Could your skin care and beauty products be making you sick? It’s quite possible. Most common products contain an alarming number of chemicals in them. Just like with what you put in your mouth, what you put on your skin is quickly absorbed in your blood stream. Reading labels is important, but do you know what to look for? Here are some of the most common toxic ingredients found in your everyday products, such as soaps, moisturizers, deodorants, make-up and shampoos.
- Paraben (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl): Used in 75 to 90 percent of cosmetics, parabens are used as a preservative. Parabens have been found in human breast cancer tissues. Parabens may also interfere with hormone function and increase risk of skin cancer.
- Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA): Found in products like moisturizers and hair products, DEA chemicals can cause cancer, primarily liver and kidney cancer. Skin and thyroid cancer is also likely.
- Propylene Glycol (PG): This is a chemical that is also a main ingredient in anti-freeze. PG is found in most cosmetics, aftershave lotions, mouthwash, toothpaste and antiperspirants. Workers who handle PG are required to wear protective gloves and clothing because this toxic chemical absorbs quickly into the skin. It has been linked to cancer, neurological disorders, liver and kidney abnormalities. When looking at ingredients, look for other names such as: 1,2-Dihydroxypropane; 2-Hydroxypropanol; Methylethy Glycol; 1,2-Propanediol; Propane-1,2-Diol.
- Imidazolidinyl Urea, DMDM Hydantoin: These are two very common preservatives that release formaldehyde. Milder side effects include asthma, allergies, heart palpitations, dizziness and vomiting. Formaldehyde exposure can be extremely serious as well and may cause cancer. Most skin care products and nail polishes include these preservatives.
The good news is that there are more and more products available now that are plant based and safe to use. Always remember to read labels before purchasing products. Look for organic products if possible. Many people will not buy organic or natural products because these products tend to be more costly. While this is usually true, in the long run, eliminating chemicals from your everyday products is a healthcare investment for you and your family.
Below are a list of reputable brands that use natural ingredients in their products. Most of these lines can be found in stores like Target, Walgreens or health stores, such as Whole Foods.
Tom’s of Maine