#10 Toxic Beauty

Personal Care Products

In today’s age, the problem with all of the recent personal care products (soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, etc…) is that there are over 125 ingredients formulated that are suspected of carcinogenic activities.  As usual, we will discuss only the major and most common culprits known to have a devastating effect on our health.  Out of the 125 we’ve picked five that are in practically every personal care product used today.

1.  Diethanolamine (DEA) is found in over 600 home and personal care products such as soaps, lotions, cosmetics, bubble baths, laundry and dishwashing detergents and more.  DEA is used to provide a rich lather in shampoos and keeps a good consistency in lotions and creams.

2.  Propylene Glycol is a substance used in antifreeze solutions and hydraulic fluids as a powerful solvent.  Ironically enough, it is also found in childhood vaccinations, cosmetics, toothpastes, shampoos, deodorants, lotions, and even processed foods (including pet foods).  Propylene Glycol helps products retain moisture, and when used on your skin, helps it stay soft and moist.  That’s why it is found in most baby wipes and skin lotions.

3.  Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) is perhaps the most common of the three chemicals and by no means any less toxic.  SLS is used as a surfactant to break down the surface tension of water.  Therefore it will break up grease and is used in concrete floor cleaners, engine degreasers, and carwash detergents.  Unfortunately the same degreaser is being used in practically every soap, shampoo and toothpaste on the market today.

4. Phthalates are dangerous chemicals found in plastics that cause endocrine disruption and cancer. Phthalates are also found in baby care products. A study testing the urine of 163 infants between two and twenty five months of age found 80% of the infants had at least 7 phthalate metabolites in their urine. All infants in the study had detectable levels of at least one phthalate metabolite. Almost all of the mothers had used baby wipes and over half of the mothers had used baby shampoo on their infants within 24 hours of the urine collection.

5. Nanotechnology is an emerging technology that involves manipulation of materials at the scale of atoms and molecules. To give you an idea of how small a nanometer is, a human hair is 80,000 nanometers in diameter. This technology is entirely unregulated and almost no testing has been done for its health effects. Nanotechnology is of a concern because it is now being used in virtually all personal care products from make-up to toothpaste and perfume. Unless you call the companies that manufacture your personal care products and ask if they use nanotechnology, there is no way of knowing if those products contain nanoparticles. Companies are not required to test nanoparticles or label them.

Safer Resources:

Below is a list of recommended companies that sell safe hygiene products. You can also visit www.cosmeticsdatabase.com to look-up your favorite product. PLEASE NOTE: You want your product to score 0-2 and ALWAYS look at the product detailed page. The detailed page should display all the ingredients in your product and is basing the score of all (not just 1) ingredient!

Aubrey Organics – www.aubrey-organics.com

Lavera – www.lavera.com

Logona – www.logona.co.uk/

Gabriel Cosmetics, Inc – www.gabrielcosmeticsinc.com

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