BE AN INGREDIENT
How to dissect product labels
DOYOU KNOW WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE
GETTING INTOYOUR BODY?
When you get up in the morning just think about how many personal
care products you use.
Shampoo & conditioner
Soap/ body wash
Hair styling products
HOW MANY DOYOU USE?
“… the harmful chemicals that you apply to
your skin are much more toxic and pose
greater cancer and other risks than if you eat
them.” –Dr. Samuel Epstein,Toxic Beauty,
Former Chair of Cancer Prevention Coalition
ACCORDINGTO THE ENVIRONMENTAL
WORKING GROUP (EWG)
Average woman uses 12 personal care products per day
Average man uses 6
We expose our bodies to126 different chemical ingredients every day
from personal care products ALONE. This does NOT take into account
re-applications of products throughout the day.
We brush our teeth several times a day, we wash our hands 6-12 times
a day, we re-apply sunscreen every few hours that we are in the sun, and
we may shower more than once per day!
There are approximately 10,500 ingredients used in cosmetics in our
country, and in its 30-YEAR history, only eleven percent of those
ingredients have been screened. This means that nearly ninety percent
of cosmetics ingredients are left un-reviewed and un-tested for safety!
WHAT WE PUT ON OUR SKIN… GETS
INTO OUR BODIES!!!
Think Nicotine patches
Most of the chemicals in standard personal care products have never been
tested for safety
OR they have been shown to have negative health effects
CHEMICALS IN PERSONAL CARE
CARCINOGENS- linked to all types of cancers
NEUROTOXINS- affect the brain, its chemistry and/or its
REPRODUCTIVETOXINS- linked to reproductive issues in
adults that affect babies in utero.
ENDOCRINE DISRUPTERS - lead to weight gain & other
hormone-related health problems while increasing the risk of
breast and prostate cancer
MUTAGENS- actually mutate the cells in the body
Chemicals are added to personal care products with the
SPECIFIC purpose of increasing their absorption into the skin.
Chemicals that we may ingest with products like lipstick, lip gloss,
toothpastes and mouthwash AND those that we inhale when
perfumes or hairsprays are sprayed into the air, end up in the
Once the chemicals are in the bloodstream, they are carried to
various organs, including the brain, liver, kidneys and others,
where they have immediate or long-term effects.
It’s only a little bit of “that” toxic chemical
Different comfort zones – bodies react differently
And…because the FDA doesn’t regulate the health claims or labeling
for personal-care items, the words “herbal,” “natural,” “hypoallergenic”
and “nontoxic” used on these products have no legal meaning.
SO,YOU NEED SOME RESOURCES!
BHA: causes skin depigmentation & is a known carcinogen. In animals, it
produces liver damage & causes stomach cancers.The European Union has
banned it. Found in FOOD, food packaging & personal care products in
Boric Acid & Sodium Borate: hormone disruptors, especially in men.
Linked to lower sperm count and in animals, caused testicular damage.
Both Canada & Europe restrict these ingredients.
Coal tar: a byproduct of coal processing, a known carcinogen. In most
Formaldehyde- human carcinogen, asthmagen, neurotoxicant,
developmental toxicant. Found in hair straighteners & nail polish
DMDM Hydantoin, Diazolidinyl Urea, Quaternium-15 – cosmetic
preservatives to kill bacteria. Known carcinogens that can trigger
allergic skin reactions.
Fragrance- Actual ingredients are not listed. There is an average of 14
chemicals in 17 brand name fragrance products, none of them listed on
the label. Fragrance contain hormone disruptors and among the top 5
allergens in the world.
Hydroquinone- skin bleaching chemical that causes a skin disease.
Causes tumor development
Methylisothiazolinone- preservatives that are among the most common
irritants, sensitizers and causes of contact allergy. Lab studies on brain
cells suggest they are neurotoxic.
Nanoparticles- zinc oxide & titanium dioxide are the safer options in
sunscreens, but avoid sprays because they can penetrate your lungs, the
skin and contaminate the body.
Parabens- estrogen mimicking preservatives, endocrine disrupters and
cause reproductive and developmental disorders.
PEGs/CETEARETH/Polyethylene compounds- cleaning agens that are
synthetic and contaminated with 1,4-dioxane which is a carcinogen.
Petroleum- can cause dermatitis and contaminated with cancer-causing
impurities. Produced n oil refineries with auto fuel, heating oil and
Pthalates- damages the male reproductive system. Many nail polishes
contain dibutyl pthalate
Resorcinol- in hair bleaching products, a skin irritant,toxic to the
immune system and an allergen. Disrupts normal thyroid function.
Toluene- found in nail polish, it is a solvent and paint thinner. Potent
neurotoxin, irritant, impairs breathing & causes nausea. A pregnant
woman exposed to the vapors may impair fetal development. Toxic to
the immune system, linked to malignant lymphoma.
MORE TO ADD…
Triclosan &Triclocarban- antibacterial and antimicrobial pesticides in
liquid soap as well as toothpaste.Very toxic to the aquatic environment.
Disrupts thyroid function and reproductive hormones. Overuse may
promote bacterial resistance
Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate, retinol) not safe for use on skin.When
applied to sun-exposed skin, can increase sun sensitivity. Sunlight breaks
down vitamin A to produce toxic free radicals that damages DNA and
hastens skin lesions & tumors in lab animals.Widely used in sunscreens
DEA,TEA, MEA- Hormone disruptors; possible carcinogens, may react &
form cancer-causing nitrosamines; easily absorbed through skin to
accumulate in body
LAST BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST…
Sulfates- Eye and skin irritant, can combine with other ingredients to
form carcinogenic nitrosamines
Aluminum- All Antiperspirants contain aluminum, not only linked to
Alzheimer's but breast cancer
Sunscreen chemicals: Para amino benzoic acid,Avobenzone, Cinoxate,
Dioxybenzone, Phenylbenzimidazole, 4-MBC, OXYBENZONE,
Propylene Glycol- used to de-ice planes, petroleum plastic so toxic
requires gloves- leads to brain, liver & kidney abnormalities
Benzyl Peroxide- an acne chemical, has mutagenic properties
Dioxin- used with triclosan, often unlabeled, causes cancer, reduced
immunity & nervous system disorders, miscarriage
ARMED & SAFE…..
Since these chemicals are out there, we need to be armed with the
knowledge about which toxic ingredients to watch out for to protect
ourselves and our families.
CHECK OUT: Be an Ingredient Detective: Ingredients to Avoid
in Personal Care Products. L
Lists some of the most commonly found toxic chemicals in personal care products that have
been linked to a number of health problems.
There are others
Cosmetics manufacturers are not required to use the FDA’s ingredient name
convention guidelines, one ingredient can be spelled and labeled many different ways
in different products.
ALWAYS READ THE LABELS……
Regardless of what the label says!!
Labels are tricky, be trickier!
Avoid any product that doesn’t seem right
Make your own!