If you look at the ingredients of every skin-care product you currently own or almost all supposed “healthy” and expensive skin-care products sold in any store, you will find a combination of the following dangerous, chemical and synthetic ingredients. Please keep in mind that when you use ANYTHING on your skin or hair, ALL of the ingredients absorb into your body. Skin absorption is so potent that an increasing number of medicines are in patch form.
Your family’s trusted soap, shampoo & toothpaste; the bubble bath and lotion your baby uses every day; your favourite face cream, lipstick, perfume and cleanser; and for the men –
your shaving cream, aftershave lotion, hair gel and even face scrub may all be cancer causing or carcinogenic.
Greater exposure from skin absorption
Your skin is the largest living organ of your body and many cancer-causing chemicals can be absorbed through it into the bloodstream. Research at the University of Pittsburgh shows that twice as much toxic chemicals can enter our body through the skin as through the intestine. Cosmetic and personal care products are most certainly absorbed through the skin.
Dr. Mercola says “putting chemicals on your skin is actually far worse than ingesting them, because when you eat something the enzymes in your saliva and stomach help break down and flush it out of your body. When you put these chemicals on your skin, however, it is absorbed straight into your blood stream without filtering of any kind”.
The average woman absorbs over 5Lbs of ingredients from face and body-care products (excluding cosmetics) into her bloodstream over 60 years. Parabens have been shown to mimic oestrogen and may lead to an increased risk of developing cancer. British researchers have found traces of these chemicals in tissue taken from women with breast cancer. While there is no evidence that the parabens cause the cancers, tests suggest that chemicals do seep into the tissue after being applied to the skin.
According to a study quoted in The Safe Shopper’s Bible, 13% of the cosmetic preservative, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) & 49% of the carcinogenic pesticide DDT (which is found in some cosmetics containing lanolin, is absorbed through the skin. Some chemicals like saccharin and fluoride in toothpaste can be ingested during use.
Applying creams and oils is NO DIFFERENT from eating them, because they enter the blood-stream regardless if they are ingested in the mouth or absorbed through the skin! If you want to experience how quickly your skin absorbs everything just rub garlic on the sole of your foot and wait 20 minutes to taste it in your mouth. So why don’t you rub something good into your skin? There are hundreds of chemicals in skin and body care products, which are harmful. The 10 most common ones are listed below:
A list of the most common chemical ingredients found in beauty products
Parabens (Methyl-, Propyl-, Butyl-, Ethyl-): Some combination of these synthetic ingredients are in almost EVERY skin and hair product made today. Widely known to be highly toxic and cause allergic/skin reactions. Companies use this dangerous ingredient, because it is extremely cheap and extends the shelf life of the product by inhibiting microbial growth. It has shown to be teratogenic in mouse studies and may contain 1,4-dioxane, which is a carcinogen.
Propylene glycol (1,2-Propanediol): is used as avent, humectant and skin-conditioning agent found in most shampoos, conditioners and lotions. It is a petroleum
derivative, the major ingredient in industrial anti-freeze, brake & hydraulic fluids. A carcinogen, teratogen and suspected neuron-toxic hazard. Linked to skin irritation,
provokes acne, gastro-intestinal disturbances, nausea, headaches & vomiting. Over exposure can cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage.
DMDM Hydrantoin A Petro-chemical used as an anti-freeze in cars.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): and the alcohol form of SLS. Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS). A detergent and emulsifier which strips the skin of its natural
oils, interfering with the skin’s barrier function and making it easier for other chemicals to get through. Japanese studies have found SLS to be a mutagen. According to toxicologists,
any chemical capable of causing mutations (that is it can alter DNA) is likely to increase the risk of cancer. The real danger with this chemical is that it can react with other chemicals
used in cosmetics to form nitrates. Nitrates are known cancer-causing agents. According to experts, once nitrates have formed, they can enter the bloodstream in large numbers from
shampooing, and from using bubble bath, shower gels and facial cleansers. SLS & SLES are reportedly the only known cleansing agent to enter the blood system.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate is considered milder than Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate but contains 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogen. A foaming agent and one of the most commonly used chemicals
found in cosmetics. Also used in car washes, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners and other products, which need foaming. It is absorbed by the skin and can cause damage
to skin, liver, brain, lung, heart and eyes. Can also damage the immune system and cause hair loss.
Health Hazards have been known about SLS & SLES for many years as stated in the journal of American College of Toxicology (1983), they include tissue damage that could result
in brain, liver, heart and lung damage in the long term, eye damage, degradation of the immune system, sever skin irritation, hair loss and eczema. When absorbed through the skin
SLS maintains residual body levels in the heart, liver, lungs and brain. Further reference see Dangerous Beauty Cosmetic & Personal care: Peter Dingi & Toni Brown 1999.
Fragrance: today’s perfumes are not made from flowers but from chemicals, 95% of which are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum. Just one perfume can contain more than
500 chemicals and can cause dizziness, skin irritation and hyper-pigmentation. The words fragrance free aren’t a safeguard either, as smell-masking chemicals may have been
added instead. Benzene, aldehyde, toluene, methylene chloride, limonene, benzyl acetate, aniline-D5, safrole, dimethyl sulfate all found by the US EPA, NTP & House of
Representatives Committee on Science & Technology to be carcinogenic. Butanol (group 1-, 2-, and Tert-), fragrances are highly neuron-toxic. Irritating to the eyes, nose
and throat. Can trigger an asthmatic reaction in previously healthy people.
Artificial Colours: Labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by colour numbers such as FDC Red 4, FDC Red 1, or Food Red 1. These are band in all foods as they are known causes of
urinary bladder polyps and wasting of the adrenal glands. But they can still be used in cosmetics! FD&C Blue No.1 is a known carcinogen. FD&C Yellow No.5 (CI 19140) & 6
(CI 15985) & D&C No.33 (CI 17200, impurities found in commercial batches of these colours have been shown to cause cancer not only when ingested, but also when applied to
the skin. Some artificial coal tar colours also contain heavy metal impurities, including arsenic and lead, which are carcinogenic.
Petrolatum: petroleum based chemicals exude synthetic estrogen which are called Xeno Estrogens. These bad estrogens are absorbed through the skin and accumulate in our organs.
They also affect our respiratory system and can play havoc with the hormone balance. Petrochemicals are used in artificial colours, plastic, polyester, foam rubber, cosmetics,
perfumes, formaldehyde, toothpastes, mouthwashes, hair sprays, shampoos, lotions and preservatives (that go in cosmetics as well as food).
Triethanolamine (TEA)/Diethanolamine (DEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA): are the most commonly used chemicals in cosmetics. Used as a lathering agent and to adjust the pH in
cleansers, soaps, moisturising lotions and creams, shampoos and conditioners. Readily absorbed through the skin and accumulated in organs. One study found that the topical
application of DEA in rodents resulted in anemia, kidney degeneration, and nerve damage to the brain and spinal cord. (Melnick et al., 1994) Even more disturbing was that
several animals died before the study ended. High concentrations of DEA-based detergents are commonly used in a wide range of cosmetics and personal care products, including
shampoos, hair dyes & conditioners, lotions, creams and bubble baths. Lifelong use of these products clearly poses avoidable cancer risks to consumers, particularly babies
and young children. DEA related ingredients such as Stearamide DEA, Lauramide DEA, Cocamide DEA are widely used in a variety of cosmetic products. These ingredients function
as emulsifiers or foaming agents.
Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea: Used as a preservative, but a primary cause of contact dermatitis. You might see these toxic chemicals under the names
Germall II and Germall 115, which release formaldehyde at just over 10°.
Formaldehyde: A preservative used in many cosmetics especially nail hardeners and nail polish, which causes negative skin reactions. If it isn’t listed as formaldehyde
then look for formaldehyde derived imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, 2-bromo-2-nitropane-1, 3-diol, DMDM hydantoin, and quarternium 15.
A carcinogen and irritant to the respiratory system and skin, causes dizziness, headaches, chest pain and weakens the immune system. The chemical name is Formalin (usually
the name used on nail polish labels in preference to formaldehyde. Used as a preservative in shampoos, baby washes, mascara, creams, bubble baths, anti-dandruff shampoos and
Behentrimonium Chloride: Toxic ammonia compound. Ingestion can be fatal. Concentrations as low as 0.1% can be irritating to the eyes and cause necrosis (tissue death)
of mucus membranes.
Titanium, Zirconium, Benzalkonium, Bismuth, Antimony (*1), Barium (*2), Aluminum, Tin, Chromium, Benzene & PCBs: According to Dr. Hulda Reghi Clark, all of these
ingredients are extremely dangerous. *1 – Breast cancer cases show Titanium, Zirconium, Benzalkonium, Bismuth, Antimony, and Aluminum accumulation in the breast. *2 -Barium
is described in the Merck Index as a “caution”. ALL water or acid soluble Barium is POISONOUS! 10ed. P.139, 1983. Aluminium, found in the majority of deodorants and
anti-perspirants. Results of WHO studies link regular use of aluminum based deodorants to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Mineral oil: This is a mixture of refined liquid hydrocarbons derived from petroleum. It coats the skin like plastic wrap, which interferes with the skin’s natural immune
barrier and limits the skin’s ability to breathe and release toxins. It also slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature ageing. Also known as
paraffin, paraffin oil, paraffinum liquidum. Found in baby lotions, face creams, eyeshadows, eye brow pencils, sorbolene products and hair products.
Saccharin: used as a flavouring agent-this is a synthetic compound derived from coal tar. It has been shown to cause bladder cancer in animal studies. Research has shown
that this chemical promotes the cancer-causing effects of other carcinogens.
Talc: Cosmetic talc is reportedly carcinogenic as it can be contaminated with asbestos fibres, which can be inhaled when applying makeup. (There is no safe level of
asbestos exposure). Clear evidence exists that inhaling talc and using it in the genital area causes ovarian cancer and urinary tract disorders as well as respiratory
distress in infants.
Coal tar: Often shows on labels as FD&C, or D&C colours, it is derived from petroleum and linked to asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, fatigue, nervousness and lack of
concentration. Coal Tar contains petrochemicals such as benzene, xylene, toluene, and also heavy metal salts. Coal Tar is a known carcinogen increasing risks of skin lung,
scrotum and skin cancer. Often found in Lipsticks, eyeshadows, face creams and perfumes.
BNPD: also known as 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol or Bronopol, Onyxide 500. An anti-microbial agent that releases formaldehyde and nitrates. Probably carcinogenic
and mutagenic and can cause contact dermatitis. This chemical poses similar hazards for nitrosamine formation when combined with TEA or DEA, according to the SAFE Shopper’s Bible.
“PEG”: ingredients, “-eth” ingredients, “-oxynol-” ingredients, Polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, Polysorbate 60 & 80: According to the FDA
cosmetics containing detergents, foaming agents, emulsifiers and certain solvents with all these names may be contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, which has been shown
to produce cancer of the liver and nasal tumors in animal tests, as well as systemic cancer in skin painting tests. According to the US Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA), 1,4-dioxane can be absorbed through the skin.
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA): one of the 10 most commonly used preservatives in cosmetics. Is listed as a carcinogen in U.S.A. and interferes with estrogen levels
(a xenoestrogen) by blocking the estrogen receptors. It is also absorbed through the skin and stored in the body.
Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT): a preservative derived from Coal tar dye and petroleum. Banned in Sweden. Much more toxic than BHA. Is carcinogenic and teratogenic.
Can cause dermatitis or rashes, asthma attacks and breathing problems, fatigue, liver stress and much more. It is absorbed through the skin.
Fluoride: Sodium monofluorophosphate, sodium fluoride. an ingredient commonly found in toothpaste, it is a poison to humans when ingested over a long period, as it accumulates
in body tissues. “Fluoride a known carcinogen & teratogen, decreases fertility in women and is not approved by the FDA in the US. Fluoride has been removed from various animal
feeds because it was causing birth defects in the offspring. The growing scientific consensus is that fluoride provides no benefit to the teeth but does cause damage to the
bones and organs of the body.” P. Dingle. Cosmetic & Personal Care, Dangerous Beauty. 1999. pp17.
Triclosan: Widely used in toothpaste and mouthwash-is linked to the increase in antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’. Drinking mouthwash containing alcohol and fluoride is a major
source of poisoning among children.
Carageenan: is considered a possible human carcinogen by the WHO. Most toothpastes contain this chemical and it is better to err on the side of caution and avoid using it.
What you DO want in your beauty products……
Vitamin E: An antioxidant that helps the skin fight sun and pollution damage. May be labeled as d-alpha tocopherol (the natural form of vitamin E). A natural preservative.
Vitamin C: (ascorbic acid). A natural preservative and antioxidant that stimulates collagen and promotes elastin tissue growth.
Oatmeal: Soothes skin; relieves itching and inflammation.
Lecithin: An extract from soya beans (organic suppliers reject the GM variety) used to moisturize the skin; a natural humectant (attracts moisture to the skin).
Calendula: Assists skin regeneration and healing. Anti-inflammatory; eases skin irritations.
Chamomile: A calming, gentle herb that is good for healing sensitive skin.
Witch Hazel: A herb with good astringent and toning properties.
Cucumber: The extract has a cooling and softening effect on hard, roughened skin.
Ginseng: Skin rejuvenator.
Aloe Vera: A gentle healing and anti-inflammatory herb.
Rosehip: A natural emollient that restores the skin’s acid balance.
Horsetail: This herb is used for acne and eczema. It is also a good hair strengthener.
Lavender: A good healing agent for psoriasis and eczema.
Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5): A natural emollient which keeps skin moist.
Peppermint: Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and good for regulating oily skin.
Lemongrass: Good for mild forms of acne and minor skin infections.
Vitamin A: Palmitate A natural preservative.
Xanthan Gum: A natural emulsifier.
Rosewater: A natural perfume.
Last words-It is best to be cautious!
The best way to ensure a product will do more good than harm is to know how to read the label. A good rule of thumb is to divide the ingredients into thirds: the top
third makes up 90-95% of the product, the middle about 5-8%, and the bottom about 1-3%. And know what the ingredients are. A great source is, The Chemical Maze by Bill Statham.