Ingredients to AVOID in personal care products
What you put on your skin can go into your body to affect your health and sense of well-being – either negatively or positively. You can choose which . . . if you know the facts (which the “cosmetic conspiracy” wants to hide from you).
As our body’s biggest organ, your skin is your most important immune defense barrier as well as your largest organ for eliminating waste. Commercial products with harmful petroleum ingredients can plasticize and “constipate” your skin, making germs more likely to get in and toxins less likely to get out of your body. The result: Neither you nor your skin are as radiant and healthy as you could be!
Every day we use products that we think are safe; but the truth is that products are NOT always safe – and manufacturers don’t have to tell us so. Ever since 1938 – when the FDA granted self-regulation to the cosmetics industry – such products can be marketed without government approval of ingredients, regardless of what tests show. Most of the 25,000 chemicals used have not been tested for long-term toxic effects. In a typical day, you might be exposed to over 200 different chemicals, many of which are suspected of causing cancer or juggling hormones. EPA tests conclude that ingredients in shampoos, dyes, and other personal care products “may be playing havoc with hormones that control reproduction and development.
START CHECKING ALL PRODUCT LABELS:
AVOID THESE HARMFUL, HAZARDOUS “TOUCH-ME-NOT” INGREDIENTS!
Propylene Glycol (PG) and Butylene Glycol: Found in Anti-freeze. Acts as a “surfactant” (wetting agent and solvent). Penetrates skin and weakens protein and cellular structure. Strong enough to remove barnacles from boats! The EPA considers PG so toxic that workers are required to wear protective clothing and to dispose of PG by burying it in the ground. PG penetrates the skin so quickly, the EPA warns against contact to prevent brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. But there isn’t even a warning label on products such as stick deodorants, where the concentration is greater than in most industrial applications. Alternatives: water extracted herbs, Essential Oils, etc.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): Detergents that pose serious health threats. Used in garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers – and in 90% of personal-care products that foam. Animals exposed to SLS experience eye damage, depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation, and even death. Young eyes may not develop properly if exposed to SLS. May damage the skin’s immune system. Can be transformed into nitrosamines, a potent class of carcinogens. Your body may retain the SLS for up to five days and maintain residual levels in the heart, liver, lungs, and brain. Alternative: Ammonium Cocoyl Isethionate.
DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), & TEA (triethanolamine): Hormone-disrupting chemicals that can form cancer-causing nitrates. Restricted in Europe due to carcinogenic effects, yet they are still used in the U.S. Americans may be exposed 10-20 times per day with shampoos, shaving creams and bubble baths. Dr. Samuel Epstein (Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Illinois) says that repeated applications of DEA-based detergents result in major increase in liver and kidney cancer. The FDA’s John Bailey says, “the risk is significantly increased for children.” No Alternative Necessary.
Sodium Hydroxide: The most recent addition to our personal care products. This is a poison (caustic lye) found in drain cleaners, yet is now found in our children and adult toothpaste!
**We wish to acknowledge Colli Butler for her original research on these ingredients. Made available courtesy of Warren M. Levin, MD and Susan Levin for : MEDICAL AND SPORTS MASSAGE, INC.
Triclosan: Synthetic “antibacterial” with a chemical structure similar to Agent Orange! The EPA registers it as a pesticide, giving it high scores as a risk to human health and the environment. It is in a class of chemicals suspected of causing cancer in humans. Its may produce dioxin, a hormone-disrupting chemical with toxic effects measured in the parts per trillion; that is only one drop in 300 Olympic-size swimming pools! Hormone disruptors pose enormous long-term chronic health risks. It can change genetic material, decrease fertility and sexual function, and foster birth defects. Internally, it can lead to cold sweats, circulatory collapse, and convulsions. Stored in body fat, it can accumulate to toxic levels, damaging the liver, kidneys and lungs, and can cause paralysis, brain hemorrhages and heart problems. Tufts University School of Medicine says Triclosan can force the emergence of “super bugs” that it cannot kill. Its widespread use in antibacterial cleansers, toothpastes and household products may have nightmarish implications on future generations. Alternative: BGSE
DMDM & Urea (Imidazolidinyl): Two of many preservatives that often release formaldehyde which cause joint pain, skin reactions, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness, and loss of sleep. Exposure also irritates the respiratory system, triggers heart palpitations or asthma, and aggravates coughs and colds. Other side effects include weakening the immune system and cancer. Alternative: Lonicera Japonica
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): Carcinogenic petroleum ingredient that reduces the skin’s natural moisture. Increases the appearance of aging and leaves you vulnerable to bacteria. Used in spray-on oven cleaners and cleansers to dissolve oil and grease. One Alternative: Planteren™.
Butane or Propane: Found in aerosol products. May be narcotic and cause asphyxiation.
Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40): Drying, irritating solvent that strips skin’s moisture and immune barrier, making you vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. Made from a petroleum derivative found in shellac and antifreeze as well as personal care products. Promotes brown spots and premature aging. A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients says it may cause headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, and coma. Fatal ingested dose is one ounce or less. Alternative: BGSE
Mineral Oil: Petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic wrap, clogging the pores. Interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging. Baby oil is 100% mineral oil! Alternatives: Moisture Magnets (Saccharide Isomerate) from beets; Ceramides, Jojoba and other vegetable oils, etc.
FD&C Color Pigments: Synthetic colors from coal tar that deposits toxins onto the skin, causing skin irritation. Absorption of certain colors can cause depletion of oxygen in the body and death. Animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic. No Alternative Necessary.
Fragrances: Can contain up to four thousand ingredients (including animal urine), many toxic or carcinogenic. Causes headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing, vomiting, and skin irritation. Fragrances affect the nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and other behavioral changes. Alternatives: Aroma-therapeutic, Organic Essential Oils.