage. Some time ago, Öko-Test found out that some mascaras contain nitrosamines - more concentrated than the legally permitted maximum. Those who want to use cosmetics without these raw materials recognize most of the substances by the three letters DEA, MEA or TEA. As an alternative, consumers can use natural cosmetics.

Sulfates - The aggressive cleaning power

Sulfates are salts of sulfur compounds and are used in many areas of life. As washing-active substances, sulfates are also found in numerous shampoos, shower gels and facial gels. For the very thorough cleaning and the many foams Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate are mainly used in cosmetic products. As aggressive substances, they can dry out skin and hair and even cause allergies. Especially for small children they pose a danger. If you discover SLS / Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SLE / Sodium Laureth Sulfate on the package, you should look for alternative products.

Polyethylene glycols - the tailor made intruder

Polyethylene glycols are used in many cosmetic products because they are versatile and, above all, inexpensive. They are an effective way to combine fat and moisture. However, the use of synthetically produced substances is questionable: by damaging the membrane protection of the skin, other undesirable pollutants can pass through the weakened skin barrier into the bloodstream and the entire body. This can lead to an immune reaction. Another risk is dehydration of the skin. If creams, shampoos and shower gels are often used with the fabric, the protective tallow film is attacked and the so-called leaching effect occurs. Polyethylene glycols are usually identified by the capital letters PEG in combination with a number, eg PEG-8. In addition, many substances with the syllable "eth" belong to this group of substances, eg ceteareth-15. Alternatives can also be found here in natural cosmetics.

If you want to know more about ingredients in cosmetics or food, you can use the Codecheck app to easily scan the barcode and see what's in it.

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