The average US woman uses 12 personal care products and/or cosmetics a day, containing 168 different chemicals, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). While most men use fewer products, they’re still exposed to about 85 such chemicals daily, while teens, who use an average of 17 personal care products a day, are exposed to even more. (ABC News April 27, 2015)
We already know that exposure to these chemicals could result in developing disease, even cancer. Which is why it’s important to understand the ingredients used in cosmetics and skin care products that you use everyday.
Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in cosmetic products. You’ll find it in about 90% of shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, shaving cream and even toothpaste.
In Europe, however, many parabens have been prohibited in cosmetic products.
You don’t have to dig too deeply to see why the EU made that decision. Parabens easily penetrate skin and interfere with hormones. Unsurprisingly, the chemicals have been found in the tumors of 100% of breast cancer patients.
Phthalates are used to keep cosmetic products soft. Nail polish manufacturers, for example, use phthalates to prevent the polish from becoming brittle.
You can also find phthalates in lip gloss, eyeliners, blushes, deodorants and hair products.
Researchers know that phthalates accumulate in human cells and increase one’s risk of cancer and reproductive defects. In a study by the CDC, every person tested had traces of phthalates – no doubt thanks to their prevalence in consumer products.
EDTA is used as a preservative in various skin care products, bath soaps, shampoos, conditioners, hair dyes and hair bleaches. With chronic use, EDTA has the potential to cause reproductive damage, fetal disability and kidney damage.
EDTA can also cause contact dermatitis.
The Material Safety Data Sheet for propylene glycol instructs us to avoid all contact of the chemical with skin. Of course, that doesn’t stop cosmetic companies from putting the stuff in lotions to ‘enhance the appearance of skin.’
I wouldn’t exactly consider contact dermatitis, mutated cell membranes and inhibited skin growth to be enhancements.
Toluene comes from the tolu tree, but it doesn’t stay natural for long. For commercial use, it’s added to gasoline and used to blend other chemicals.
You can find this toxic mix hanging out in many nail treatment products.
Toluene has been linked to severe skin and lung irritation as well as damage to the central nervous system, kidneys and liver, and birth defects.
You’ve probably already heard of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, or SLS. It’s a surfactant, detergent, and emulsifier used in thousands of cosmetic products, as well as in industrial cleaners. It’s present in nearly all shampoos, scalp treatments, hair color and bleaching agents, toothpastes, body washes and cleansers, make-up foundations, liquid hand soaps, laundry detergents, and bath oils/bath salts.
The real problem with SLES/SLS is that the manufacturing process (ethoxylation) results in SLES/SLS being contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogenic by-product.
At BR Naturals, we are dedicated to using only natural ingredients in our products. That is why we grow and process the ingredients ourselves, and manufacture the products under our complete supervision. Each one of our products on our website shows every ingredient in it, each one with a detailed explanation on what they are and why they’re there. Almost all of the ingredients we use are completely naturally derived, and organic wherever possible.
Regardless of where you purchase your skin care products, these 8 toxins commonly used in skin care and beauty products are what you need to avoid if maintaining good health is your number one priority.