Friday, June 26, 2009

Harmful Ingredients in Cosmetics

What are the things that you look for when you buy your make up and toiletries? Is it the brand? Packaging? Popularity? Price? Did you ever consider looking at the ingredients? Probably yes or not.

I am a very meticulous consumer. I am a thrift shopper and as much as possible I really compare products. Sadly before, I was only looking for the price and the popularity of the products. I don't really research about the ingredients before not until these past few months. What made me concern and shift into purchasing healthy products? Ever since I encounter skin problems which are really hard to treat and sometimes untreatable, I wanted to look for ways on how to relieve my frustrations. I don't want to live with fear so instead of hearing hearsay, I made my own research and its still a continuous process.

I will make an attempt to explain in simple way about the harmful ingredients to avoid. Everything can be researched further if you are doubtful but for me these are some of the ingredients that alarms me and that I need to avoid.

Lets start from head to toe.

1. Sodium Lauryl sulfate or Sodium Laureath Sulfate (SLS, SLES)

Commonly used in shampoos or anything that bubbles. Its popular cause it’s a detergent and foams easily. You can see this ingredient in your dishwashing soap. Try it! lol. Yes this ingredient cleanses really well BUT it strips away the natural oils of our hair – thus a conditioner is a must after. It is a possible skin irritant. I previously used Clear Soft Shampoo but removed it in my daily wash cause of the SLS and instead I bought an organic shampoo from Avalon Organics.

DSC00811 The ingredients are mostly from natural fruit extracts. It is rated 4 out of 10 for the hazard level. You can see the hazard level in this website: http://www.cosmeticdatabase.com/product.php?prod_id=201312



DSC00824Do you use Cetaphil Mild Cleanser? I did. I will probably do if I lack any natural cleaner. Well check the label of your Cetaphil and you will encounter SLS. By the way I already shifted to this product: Dessert Essence, Thoroughly Face Wash. All natural. No chemicals. Leaves my face non oily after.



2. Parabens (Methyl, Ethyl, Propyl, Butyl)

The infamous Paraben. I’ve been writing a lot of this stuff in my reviews. What are Parabens anyway? Parabens are used most in all cosmetics because it is effective as a preservative. Therefore it avoid molds in whatever products like shampoos, make ups, almost anything even in food. It was said that the more exposed you are with Parabens, the more likely be exposed to carcinogens. It is absorbed easily in the body. There have been reports that breast cancer patients have high levels of Parabens in their body. The research didn't say that Parabens are the cause of the cancer but it has been linked heavily with this illness. But there is a study which says that Parabens mimic the hormone estrogen. High levels of estrogen causes breast cancer. There are different names of Parabens. You can check more in this link: http://www.copperwiki.org/index.php/Paraben. The FDA said that Parabens are safe to use for as long as its low in percentage. This site explains it all: http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/SelectedCosmeticIngredients/ucm128042.htm. By the way, the last update of that website is October 2007.

I'm not yet done with Parabens. Do you use Baby wipes? Have you seen its ingredients? Well just in case, you might encounter the Parabens. And I am a bit surprised that my 90pcs wipes have these in different names.

DSC00789How about your deodorant? Have you checked if its Paraben free? I already shifted originally from Nivea Deodorant Double Effect Roll on to Crystal (Pic). Because it has no Paraben, no aluminum (which causes UA darkening) and its suggested by breast cancer movement.

It is also reported that Parabens increases skin ageing. Now do you still think that your eye cream helps you to look younger? Think again.

3. para phenylenediamine or p-Phenylenediamine (PPD)

Mostly found in permanent hair dyes. It is an allergen to most people. To know more about it visit this site: http://dermnetnz.org/dermatitis/paraphenylenediamine-allergy.html. I have colored my hair years before but I didn't notice any allergy thank God. But I have damaged hair after. To show examples how horrific an allergy is: click Lois McQueen’s picture after trying Loreal Casting color (A demi permanent colorant) By the way, PPD is also a possible carcinogen. No don't be shocked. I think most of the products are carcinogen? yay.

4. Formaldehyde

Yes the one that is used in preserving dead people. It has been reported few years ago that there is a product recall from China because of the existence of this toxic ingredient. Well guess what, you wont find the word Formaldehyde in any product itself. Like Parabens, it has a lot of names. (Rings Melamine) And there are also Formaldehyde releasers (in short, slowly releases formaldehyde) Check this list to be aware: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formaldehyde_releaser. And guess what I found? My Silk Secrets Moisturizing Cracked heel cream has this formaldehyde releaser! Under the name of: Imidazolidinyl urea. Wow. Formaldehyde scored the perfect 10 for the hazardous level.

5. Triethanolamine (TEA) or anything that ends with AMINE like DEA, MEA)

Commonly seen in moisturizers, mascara, lotions etc. It has been reported that it releases nitrosamines, a possible carcinogenic (gosh not again) Although the chances are very slim, I am quite worried because I saw my Maxi Peel Concealing Cream with this ingredient. The only ingredient in that product which has high hazard level. :(

6. Talc

Yes the ones you see in your baby powders. When inhaled and if it has high talc concentrations, it is a *drum roll* carcinogen. Causes ovarian cancer when used in your ahem privates.

7. Fragrance

The more the product masks its true smell, the more potential hazardous it is to use for our precious body. Fragrance is number 8 in the hazard level: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/ingredient.php?ingred06=702512.

8. Alcohols (Isopropyl, ethyl, those that ends with +ENE +ANOL)

Most alcohols are skin irritants. Some claim that they are mild but we should still be careful cause even the mildest to one person will become harsh to another person. A presence of alcohol (whether drinking or applying in my skin) has been proven a cause of my hives, eczema in my health history.

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Do you use Placenta soap? How about Petroleum Jelly (I do)? Do you see Triclosan in your deodorant or toothpaste? Are you concerned with the lead content of your RED LIPSTICK? They are also potential *you know the term* not only the big “C” but they create problems with the reproductive health as well as in mental health.

There are a lot actually. Since I cannot post them all here for the limitation of space and to avoid overwhelming people (even myself) I think, I will pause at number 8. For now, I advise to be just wary of Parabens and Formaldehyde. Remember, just because the products claim that they are organic, it doesn't mean that they don't have any harsh ingredients on it. Read labels, you might miss the toxic ingredient if you just rely on the front design. This is the same with the term Hypoallergenic.

My advise is not to go panic. As this will only cause you more stress. Stress is cancerous too haha. Try to shift from natural products and look for fewer ingredients in the list. The less complicating it is, the better. Read labels. Try to avoid those mentioned above. And if you have been exposed to those ingredients, try to detoxify. Check skindeep.com website if in doubt. I always check that website for any product suggestions.

Stay healthy!

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