In part one of our toxic skin care ingredients list, we discussed the common harmful cosmetic ingredients to avoid. These included parabens, propylene glycol, Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES), Petroleum derivatives, Mineral Oil, DEA (Diethanalomine), TEA (triethanolamine), Artificial Fragrances, Artificial Colours. But the list doesn’t stop here!
The list is endless, and in part 2 of our toxic skin and hair care ingredients report, we analyse a list that are less common, but nevertheless the ingredients will pop up in a variety of personal care products around your home. As an ingredients detective, your job to ‘sus-out’ these toxins and keep them away from you and your loved ones.
Isopropyl (SD-40) A very drying and irritating solvent and dehydrator that strips your skin’s natural acid mantle, making us more vulnerable to bacteria, moulds and viruses. It is made from propylene, a petroleum derivative. It may promote brown spots and premature aging of skin.
Benzalkonium Chloride Highly toxic, primary skin irritant and is highly toxic if taken orally. It causes major irritation to the skin, eyes, throat and nose.
Butylated Hudroxyanisole (BHA)
Butylated Hudroxyanisole (BHA) Causes allergic contact dermatitis.
Cationic surfactants (Stearalkonium chlori, Benzalkonium chloride, Cetrimonium chloride, Cetalkonium chloride)
Cationic surfactants These chemicals have a positive electrical charge. They contain a quaternary ammonium group and are often called “quats”. These are used in hair conditioners, but originated from the paper and fabric industries as softeners and anti-static agents. In the long run they cause the hair to become dry and brittle. They are synthetic, irritating, allergenic and toxic, and oral intake of them can be lethal.
Isothiazolinone Causes contact dermatitis.
Diazolidinyl urea Established as a primary cause of contact dermatitis (American Academy of Dermatology). Contains formaldehyde, a carcinogenic chemical, is toxic by inhalation, a strong irritant, and causes contact dermatitis.
FD&C Colour Pigments
FD&C Colour Pigments Synthetic colours made from coal tar. Contain heavy metal salts that deposit toxins onto the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation. Animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic.
Formaldehyde Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen (causes cancer). Causes allergic, irritant and contact dermatitis, headaches and chronic fatigue. The vapour is extremely irritating to the eyes, nose and throat (mucous membranes). See Nitrosating agents
Any chemicals used on sheep will contaminate the lanolin obtained from the wool. The majority of lanolin used in cosmetics is highly contaminated with chlorinated organo pesticides like DDT.
Paraffin Wax is mineral oil wax.
A petroleum-derived chemical used in hairsprays, wavesets and other cosmetics. It can be considered toxic, since particles may contribute to foreign bodies in the lungs of sensitive persons.
Silicone derived emollients (Dimethicone, Dimethicone Copolyol, Cyclomethicone)
Silicone emollients coat the skin, trapping anything beneath it, and do not allow the skin to breathe (much like plastic wrap would do.) Recent studies have indicated that prolonged exposure of the skin to sweat, by occlusion, causes skin irritation. Some synthetic emollients are known tumour promoters and accumulate in the liver and lymph nodes. They are also non-biodegradable, causing negative environmental impact.
A chemical used in hair conditioners and creams. Causes allergic reactions. Stearalkonium chloride was developed by the fabric industry as a fabric softener, and is a lot cheaper and easier to use in hair conditioning formulas than proteins or herbals, which do help hair health.
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