Chemical irritants and toxins found in much of today’s skincare can trigger inflammation that increases skin sensitivity and even accelerate the visible signs of aging. This inflammatory response stresses the skin’s natural repair process, damages its protective barrier and breaks down collagen, hastening the appearance of lines and wrinkles and undermining the healthy function of the skin.
1. Toxic Preservatives: Parabens (Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl) – Used as preservatives in almost all skincare products, and have been found in breast cancer tumors. Parabens, as xenoestrogens (hormone disruptors), may contribute to sterility in male mice and humans. Estrogen-like activity causes hormone imbalance in females and early puberty.
DMDM Hydantoin & Urea (Imidazolidinyl): Just two of many preservatives that often release formaldehyde which may cause joint pain, cancer, skin reactions, allergies, depression, headaches, chronic fatigue, dizziness, and loss of sleep. Exposure may irritate the respiratory system, trigger heart palpitations or asthma, aggravate coughs and colds.
Triclosan: Synthetic “antibacterial” ingredient with chemical structure similar to Agent Orange! The EPA registers it as a pesticide, posing risks to human health and environment, suspected of causing cancer in humans and creating ‘super bugs’ it cannot kill.
Phenoxyethanol: A preservative often found natural skin care as an alternative to parabens, but actually presents its own health risks. There are several animal studies that demonstrate that it is toxic – with effects on the brain and the nervous system. The FDA has warned that phenoxyethanol can cause shut down of the central nervous system, vomiting and contact dermatitis.
2. Ethanol, Denatured Alcohol, Ethyl Alcohol, Methanol, Isopropyl Alcohol, SD Alcohol and Benzyl Alcohol: Found in many skin care products, including natural brands. Even in small amounts these types of alcohol can be extremely drying and irritating, and have been shown to generate free radical damage and disrupt skin’s protective barrier.
3. Synthetic Color and Dyes: Synthetic colors from coal tar contain heavy metal salts that deposit toxins in skin, causing skin sensitivity/irritation. Absorption can cause depletion of oxygen. Animal studies show almost all are carcinogenic.
4. Propylene Glycol and Pegs (Polyethylene glycol): Propylene Glycol (PG) is a petroleum-based wetting agent and solvent. PG penetrates the skin so quickly the EPA warns against skin contact to prevent brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. PEGs are made by ethoxylating Propylene Glycol. Dangerous levels of dioxin have been found as a by-product of the ethoxylation process.
5. Phthalates: Xenoestrogens are commonly found in many products, usually not listed on labels. Health effects include damage to liver/kidneys, birth defects, decreased sperm counts and early breast development in girls and boys.
6. Benzoyl Peroxide: Frequently used in acne products, the MSDS states, “Facilitates action of known carcinogens…Possible tumor promoter. May act as mutagen; produces DNA damage in human and other mammalian cells in some concentrations. Also, toxic by inhalation. May be harmful if swallowed and in contact with skin. Eye, skin and respiratory irritant.”
7. DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), & TEA (Triethanolamine): This foam booster is a skin/eye irritant and causes contact dermatitis. Easily absorbed through skin to accumulate in body organs, even the brain. Repeated use resulted in major increases of liver and kidney cancer.
8. Sulfates: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): Detergents and surfactants that pose serious health threats. Used in car washes, garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers and 90% of personal care products that foam. Animals exposed to SLS experienced eye damage, depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation – even death. SLS may also damage skin’s immune system by causing layers to separate, inflame and age.
9. Chemical Sunscreens: avobenzone, benzphenone, ethoxycinnamate, and PABA are commonly-used ingredients that are known free radical generators and are believed to damage DNA or lead to cancers.
10. Mineral Oil and Petrolatum: Petroleum products that can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer. Petroleum byproduct has been found in breast tumors, strongly suggesting it is a breast-cancer-promoting substance. It also suffocates the skin, blocking oxygen absorption and aggravating acne.
11. Sodium Hydroxide: Commonly used in skin care, including natural products, to adjust the pH, sodium hydroxide (also known as lye) is a highly caustic, toxic and reactive inorganic base. It is classed as a poison to humans and animals. Cumulative or prolonged contact with skin can cause serious irritation, has a destructive effect upon tissue and skin cells and is known to aggravate pre-existing skin disorders. Make sure it’s not in any of your skincare!
12. Synthetic Fragrance: May contain Phthalates and any of over 200 other synthetic ingredients. There is no way to know what the chemicals are, since on the label it will simply say “Fragrance.” Some of the problems caused by these chemicals are headaches, dizziness, rash, hyper-pigmentation and skin irritation.