This is a hot subject these days, studies show that makeup and beauty products have known carcinogens in them. Manufacturers say “Sure, there may be some troubling ingredients at first glance but the way that they are being produced and the amount that is used is not harmful to humans.”My favorite shampoo and conditioner have toxic chemicals in it? That’s crazy! Say it isn’t so! Who do you believe?
As you wander the aisles of beauty product in your local pharmacy or market, really read the labels on the most popular brands and the lesser known brands. It doesn’t seem to matter whether they were expensive or not, they all have the same or similar ingredients. You may love your shampoo and the way it makes your hair look, but what is the real danger?
Most of you are too busy to hunt down the names of the chemicals you should avoid, so I will give you a quick lesson in the worst of the worst and you can take it from there. When you start reading labels you may be surprised at the sheer volume of products known to have these ingredients and compounds. Here’s what you’re looking for:
- Isopropyl Alcohol-Used as a solvent and a main ingredient of antifreeze, Isopropyl alcohol is a poisonous substance known to cause dizziness, nausea, vomiting and headaches. Yet it is found in lotions, shaving products, and countless other products we use all the time.
- Mineral Oil-petroleum ingredient that coats and clogs the skin until it is unable to function the way it is designed to. Prolonged use can actually cause skin damage by slowing down normal cell development.
- Polyethylene glycol-PEG-A carcinogen found in spray oven cleaners and industrial de-greasing products. When used in facial cleansers and body scrubs and lotions it strips away the natural moisture in the skin.
- Propylene Glycol-PG-In industry this chemical is used to break down proteins and cellular structure. Nearly every product on the shelf; makeup, hair products, toothpaste, mouthwashes and deodorants all have this key ingredient for antifreeze in them. YUK!
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate -SLS-This is a compound used industrially for de-greasering floors and mechanical parts, cement cleaning products, and auto wax. Testing performed on animals found it to be extremely harmful to all organs especially the eyes, skin, liver, kidneys. It can be absorbed through the skin and remain in the body for up to five days. But that means if you use it in lots of products everyday you are multiplying the exposure and your body is always under the effects of this chemical.
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate-SLES-Sister to SLS-same wide spread uses, same harmful effects.
- Chlorine-Chlorine is not used in products but we are constantly exposed to it in our water system. We drink, cook, and wash in it all the time. Depending on the levels your water has you may notice skin irritations, rashes and blotchy skin. Medically speaking chlorine can have negative effects on asthma and other respiratory problems.
- Cocoamide DEA or MEA, and Lauramide DEA, etc. usually found in foaming products of all kinds these are hormone disrupting chemicals. When you see these letters at the end of an ingredient you know they have added cancer causing agents and you should think carefully about using them.
- DEA (diethanolamine)
- MEA (monoethanolamine)
- TEA (triethanolamine)
Start paying a little more attention to what you are using on your face and body. It won’t be easy to eliminate all these nasty ingredients from your beauty products, but it isn’t impossible. Of course organic beauty products use all natural ingredients and they are carefully tested for purity and effectiveness.
The same way many of you began slowly buying more organic produce over the non-organic; you can begin replacing your old “chemical” stuff for healthier more environmentally friendly products. The number of organic products is growing daily, so making a switch has never been easier. There are even some amazing homemade recipes for many of the scrubs and creams you use all the time, but that is for another article!