Personal care products regularly contain 20 or more ingredients many of which are unregulated toxic chemicals. Below are a list of potentially toxic personal care ingredients.
Potentially Toxic Ingredient: Isopropyl Alcohol (SD-40)
This synthetic solvent used in personal care products is very drying and irritating to the skin. It strips your skin’s moisture and natural immune barrier. It is made from propylene and is found in many skin and hair care products. Fatal/coma: if one ounce or less is ingested.
Potentially Toxic Ingredient: DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monothanolamine) & TEA (triethanolamine) Hormone
These personal care additives are hormone disrupting chemicals that can form cancer causing nitrates and nitrosamines. They are already restricted in Europe due to known carcinogenic effects, but Americans may be exposed 10-20 times per day! These hormones are used to create foam in personal care products including shampoos, shaving creams, bubble baths.
Potentially Toxic Ingredient: Mineral Oil
Mineral oil is a petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic, clogging the pores and interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins (Baby oil is 100% mineral oil). This is among the top few most toxic personal care ingredients.
Potentially Toxic Ingredient: DMDM Hydantoin & Urea
These are just two of many personal care preservatives that often release formaldehyde which may cause joint pain, skin reactions, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness, and loss of sleep. Exposure may also irritate the respiratory system, trigger heart palpitations or asthma, and aggravate coughs and colds.
Potentially Toxic Ingredient: FD & C Color Pigments
These personal care ingredients are synthetic colors made from coal tar containing 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.
Potentially Toxic Ingredient: Fragrances
Fragrance on a label can indicate the presence of up to four thousand separate ingredients, many toxic or carcinogenic. This common personal care additive is thought to be the number one cause of allergies from personal care exposure.
Potentially Toxic Ingredient: Propyethylene Glycol (PEG)
Propyethylene Glycol is a potentially carcinogenic petroleum ingredient that can alter and reduce the skin’s natural moisture factor.
Potentially Toxic Ingredient: Propylene Glycol (PG) and Butylene Glycol
These are both petroleum by-products that act as surfactants (wetting agents) with solvent properties. They penetrate the skin and can weaken protein and cellular structure. The EPA considers PG so toxic that it requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles to dispose of any PG solutions in toxic waste dumps.
Potentially Toxic Ingredient: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
SLS and SLES are detergents and surfactants used in personal care products that pose serious health threats. Used in car washes, garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers and 90% of personal care products that foam. This is perhaps “public enemy number 1” in the battle agains toxic personal care ingredients.
Potentially Toxic Ingredient: Triclosan
This synthetic, “antibacterial” ingredient receives high scores as a risk to both human health and the environment by the EPA. Triclosan is classified as a chlorophenol, a class of chemicals suspected of causing cancer in humans. Its manufacturing process can produce dioxin, a powerful hormone-disrupting chemical with toxic effects measured in the parts per trillion; that is only one drop in 300 Olympic-size swimming pools!! Hormone disruptors pose enormous long term chronic health risks by interfering with the way hormones perform by changing genetic material, decreasing fertility and sexual function and fostering birth defects. Its use is widespread in popular antibacterial cleansers, toothpastes and household products.
Many personal care ingredients are completely unregulated with hundreds of new chemicals introduced each year. Each of these potentially toxic personal care ingredients can be found in all sorts of products, so be sure to know what you are putting on and in your body.