Lately, it has been a trend for Americans to be aware of what is in their food that they consume on a daily basis. There have been multiple efforts including documentaries, TV specials, among other things that have gotten our attention on the subject of “What is actually in our food?” With the alarming results, there has been a large market for organic foods that do not contain fillers and harmful, un-natural substances that have become widely popular among the American consumer. I think it has become a priority for so many to watch what they are eating on a daily basis, but what other harmful substances does the average consumer come in contact with on a DAILY basis? Cosmetics. It hasn’t gotten much attention, but think about it… We shower on a daily basis with shampoo, body wash, face wash, and perhaps you indulge in many other beauty regimens in the shower, but that is JUST the shower. Then, you get out of the shower to put your deodorant on, body lotion, and those are just the essentials. For females makeup is a daily routine that usually cannot be passed up. With that being said, the skin is a transportation system directly into the bloodstream. There are seven ingredients to be sure to avoid that most consumers look over.
Better known by its acronym PEG, it is put in cosmetics to moisturize and keep products stable. But, the trait that isn’t favored is that they act as a highway for other chemicals and substances by allowing them to penetrate the skin.
These small particles are usually unlabeled on products, but they are very easily absorbed into the bloodstream. They are often found in different makeup products, sunscreens, and lotions.
This is used as a preservative and sometimes even considered “organic” but is banned from cosmetics in Japan. In its purest form Phenoxyethanol if swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin, can cause reproductive defects and damage to the nervous system. Although it is in low percentages in cosmetics, it adds up when used daily and in multiple products.
An antibacterial compound that is found in deodorants and cleansers that has been labeled as a human carcinogen. It has been linked to cancer, developmental defects, liver toxicity, and when overused this pesticide can cause drug-resistant superbacteria. Triclosan tends to accumulate in the fatty tissues of humans which causes it to be found in our blood and breast milk.
This popular jelly is actually not the best for your skin, also known as petroleum jelly. It leaves a film causing acne and it slows down cell turnover. Petrolatum jelly is also very susceptible to contamination by chemicals that are human carcinogens. In Canada petrolatum jelly is classified as a carcinogen, mutagen, and environmental toxin.
This known human toxicant is found in bubble bath and even “sensitive” and “gentle” baby washes. It is used as a preservative, and although has been found to not be cancer-causing, it releases formaldehyde which is in fact a human carcinogen. Quarternium-15 is also known to be an allergen and can cause inflammation of the skin.Fragrance
Most people don’t think of fragrance as a bad ingredient, but companies will often put “fragrance” on their label without actually disclosing all of the chemicals that so-called “fragrance” or “parfum” contains. In 2002, a study was done and the products tested contained phthalates, which are chemicals linked to birth defects, liver and kidney damage, and infertility. The products that contained these phthalates were not labeled and big brands such as Cover Girl, L’Oreal, Revlon, and Pantene were all guilty of doing so.
As you can see there are many substances in cosmetics that we come in to contact with on a daily basis that can be detrimental to our health. The first step of making wiser choices when it comes to our beauty products is being aware, be sure to check your labels and see what is actually in the product before you purchase it!