Monday, November 16, 2009

Makeup Chemicals To Avoid

Most of us take for granted that the popular cosmetics, soaps, lotions and the hair care products that we buy in our local salons, drug and department stores are safe. Why, as consumers, would we be able to buy and use a product on our skin, lips, eyes and hair every day if they were harmful? 
Over 90% of all ingredients in commercially available cosmetics are of synthetic origin. Directly linked to serious health risks like cancer, infertility, kidney and liver disease and severe skin issues. Environmental Working Group report called, “Skin Deep” found that almost 90 percent of the more than 10,000 ingredients used in personal care products have not been evaluated by government regulators. 

Of the 20,000 different off-the-shelf cosmetic products that are for sale in the US, over 80 percent of the products surveyed contained one or more ingredients that have caused documented adverse reactions in humans and animals. 

The real motivation behind the Cosmetic Industry's dis-concern is money and profit. Chemicals, dyes and fillers mentioned below are found in almost every cosmetic product because they can be manufactured incredibly inexpensively and have a very long shelf life. If they were to discontinue using these chemicals for more healthy alternatives they would be severely cutting their profit margins to give you chemical free beauty products. In this battle their profits supersede your health. As a consumer your only response should be to discontinue using their products.

Large corporations in the personal-care industry are only motivated to be interested in their profits because the United States Government and specifically the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate or require any kind of federal, unbiased testing before a cosmetic or personal-care product hit the shelves. The FDA leaves it up to the cosmetics manufactures to test their own products. In essence, YOU the consumer are the Commercial Cosmetic Industry's guinea pig. No wonder virtually none of them need to test on animals anymore! The consumer is now the guinea pig of choice!

Currently, the cosmetic companies in North America alone generate over $30 billion in sales each year. Advertising through celebrities, slick magazine and TV ads, they give hope for a brighter, younger complexion, more beautiful hair and sexier features. What they don't mention is the long list of chemicals that go into that promise. Since the industry is not regulated, many cosmetic companies don't even bother to list the ingredients on their products

Read the label and decide whether that lovely shade of lipstick, blush or eye-shadow is worth the risk. Is having full volume hair or thick eyelashes worth compromising your health? 

The following list is just a few of the chemicals found in basic personal care products. You can learn more and even do a search of your particular product with Skin Deep Safe Cosmetics Database, a campaign being run by the Environmental Working Group.  
Phthatale family or di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) and di(2-ehtylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)

  • Can result in: endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCS) and carcinogen linked to birth defects; premature breast developments; lowered sperm counts; testicular injury; damage to reproductive organs; lung, liver and kidney cancer
  • Why used: makes plastic soft and malleable.
  • Found in: nail polish, hair-straighteners and sprays, body lotions, and deodorants.
  • Banned in: Europe

  • Lauryl sulfate(SLS), Sodium laureth sulfate(SLES)

  • Can result in: suspected carcinogen linked kidney and liver damage; nervous system disruption; damage to eyes leading to cataracts; eczema and dermatitis, known to inflame skin layers.
  • Why used: foaming agent and emulsifier.
  • Found in: toothpaste, shampoo, bath salts, body and shower gels.
  • Banned in: Europe and Central America

  • Paraben preservatives or alkyl-p-hydroxybenzoates (methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl)

  • Can result in: hormone disrupter, estrogenic (mimics natural estrogens that leads to cancer); linked to breast cancer; skin rashes.
  • Why used: germicide and preservative.
  • Found in: conditioners, hair styling gels, nail creams, foundations, concealers, mascara, facial masks, skin creams, and deodorants, sunscreen, hair-colouring.
  • Banned in: Japan and Sweden. Under review in the UK.

  • Formaldehyde family or Diazolidinyl urea, 3-diol Imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM Hydantoin , Quaternium-15, Nitropropane-1, Formalin , Methanal , Methyl aldehyde, Methylene oxide, Morbicid acid, Oxymethylene

  • Can result in: carcinogen, causes allergic reactions and contact dermatitis; headaches; irritates mucous membranes; damaging to eyes; linked to joint and chest pain; depression; headaches; fatigue; dizziness and immune dysfunction.
  • Why used: disinfectant, germicide, fungicide, defoamer and preservative, cheap and mixes easily with water.
  • Found in: shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, liquid antiseptic hand wash, skin lotions, bubble bath, hair care products, antiperspirants, nail polishes, talcs; mascara, mouthwash, make-up remover.
  • Banned in: Europe

  • Amine family Diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), amonoethanolamine (MEA)

  • Can result in: hormone disrupter; carcinogen linked to liver and kidney cancer; irritant to hair and skin; corrosive to eyes; causes contact dermatitis; react with other chemicals to form carcinogenic nitrosamines.
  • Why used: emulsifier, pH adjuster, and preservative, foaming agent added to coconut oils.
  • Found in: shampoos, soaps, hairsprays, sunscreens, foundations, concealers, eyeliner, talc, face powders, shaving creams, hair colouring products (women and men), hair sprays.
  • Banned in: Currently under review in the USA, UK and Europe

  • Propylene / Butylene Glycol (PG)

  • Side Effect: linked to possible brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities respiratory and throat irritation, central nervous system depression, pulmonary oedema, brain damage, hypoglycaemia, skin rashes and dermatitis, neuro-toxin that weakens protein and cellular structure.
  • Why: cheap substitute for glycerine, Humectant (retains moisture).
  • Found in: deodorants, body lotions, body washes, hair conditioner, hair gel, creams, hand-wipes, lipsticks.
  • Banned in: Europe

  • Companies offering alternatives

  • Aubrey: hair, skin and body care products *I've tried their products and love their hair products and natural makeup*
  • Burt's Bees: chapsticks, skin care, makeup, hair care
  • BWC (Beauty without Cruelty): makeup and skin care
  • Dr. Hauschka: skin care products
  • Druide bath products and hair care
  • Ecco Bella: makeup, skin care and bath products
  • Erbaviva
  • Giovanni: bath, hair and skin products
  • Juara Skincare
  • Lavera: makeup and skin care products
  • Little Forest Baby
  • MOP (Modern Organic Products): hair care products
  • Mychelle Dermaceuticals Naddara Suki Naturals

  • Weleda: cosmetics
  • Upurea has one of the largest selections of enviro-friendly skincare products sold online

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