europa skin care : natural, organic & science-based skin care

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Are you using these toxic substances on your skin?

Most skin care products are loaded with toxic ingredients that can cause everything from mild irritation to cancer! Here are the most common ones you could accidentally be slathering on your skin:

  • FD&C Colors -- Usually made from coal tar. They are often used in skin care products, and some are considered carcinogenic (cancer-causing).
  • Formaldehyde  toxic substance used in hair straightening products
  • Fragrance -- Can contain thousands of potentially toxic, ingredients! It is the most common cause of allergies and reactions to skin care products.
  • Imidazolidinyl urea and diazolidinyl urea. They're used as preservatives to prevent bacterial growth (not fungi), but they're also a relatively common cause of contact dermatitis.
  • MEA, TEA -- They're common pH stabilizers, but when they're exposed to air, they form potentially irritating substances called nitrosamines. And they have a tendency to clog pores and create blackheads.
  • Mineral oil -- A petroleum derivative. Used as a base in some products, it may interfere with perspiration. Because it causes toxins to build up in the skin, it can accelerate the aging process.
  • Parabens -- Highly toxic preservatives used to extend product shelf life.
  • Petrolatum(petroleum jelly) -- The most familiar petroleum derivative. Prevents skin from being able to breath, traps toxins inside the skin's layers.
  • Phthalates -- Used in perfumes, nail polishes and shampoos to preserve scent and color, these disrupt the endocrine system and can even interfere with the development of male fetuses and infants. Choose products labeled "phthalate-free" or "DEHP-free."
  • Propylene glycol-- The main active ingredient in anti-freeze and brake fluid. It breaks down cell structure and has been linked to kidney damage as well as liver and brain problems.
  • Sodium laurel (or lauryl or laureth) sulfate -- An industrial detergent that strips skin of its moisture barrier and has been linked to eye damage -- among many other harmful things. It's common in shampoos and cleaners to create suds and is relatively safe, but longer contact time could cause irritation and dryness, because the detergent strips the skin of lipids. It is difficult to completely avoid it, especially if you use soap.
  • Talc (talcum powder) -- Shown to cause cancer in lab animals. It creates acute respiratory distress if inhaled and has been linked to ovarian cancer.
  • Toluene -- This chemical solvent the EPA designates as hazardous waste is found in fingernail polish. Toluene can cause headaches, irritated eyes, and memory loss. lists perfumes and cosmetics that contain toxic chemicals like toluene. They're not going to kill you, but if you don't feel well, it's worth experimenting to see if beauty products could be the source of your general blahness.