IT'S GETTING A BIT MUCH, ISN'T IT? UNSCRUPULOUS MANUFACTURERS STOP AT VIRTUALLY NOTHING, TO COMPETE WITH GENUINE NATURAL CARE PRODUCTS WHEN IT COMES TO PERSONAL SKINCARE PRODUCTS, HAIRCARE PRODUCTS, DEODORANT, HANDWASH AND BODYWASH. IT'S CRIMINAL - REALLY REPREHENSIBLE, I KNOW, AND SINCE WE DON'T HAVE MUCH OF A CHOICE - IN TAKING CARE MEASURES - BECAUSE LIKE THE FDA IN THE USA, OUR GOVERNMENT DOESN'T PUT A STOP TO THIS OUTRAGE EITHER. I WISH TO HELP YOU MAKE SMART DECISIONS WHEN PURCHASING PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS. PLEASE DON'T BE TOO TRUSTING WHEN IT COMES TO COMMERCIAL MAKES - THEY HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO CONSCIENCE. I HAVE FOUND A COMPLETE GUIDE FOR YOU, AND RECOMMEND THAT YOU FAVOR COMPANIES IN YOUR PURCHASES THAT ARE DEDICATED TO MAKING GENUINE NATURAL PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS AND EXPOSE INGREDIENTS THAT ARE TOXIC TO OUR HEALTH BECAUSE IT IS NOW PROVEN THAT INGREDIENTS WE PLACE ON OUR SKIN ARE ABSORBED INTO OUR BODY. THIS IS CALLED TRANSDERMAL, AND IS AS SERIOUS AS TOXIC INGREDIENTS WE INGEST - THERE ARE OFTEN MORE SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS.
Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in So-Called "Natural" Personal Care Products
Caution needs to be taken when selecting among the wide range of products labeled and marketed as natural. By branding themselves as “Natural,” “Organic,” “Herbal,” or “Botanical,” many products with complex molecules and petrochemical substances aim to deceive unsuspecting consumers.
Commonly referred to as “greenwashed,” these products have misleading buzzwords in their name, brand name, or taglines on their packaging.
Fortunately, growing consumer skepticism has led to more stringent scrutiny by resellers. In addition, the power of social media is exposing this unscrupulous behavior of many brands. For example, in early 2016, Honest Company Inc. and Hain Celestial Group Inc. announced widespread re-evaluation of their claims of “no harsh chemicals” such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), after a Wall Street Journal report went viral.
When purchasing personal care products, it is highly advisable to perform a thorough evaluation of the brands and their ingredients to ensure that they are not greenwashed products.
Moreover, retailers can garner the trust of consumers interested in genuinely natural products by instituting, enforcing, and publicizing a rigorous evaluation process for selecting natural products. Embarking on such an evaluation initiative need not be a daunting undertaking, however.
YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE MOST HARMFUL CHEMICALS TO AVOID.
Whether consumer or seller, look out for these key toxins:
Found in food and cosmetics, mainly antiperspirants, lipsticks, lip-gloss, and toothpaste. Although it occurs naturally, it is linked to Alzheimer’s, other neuro-degenerative diseases, lung cancer, and skin irritation.
It is a mineral, produced by the mining of talc rocks. It is used in baby, foot, and first aid powders; and in cosmetics used as filler and for absorbing moisture or oil. Impure talc can contain asbestos that it is known to cause cancer. However, talc, itself, is also linked to respiratory system and ovarian cancer.
Recently Johnson & Johnson was forced to pay $72M to the family of a woman who sued the company for her ovarian cancer. The jury found that for decades, the company used talc in its Baby Powder and its Shower-to-Shower products knowing that it has a potential to cause ovarian cancer.
Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Releasing Ingredients.
It is a natural trace compound and a synthetic preservative found in cosmetics. They usually appear as DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, and quarternium-15.
These ingredients slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, known to cause cancer; allergic reactions; eyes, nose, and throat irritation; interference with skin’s natural oil production; dermatitis; and reproductive system disparity (decreased fertility, increased the risk of miscarriage, and damaged sperm).
It is banned in Sweden and Japan. It is a restricted ingredient in Canada (usage is restricted to less than 0.2%) for skin care products. European countries mandate that if formaldehyde-releasing preservatives in cosmetic products exceed 0.05%, the product must be labeled with the warning, “Contains Formaldehyde.”
Petrochemicals are chemical ingredients that are derived from petroleum, and an astonishing number of so-called natural products in health and beauty stores contain these.
Detecting petrochemical ingredients in personal care products can be difficult as they are usually listed under different names (e.g., Behentrimonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Chloride) or hidden in other ingredients such as perfumes, fragrances, glycols, and many more.
Petroleum and petrochemicals are known to cause a range of serious health problems, such as cancerOpens in a new window and endocrine disruption (hormones interference), clogged skin pores and interference with natural sebum production resulting in skin imbalances, and other medical disorders (e.g., Attention Deficit Disorder).
Moreover, petrochemicals are a leading cause of groundwater contamination. Finally, petroleum products generate 1,4-dioxane that is known for its health disruption effects (e.g., vertigo, drowsiness, headache, anorexia and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs). The EWG has found that an alarming 22% of all products contain unsafe levels of 1,4-dioxane.
Avoiding all products that contain petroleum-based ingredients is highly recommended.
It is a synthetic ether alcohol and a petrochemical preservative. It can cause contact dermatitis, and damage reproductive, immune, and nervous systems. It has been banned for use in certified organic skin care products by COSMOS, Ecocert, and the new EU organic certification standard.
Yet, many greenwashed companies in the U.S. continue to use it as a Paraben alternative as it's is on the temporary allowed NPA standard list. It is a common preservative in many natural extracts and proteins (wheat, rice, quinoa, etc.) used by cosmetic companies in their products.
Since cosmetic companies are not required to disclose preservatives and solvents that are used by their vendors to make their extracts and proteins, a more extensive due diligence step of asking cosmetic manufactures for the Composition Analysis of these types of ingredients is necessary.
Also listed as Paraffin and Petrolatum is this petroleum derivative ingredient found in drugs, cosmetics, household cleaning products, and baby oils (sometimes at 100%). They are linked to immune and respiratory toxicant or allergen, clogging the skin’s pores, promoting acne and other skin disorders, and premature aging.
Polymers of Silicone found in cosmetics as texturizers. They are used for delivering a superficial silky sensation to the skin. Most silicones are derived from petroleum. In cosmetic ingredient lists, they can appear as Dimethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, and Phenyl Trimethicone.
Silicones stay at the top layer of the skin. Therefore, they clog the skin’s pores and cause acne. Some research findings indicate that Siloxane/Silicones can disrupt the endocrine (hormone functions) system and cause harm to the reproductive, immune, and nervous systems.
Made from coal tar and include Disodium EDTA and Tetrasodium EDTA, they are used for a variety of reasons such as removing impurities from raw materials, as a preservative, chelator, stabilizer, and foam enhancer. Tetrasodium EDTA is made from formaldehyde (see above) and sodium cyanide is made from the toxic gas hydrogen cyanide.
EDTAs serve as penetration enhancers, which means that they can intensify harmful effects of other ingredients in the formula by promoting deeper penetration into the skin’s tissue and, consequently, the bloodstream. Additionally, EDTAs are not easily biodegradable and a poor choice for environmental health. Be mindful of this ingredient as it is used in some greenwashed products.
They appear in cosmetic ingredient lists as Polyethylene Glycols (PEGS), Polypropylene Glycols (PPGS), Propylene, Butylene, Pentylene, Hexylene, and Caprylyl. Found in food, drugs, and cosmetics, they are petroleum-based compounds that serve as texturizer, thickeners, solvents, and moisture-carriers in cosmetics.
The majority of "natural" products contain this highly toxic ingredient. Propylene Glycols have been linked to skin irritation. PEGS can be contaminated with ethylene oxide known as a human carcinogen. Ethylene Oxide can cause cancer and if used on broken skin can cause irritation.
This is a petrochemical preservative and is known to cause severe skin, eye, and respiratory irritation. Be aware that some natural brands use Benzyl Alcohol in combination with other preservatives as an alternative to Parabens. In the U.S., this ingredient is on the temporary allowed NPA standard list.
It is a denatured ethyl alcohol and a petrochemical product that usually contains Benzyl Alcohol to make it undrinkable. It can cause skin irritation, eczema, trigger rosacea flare-ups, and prevent the absorption of Vitamin A.
Isopropyl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol).
Also known as Isopropanol, found in perfumes, cosmetics, and household cleansers. It is derived from petroleum. Highly toxic and linked to medical complications and allergic reactions of skin, eyes, mucous membranes, and upper respiratory tract.
It is used to dissolve other substances in cosmetics, personal care, and fragrances/perfumes products. It is also used to decrease the thickness of liquids and prevent foam.
They appear in cosmetic ingredient list as Diethanolamines (DEAs), MEAs (Monoethanolamine), and Triethanolamine (TEAs). They are petroleum-derived ingredients that are found in cosmetic cleansers, shampoos, soaps, and bubble baths. They are linked to cancer, organ system toxicity, and allergic reactions.
They appear in cosmetic ingredient list as Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Benzylparaben. Mainly derived from petroleum, they are potent broad-spectrum preservatives and are cheap and easy to use.
Parabens are linked to breast cancer, hormone disruption, reproductive system disorder, DNA damage, and skin irritation. The use of five Parabens (Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Phenylparaben, Benzylparaben, and Pentylparaben) in cosmetic products was prohibited in European Union in 2014. Parabens have been used by many cosmetic brands since the 1950s.
They are also hidden preservatives in many botanical extracts and proteins used heavily in all types of personal care products. Many companies who claim to be Paraben-free have done so by replacing it with other petrochemical preservatives such as Phenoxyethanol or Benzyl Alcohol.
Sulfates are basically detergents that are used in household cleansers, and personal care products such as shampoos, soaps, toothpaste, and masks. They are partially made from petrolatum or petroleum jelly. Sulfates are linked to skin, scalp, and eye irritation.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are known to cause hormone imbalance, toxicity formation in internal organs (liver, brain, and heart), and potentially cancer. The source of health issues caused by SLS and SLES is in their manufacturing process (ethoxylation) that results in contamination with 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogenic by-product.
According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,4 dioxane is described as "probably carcinogenic to humans," toxic to the brain and central nervous system, kidneys, and liver. Moreover, it is also a leading groundwater contaminant.
They are chemical and petrochemical ingredients that contain a quaternary ammonium compound (QAC). Some examples of quats include Benzalkonium Chloride, Cetalkonium Chloride, Steardimonium Chloride, Cetrimonium Bromide, and Cetrimonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Chloride, and polyquaternium(s), Lauryl Dimonium Hydrolysed Collagen, Diethyl Ester Dimethyl Ammonium Chloride, Dialkyl Dimethl Ammonium Methyl Sulfate, and Hydroxethyl Methyl Ammonium Methyl Sulfate.
There are also milder versions of them that are used both as a conditioner and thickener. These include Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Oligosaccharide, and Sugar Quats.
Quats are used as a hair conditioner, hair styling gel, moisturizers, body wash, etc. Quats hold all the petrochemicals adverse events discussed above. Furthermore, in the U.S., the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC), classified Quats as “asthmagens,” meaning they can trigger asthma attacks and initiate asthma in those who are asthma-free. Quaternium-15 releases formaldehyde that is a serious health-damaging ingredient as described earlier.
Among quats, Benzalkonium Chloride has been known to have the most impact on natural hormone function disruption and causing reproductive toxicity. In Europe, the Scientific Committee on Consumer safety, based on skin reactions and toxicity, has restricted the use of Behentrimonium Chloride (below 3% in a rinse-off products and below 0.5% in leave-on products). In the U.S., they are heavily used by both conventional and greenwashed brands as a hair conditioner.
Commonly used as softening agents to enhance absorption of skin care ingredients and to create fragrances, they can be found in color cosmetics, lotions, body washes, hair care products, and nail polish. The most common Phthalates used in cosmetics are Diethyl Phthalate (DEO) and Dibutyl Phthalate.
The latter is used mainly in nail products as a solvent for dyes. Phthalates are also used as a fixative in fragrance ingredients in many other cosmetics. They have been classified as a potential carcinogen ingredient by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services.
There are serious concerns regarding their impact on the reproductive system. Phthalates are often hidden from the ingredient lists as many companies use “fragrance” or "parfum" rather than listing them separately.
Found in food, drugs, and cosmetics, artificial colors contain heavy metal salts and are linked to cancer, hyperactivity, anxiety, migraines and allergic reactions. They are even used heavily by cosmetic companies in many so-called “natural” products. Most are derived from petroleum and/or coal tar. They are normally listed as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and a number.
Found in cosmetics (including so-called natural products) and household products. They are linked to headache, dizziness, allergic reactions, hormone disruptions, and hyperpigmentation.
Additionally, They are the most frequent cause of allergic reactions in cosmetics. Most are derived from petroleum. Since companies consider their fragrance formulations as trade secrets and listing the chemicals, such as solvents or preservatives, is not mandated by FDA, they are able to hide toxic synthetic substances such as chemical preservatives, petroleum, Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), etc.
This widespread practice extends to natural brands that choose to list “natural fragrance” on their label instead of disclosing the actual substances in their formulations. These "natural" fragrances very likely consist of petrochemicals (e.g., Phthalates) or other harmful ingredients that are used as solvents or preservatives.
If manufacturers are not willing to provide the breakdown of their natural ingredients, it is best to avoid their products altogether.
It is mainly used in antiperspirants, deodorants, hand sanitizers, facial tissues, and toothpastes as an antibacterial agent and a preservative. It passes through skin and it is linked to endocrine (hormone function) disruption and irritating to the skin and eyes.
Prevalent in so many products, Triclosan was detected in 75% of urine samples (2,517 people ages six years and older) in a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Triclosan has been banned in Europe since 2010 but is still used in the U.S. Its use in Canada is restricted (0.03% in mouthwash and 0.3% in cosmetics) and flagged for further assessment by the Canadian Chemicals Management Plan.
Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT).
Used as preservatives, BHA and BHT can be found in moisturizers, lipsticks, hair products, makeup, sunscreen, antiperspirant/deodorant, fragrance, other cosmetics, and some food products (e.g., cereals, gum, fast food, snacks).
They are known to cause skin allergic reactions, endocrine disruption (hormonal), developmental and reproductive toxicity, and as potential human carcinogen. Some studies also indicate that they may cause organ-system toxicity and impact liver, thyroid and lung health.
As is evident, there are many chemical ingredients that can cause serious harm to the health of consumers. For this reason, there is a Growing Demand for products that are TRULY FREE of such harsh ingredients.
Given the industry trend, it is certain that any effort expended in separating true natural products from imposters will pay dividends for quite some time.
I agree with you, it would be much easier to know who does make Genuine Natural Products without Compromise. The Dishonesty out there is really getting Too Much. We should not have to put up with this Big Maze of Chemicals we are faced with these days. We should confront them in the best way possible, and that is to
TAKE OUR SHOPPING ELSEWHERE.
Most of us like Freedom of Choice, so I am working on a list of Truly Reputable Companies you can buy from to place here for you.. I buy CLEAN NATURAL Personal Care Products and Cleaners from a few different Companies, I will be happy to share with you, plus a few extra, to help guide you in the right direction. I get no commission for this. The world seems to be driven by "money, money" to extremes these days, and it makes me want to provide all the Free Information I can on my Websites. It's 4am now, so I will be back here today.
All the Best to You!