Ingredients To Avoid In Skincare Products

Artificial Fragrances

Artificial fragrances are 95% derived from petrochemicals. The word "fragrance" on a label can indicate the presence of up to four thousand separate ingredients, many toxic or carcinogenic. Symptoms reported to the USA FDA include headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing, vomiting, and skin irritation. Clinical observation proves that fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, and irritability.

DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine) & TEA (triethanolamine)

DEA and its derivatives are severely irritating to body tissues and possibly corrosive eye irritants. It can react with nitrites to form highly carcinogenic nitrosamines. Found in a wide range of household cleaning and personal-care products, especially shampoos, and studies revealed that it may inhibit brain development. 



FD&C Color Pigments

Artificial colors are made from petroleum and coal tar, and animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic. They contain heavy metal salts that deposit toxins into the skin, causing skin sensitivity and are irritants to the skin and eyes. They are found on labels as "FD&C" or "D&C" and followed by a color and a number. Yellow, amber, green, or blue products are dyed with synthetic colors, and should be avoided at all costs. New studies also reveal that synthetic preservatives and artificial coloring agents are related to as aggravating Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder symptoms, both in those affected by these disorders and in the general population.



Formaldehyde (DMDM & Imidazolidnyl Urea)

Formaldehyde is classified as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Being one of the more common indoor air pollutants, above 0.1ppm concentrations in the air can irritate the eyes and mucous membranes, resulting in watery eyes. Inhalation may cause headaches, burning sensation in the throat, difficulty breathing, and may trigger or aggravate asthma symptoms. It can cause allergies and is part of the standard patch test series. It is the most commonly used cosmetic preservatives, after Parabens. It is a primary cause of contact dermatitis. Found in cosmetics, baby shampoos, personal care products, and fragrances. Its use has been banned or restricted in many countries. Less irritating and allergenic preservatives include grapefruit-seed extract, phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate, sorbic acid, tocopherol (vitamin E), Vitamin A (retinyl), and Vitamin C (ascorbic acid).



Isopropyl Alcohol (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. Isopropyl alcohol poisoning includes symptoms of flushing, headache, dizziness, central nervous system depression, nausea, vomiting, anesthesia, and coma. Poisoning can occur from inhalation, ingestion or absorption. It may promote brown spots and premature aging of skin.



Mineral Oil

Petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic to lock in moisture, which actually clogs the pores. It interferes with our skin's ability to eliminate toxins, thus promoting acne and other disorders, such as eczema. It slows down the skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging. Used in many products including baby oil, bath, and body oil. Any mineral oil derivative can be contaminated with cancer causing PAH's (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons). Petrolatum is a very cheap alternative for manufacturers, in comparison with pure essential oils from plants.



Parabens (Methyl, Butyl, Propyl, Ethyl, etc)

Parabens are a group of low costs chemicals widely use as preservatives that have a high potential for causing skin irritations, contact dermatitis, allergic reactions and Rosacea, in paraben allergic individuals. Widely used in personal-care products, including shampoos and cosmetics. It is reported to be toxic, and harmful if swallowed or inhaled. Scientific studies report of parabens found in samples of breast tumors, lead to the belief that parabens in underarm deodorants might be a contribution to the development of these breast tumors.



Polyethylene Glycol (PEG 4 - 200)

A potential carcinogenic petroleum ingredient that can change and reduce the skin's natural moisture level, which could increase the signs of aging. Usually contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which is highly carcinogenic. Commonly used in cleansers to dissolve oil and grease and as a dispersant in toothpastes, to bind water to help keeps gum uniform throughout the toothpaste.



Propylene Glycol (PG or MEG) and Butylene Glycol

It is reported to have severe adverse health effects, including skin irritations, contact dermatitis, and allergies. Used widely as a moisturizer in medicines, food, cosmetics, toothpaste, mouth wash, tobacco products, and a main ingredient in deodorant sticks. It is also used as a less-toxic antifreeze, to de-ice aircraft. Inhalation may cause respiratory and throat irritation. Exposure to large doses may cause central nervous system depression, blood and kidney disorders. Contact with eyes may cause irritation, tearing, burning pain and conjunctivitis. Brain damage and death may occur if ingested.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate (ALS), Ammonium Laureth Sulfate (ALES)

A detergent and surfactant found in many personal care products (soaps, shampoos, toothpastes). It is a cheap and effective foaming agent, but a major skin irritant. It is reported as toxic in many studies. It has a tendency to react with other ingredients to form carcinogenic nitrosamines. Studies have shown eye and systemic tissue (heart, liver, brain) penetration, and classified as a moderate to severe eye irritant. It is a main ingredient in many shampoos, baby shampoos, and toothpastes. High concentrations are found in industrial products, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners, and car wash soaps. It is an important component in bubble bath formulations for its thickening effect and ability to create foam.

Sodium Hydroxide

Extremely corrosive to the skin, eyes and respiratory system. Contact with eyes causes irritation and may cause burns that may result in permanent impairment of vision or blindness. Skin contact causes irritations or severe burns and scarring with high exposures. Fatal if swallowed, it may cause severe burns of mouth, throat, and stomach. Severe scarring of tissue and death may result. Symptoms include bleeding, vomiting, diarrhea, and fall in blood pressure. Damage may only appear days after exposure. Prolonged exposure with dilute solutions has a destructive effect upon tissues. Found in a wide range of household cleaners including oven cleaners, tub and tile cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners and drain openers.


Probable human carcinogen. The use of triclosan in household anti-bacterial products introduces the chemical to surface waters where it can form dioxins, a family of compounds of widely ranging toxicity. Some dioxins are extremely toxic and are very potent endocrine disruptors. Studies have proposed that it blocks the metabolism of thyroid hormone, and also can affect the mental development of the brain for some people who may carry a mutated gene that makes it easier for triclosan to attach to their cells, making them more vulnerable to any effects it may cause. It is labeled as a pesticide, given its high risk factor to human health and the environment.

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