Many of you may know this already, but popular cosmetics can carry nasty chemicals resulting in long term residues in our bodies. A great source of information is the cosmetics database from the Environmental Working Group. You can consult it before buying new products!
Here is a list of the most common chemicals to avoid, from Live Renewed:
1. Parabens – Including methly, propyl, butlyl and ethyl paraben (anything ending in paraben), these are preservatives that have been linked to hormone disruption and infertility, and may increase the risk of certain cancers.
2. Fragrances – These can contain hundreds of different chemicals that are not required to be listed on the ingredients. So fragrance just means that there’s lots of stuff it in that you have no idea what it is, and can cause headaches, dizziness, rashes and allergic skin reactions.
3. Phthalates (DEHP, BBP, DBP, DMP, DEP) – these chemicals, that have been linked to sperm damage and infertility, they can also be hidden within the label fragrance (see above). Phthalates and fragrances are both banned from personal care products in Europe.
4. DMDM hydantoin – A preservative that releases formaldehyde which is linked to asthma, skin conditions, chronic fatiugue, headaches, dizziness and other respiratory problems.
5. Mineral Oil – A derivative of petroleum this coats the skin like plastic wrap and keeps the skin from being able to breathe and absorb moisture as well as release toxins.
6. Propylene Glycol – Derived from natural gas this ingredient has been known to cause allergic reactions, hives and eczema. My sister is allergic to propylene glycol and found that it is hard to find conventional products that don’t contain this nasty ingredient.
7. Triclosan – An antibacterial agent commonly used in soap.
8. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate - A detergent and foaming agent, it’s hard to find shampoo or toothpaste without SLS. Because it’s derived from coconut, some manufacturers or labels may claim that it is a natural ingredient, but it is the processing used to create SLS that makes this a toxic ingredient. It can cause malformation to children’s eyes, skin irritation, and is damaging to the immune system.
9. PEG’s – Polyehylene Glycol – PEG’s are used to help cleansers dissolve oil and grease and can be found in caustic oven cleaners – enough said – not something I want to be using on my skin. They strip away natural moisture and can damage the immune system.
10. Any ingredient with “glycol” or “methyl” - There are a whole lot of other chemicals out there that should be avoided, and many of the above ingredients also have other names, so a good rule of thumb is to avoid anything with these two terms in the ingredient label."