More people are becoming aware of the fact that personal grooming products can be loaded with harmful chemicals, but learning which do the most damage is no easy task.
Cosmetic manufacturers are always changing their formulae, and too often, consumers have no idea what the ingredients on the boxes are anyway. But just as you wouldn’t consider eating products that contained nasty chemicals or cancer causing agents, you should be equally scrupulous about cosmetic products—after all, they are absorbed by your skin and DO enter your bloodstream.
After some consideration, we’ve come up with what we think are the most common ingredients that should be banned from your beauty routine.
10 Harmful Chemicals in Cosmetics:
1. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate
These foaming agents are found in almost all shampoos, shower gels, toothpastes and other foamy products. Strong evidence shows that both SLS and SLES are irritants to skin, eyes and the respiratory tract. SLES has also been found to be contaminated with the carcinogen 1.4 dioxane.
2. Mineral Oil and Petroleum Jelly
These petroleum-industry by products are found in shampoos, creams, lipsticks, eyeshadows, foundations, and of course, baby oil, which is 100% mineral oil. Petroleum is commonly used to coat the skin like plastic wrap, but by doing so, the skin’s natural immune barrier is disrupted and the skin then loses its ability to breathe and release toxins, which can then promote acne and other disorders. This process also slows down skin function and normal cell development, causing the skin to prematurely age.
For some reason, manufacturers are not required to disclose the specific chemicals they use for fragrance in their brand’s list of ingredients. Sometimes called parfum, this is considered to be a ‘trade secret’, but it’s one that could harm your health. Anything that smells nice, including deodorants, perfumes, make up, shampoos, sunscreens, skin care, body care and even baby care products, probably contains chemical fragrance Many of the compounds in fragrances are carcinogenic or otherwise toxic, and even one single ‘fragrance’ listing on a product can actually indicate the presence of up to 4,000 separate ingredients. Most or all of these are usually synthetic. Symptoms related to fragrance use include headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and allergic skin irritation. Clinical observation by medical doctors has shown that exposure to fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, and other behavioural problems.
4. Cyclomethicone and Siloxanes
Widely used in moisturisers, makeup, and hair care products, these silicone-based compounds are used to soften, smooth, and hydrate. They make hair products dry more quickly and deodorant creams slide on more easily. They are also used extensively in moisturizers, facial treatments, medical implants and lubricants, but these chemicals are thought to build up toxicity in the liver and gastro intestinal system and are also toxic to wildlife.
5. DEA (diethanolamine) MEA (monotaholamine) and TEA (tiethanolamine)
These foam boosters are found in shampoos, hair styling products, facial cleansers, soaps and shower gels; all can cause contact dermatitis. They are easily absorbed through skin to accumulate in body organs, even the brain. Repeated use can result in major increases of liver and kidney cancer. DEA and MEA are usually listed on the ingredient label in conjunction with the compound being neutralized. Thus look for names like Cocoamide DEA or MEA, Lauramide DEA, etc. These are hormone disrupting chemicals and are known to form cancer-causing nitrates and nitrosamines.
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