Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What Lurks in Your Products?

I'm on the theme of the environment lately!  Keeping with that theme, I thought it would be a good time to give you an overview of some of the yucky things that manufacturers put in their beauty products. Companies are getting better about leaving these products out, but as a consumer, you need to know what to be on the look out for. 

Here's a quick (not exhaustive) list of some nasty ingredients.

PARABENS
Found in: Almost everything, used as a preservative (esp. shampoos, shave gels, moisturizers)
Why it's bad: Potentially cancer-causing--since parabens are everywhere, there is a lot of research currently going on to better examine their negative effects

MERCURY
Found in: Eye drops, deodorant, and ointments, labeled as "thimerosal"
Why it's bad: Potentially cancer-causing and toxic to the human reproductive system

LEAD ACETATE
Found in: Hair dye and cleaners
Why it's bad: Human reproductive and development toxin; currently prohibited in Europe

FORMALDEHYDE and TOLUENE
Found in: Nail polish and nail products
Why they're bad: Formaldehyde an cause allergies and irritation, currently banned in Sweden and Japan for cosmetic use; Toluene can cause you to get high if you inhale it and is potentially toxic

PETROCHEMICALS
Found in: Some hair relaxers, shampoos, mascara, perfume, foundation, lipstick and lip balm
Why it's bad: As byproducts of crude oil they can contain carcinogens

PHYHALATES
Found in: some nail polish, fragrances and hair spray
Why it's bad: Human reproductive and development toxin--also banned in Europe. This stuff is everywhere and is seriously bad, bad, bad. Be especially careful because there are tons of phyhalates in jelly style sex toys. Sounds stupid, but still...you should know this stuff.

PLACENTA Found in: Some hair relaxers, moisturizers, and toners
Why it's bad: Can interfere with normal hormone function and can lead to serious health problems like breast cancer

For more information, please visit The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics at www.safecosmetics.org.

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