ACTIVE TOXIC INGREDIENTS INSIDE SKINCARE AND COSMETIC PRODUCTS TO AVOID.
`Be aware of what you put on your skin!
A Personal Care Products Safety Act has been proposed which would give the FDA greater oversight over the millions of skin care and makeup products that are sold each year. This new bill would allow the FDA to recall products that are mislabeled or unsafe, require companies to submit information about their ingredients, and mandate that the FDA put time into vetting common skin care ingredients, starting with those that have been recently called into question.
It is common to believe that if a product is on the shelves, it only contains ingredients that are safe. People think that if a product is available commercially, or it's sold under a familiar brand has undergone rigorous testing to verify its safety, not true. The FDA doesn’t regulate beauty products. Therefore, your best bet is to learn about ingredients that are toxic and harmful to your skin and overall health, and what safe, clean natural alternatives there are.
WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?
Our skin absorbs up to 60 percent of what we put on it. Because you don't see an immediate reaction, doesn't mean the damage is not occurring. Some chemicals bioaccumulate in the body, therefore taking their toll over time. When you’re dealing with chemicals that are carcinogenic, interfere with hormones (endocrine disruptors), your thyroid function, or are even toxic to your nervous system, the goal is to minimize exposure as much as possible.
Some of these toxic ingredients aren’t always being used because they’re effective. Often, they’re put in products simply because they’re cheap or readily available.
Where to start?
Start with ten of the most common and toxic chemicals that might be in your skin care, makeup, or body products.
Companies started using parabens to preserve products in the 1920s. By the 1980s, they were being used in over 13,200 formulations on the shelves. Ten years later, Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology published a study that revealed parabens as being estrogenic, meaning they compete with estrogen for binding sites in the body, potentially affecting hormonal balance. A 2004 study in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, found parabens in 19-20 human breast tumors they tested. Parabens are used as a preservative, giving products a longer shelf life.
AVOID: paraben, methylparaben, ethyl paraben, propylparaben and butylparaben.
ALTERNATIVE: One way is the use aspen bark extract, which naturally inhibits the growth of mold, yeast, e-coli, and other microscopic bugs.
2. SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS)
A typical household product ingredient, you’ll find five or more products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate. This ingredient creates suds (lather) when you use them. Your shampoo, your body wash, are most likely to contain it, as well as your dish soap and laundry detergent. The main problem with this ingredient is that it’s corrosive — it wears away at the protective lining of your skin.
ALTERNATIVE: Ingredient such as Coco Betaine creates a high-foaming lather, it bubbles quickly and dissipates.
3. MINERAL OIL
Minerals and oils are both things that are good for us. However, mineral oil is a different thing altogether. Mineral oil is a byproduct of the production of crude oil, contaminated with other chemicals typically found in industrial oils. It’s very inexpensive for skin care companies to obtain mineral oil to use as a humectant (something that helps bind moisture to the skin). It never spoils, but it does not promote healthy skin. Additionally, our skin doesn’t absorb mineral oil well, thus it clogs your pores.
ALTERNATIVES: Natural alternatives are endless. Coconut oil, avocado, grapeseed, jojoba hazelnut, and sunflower seed oils.
Phthalates are a group of chemicals that are disruptive to the endocrine system, which is responsible for hormone production. Such interference can lead to developmental, reproductive, and neurological damage. Specifically, phthalates are shown to worsen a woman’s reproductive egg quality and quantity. A study by the University of Maryland reported that exposure to phthalates could cause reproductive abnormalities and decreased production of testosterone in males, as well as decreased male fertility. Other studies show a link between phthalates and premature delivery and endometriosis in women
Where would you find phthalates? In everything from deodorant to nail polish to scented lip balm, and perfumes. These chemicals can be grouped under and listed as “fragrance.” Companies that claim their fragrance formulas as “trade secret,” may contain Phthalates.
ALTERNATIVES: Clean and organic essential oils.
To protect our skin from skin cancer, caused by daily sun exposure, we must apply sunscreen. Problem: Most sunscreens on the shelves contain a harmful chemical called oxybenzone, which has been shown in some studies to be carcinogenic and hormone-mimicking. Not only that, but some studies have shown that it penetrates the skin and then increases the production of free radicals, skin damaging oxidants, when exposed to light. This is one way in which oxybenzone is considered a carcinogen.
Lead is a proven neurotoxin linked to miscarriage, reduced fertility, and delayed onset of puberty for females. Lead turns weak stress hormones into stronger stress hormones.
About seven years ago, a study by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found lead in over half of the 33 brands of lipstick they tested. A more recent study by the FDA tested popular brands and found 400 lipsticks that contained up to 7.19 ppm of lead. Lead is also found in well-known whitening toothpaste brands
So why is it showing up in our foundation, lipsticks, and whitening toothpaste?
In cosmetics, color additives are the most common sources of lead.
In toothpaste, the most common source is the toothpaste tube, make sure your tube is plastic and BPA-Free.
Aluminum is most commonly used in antiperspirant deodorants, which are a daily must-apply for most people.
Aluminum is considered a neurotoxin. Several studies have linked aluminum to Alzheimer’s disease, while other studies suggest a link between aluminum and breast cancer and other brain disorders. Although these are studies are ongoing, preliminary results suggest to be aware of this metal on our skin.
ALTERATIVES: There are tons of natural deodorants out there. Granted, not all of them work, we can recommend Lilfox botanicals, Primal Pit Paste and Native.
Triclosan, is found most commonly in hand sanitizers. A few studies showed that triclosan affects the gene expression of hormones related to thyroid production. Similarly, a 2007 study showed that triclosan interfered with the expression of thyroxine, a thyroid hormone.
Triclosan is included in antibacterial formulations to do just that — remove bacteria from our skin. While certain bacteria is unwanted, we learned in the nutrition world, bacteria is beneficial to our health — necessary actually. Constantly removing bacteria from our bodies using antibiotics, hand sanitizers, etc. is not a health-promoting habit.
ALTERNATIVE: For everyday purposes, avoid hand sanitizers that contain Triclosan, use organic or natural derived cleanser instead. As always soap and water is my recommendation.
9. PEG COMPUNDS
Polyethylene glycols, or PEGs, are petroleum-based compounds that are used to thicken, soften, and gelatinize cosmetics, making them a common ingredient in cream-based products.
PEGs are often contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane.
Ethylene oxide is a known human carcinogen, potentially harmful to the nervous system and human development. 1,4-dioxane is a possible human carcinogen that can remain in the environment for long periods of time without degrading.
If you see PEG on the skin care label, put it back on the shelf.
This ingredient is most commonly used to lighten skin. Those with age spots, sun damage, or acne scars may use it to lighten marks and make skin tone more even.
Studies have shown that Hydroquinone could be carcinogenic. Because hydroquinone is an ingredient that can penetrate deeply into the skin, its harmful effect could be seen over time.
Hydroquinone long term can decrease your skin elasticity. This isn’t what you want.
ALTERNATIVES: There are several natural ingredients that can lighten and brighten your skin. A few are Licorice Root, vitamin C, Turmeric, Mallow, Peppermint, White Mulberry.
Newer harmful ingredients to be in the lookout for are:
-Talc (it has been found combined with asbestos), Mercury and Thimerosal - (found in Skin lighteners).
-Mercury is a heavy metal that is harmful to the body. It may affect the nervous system, cause kidney damage, and harm a developing fetus.
-Thimerosal is a preservative that can appear in cosmetics and it contains mercury.
-Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde, and chemicals that release formaldehyde over a certain period of time, are present in cosmetics, lotions, shampoos, shower gels, nail polishes, and hair straightening products. Formaldehyde can cause allergic reactions, as well as irritation to the eyes and respiratory system. so linked the chemical with cancer.
-Carbon Black: Carbon black is present in mascaras, eye liners, and lipsticks, as it gives these products their coloring. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) link this chemical with cancer, and research Trusted Source has reported that carbon black is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
-Benzophenone-type ultraviolet filters
Some makeup products may contain ultraviolet (UV) filters. Benzophenone is a type of UV filter that may disrupt hormones and have links with endometriosis.
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) may be present in foundations, concealers, and eyeliners, as well as other cosmetic products. According to the EWG, there are more than 4,000 chemicals classified as PFAS that may pose the following risks:
harming a developing fetus
increasing a person’s risk of cancer
affecting the immune system
affecting hormone balance
Tips for avoiding toxin
Today there is a world for clean, safe, natural, botanical derived and organic products, that deliver the expected results without compromising the health of your skin.
People can avoid exposure to the potentially harmful chemicals in makeup by, being informed,
and by reducing their use or switching to safer, nontoxic alternatives.