There is no federal requirement of personal care products to be safety tested prior to being placed on the market. That means that it is up to product companies to take responsibility for providing healthy and safe products - or taking the low road and masking ingredients in order to make a profit. 

Daily exposure to toxic ingredients can weaken cells and your immune system and over time.  Many brands claim to be natural, botanical or even organic, yet contain a multitude of damaging ingredients.  In this article, you can learn about harmful personal care ingredients, the threats they cause, and common terms used in labeling.

Look for the Truth in Labeling Seal on your products to ensure accurate labeling. Worldwide Skin's divisions proudly displays this seal on all products.

 

1. Anti-bacterials 

Used too often and/or in high quantities, anti-bacterial ingredients can counteract resistance of disease-causing germs like E. coli and Salmonella.    

2. Coal Tar

Often found in toothpaste, dandruff shampoos and anti-itch creams, coal tar is a known carcinogen and can lead to various types of cancers.   

3. Diethanolamine (DEA) drains the body of choline, a mineral vital to fetal brain development.  

4. 1,4-Dioxane

1,4-Dioxane is a known carcinogen that can cause contamination in products containing sodium laureth sulfate (along with ingredients that include the terms "PEG," "-xynol," "ceteareth," "oleth" and most other "eth" ingredients. The FDA monitors products for the contaminant but has not yet recommended an exposure limit. Dioxane can be removed through a process called “vacuum stripping,” leaving behind trace amounts.  

NOTE: A 2001 survey by the FDA found levels in excess of 85 parts per million in baby bath products, but a later survey (2007 Campaign  for Safe Cosmetics) indicates that that number has been reduced to 10 parts per million.   

5. Formaldehyde

This extremely toxic additive has tremendous dangerous health effects including weakened immune-system, decreased respiratory function and cancer.  Astonishingly, formaldehyde can still be found in hair-dyes, baby cleansing products, lash adhesive, nail polish and other personal care items. 

Labeled as: diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea and quaternium compounds.   

6. Synthetic Fragrances 

Typically added to mask phthalates, these additives may cause reproductive difficulties and obesity.  

Labeled as: fragrance 

7. Lead and Mercury

Trace amounts of lead will make its way into your system whether you like it or not.  Knowingly exposing your body to it is quite different – lead exposure is particularly dangerous for pregnant women and the infants.   Mercury is often used as a preservative, and unfortunately, damages brain function!  This ingredient can still be found in some mascaras and nail polishes.

Labeled as: Thimerosol 

8. Nanoparticles

Small nanoparticles, which may penetrate the skin and damage brain cells, are common in many sunscreens.

Look for: products that provide particles larger than 100 nanometers. (The larger the particle, the more difficulty it will have reaching your blood stream in dangerous amounts.)     

9. Parabens

This is one of the most commonly used preservatives because it increases shelf life tremendously.  Still found in millions of health and beauty products, parabens are a very controversial topic.  Studies have shown that parabens decrease sperm count, as well as produce estrogenic activity found in human breast-cancer cell cultures.

Look for: the prefix, methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, butyl-, isobutyl-.   

10. P-Phenylenediamine

Often found in permanent hair color, this chemical damages the nervous system, as well as causing lung irritation and severe allergic reactions.

Labeled as: 1,4-Benzenediamine; p-Phenyldiamine and/or 4-Phenylenediamine.

 

Informative website's for healthy and safe ingredients:

www.safecosmetics.org  

http://www.oehha.org/prop65.html 

http://www.oehha.org/prop65/prop65_list/files/P65single091208.pdf 

 
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