Chlorine: Skin or Sense Organ Toxicity Hazards: suspected, Respiratory Toxicity Hazards: suspected, may cause burns to skin and mucosa membrane tissue. (use to whiten fibers)
Alcohol – is found in fragrances, nail products, facial and personal care products. Tends to be drying to the skin and strips away the natural protective mantle, leaving your vulnerable to bacteria and toxins. Many types of alcohol are irritating or even toxic, and can cause brown spots on the skin and premature aging. Isopropyl alcohol, Benzyl alcohol and Denatured Alcohol are linked with birth defects, allergies, and have been shown to be occupational hazards for workers who are exposed to these every day, and to build up over time in body tissues and in the environment. Benzyl Alcohol in particular can be a skin irritant, causing burning sensation. Stearyl and cetearyl alcohol are waxes and do not have a harmful effect on the skin, and are used in many safe cosmetics.
Parbens (methyl,ethyl,propyl, & butyl): linked to hormone disruption, increase risk of cancers and reproductive toxicity. (used as a preservative to prevent microbial growth)
Propylene Glycol (PG, Polyethylene Glycol (PEG), and Ethylene Glycol (EG) are all petroleum derivatives that act as solvents, surfactants, and wetting agents. They can easily penetrate the skin, and can weaken protein and cellular structure. In fact, PG penetrates the skin so quickly that the EPA warns factory workers to avoid skin contact, to prevent brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. Propylene Glycol serves as a Humectant – a substance that helps retain moisture content, or simply –it prevents things from drying out. These chemicals have shown to increase risk of many cancers, and are commonly contaminated with 1,4-Dioxane (used as a thickener and skin conditioner).
Petroleum By Products: linked to various cancers due to impurities of 1,4-Dioxane and Coal Tar (used as the workhorse for cosmetics, provides the base of the product)
Phthalates (DEP,DEHP,dibutyl or diethylhexyl): hormone disruption in both boys and girls, infertility, early puberty for girls. (Used as a binding agent for fragrances so they can be absorbed more easily into the skin)
Cocamidopropyl betaine: skin, lung, and eye irritant, commonly causes contact dermatitis, known immune system toxicant. (Used with petroleum products to make products thicker and foamier)
Methylchloroisothiazolinone: has been associated with allergic reactions. Known human immune system toxicant, human skin toxicant. Banned in Canada (widely-used preservative)
Methylisothiazolinon: has been associated with allergic reactions. Lab studies on the brain cells of mammals also suggest that methylisothiazolinone may be neurotoxic. Banned in Canada ( widely-used preservative)
Benzalkonium Chloride: Biocide, associated with severe skin, eye, and respiratory irritation and allergies, benzalkonium chloride is a sensitizer especially dangerous for people with asthma or skin conditions such as eczema. (preservative and surfactant)
Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS)- Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate(SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)– Found in car washes, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners, and said to be present in over 90% of personal care products including baby wipes. SLS breaks down the skin’s moisture barrier, easily penetrates the skin, and allows other chemicals to easily penetrate. Combined with other chemicals, SLS can become a “nitrosamine”, a potent class of carcinogen. It can also cause hair loss. SLES is sometimes disguised with the labeling “comes from coconut” or “coconut-derived”.
Lanolin Many baby products contain lanolin, a fatty substance obtained from sheep wool and used as a base for cosmetics. Experts advise against the use of lanolin unless the company guarantees it is pesticide-free. In surveys done by the Environmental Protection Agency, much of the commercial lanolin used in baby products was found to contain relatively high concentrations of pesticides such as DDT, lindane, and diazinon. According to the National Research Council, these chemicals are readily absorbed through the baby’s skin. Each of them can damage the nervous system, and some of them are cancer-causing.
Formaldehyde-based preservatives such as DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, and quaternium-15, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol, and sodium hydroxylmethylglycinate. These preservatives are found in a number of skin care, hair care and personal care products, pain relievers, baby wipes and in nail polish. They release formaldehyde which is carcinogenic and have been linked to cancer, developmental problems, endocrine disruption, allergies, immune system toxicity and more.
Mineral Oil - is used in many skincare products because it is inexpensive. Mineral oil is a petroleum by-product that coats the skin to keep in moisture. It strips the natural oils from your skin so it actually causes chapping, dryness and premature aging. Mineral oil clogs the pores, and does not allow the skin to breathe or to release toxins. Some people who have a bad case of acne find complete relief simply by switching to a non-mineral oil face cream. Any type of mineral oil derivative can contain PAH’s (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) which are known to cause cancer. Some say that it also interferes with your body’s ability to absorb the fat soluble vitamins. There are so many healthier alternatives to mineral oil.
Fragrance – as in “synthetic fragrance” – not our natural botanically-derived scents, is considered one of the top 5 allergens in the world. Many people who are sensitive can actually feel a dizzy, sick sensation or experience headaches when they inhale a product with fragrance. If you have sensitive skin, avoid all products with added fragrance. Phtalates can often be hidden in synthetic fragrance.