GET RID OF THEM NOW!
If you assume that the moisturizer, cleanser, shampoo or makeup product you buy at the drugstore or supermarket is safe to use, you’ll want to take a second look into the ingredients list.
According to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), it’s the “responsibility of the manufacturer” to test the safety of its products. Additionally, cosmetic products and their ingredients don’t need to be approved before they hit the market.
To help people find out more about the ingredients in their skin-care products, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) created the Skin Deep database. This database contains more than 60,000 products and ranks them on their hazard level based on the ingredients and how much scientists know about them.
And since your skin is your body’s largest organ, it’s important to know what it’s absorbing and allowing into your body. On its Myths on Cosmetics safety page, the EWG reports that “biomonitoring studies have found that cosmetics ingredients — such as phthalate plasticizers, paraben preservatives, the pesticide triclosan, synthetic musks and sunscreen ingredients — are common pollutants in the bodies of men, women and children.”
It’s essential that we make the effort to protect ourselves, and this is why I looked up all my products in the EWG’s database. I was surprised at some of the products from major companies that get dangerous rankings.
When choosing products, here are six ingredients to avoid:
Look for It in: Sunscreens, moisturizers, lip gloss.
Why Avoid It: It’s a potential hormone disruptor.
Look for It in: Soaps, shampoos, hair sprays, nail polish (avoid polish containing dibutyl phthalate), products containing “fragrance.”
Why Avoid It: According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “Some types of phthalates have affected the reproductive system of laboratory animals.” CDC researchers found measurable levels of many phthalate metabolites in the urine of the general U.S. population.
The EWG writes, “A growing number of studies indicate that this chemical family damages the male reproductive system.” EWG advises that pregnant women should avoid nail polish containing dibutyl phthalate , and that everyone should avoid products with “fragrance” indicating a chemical mixture that may contain phthalates.
3. Petroleum distillates
Look for It in: Mascaras. Here are some mascaras containing petroleum distillates.
Why Avoid It: According to the EWG, these petroleum-extracted ingredients may cause contact dermatitis and are often contaminated with cancer-causing impurities. They are produced in oil refineries at the same time as automobile fuel, heating oil and chemical feedstocks.
Look for It in: Nail polish, eyelash adhesive, hair dyes and keratin hair straightening formulas.
Why Avoid It: In 2004, formaldehyde was declared to be a carcinogen to humans by the International Agency on Research on Cancer (IARC). According to EWG, formaldehyde (also an asthmagen, neurotoxicant and developmental toxicant) was once mixed into many personal care products as antiseptic. This use has declined, but some hair straighteners (and keratin treatments) are based on formaldehyde’s hair-stiffening action and release substantial amounts of the chemical.
Look for It in: Nail polish.
Why Avoid It: Toluene is used to help nail polish glide on more smoothly, but according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Chronic inhalation exposure of humans to toluene causes irritation of the upper respiratory tract and eyes, sore throat, dizziness, and headache. Human studies have reported developmental effects, such as CNS dysfunction, attention deficits, and minor craniofacial and limb anomalies, in the children of pregnant women exposed to high levels of toluene or mixed solvents by inhalation.”
Look for It in: All products
Why Avoid It: According to The Breast Cancer Fund, synthetic fragrances used in cosmetics can have as many as 100 ingredients –including hormone-disrupting phthalates, synthetic musks, and ethylene oxide. ”Fragrance” is usually a chemical cocktail, often containing individual chemicals associated with allergic reactions and hormone disruption. Some fragrance chemicals have not been assessed for safety. Until all fragrance ingredients are disclosed on the label, consumers cannot know what is in a particular fragrance.
If you own cosmetics or products that contain these ingredients, what should you do with them?
The EWG recommends that you don’t dump personal care products down the drain because contamination of ground and surface water (including water that we drink) from these chemicals is a growing environmental problem.
What are some products that are OK to use?
Sunscreen: Babo Botanicals SPF 30 Lotion – Fragrance Free
- Rated a #1 in Safety on EWG
- Contain 22% Clear Zinc which is the most effective safest sunscreen ingredient
- Non-greasy formula goes on clear with no white residue and won’t clog pores
- Contains skin-soothing certified organic oils (jojoba, coconut and avocado) plus rich anti-oxidants (green tea and rose hip)
- Hypo-Allergenic; Gluten, Dairy and Soy Free; Vegan
Buy it here
Moisturizer: Biossance The Revitalizer
- Ideal for all skin types
- Dermatologist tested
- Non-comedogenic (does not clog pores)
- No parabens, phthalates, or mineral oil
Buy it here
Lip product: Alba Botanica Hawaiian, Coconut Cream Clear Lip Gloss
- For soft, shiny lips
- Coconut oil moisturizes lips while beeswax and shea butter protect against drying
- 100% vegetarian ingredients
- No animal testing
- NO: parabens, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances
buy it here
Soap: Pangea Organics Bar Soap
- Cold processed. Aromatherpeutic: Clarifying Topically: Smoothing
- Soothing and healing. Relieves tension.
- Antiseptic and cleansing. Invigorating.
- Plantable box that will grow flowering Amaranth.
Buy it here
Shampoo: Hugo Naturals Volumizing Shampoo
- Gluten and soy free.
- No animal testing.
Buy it here