- Propylene Glycol (PG) and Butylene Glycol - petroleum derivatives that act as solvents, surfactants, and wetting agents that can easily penetrate the skin, and can weaken protein and cellular structure.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) - foaming agents and dissolve the oil in our skin. They are known to cause eye, scalp, and skin irritation as well as damage to the hair follicle. These chemicals are used in engine degreasers, laundry detergent, and carpet cleaners.
- Diethanolamine(DEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA) & Ttriethanolamine(TEA) - these chemicals are already restricted in Europe due to known carcinogenic effects. They are used as emulsifiers, thickeners, wetting agents, detergents, and alkalizing agents. Repeated skin application of DEA was found to cause liver and kidney damage in laboratory animals.
- Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) - PEG compounds often contain small amounts of ethylene oxide. According to experimental results reported on in the National Toxicology Program's Eighth Annual Report on Carcinogens, ethylene oxide increases the incidences of uterine and breast cancers and of leukemia and brain cancer.
- Sodium Hydroxide - an additive that is a strong irritant and corrosive to the skin, eyes, respiratory tract and gastrointestinal system if ingested.
- Triclosan - artificial antimicrobial chemical used to kill bacteria on the skin and other surfaces. Recent studies suggest this chemical may disrupt thyroid function (Veldhoen 2006) and may also disrupt other critical hormone systems.
- DMDM and Urea (Imidazolidnyl) - a preservative used to to prevent molds, mildews, and bacterial spoilage. It may irritate the respiratory system, cause skin reactions and trigger heart palpitations.
- Parabens (Begins with: Ethyl, Methyl, Butyl, Propyl, Isoprobly, Isobutly) - antimicrobial preservatives to help products last longer. Samples of breast cancer tissues have shown six different parabens used in cosmetic products.
- Alcohol (Ethyl, Ethanol, Isopropyl) - a solvent and denaturant (substance that changes another substance's natural qualities) and has a drying effect on your skin or hair.
- Phthalates - used to moisturize and to help chemicals absorb into the skin. Phthalates are considered hazardous waste and are regulated as pollutants in air and water buts are unregulated in food, cosmetics, and medical products in the U.S. In contrast, the European Union restricts use of some phthalates.
- FD&C Color Pigments - "Food, Drug, and Cosmetic" artificial color pigments that are usually made from coal tar that deposit toxins onto the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation.
- Fragrances - 95% of chemicals used in fragrances are synthetic compounds derived from petroleum that are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders and allergic reactions. (Neurotoxins: At Home and the Workplace, Report by the Committee on Science & Technology, U.S. House of Representatives, Sept. 16, 1986. (Report 99-827))
After reading this list of 10 things we should know about ingredients in our products, things are starting to make sense to me now. Like why my kids scalp gets itchy after they washed their hair and why I sometimes get skin irritation after putting on a certain brand of moisturizer. Yes, moisturizer! So now I know that some moisturizers actually dry out your skin depending on what stuff gets thrown inside the bottle. Worst yet, the bad stuff could be absorbed by our skin and into our bloodstream. If our body can not process these chemicals, they are stuck inside and that's when damage to our organs occur. Funny thing is up until today, I've always suspected that maybe it's the ingredients in the moisturizer that is causing my allergic reaction but I never really gave it much thought. I also know to avoid using products with ingredients like parabens and sulfates because these chemicals have been linked to several types of cancers and other health issues. A while back, I wrote about why paraben and sulfate free shampoos are good for us. So back to the 10 things that I read, I encourage everyone to read the ingredients label of their skin care and personal care products. Our health is priceless and it's way too important for us to assume that the products we use are safe for us. I used to think that in the United States, the government regulates the industry that makes our makeup, shampoos, deodorants, and etc. but the truth to the matter is, they don't. Good thing is we have organic and natural alternatives that are safe and healthy.