Toxic Chemicals In Cosmetics
What You Need To Know
Have you ever looked at the ingredients in our cosmetics and skin care products? Do you know what those ingredients are? Can your hairspray really mess up your hormones, or can your face cream cause cancer? You probably may not realize that many of these products and cosmetics contain toxic ingredients.They are not only harmful to your skin, but also to your long-term health.
Don’t be fooled by the words ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ on the labels. Many cosmetic products contain at least one or two natural or organic ingredients, but they may also contain harmful synthetics and toxic chemicals as well.
Many of these harmful ingredients are on the list of carcinogens (cancer-causing) and are used by the cosmetic industry just because they are cheap!
The following toxic chemicals in cosmetics have been identified by scientific studies to be harmful to our health:
Methyl – Propyl – Butyl and Ethyl Parabens
Used as a preservative to impede microbial growth and extend the shelf life of the product.Parabens can cause allergic reactions and skin irritations. They are as well used in pharmaceutical products. Parabens have been traced in almost all urine samples of adults according to the NHANES study. Recent studies have revealed that parabens can spur the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells. Several studies in the UK found a strong link between the use of parabens and the increasing rate of breast cancer. Researchers found a high concentration of parabens in 90% of breast tumours tested.
Diethanolamine (DEA) – Triethanolamine
DEA and TEA are toxic if absorbed over a long period and are as well associated with cancer. These chemicals are used as foaming agents. They can cause allergic reactions and eye irritations. Dryness of hair and skin are also a common effect of DEA and TEA.
Sodium Lauryl – Laureth Sulfate
Often described as being “derived from coconut” to disguise their toxic nature, these chemicals are commonly used in shampoos, toothpaste, foaming facial and body cleansers and bubble bath. It causes eye irritation, dry scalp and allergic skin reactions. It may also cause cataracts, and prevent children’s eyes from developing properly.
Also known as petroleum jelly. This is a mineral oil derivative that can clog your pores, which results in disrupting your body’s natural ability to moisturize its own skin, causing dryness and chapping! Petrolatum is a very cheap and popular additive.
Ideally, this is an organic vegetable glycerin mixed with grain alcohol, which is both a natural substance. Though it is commonly made from synthetic chemicals. Propylene Glycol is known to cause skin rashes and contact dermatitis and also damage to the kidneys and liver.
Suspected to be as well a carcinogen, neurotoxin (which affects the nervous system) and a skin sensitizer.It may cause ochronosis, a skin disease which results in irreversible blue and black lesions.
Often just labelled as ‘fragrance’ there is no chance to find out what chemicals are actually used in the product. People can suffer from dizziness, headaches, rashes and also respiratory problems. Hyperpigmentation on face and body is another ‘side effect’ of synthetic fragrances, means the chemicals might cause brown spots to form on your skin.
Xylene is one of the top 30 chemicals in terms of volume. It is mainly used as a solvent in the printing, rubber, and leather industries. Along with other solvents, xylene is also widely used as a cleaning agent.Exposure of people to high levels of xylene can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat, difficulty in breathing, impaired function of the lungs, delayed response to a visual stimulus, stomach discomfort and changes in the liver and kidneys. Xylene is quickly absorbed by your lungs after you breathe air containing it.
Phenol Carbolic Acid
Phenol, also known as carbolic acid, is a sweet-smelling clear liquid found in adhesive paint, lubricating oils, perfumes, textiles and also in many different antiseptics, disinfectants and germicides. Carbolic acid poisoning usually occurs when someone swallows or touches the chemical. The symptoms of carbolic acid poisoning are green or blue coloured urine, severe burns in the mouth and throat, bloody stools or diarrhoea, vomiting, trouble breathing, yellow skin, blue lips and fingernails.
Usually used as an antibacterial agent in many soaps, deodorants, detergents, acne treatments as well as in mouthwash and toothpaste. Triclosan is known for disrupting the function of the endocrine system and thyroid -affecting hormone levels.
PPD is an ingredient frequently used as a permanent hair dye. It may also be traced in textile dyes, dark coloured cosmetics, temporary tattoos, photographic developer, photocopying and printing inks, oils, greases and gasoline. It can damage the human central nervous system as well as it may cause lung irritations and allergic reactions up to blindness.
Polyethene Glycol (PEG)
Commonly used as a thickener in skin care products and cosmetics, PEGs interfere with the skin’s moisture balance, causing an increase in ageing and leaving the skin vulnerable to bacteria.
Aluminium is a very common ingredient in antiperspirants and has been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease.
Alcohol is used as a solvent in numerous skin care products. It causes skin irritation and damages the skin’s natural acid mantle, accelerates the growth of bacteria and viruses. It might also cause premature ageing of the skin.
Used as an antistatic agent designed by the fabric industry for use as a fabric softener. It’s commonly found in some cosmetics and hair care products, particularly in conditioners.
Dioxane, by Google explained to be a colourless toxic liquid used as an organic solvent. Inhalation of dioxane may cause vertigo, drowsiness, anorexia and irritations in eye, nose, throat and lungs. In 3 epidemiologic studies on workers exposed to dioxane, the number of cancer cases did not differ from the expected cancer deaths. Tumours have been observed in orally exposed animals, damage to the liver and kidneys has been observed in rats.
And I could just carry on, the above listed are the most popular harmful and toxic chemicals in cosmetics and body care products. If we look around at all these appealing gorgeous looking flasks, boxes and wrappings, beautiful pieces of soap, sensual scents … Isn’t that guileful ?!And why are all these substances obviously permitted by law?
How to Avoid these Toxins
Always check the labels of your cosmetics and skin care products very carefully! Learn to identify and avoid ingredients and additives that are harmful to your skin and health. Many websites have a list of the most common harmful ingredients. I have listed a few for you below. Choose products with 100% natural ingredients such as essential oils and herbs!
Your skin will love you for it!
so far Klaudia
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