As you shop for personal care products, you may be drawn towards the packaging, or words like “natural or “free of“. But it is the real ingredients that will tell the story. Even products listed as ‘All Natural’ can sometimes be misleading. There are so many harmful ingredients in products we consume and use on a daily basis and there is no industry with less regulation than the beauty and makeup industry. For example, The EU bans over 1300 chemicals, Canada bans over 600, but the U.S. bans less than 40.
1. ALUMINUM: Toxic metal that can have estrogen-like effects in our systems, disrupting
the healthy functioning of the endocrine system. Usually found in almost every
personal care product, especially antiperspirant deodorants.
2. DEA (diethanolaine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), and TEA (triethanolamine): Clear,
colorless, viscous liquids with ammonia-like odors. Usually found in products
that foam like facial cleansers and soaps. They are also found in eye makeup,
fragrances, hair products, and sunscreens.
3. DMDM HYDANTOIN & UREA (Imidazolidinyl): Preservatives that often release formaldehyde which may cause joint pain,
skin allergies, headaches, and loss of sleep. Usually found in skincare products, cosmetics, shampoos and conditioners, and detergents.
4. MINERAL OIL: A petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic, clogging its pores.
This is potentially harmful because it interferes with the skin’s ability to
eliminate toxins, therefore increasing the likelihood of acne and other disorders. Usually
found in creams, lotions, ointments, and cosmetics.
5. PARABENS (Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl): Not always labeled, used as preservatives, and may contribute to hormone
imbalance. Usually found in skincare products such as moisturizers and
6. PEG (Polyethylene glycol): Ingredient that can alter and reduce the skin’s natural moisture factor. It
adjusts the melting point and thickens products. Usually found in cleansers to
dissolve oil and grease.
7. PHTHALATES: Chemicals used to increase the flexibility and strength of plastics, and not
often listed among the ingredients on products. Usually found in cosmetics such
as fragrance oils and listed under the term “fragrance”.
8. PROPYLENE GLYCOL (PG) & BUTYLENE GLYCOL: Gaseous hydrocarbons which in a liquid state act as “surfactant”. They
penetrate the skin so quickly and can weaken the protein and cellular
structure. Usually found in face care products.
9. 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). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
10. SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS) & SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE (SLES): Detergent that makes products foam, lather, and bubble. Usually found in 90%of personal-care products that foam!
11. SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES: Anything that is synthetic or artificial should always raise a red flag.
These are made up of hundreds of different ingredients not listed on the label,
so you are never sure what you are actually being exposed to. Usually found in
cosmetic and skincare products but also many household products such as
candles, air fresheners, laundry detergent, and scented trash bags.
12. TRICLOSAN: A synthetic antibacterial agent that may disrupt thyroid function and can
degrade into a form of dioxin, a class of chemicals linked to a broad range of
toxicities including cancer. Usually found in soaps, mouthwash, shaving cream,
deodorants, toothpaste, etc.
These are just some of the ingredients and next time you are shopping for skincare
products, it is really important to read the labels thoroughly and not skim
over words, especially the ones you can’t pronounce.
Note: Companies can be tricky and just list certain ingredients. If it
says Natural, make sure you look closer. If a company is not listing full
ingredients, chances are they are choosing not to because they don’t want you
to see what they are including. To be safe, skip that brand! What goes on our
skin, goes in our body. So what we put on our skin WILL affect our overall
health & well-being.
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