We all know the importance of reading food labels in order to avoid potentially harmful ingredients, but when was the last time you looked through the ingredients listed on your pain relief creams? In this article, we’ll cover three ingredients that are commonly found in pain relief creams that you should avoid.
Not all ingredients are created equal and even though all ingredients in pain relief creams are approved for sale in the US, you should still be vigilant about what goes on your body. You might be wondering why there would be toxic ingredients in pain relief creams. Some companies have had the same formula for over 20 years before there were cleaner ingredients, other companies may not know that some ingredients may be harmful, and others prefer to put cheaper ingredients in their formulas. Regardless of their reasons, you the consumer get to decide.
The products you put on your body are absorbed through the skin and can affect your health and well-being, either negatively or positively depending on the ingredients.
When it comes to selecting safe, non-toxic pain relief creams, you may want to know which ingredients to avoid and read ingredient labels to ensure you’re avoiding those additives. Here are three ingredients that you should always avoid if possible.
Propylparaben is a type of long-chain paraben—a group of chemicals widely used as artificial preservatives in cosmetic and body care products since the 1920s. They are used to prevent bacteria from growing in personal care products like lotions and pain relief creams.
Parabens have a chemical structure that’s similar to estrogen, which means they can mimic the effects of that hormone. They are easily absorbed into the bloodstream via the skin. Studies have suggested that even tiny amounts of parabens can increase the risk of cancer, disrupt hormones in the body, and affect fertility, reproductive organs, and birth outcomes.
Ammonia is a naturally-occurring gas with an extremely sharp, irritating odor. It functions as a pH adjuster in a variety of products including hair dyes, hair bleaching products, moisturizers, shaving cream, and even some pain relief creams. When ammonia enters the body via breathing, swallowing, or in this case, skin contact, it reacts with water to produce ammonium hydroxide. This chemical is very corrosive and damages cells in the body on contact, causing tissue and cell death (necrosis).
Exposure to high levels of ammonia can cause severe skin irritation, blindness, lung damage, and even death. Lower levels of ammonia, which are used in personal care products, have been known to cause skin irritation. Does this corrosive substance really sound like something you want to be rubbing into your skin?
Look at the products in your current collection of personal care products and you’ll likely see a kaleidoscope of colors. This is because color makes things look alluring and companies use this to their advantage, even if it means adding substances that are harmful to your health.
FD & C Blue #1 (also known as Brilliant Blue) is an artificial coloring agent that’s added to products to make them more appealing to customers. Brilliant Blue can seep into the bloodstream when it’s applied to the skin, especially when the skin’s barrier is impaired, like after shaving. Several studies have suggested that Brilliant Blue might inhibit cell respiration and contribute to ADHD, allergies, and asthma.
In 2003, when Brilliant Blue was still being used as a dye in feeding tube solutions, the FDA issued a public health advisory because of side effects like blue-tinged skin, urine, and feces, as well as hypotension, metabolic acidosis, and death.
Whenever possible opt for products that offer cleaner ingredients because even though you are not ingesting a cream, it is being absorbed through the skin. Some creams, like Aromalief, are not 100% natural because they still need a small amount of anti-microbial to keep from things like fungus and mold from growing in them, but avoiding these 3 ingredients is a big step in the right direction.
At Aromalief, we select each ingredient carefully to make sure that the benefits far outweigh the downside. Our vegan pain-relieving creams cleaner ingredients and are free from parabens or dyes. Our formula has ingredients including cold-pressed hemp seed oil, menthol, vegetable glucosamine, algae-extracted chondroitin, L-arginine, pure MSM, and essential oils. These ingredients work synergistically to reduce inflammation and pain, nourish your skin and joints, and relax your mind. After all, your pain relief cream should benefit and support you, not harm you!