Category Archives: harmful ingredients

Ingredients to stay away from

The campaign for Safe Cosmetics has an excellent brochure out called “Unmasked 10 Ugly Truths Behind the Myth of Cosmetic Safety.”  I would like to share 7 ingredients they recommend to stay away from.  This information is straight from their brochure.

These 7 ingredients are known to cause harm and are in many personal care products.

Mercury– Often listed as thimerosal on ingredient labels, mercury is a possible human carcinogen, and a human reproductive or developmental toxin.  Found in some eye drops, ointments, and mascaras.

Placenta– Produces progesterone, estrogen and other hormones that can interfere with the body’s normal hormone functions and can lead to serious health problems- like breast cancer – when used in cosmetics.  Sometimes used in hair relaxers, moisturizers and toners.

Lead Acetate– This compound of lead is  a known human reproductive and developmental toxin.  Prohibited from use in cosmetics int eh European Union.  Found in some hair dyes and cleansers.

Petrochemicals– These byproducts of crude oil (appearing on labels as petrolatum, mineral oil and paraffin) may contain known  or suspected human carcinogens as well as harmful breakdown products or impurities from manufacturing processes, which are not listed on the ingredient labels.  Found in some hair relaxers, shampoos, anti-aging creams, mascaras, perfumes, foundations, lipsticks and lip balms.

Phthalates– These plasticizing chemicals are probable human reproductive or developmental toxins and endocrine disruptors.  Two phthalates often used in cosmetics (dibutyl adn diethylhexyl) have been banned in the European Union.  Found in some nail polishes, fragrances and hair sprays.

Hydroquinone– A possible carcinogen and probable neurotoxin and skin sensitizer, hydroquinone can also cause a skin disease called ochronosis, which leaves irreversible black-blue lesions on skin.  Found in some skin lightening products and moisturizers.

Nanoparticles– Extremely tiny particles which are largely untested and unlabeled in personal care products, capable of being absorbed directly into the bloodstream.  Found in some eye shadows, bronzers, sunscreens and lotions.

It is also interesting to know that the FDA bans 10 ingredients and the European Union now bans more than 1,100 chemicals from personal care products because they may cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive problems.  I don’t want to scare anyone, just please be aware of what you are putting on your body.  Nobody uses just one product.  Small amounts of these products day after day can accumulate in our bodies.  Be aware!  Check your products!  Find alternatives.

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