Natural Mantra

The Dirty Dozen: Top 12 cosmetic ingredients to avoid

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Toxins you put on your body go into your body.

All that we are surrounded by eventually becomes a part of us. Our skin absorbs and internalizes 60% of all products we use on it.  What we put on our skin becomes a part of us. Do you know the exact composition of what goes into your body every single day when you shower, cleanse, moisturize your skin, and apply mascara and lip-gloss?

Here’s a video that will help you understand how toxic our lives have become – our body, our home,  our environment:

It all adds up – little sulphate in your shampoo, a little paraben in your moisturizer and little phthalate in all of them- all add up to build considerable amounts of toxins getting into your blood stream.

We thought we’d equip you with a quick list that you must watch out for, when buying any personal care products.

Here are the dirty dozen toxic cosmetic chemicals that must not  feature under ingredients of any product you buy:

(For your convenience, we have put together this downloadable document for your quick reference: 

12 harmful ingredients you must Avoid)

1. Phthalates : ‘Dibutyl Phthalate

 What is it? : Phthalates can be easily absorbed by our skin.  It enhances the capacity of other chemicals to cause genetic mutations.

Why is it harmful? : It has been shown to cause developmental defects and is toxic to reproduction and can also harm the unborn and impair fertility.

2. Sulphates or Sodium Laurate(or Lauryl) Sulphate (SLS) 

What is it? : Primarily used as a foaming agent or detergent to be found in shampoos, facial cleansers, bubble bath products, household and utensil cleaning detergents.

Why is it harmful? : Depending on the manufacturing process it can work as a possible human carcinogen and can even harm the nervous system.

3. Paraben 

What is it? : Primarily used as a preservative, they are used as fragrance ingredients, not listed in your favorite perfume label.  Perfume recipes are considered trade secrets; hence the manufacturers are not obliged to disclose the ingredients. An estimated 75-90% of cosmetics contain this toxin.

Why is it harmful? : Parabens are easily absorbed by our skin. Parabens can mimic estrogen and has been detected in human breast cancer tissues. It is estimated that women are exposed to 50mg of parabens per day.

4. Formaldehyde 

What is it? :  These are primarily preservatives commonly found in cosmetics.

Look for: DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quaternium-15, and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. These ingredients slowly and continuously release small amounts of formaldehyde.

Why is it harmful? : Formaldehyde has a very sharp odor.  It is also blamed for allergic reactions in sensitive people.

Is your lipstick really safe? Read the ingredients to find out yourself.

5. BHA and BHT

What is it? : BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers and are also used as food preservatives.

Why is it harmful? : They can cause allergic reactions, liver, thyroid and kidney problems along with lung function impairment and problems in blood coagulation. Moreover, they mimic estrogen and can have an adverse impact on reproduction.

6. Coal-Tar dyes

What is it? : Coal tar-derived colorants are used extensively in cosmetics. P-phenylenediamine is used frequently hair dyes.  These dyes are generally identified by a five-digit Colour Index (C.I.) number.
Why is it harmful? : Coal tar is a carcinogen and dyes made from it have a high potential for causing cancer. These colours are sometimes contaminated with aluminium substrate which is toxic to the brain.

7. DEA compounds

What is it? : DEA (diethanolamine) and its compounds are used in moisturizers and sunscreens, while cocamide and lauramide DEA are found in soaps, cleansers, and shampoos to create more lather.

Why is it harmful? : These cause mild skin and eye irritation. Exposure to high doses of these chemicals has caused liver cancers and pre-cancerous changes in skin and thyroid in a few cases.

8. Fragrance/Parfum

What is it? : Apart from being used in perfumes and deodorants, they are used in nearly every type of personal-care product. Of the thousands of chemicals used in fragrances, most have not been tested for toxicity, alone or in combination. Over 3000 chemicals are used to manufacture synthetic fragrances.

Why is it harmful? : These are often unlisted ingredients that are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines, and asthma symptoms and lead to asthma in children.

9. PEG compounds

What is it? : PEGs (polyethylene glycols) are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers and hence used for products requiring a cream base and also in laxatives.

Why is it harmful? : Ethylene oxide is a human carcinogen while 1, 4-dioxane – a possible human carcinogen. Ethylene oxide harms the nervous system and causes developmental problems. They are also known to cause skin irritation and systemic toxicity.

10. Petrolatum

What is it? : Mineral oil jelly or petroleum jelly is used as a moisturizer and in hair-shine products.

Why is it harmful? : Petrolatum can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Exposure to PAHs is associated with cancer and skin irritation and allergies.

Commercially prepared lotions can be loaded with chemicals. Ingredients will tell it all.

11. Siloxanes

What is it? : Cyclomethicone and ingredients ending in “siloxane” make hair products dry quickly and deodorant creams slide on easily.  They are also used extensively in moisturisers and facial treatments to soften and smoothen and in medical implants.

Why is it harmful? : Cyclotetrasiloxane and Cylcopentasiloxane —D4 and D5 — are endocrine disruptors, interfere with human hormone function and possible reproductive toxicants that may impair human fertility, cause uterine tumours and harm the reproductive and immune systems.

12. Triclosan

What is it? : Triclosan is used mainly in antiperspirants/deodorants, cleansers, and hand sanitizers as a preservative and an anti-bacterial agent. Also used in laundry detergent, facial tissues, and antiseptics for wounds.

Why is it harmful? : It can pass through skin and is suspected of interfering with hormone function (endocrine disruption). Extensive use may contribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It can cause irritation to the skin and eyes.

~~~

It’s a simple equation. We live in a world where we have too many choices. We don’t spend enough time consciously arming ourselves with the knowledge of what’s best for us as consumers. We depend on information fed to us by commercials and fancy words companies use.

“I want long shiny luscious wavy locks”;

“I want my split ends to disappear and my scalp to be free from dandruff”

“I want a sun-kissed glow on my skin and smoky eyes for a Saturday evening party

But would I want this at the cost of my health?

 ~~~

The Natural Mantra Difference 

In our fast paced lives, a sustainable lifestyle shouldn’t be a struggle, but it sometimes is. Our mission is to provide the largest selection of  natural, organic and eco-friendly products making it accessible and affordable to all. At NaturalMantra.com you can choose from a wide selection of safe, healthy non-toxic products, all in one place delivered to your door!

Leave us a comment and tell us what you think. Connect with us here:

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Blog post written by Ankita Gujar for NaturalMantra.com. Do write to her at ankita@naturalmantra.com 

Our information sources:

  • TheStoryOfStuff.org : Can’t thank them enough for making such an awesome awareness video.
  • David Suzuki foundation, Canada : A big thank you for all the supporting research.  For more information please visit this link to understand how harmful these chemicals can be for you and your family.

Author: Natural Mantra

About Natural Mantra: NaturalMantra.com is an e-commerce portal that provides parents and eco-conscious shoppers with the widest selection of natural, organic and eco-friendly products. We believe that everyone should have access to safe, healthy, eco-friendly products. It is here that you will find some really amazing earth-friendly products that are of the highest quality. More importantly, this is your one-stop-shop for sustainable products that come from passionate sellers for thoughtful shoppers like you. Our blog is aimed to provide our eco-conscious readers with all the information, support and tools they require to live a safer, healthier and sustainable natural lifestyle. Here, we will take you through an exciting and holistic world of pure, natural living. In good health and green living, Natural Mantra.

12 thoughts on “The Dirty Dozen: Top 12 cosmetic ingredients to avoid

  1. Pingback: Step 1 The Beauty Irony : What Ingredients are a definite NO NO | MsUtopia

  2. Reblogged this on Veda Health and commented:
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  3. FANTASTIC BLOG! I can’t wait to post this on http://www.vedahealth.com, facebook and twitter. Namaste

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