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Chemicals/Preservatives in Body and Skin Care Products Gathered by Christine L. Ontko of OntkOrganix August 7th, 2017 Organic Skin Care
The following ingredients are questionable, could be potentially harmful, and in my opinion should be eradicated from products:
• Parabens • Toluene • Propylene Glycol • Benzophenone • PABA Avobenzone • Homosalate • Ethoxycinnmate • BHA & BHT • p-pheylenediamine • DEA, MEA & TEA • Dibutyl phthalate • Formaldehide • Petrolatum • Siloxanes • Sodium Laureth Sulfate • Triclosan
Chemicals/Preservatives in Body and Skin Care Products Section 2
Parabens are used in many food and personal care products. They have a chemical structure that’s similar to estrogen, which means they can mimic the effects of that hormone in the body. But they seem do this weakly, and on the scale of chemical threats, researchers thought parabens were pretty low on the list of things to worry about. New research suggests, though, that they may be more harmful than previously thought. For the study, scientists grew breast cancer cells in a lab. They treated the cancer cells with low doses of parabens along with heregulin, a growth-promoting substance that’s normally found in breast tissue. The two chemicals are known to have a more powerful effect when combined. When the two chemicals were combined, the dose of parabens needed to stimulate growth was 100 times lower. That suggests parabens may be exerting effects at levels people are being exposed to in real life, according to study author Ruthann Rudel, who co-directs the research program for the non-profit Silent Spring Institute. WebMD asked experts to discuss the findings.
Q: What are parabens? They’re preservatives. They prevent bacteria from growing in things like face moisturizer, which repeatedly comes into contact with germs from your hands as you scoop it out to apply it to your face. The American Chemical Society estimates that parabens are in about 85% of personal care products — everything from shampoo to shaving cream. Researchers believe most of us get our greatest exposure from these products as they’re absorbed through the skin. Parabens can also be found in foods like baked goods, beverages, syrups, jellies, jams and preserves, in the packaging that keeps food fresh, and in drugs, according to the CDC’s National Biomonitoring Program. The most commonly used parabens are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben, according to the FDA. The same study found that the more personal care products a person used, the higher their paraben levels. Women tend to have higher levels than men, probably because they use more.
Toluene. A petrochemical derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. You may see it on labels listed as benzene, toluol, phenylmethane, methylbenzene. Toluene is a potent solvent able to dissolve paint and paint thinner. It can affect your respiratory system, cause nausea and irritate your skin. Expecting mothers should avoid exposure to toluene vapors as it may cause developmental damage in the fetus. Toluene has also been linked to immune system toxicity. It can be found in nail polish, nail treatments and hair color/bleaching products.
Propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is a small organic alcohol commonly used as a skin-conditioning agent. It’s classified as a skin irritant and penetrator. It has been associated with causing dermatitis as well as hives in humans — these sensitization effects can be manifested at propylene glycol concentrations as low as 2 percent. It can be found in moisturizers, sunscreen, makeup products, conditioners, shampoo and hair sprays. Sunscreen chemicals. These chemicals function as a sunscreen agent, to absorb ultraviolet light. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors and are believed to be easily absorbed into the body. They may also cause cellular damage and cancer in the body. Common names are benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate and ethoxycinnmate. They can be found in sunscreen products. (SOON TO BE BANNED IN HAWAII DUE TO KILLING THE REEFS OF THE OCEAN!)
1. BHA and BHT Used mainly in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer (BHA). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
2. Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number In addition to coal tar dyes, natural and inorganic pigments used in cosmetics are also assigned Colour Index numbers (in the 75000 and 77000 series, respectively). Look for p-phenylenediamine hair dyes and in other products colours listed as “CI” followed by five digits.1 The U.S. colour name may also be listed (e.g. “FD&C Blue No. 1” or “Blue 1”). Potential to cause cancer and may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.
3. DEA-related ingredients Used in creamy and foaming products, such as moisturizers and shampoos. Can react to form nitrosamines, which may cause cancer. Harmful to fish and other wildlife. Look also for related chemicals MEA and TEA.
4. Dibutyl phthalate Used as a plasticizer in some nail care products. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. Used in a variety of cosmetics. Slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer. Read more »
6. Parabens Used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disrupters and may interfere with male reproductive functions.
7. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance) Any mixture of fragrance ingredients used in a variety of cosmetics — even in some products marketed as “unscented.” Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma. Some linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. Some harmful to fish and other wildlife.
8. PEG compounds Used in many cosmetic cream bases. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Also for related chemical propylene glycol and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., polyethylene glycol).
9. Petrolatum Used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers. A petroleum product that can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer.
10. Siloxanes Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
11. Sodium laureth sulfate Used in foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble bath. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Look also for related chemical sodium lauryl sulfate and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate).
12. Triclosan Used in antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and antiperspirants. Suspected endocrine disrupter and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.