By Roxanne, Contributing Writer

About 10 years ago, I was using a popular prescription skin lotion that was causing severe damage to my skin and I didn’t even know my skin care routine was harmful – until this happened.

As a young professional in New York City, it was a normal occurrence for me to head straight to my favorite spa after work to get my eyebrows waxed. The woman I saw regularly always reminded me to stop using the usual retinol products in my skin care routine at least 2 days prior to come seeing her, but this time I forgot. I sat down in the chair and she did her usual thing but when she ripped off the wax I was in immense pain! The wax actually pulled skin off my face leaving it completely raw. We both screamed. She knew right away that I had forgotten to stop using retinol before seeing her. That’s when I realized how terrible this stuff really was and the damage I was causing to my face.

If you are anything like I was, then these are the reasons why your skin care routine is harmful.

3 Reasons Your Skin Care Routine is Harmful

1. Increased Risk of Skin Cancer

Using products in your skin care routine that contain the ingredient Retinyl palmitate or retinoic acid, are creating extreme skin sensitivity. U.S. government scientists have found that these chemical ingredients in skin care products speed the development of cancerous lesions on sun-exposed skin.The results suggest that people who go out in the sun wearing creams or even sunscreens with retinyl palmitate may be at an increased risk for skin cancer.

3 Reasons Your Skin Care Routine is Harmful

2. Reproductive Abnormalities

Phthalates are additives in many different types of cosmetics and personal care products. You may see this on the ingredient list on your products but the scary thing is it may not even be listed. Phthalates are often part of fragrance mixtures that are considered “trade secrets” so they so not have to be disclosed. Scientific studies link phthalate exposure to reproductive abnormalities in baby boys, reduced testosterone and sperm quality in men and early puberty in girls.

3. Impaired Fertility

Parabens are preservatives used in a lot of different lotions and other personal care products. Parabens can act as estrogens and disrupt hormone signaling. A recent study by scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health linked one type of paraben to impaired fertility in women. Read the labels carefully and avoid products containing any of these ingredients —propylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben.

What Can You Do About It?

The most important thing to do is to read labels and avoid these harmful chemicals. An extremely helpful resource for learning about healthy skin care is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database. On their website you can look up your products to find out if they are safe to use.

Look for natural and organic skin care and personal care products. Not all products are perfect even if they have the natural or organic wording on the packaging, you’ll still need to read labels, but it’s a good place to start.

For an easy step-by-step method of cleaning up your skin care routine to eliminate harmful chemicals and their effects, follow my free 3 Day Beauty Detox. It’s a simple way to phase out your old harmful products and replace them with better quality products or simple mixtures you make yourself at home.

What Skin Care Products Do You Know You Need to Give Up?

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