The Top 5 Chemicals to avoid in your Cosmetics
Day #262 Days of #365 Days of Feng Shui
So I guess your wondering what the hell to watch out for when you are trying to avoid the nasties in your cosmetics.
This subject is huge and the chemicals and labelling of products is so confusing.
To top it all off, a lot of the chemical ingredients use synonym names (meaning there is more than one name for a chemical)
And even in the research I have done it can get very confusing with conflicting information.
Not only that, but there are new chemicals being made everyday that even chemists find it difficult to keep up with or recognise what the substances are.
I just thought I would pull together some of the
Top 5 Chemicals to avoid in your Cosmetics.
to help make it a little easier for you to navigate through the cosmetic minefield.
1) Fragrance or Parfum
– even if it states that it is derived from essential oils, it is usually added to a chemical and made to be synthetic.
Fragrances can have up to 4000 chemicals!
Companies usually buy a fragrance as a whole substance and pop it in their product usually to mask the horrible smells of the other chemicals. Scientists are unsure of the synergistic effects they may have on our health. And fragrances are one of the top 5 allergens in the world. They can cause skin reactions and asthma for those susceptible and can contain chemicals linked to endocrine and hormone disruptors or carry known carcinogens.(Bijlsma 2011)
Found in nail polish, perfumes, hair sprays and gum and have recently raised cause for concern. Scientists, through recent studies, have found women of reproductive age to be the most affected by these chemicals as severe birth defeats have been found in lab animals.(Bijlsma 2011) Also young boys and the development of their reproductive organs can negatively be impacted which may cause low sperm count later in life. They have also recently been linked to ADHD or ADD.
Phthalates can also be known as DBP, DEP, DEHP, BzBP, DMP or any chemical with ‘Phthalate’ at the end of the name.
Surprisingly this is still found in lots of different products. Talc is linked to possible ovarian cancer. It is still widely used for babies and longterm use has found it damaging to female reproductive organs. But it doesn’t always come in a body powder, so look out for it also in soaps and face powders.
These are usually found in fragrances and are used as a preservative in cosmetics and lotions. They are known hormone disruptors and have been linked to breast cancer. They are also known allergens and can irritate the skin.
5) SLS, SLES or Sodium lauryl sulfate/Sodium laureth sulfate
This is what makes your bubble bath bubble and your shampoo foam up.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is a known skin irritant and eye irritant with long-term affects such as increasing the chances of developing contact dermatitis and eczema. Some researchers of this substance also claim that long term contact can cause adverse affects to the development of the eye and it is not advised for the use with children because of this.
Bijlsma (pg 40 2011, course material) states ‘Sodium Lauryl Sulphate denatures the proteins of eye tissues, impairing development permanently’.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate does not have to have contact with the eyes for this to occur as the chemical can be ingested also through the skin and lungs. This chemical can usually be found in toothpaste, shampoo’s and conditioners, soaps, bubble bath and anything that generally foams or soaps up.
A little added tip:-
This isn’t actually a chemical but a mineral that is naturally occurring.
Just because e it is natural doesn’t mean it is safe.
It is used in many foundation powders and creams, sometimes eyeshadows and lipsticks. It is mainly used for colour and to give the product that sparkly shine when on the skin.
It has recently been classed as a carcinogen in Canada and may cause irritation and damage to the respiratory system when inhaled. As powders are used on the face you have a higher potential of breathing this mineral in. I do not recommend any powder make-up for this reason.
The amount of products you use which contains these chemicals, is obviously going to impact on the amount of exposure you will have with these chemicals.
There are more chemicals which I could add to this list but here is a start.
I encourage you to explore further and to try and reduce your chemical load by switching to more pure or naturally sourced (which is kept in their natural state) products.
I will be writing a whole blog post of my favourite resources and websites for you to start your researching in the next few days.
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