Every day people are looking for things that are organic or natural in beauty products. Whether its skin care, make-up, fragrances or food. However, the cosmetic and skin industry isn’t regulated like food. Which makes it important, that we educate ourselves on what we are putting in our bodies. Did you realize your body absorbs 60% of what you put on your skin? I’ve listed several things for you to check for when purchasing beauty products. Is it overwhelming, frustrating and confusing? Absolutely! Many of these chemicals are banned and/or restricted in Japan, UK, Canada, U.S., Sweden, EU and Denmark. The best thing to do is to keep yourself informed and I hope this list below summarizes it for you, without being overwhelmed.
Parabens – are preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. If the product you are using contains methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben, it has parabens. These ingredients are added to deodorants, toothpastes, shampoos, conditioners, body lotions and makeups, among other products, to stop the growth of fungus, bacteria and other potentially damaging microbes. Can cause endocrine disruption, and developmental and reproductive toxicity.
Triclosan – is an antibacterial and antifungal agent found in consumer products. Although it was banned back in 2016 by the FDA, which would take effect in 2017. It is still used in products such as acne treatments, body washes, Colgate Total toothpaste and some antibacterial dish soaps. It is also added to many other products, including fabrics and plastic items marketed as “germ-killing” or “antibacterial,” though it is not listed on their labels.
Fragrance – is a sweet smelling odor that has chemicals in it that cause irritability, mental vagueness, muscle pain, asthma, bloating, sinus pain, sore throat, joint aches, fatigue, eye irritation, spikes in blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems, laryngitis, dizziness, headaches, swollen lymph nodes, coughing, and burning or itching skin irritations. It is found in Fragrance is present in most deodorants, shampoos, sunscreens, skin care, body care and baby care products.
Formaldehyde-Known as Quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxyethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol (bromopol) and glyoxal. Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas used in a wide range of industries and products including building materials, walls, cabinets, furniture and personal care products. Found in personal care products, formaldehyde can be added directly, or more often, it can be released from preservatives. According to the Mayo Clinic, formaldehyde can irritate the respiratory system, cause skin reactions and trigger heart palpitations. Exposure to formaldehyde may cause joint pain, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness and loss of sleep. It can also aggravate coughs and colds and trigger asthma. Serious side effects include weakening of the immune system and cancer. Nearly all brands of skin, body and hair care, antiperspirants and nail polish found in stores contain formaldehyde-releasing ingredients. Can cause cancer, skin irritation and sensitization.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate- and Other PEG Compounds(also known as Dioxane) – Used as detergents and surfactants, these closely related compounds are found in car wash soaps, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers. Yet both SLS and SLES are used more widely as one of the major ingredients in cosmetics, toothpaste, hair conditioner and about 90% of all shampoos and products that foam. Human carcinogen can cause cancer and birth defects.
Isopropyl Alcohol – This is a solvent and denaturant (poisonous substance that changes another substance’s natural qualities). Isopropyl alcohol is found in hair color rinses, body rubs, hand lotions, after-shave lotions, fragrances and many other cosmetics. This petroleum-derived substance is also used in antifreeze and as a solvent in shellac. According to A Consumers Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients, inhalation or ingestion of the vapor may cause headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting and coma.
Siloxanes– Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). The cyclotertrasiloxane and cylcopentasiloxane, also known as D4 and D5. D4 as an endocrine disruptor, based on evidence that it interferes with human hormone function, and a possible reproductive toxicant that may impair human fertility. And the D5, has shown in laboratory experiments to cause uterine tumors and harm to the reproductive and immune systems. D5 can also influence neurotransmitters in the nervous system.
BHA and BHT– Known as Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene. Used mainly in m The National Toxicology Program classifies butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” It can cause skin depigmentation. In animal studies, BHA produces liver damage and causes stomach cancers such as papillomas and carcinomas and interferes with normal reproductive system development and thyroid hormone levels. The European Union considers it unsafe in fragrance. It is found in food, food packaging, and personal care products sold in the U.S. moisturizers and makeup as preservatives. Can cause endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, cancer, and irritation. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
Coal tar dyes– p-phenylenediamine and colors listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number
In addition to coal tar dyes, natural and inorganic pigments used in cosmetics are also assigned color Index numbers (in the 75000 and 77000 series, respectively).
Look for p-phenylenediamine hair dyes and in other products, colors listed as “CI” followed by five digits. Human carcinogens, linked to cancer, contaminated with heavy metal toxic to the brain, skin irritation and rashes. Toxic to fish and wildlife.
DEA-related ingredients- Also known as Ethanolamine Compounds, Triethanolamine, diethanolamine, DEA, TEA, cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA, DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA oleth-3 phosphate, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, stearmide MEA, and TEA-lauryl sulfate used in creamy and foaming products, such as moisturizers and shampoos. Can react to form nitrosamines. Can cause cancer, bioaccumulation, skin & eye irritation and organ system toxicity.
Benzophene– also known as Benzophenone, oxybenzone, sulisobenzone, sulisobenzone sodium, and ingredients containing the word benzophenone. Can cause cancer, endocrine disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity, irritation, and Ecotoxicity.
Here is the EWP Link http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ which is a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. There is some wonderful information on this website that get into much more detail.