Cosmetics are full of chemicals, but here are three of the worst you should consider watching out for before you buy those beauty products.
Did you know that one of every 120 products on the market contains ingredients certified as safe by government authorities but known as probable human carcinogens? These products include shampoos, lotions, make-up foundations, and lip balms manufactured by many major makeup companies. One third of all products even contain one or more ingredients classified as possible human carcinogens.
According to Dr. Richard DeAndrea, MD, nearly seventy percent of all products contain ingredients that can be contaminated with impurities linked to cancer and other health problems.
Many products used by adults and children contain synthetic, petroleum-derived ingredients. With so many cosmetic ingredients to avoid, shopping can be mind boggling. Here are three top cosmetic junk ingredients to steer clear of.
Cosmetic Junk #1 - Sodium Laurel Sulfate or Sodium Dodecyl (SLS, SLSF)
One of the more common ingredients you might notice in your personal care products, especially shampoo and toothpaste, is Sodium Laurel Sulfate or Sodium Dodecyl (SLS, SLSF). You can find this ingredient in toothpaste, shampoos, body gels, bubble baths, facial cleansers, baby wipes, baby shampoos, liquid hand soaps, and sunblocks.
More disturbing is its industrial use in products like harsh floor cleaners, engine degreasers, car detergents, and laundry detergents. I would hate to think that my body is as dirty as an engine and needs such an aggressive substance to wash the dirt off.
The purpose of this ingredient is to make products bubble and foam. It acts as a thickening agent with salt and is very cheap. It is found in 90% of commercial shampoos and toothpaste and even in many so-called natural products.
Unfortunately, the use of these ingredients can cause health problems. The following are some general health risks that result from using SLS that one should be aware of: cancer, damage to your skin, eye damage in young children, premature hair loss and damage to the immune system.
Cosmetic Junk #2 – Parabens
Did you know that petroleum based beauty products are made from the same fossil fuel that runs our cars and makes plastic? The most common ingredients to look for are parabens such as benzyl, isobutyl, butyl, n-propyl, and ethyl and methylparabens, a.k.a. benzoic acid.
You can find parabens in cosmetics and personal care products including shampoos, conditioners, hair styling gels, nail creams, foundations, facial masks, skin creams, and deodorants. Parabens can be an ingredient in baby lotions, shampoos, and other personal care products for children. Oh! Let’s not forgot the once popular Vaseline that was used for nearly every skin ailment known to mankind.
Parabens are used as a preservative; however, they seal the skin's ability to breathe and renew itself. Once applied, these personal care products not only affect our skin but they also go into the bloodstream and start to build up inside the body.
Parabens can trigger skin irritations and may play a role in decreasing sperm count and increasing the risk of breast cancer. British researchers have found traces of these chemical parabens in tissues taken from women with breast cancer. These preservatives have the ability to mimic estrogen in the body with butylparaben being the most potent.
While there is no evidence parabens cause cancer, scientists have called for the use of parabens to be reviewed. The cosmetics industry insists the chemicals, which are used as preservatives and are approved for use by regulators, are safe. However, cosmetics do not require approval before they hit the market shelves. Here it is, straight from the website of the FDA (the agency that regulates the cosmetics industry).
"Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act, cosmetics and their ingredients are not required to undergo approval before they are sold to the public ... This means that manufacturers may use any ingredient or raw material, except for color additives and a few prohibited substances, to market a product without a government review or approval."
Cosmetic Junk #3 – Fragrance
Do you know what the word “fragrance” means? Well, it can mean up to a number of various chemical mixtures found in your perfumes, colognes, air fresheners, shampoos, conditioners, and many body products.
More and more people are becoming highly sensitive to fragrances. Due to health concerns arising from exposure to scented products, we are seeing more and more scent-free policies in the workplace, local gyms, daycares, and theatres.
Unfortunately, there are many health related problems as a result of inhaling fragrant chemicals. They can include headaches, dizziness, skin irritations, allergies, nausea, shortness of breath, and even asthma. Not to mention these chemicals can act as hormone disrupters and impair basic bodily functions.
Next time you’re out shopping be sure to read a product's ingredient list prior to purchasing it to avoid harmful effects. There are many products available that don’t contain these toxins and contain more natural ingredients, such as coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E, shea butter, or cocoa butter. Give your body the attention it deserves by choosing the cleanest and healthiest alternatives.