Thursday, October 28, 2010

Harmful ingredients in our skin care.

Are you aware that most of the personal care products used daily contain toxic chemical ingredients that are
absorbed through the skin, inhaled or ingested? These chemicals are linked to cancer, birth defects, learning
disabilities and other health problems. These chemicals are in products such as baby wash, lotion, shampoos,
deodorant, and make‐up. The cosmetics industry says it is safe to put toxic chemicals into personal care
products because the amount in each product is too small to matter. But none of us uses just one product a day -
and small amounts of toxins can add up significantly enough to do harm, especially when they are also in our
food and drinks.
Here is a list of the top 20 unwanted ingredients commonly found in your skin products, with their side
1. Isopropyl Alcohol -
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 Ainhalation or ingestion of the vapor may cause headaches, flushed skin,
Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients,
dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, narcosis and coma. .
2. Antibacterials
like E. coli and Salmonella enterica. Triclosan, widely used in soaps, toothpastes and deodorants, has been
detected in breast milk, and one recent study found that it interferes with testosterone activity in cells. Numerous
studies have found that washing with regular soap and warm water is just as effective at killing germs.
3. Mineral Oil -
skin just like plastic wrap covers any given vessel. The skin's natural immune barrier is disrupted as this plastic coating
inhibits its ability to breathe and absorb (moisture and nutrition). Your skin's ability to release toxins is impeded by this
"plastic wrap," which can promote acne and other disorders by slowing down normal cell development causing the skin to
prematurely age. Petroleum distillates are possible human carcinogens. They are prohibited for use in cosmetics
in the European Union, but are found in several U.S. brands of mascara, foot-odor powder and other products.
Look out for the terms "petroleum" or "liquid paraffin."
4. Propylene Glycol (PG) (PEG) (GLYCOL, PROPANE) As a wetting agent and solvent, this ingredient is actually the active component in antifreeze.
There is no difference between the PG used in industry (brake & hydraulic fluid, paint, floor wax) and the PG used in
personal care products. It is used in industry to break down protein and cellular structure (what the skin is made of) stripping
the Natural Moisture Factor, yet is found in most forms of make-up, hair products, lotions, after-shave, deodorants,
mouthwashes and toothpaste. It is also used in food processing. Because of its ability to quickly penetrate the skin, the EPA
requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles when working with this toxic substance. Skin contact,
dermatitis, kidney damage and liver abnormalities can inhibit cell growth in human tests and can damage membranes
causing rashes, dry skin and surface damage. There is no warning label on products such as stick deodorants, where the
concentration is greater than that in most industrial applications, leaving the immune system vulnerable. They are also
potentially carcinogenic.
5. Imidazolidinyl Urea and DMDM Hydantoin -
says formaldehyde can irritate the respiratory system, cause skin reactions, trigger heart palpitations, immunesystem
toxicity, and cancer in humans. Exposure 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. Yet it still turns up in baby bath soap, nearly all brands of body products, antiperspirants, nail
polish, eyelash adhesive and hair dyes.
6. Bronopol
the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines under certain conditions. It is found in expensive over-the-counter
products, but also in “natural” products.
7. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
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. According to the American College of Toxicology, both SLS and SLES can cause
malformation in children's eyes, and damage to the immune system, especially within the skin. Skin layers may separate and
inflame due to its protein denaturing properties. It is possibly the most dangerous of all ingredients in personal careResearch has shown that SLS, when combined with other chemicals, can be transformed into nitrosamines, a
potent class of carcinogens, which cause the body to absorb nitrates at higher levels than eating nitrate-contaminated food.
According to the ACOT,"SLS stays in the body for up to five days..." Other studies have indicated that SLS easily
penetrates the skin and maintains residual levels in the heart, the liver, the lungs and the brain.
8. DEA (diethanolamine) MEA (momoethanolamine) TEA (triethanolamine) -
fisted on the ingredient label in conjunction with the compound being neutralized. Thus look for names like
Cocamide DEA or MEA, Lauramide DEA, etc. These are hormone disrupting chemicals and are known to form
cancer causing nitrates and nitrosamines. These are commonly found in most personal care products that foam,
including bubble baths, body washes, shampoos, soaps and facial cleansers. On the show, CBS This Morning,
Roberta Baskin revealed that a recent government report shows DEA and MEA are readily absorbed in the skin.
“Repeated skin applications of DEA-based detergents resulted in a major increase in the incidence of two cancers
- liver and kidney cancers." Diethanolamine (DEA) is a possible hormone disruptor, has shown limited evidence
of carcinogenicity and depletes the body of choline needed for fetal brain development. DEA can also show up as
a contaminant in products containing related chemicals, such as cocamide DEA.
9. 1,2-Dioxane in Surfactants/detergents
conditioners, cleansers, lotions, and creams, besides household products such as soaps and cleaners, contain
surfactants or detergents such as ethoxylated alcohols, polysorbates, and laureths. These ingredients are generally
contaminated with high concentrations of the highly volatile 1,4 dioxane, which is both readily inhaled and
absorbed through the skin. Epidemiological studies on dioxane-exposed furniture makers have reported
suggestive evidence of excess nasal passage cancers. It is a known animal carcinogen and a possible human
carcinogen that can appear as a contaminant in products containing sodium laureth sulfate and ingredients that
include the terms "PEG," "-xynol," "ceteareth," "oleth" and most other ethoxylated "eth" ingredients. The FDA
monitors products for the contaminant but has not yet recommended an exposure limit. Manufacturers can
remove dioxane through a process called vacuum stripping, but a small amount usually remains. A 2007 survey
by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found that most children's bath products contain 10 parts per million or less,
but an earlier 2001 study by the FDA found levels in excess of 85 parts per million.
10. Parabens
common preservatives that appear in a wide array of toiletries. A study found that butyl paraben damaged sperm
formation in the testes of mice, and a relative, sodium methylparaben, is banned in cosmetics by the E.U.
Parabens break down in the body into p-hydroxybenzoic acid, which has estrogenic activity in human breastcancer
cell cultures.
11. Nanoparticles
increasing number of cosmetics and sunscreens. Most problematic are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide
nanoparticles, used in sunscreens to make them transparent. When possible, look for sunscreens containing
particles of these ingredients larger than 100 nanometers. You'll most likely need to call companies to confirm
sizes, but a few manufacturers have started advertising their lack of nanoparticle-sized ingredients on labels.

12. Lead and Mercury - Neurotoxic lead may appear in products as a naturally occurring contaminant of
hydrated silica, one of the ingredients in toothpaste. Lead acetate is found in some brands of men's hair dye.
Brain-damaging mercury, found in the preservative thimerosol, is used in some mascaras and until recently, in
many vaccinations.
13. P-Phenylenediamine
lung irritation and cause severe allergic reactions. It is also listed as 1,4-Benzenediamine; p-Phenyldiamine and
shampoos and anti-itch creams. Coal-tar-based dyes such as FD&C Blue 1, used in toothpastes, and FD&C
Green 3, used in mouthwash, have been found to be carcinogenic in animal studies when injected under the skin.
Some artificial colors, such as Blue 1 and Green 3, are carcinogenic. Impurities found in commercial batches of
other cosmetic colors such as D&C Red 33, FD&C Yellow 5, and FD&C yellow 6 have been shown to cause
cancer not only when ingested, but also when applied to the skin. Some artificial coal tar colors contain heavy
metal impurities, including arsenic and lead, which are carcinogenic. The use of permanent or semi-permanent
hair color products, particularly black and dark brown colors, is associated with increased incidence of human
cancer including lymphoma, myeloma, and Hodgkin's disease.
15. Hydroquinone
and there is limited evidence that it may cause cancer in lab animals. It may also appear as an impurity not listed
on ingredients labels.
16. Talcum Powder
associated with increased risk of ovarian and lung cancer, are the primary ways this substance poses a
carcinogenic hazard.
17. Lanolin
such as DDT, dieldrin, and lindane, in addition to other neurotoxic pesticides.
18. Chlorine -
processing, sewage systems and many others, can effect health by contributing to asthma, hay fever, anemia,
bronchitis, circulatory collapse, confusion, delirium diabetes, dizziness, irritation of the eye, mouth, nose, throat,
lung, skin and stomach, heart disease, high blood pressure and nausea. It is also a possible cause of cancer.
19. Fragrance -
cause obesity and reproductive and developmental harm. Avoid phthalates by selecting essential-oil fragrances
instead. “Fragrance” is present in most deodorants, shampoos, sunscreens, skin care, body care and baby
products. Many of the compounds in fragrance are carcinogenic or otherwise toxic. "Fragrance on a label can
indicate the presence of up to 4,000 separate ingredients. Most or all of them are synthetic. The FDA reports have
included headaches, dizziness, rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and allergic skin
irritation. Exposure to fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression hyperactivity,
irritability, inability to cope, and other behavioral changes".
20. Silica
- Crystalline silica is carcinogenic.
The catchall term "fragrance" may mask phthalates, which act as endocrine disruptors and may
Exposure to chlorine in tap water, showers, pool, laundry products, cleaning agents, food
itself is perfectly safe. But cosmetic-grade lanolin can be contaminated with carcinogenic pesticides
- TALC, is a carcinogenic. Inhaling talc and using it in the genital area, where its use is
- Found in skin lighteners and facial moisturizers, hydroquinone is neurotoxic and allergenic,
. Artificial Colors, Dyes & Coal Tar is a known human carcinogen used as an active ingredient in dandruff
- Commonly found in hair dyes, this chemical can damage the nervous system, cause
- Tiny nanoparticles, which may penetrate the skin and damage brain cells, are appearing in an
- (methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, butyl-, isobutyl-) Parabens, which have weak estrogenic effects, are
A wide range of personal care products including shampoos, hair
DEA and MEA are usually
Used as detergents and surfactants, these
- (2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol) may break down in products into formaldehyde and also cause
These release formaldehyde into your body. The Mayo Clinic,
Baby oil is 100% mineral oil. This derived substance, a commonly used petroleum ingredient, coats the
- Overuse of antibacterials can prevent them from effectively fighting disease-causing germs
This is a solvent and denaturant (poisonous substance that changes another substance's natural

Harmful or Carcinogenic Ingredients in Our Skin Care

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