As promised here's the 'lowdown' on the chemical 'nasties' that could be hiding in your bathroom or beauty products. Grab a cuppa its detailed but really interesting!
1. BHA and BHT:
Look out for BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)
Its found in moisturiser, makeup , lipstick, cleansers etc. Its used to extend the shelf life of your products
Why its bad: BHA is rated a 10 (highest hazard) on www.cosmeticsdatabase.com and BHT is
rated a 6 (moderate hazard). BHT and BHA are classified as possible human carcinogens. Studies with animals have shown that BHT causes liver, kidney and thyroid problems and can act as a tumor promoter.
2. DEA, MEA and TEA
Look out for DEA (diethanolamine), Cocamide DEA, Lauramide DEA, MEA (monoethanolamide),
These are commonly found in most personal care products that foam, including bubble baths, body washes, shampoos, soaps and facial cleansers and it helps make products creamy.
Why its bad: Dr. Samuel Epstein, Professor of Environmental health at the University of Illinois said, "repeated skin applications of DEA-based detergents resulted in a major increase in the incidence of two cancers- liver and kidney cancers." DEA is particularly known to be easily absorbed by the skin.
These are found in many brands of skincare and nail products
Why its bad: In tests on lab animals they are proven to cause a broad range of birth defects and lifelong reproductive impairment in males exposed in utero and shortly after birth. Children exposed to phthalate chemicals commonly found in personal care and plastic products - have elevated risk of asthma-related airway inflammation. Urine samples from babies who had baby lotion, shampoo and powder used on their skin showed the significant presence of phthalates Mono-ethyl phthalate (MEP) (MMP) and monoisobutyl phthalate (MiBP)
4. FORMALDEHYDE-RELEASING PRESERVATIVES:
Look out for DMDM HYDANTOIN, DIAZOLIDINYL UREA, IMIDAZOLIDINYL UREA, METHENAMINE,
or QUARTERNIUM-15, Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
Formaldehyde prevents bacteria formation in the skin care product. Its widely used in hair products,
moisturisers, etc. It’s banned in some countries e.g. Sweden and Japan.
Why its bad: Potential health risks, including eye, nose and throat irritation, respiratory problems, increased risk of cancer, may lead to or increase existing skin irritations such as eczema, can cause skin blistering and cracking
Look out for: Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben , Ethylparaben, Isobutylparaben
Widely used as a low cost preservative in makeup, moisturizers and other skincare items.
Why its bad: Parabens can mimic hormones in the body and disrupt functions of the endocrine system. Your body does not easily break down this “synthetic estrogen” and it can accumulate in fat cells, including breast tissue.
Studies have found it in breast cancer tissue
Parfum or perfume or fragrance is a manufactured scent often used as its cheaper than essential oils and can ensure consistency of fragrance - nature doesn’t offer this guarantee. Its found in shampoos, conditioners, moisturisers, candles and even in some products marketed as “unscented” (often the last ingredient).
Why its bad: It’s a mixture of chemicals that can trigger allergies and asthma. Some are linked to cancer. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that, while many popular perfumes, colognes and body sprays contain trace amounts of natural essences, they also typically contain a dozen or more potentially hazardous synthetic chemicals, some of which are derived from petroleum Dr Susannah Baron, consultant dermatologist at Kent & Canterbury hospital, and BMI Chaucer Hospital. ‘You don’t react immediately; the body notes that it does not like the chemical and develops “memory cells”, which cause inflammation when the body is next exposed to this chemical.”
7. PEG & THE GLYCOLS
Look out for Propylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, and Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
They are used as humectants, solubilizers, stabilizers, and to help increase product absorption into the skin. They stop products liquifying at high temperatures . They are widely used in conditioners, moisturizers, deodorants, etc
Why its bad: Antifreeze is pure propylene glycol. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer – remember it “helps product absorption into the skin”
Look out for Petrolatum, Petroleum, Mineral Oil, Paraffin
There is petrolatum in one out of every 14 cosmetic products on the market, including 15 percent of lipsticks and 40 percent of baby lotions and oils. It comes from crude oil and acts as a lubricant for machinery. We also use it to relieve nappy rash, heal raw noses and soothe chapped lips. Why its bad: Petroleum product can be contaminated with cancer-causing impurities. It causes a barrier over the skin which may seem beneficial instantly but overtime can cause excessive drying of the skin, hence the need to constantly reapply! "Using products with petrochemicals causes inflammation in the body. This type of inflammation is what causes many types of cancer.” Deepak Chopra. Mineral oil is found in a range of skincare products. Baby oil is 100% mineral oil with some fragrance
Why its bad: Derived from Crude oil. It coats the skin just like plastic wrap. The skin's natural immune barrier is disrupted as this plastic coating inhibits its ability to breathe and absorb. The skin's ability to release toxins is impeded by this 'plastic wrap,' which can promote acne and other disorders. This process slows down skin function and normal cell development causing the skin to prematurely age.
9. SODIUM LAURETH ETHER SULFATE (SLES)/ SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS):
It’s found in products that foam such as shampoo, cleansers, bubble bath, toothpaste etc. Its the same product they use at the car wash.
Why its bad: It can mimic the activity of Oestrogen and may be responsible for a variety of health problems from PMS and Menopausal symptoms to dropping male fertility and increasing female cancers such as breast cancer, where oestrogen levels are known to be involved. It cannot be metabolised by the liver so it stays in the body longer and uses lots of energy to expel
In “anti-bacterial” products such as toothpaste, soaps, hand sanitisers.
Why its bad: It releases Formaldehyde and may interfere with hormone function and contribute to
antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Johnson and Johnson say they will phase out by 2015. Triclosan is stored in human body fat
A frightening line up I'm sorry?! Keep tuned for more soon
Choose Organic - for your health and well-being
Activate Life with Choose Organic Kimberly Sinclair Kimberly@chooseorganic.co.nz +6421302600
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