Why Water in Cosmetics Is Ruining Your Skin
Water, or as it’s usually called on the labels of cosmetics, aqua, is almost always listed at the top of the ingredients list of beauty, skincare, and haircare products. The labels usually list the ingredients in descending order of concentration, which means that the anti-aging cream you just paid $50 for is 70% to 90% water, even though the percentage is not always mentioned. But cost is not the only issue with a product that’s mostly just water.
While it’s true that water is essential to your internal health, applying too much of it externally is not so good for your skin.
Why is too much water in cosmetics a problem?
Our skin usually does a pretty good job at regulating itself by producing oils that keep it well hydrated and healthy. Unfortunately, with so much air pollution, our pores clog up every day with particles that hinder the effects of those natural oils, making the need to use cleansing solutions to remove the dirt buildup and allow the skin to breathe more vital than ever.
The problem with the large concentration of water in skin and hair care products is that it counters the skin’s self-regulating abilities. Just take a look at your hands or feet when you’ve been soaking in the bathtub for too long; the skin wrinkles and dries up. As a result, it begins to produce more oil and you could end up with oily skin.
In addition, while some products use distilled water, others don’t, so you may actually be cleaning your face with polluted water.
But the problem doesn’t end there. When the product contains both water and oil (which is almost always the case), an emulsifier is added to make them mix. The most commonly used emulsifiers are cetyl alcohol and sorbitan oleate, stearyl alcohol, stearic acid and triethanolamine. In foaming products like shampoo, sodium laureth sulfate is present, an emulsifier that encourages the formation of some types of carcinogenic compounds!
If that isn’t bad enough, the presence of an emulsifier necessitates the use of parabens, which are preservatives that keep the product from spoiling. As you may already know, parabens have been linked to issues like overproduction of estrogen, disruption of hormone functions, and breast cancer. In addition, parabens in skincare products also accelerate skin aging – how unsurprisingly ironic.
If it’s counterproductive, why is there so much water in cosmetics?
Cosmetics became a multi-billion-dollar industry by following the first rule of big business: cut down on costs and use branding and celebrity endorsement to elevate the price. So, they fill up their product with the cheapest thing they can find – de-ionized herbal infusion and polluted water, and sell you the other ingredients that make up under 25% of the composition.
What should you use?
As with everything else, natural and organic is the way to go. There are probably plenty of ingredients in your kitchen that rid you of the need for expensive and harmful cosmetics. You can make your own moisturizer, soap, and sunscreen, use coconut oil to treat dandruff and moisturize your body, and make a ton of natural face and body masks using simple, cheap ingredients. Stay tuned to our ongoing water related blogs in which you will learn what water works best for the skin.
What natural skin and haircare recipes do you use? Share your ideas in the comments!