As a bath and body product owner, one of the challenges I faced was creating 100% wholesome and safe products for my customers. Though some were safe, with 100% clean, organic ingredients. All were not, even with 90% natural, organic ingredients. As I immersed myself in the studies and findings of some of the ingredients, it became apparent that their inclusion went against everything I stood for.
Needless to say, it was either compromise my wellness ethos or do whatever it takes to create what I know is needed in today’s beauty market, clean products. Period. So I chose safe, and I will continue to choose safe for me and for you.
Here’s a quick refresher. The skin is our largest organ. It absorbs a lot of what we put onto it. And if you have any doubt about that, think about nicotine patches used to curb smoking and birth control patches. The patches go directly onto the skin, and chemicals are released. The chemicals penetrate the skin and are then absorbed into the blood stream.
Similarly, our bodies absorb chemicals from lotions, soaps, cosmetics, shampoos and conditions. Of course, the concern is not with the good stuff, but rather, the bad stuff. This is not meant to make you paranoid nor scared. This is coming from a place of love because I want you to be an informed consumer, to be aware of what might not be so obvious. Get to know your products. Then, if you desire to make changes, start slowly. Ease in new, safer alternatives and ease out older, harmful ones.
Now keep in mind we’re all biologically unique beings, and our bodies respond uniquely when confronted with a given situation. That said, More and more studies are showing that ingredients in skin care products are capable of causing great harm to the body, so consumers should be aware of what they are buying to put on their skin.
The best way to safeguard yourself and or your family is to be in the know. Read your product label. There are tons of potentially dangerous ingredients in beauty and household products. Know what those ingredients are and the dangers they pose.
So to give you a head’s up, here are 10 Ingredients to ban from your beauty arsenal.
- Parabens: preservatives found in pharmaceutical, personal care, and food products. Studies have shown that this chemical can cause reproductive damage, liver damage and even promote cancer tumors. Be on the lookout for derivatives including, methylparaben, ethylparaben, poly-paraben, isobutylparaben, butylparaben, isopropylparaben.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulphate: is an emulsifier and foaming agent. It causes irritations in the skin, eyes and lungs. There is also concerns about non-reproductive, organ toxicity. Other names include MONODODECYL ESTER; SULFURIC ACID MONODODECYL ESTER SODIUM SALT; SULFURIC ACID, MONODODECYL ESTER, SODIUM SALT
- Phthalates: are found in an array of products including plastics, personal care products, household products, electronics, vinyl products, etc. In personal care products, they help prolong the life of the fragrance, penetrate the skin to make it softer. Health concerns include reproductive and developmental toxicity, endocrine disruption and cancer. Some common phthalates include, DNOP (di-n-octyl phthalate), DiNP (diisononyl phthalate), (diisodecyl phthalate), DnOP (di-n-octylphthalate).
- Triclosan and Triclocarbon: are preservatives known for being endocrine disruptors, allergens, skin irritators, and there are also concerns that they cause bacterial and antibiotic resistance. These ingredients are found in personal care products, hand soaps, toothpaste, etc.
- DMDM Hydantion: is a formaldehyde- releasing preservative found in personal care products and cosmetics. As a science teacher, dissecting frogs was a weekly part of my instruction. I came across formaldehyde all the time because it’s a great preservative for dead things. Formaldehyde however, is a known carcinogen. In addition, some individuals can develop allergies and skin sensitivities from exposure t0 this ingredient.
- Diazolidiny urea: a formaldehyde-releasing preservative. It causes allergies and can be found in many personal care products like shampoos, lotions, mouth wash, and some food products.
- Cetereth-20: is a cleansing agent found in personal care products. Concerns include toxic impurities such as 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogen. According the the Environmental Working Group (EWG), 97 percent of hair relaxers, 57 percent of baby soaps and 22 percent of all products in Skin Deep (their cosmetic ingredient database) may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane. 1,4-dioxane is found mostly in products that produce suds.
- PEGs: polyethylene glycol are gound in personal care products and acts as an emollient, an emulsifier and a skin penetration enhancer. The number after the PEG determines the weight with the lighter PEGs being able to penetrate the skin more readily. Look out for PEGs, 2, 4, 7, 9, 14M, 20M, 32, 75,100, 150. According to Truth In Aging, Ethylene oxide (found in PEG-4, PEG-7, PEG4-dilaurate, and PEG 100) is highly toxic—even in small doses—and was used in World War I nerve gas.
- Quaternium-15: is a preservative and formaldehyde-releaser found in conditioners, creams, lotions, hair styling products, and household products. Health concerns include, organ system toxicity, allergens and skin toxicity.
- DEA, MEA, TEA: also known as Ethanolamines compounds are found in personal care, cosmetics and cleaning products. Triethanolamine (TEA) is an emulsifier (oil and water stabalizer) and pH adjuster, and diethanolamine (DEA) is an emulsifier. Health concerns include organ toxicity and cancer.
Dixie Lincoln- Nichols is a biological science educator, health and wellbeing consultant and Qigong instructor. Her work has been featured in media outlets like, Oprah Mag, SELF, Yahoo and more. She is the founder of Inside Outer Beauty Market, a multi-cultutal retailer curating and creating products to support the body inside and out. Visit the site at www.iobeautymarket.com