Are there dangerous chemicals lurking in your cosmetics?
Chances are, you think that your skincare products are completely safe. After all cosmetics manufactureres wouldn’t release a products if they had harmful ingredients–right?
In 1938, the FDA granted self-regulation to the cosmetics industry, which means that beauty products can be marketed without any form of testing, regulation or oversight. This means that most of the 25,000 chemicals commonly used in your beauty products used have not been tested for long-term toxic effects. In a typical day, you might be exposed to over 200 different chemicals–many of them carcinogenic. Even the EPA admits that many of the ingredients in the beauty products that you use every day “may be playing havoc with hormones that control reproduction and development.”
Want to know if you should ditch any of your skincare products? If you see any of these five chemicals lurking in any of your eye creams, vitamin c serums, moisturizers, cleansers, toners, or other skincare items, chuck the product in the trash NOW.
1. Triclosan: a synthetic anibacterial agent found in many soaps, cleansers, and other cosmetics, triclosan. In addition to causing antibiotic-resistant superbugs, triclosan has been found to have several severe negative health problems, especially in young children. It has been linked to. . .
* Thyroid Malfunction
* Endrocine Disruption
* Weight Gain
* Liver Damage
(source: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/11/forget-antibacterial-products/382832/, http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/11/forget-antibacterial-products/382832/)
2. DMDM Hydanation & Urea (a.k.a. Imidazolidinyl): these are just two of many perservatives often used in cosmetics to extend the shelf life of the product. DMDM Hydanation & Urea/Imidazolidinyl may be realtively harmless at first, but watch out–over time, they degrade and release formaldehyde. Exposure to formaldehyde can cause all sorts of issues ranging from depression, headaches, allergies, joint pain, ear infections, chronic fatigue, asthma, chest pains, and insomnia. Wondering why you’re always feeling so “foggy”? It might be your eye cream!
3. Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): often used in moisturizers to help keep the product stable and enhance the skin’s absorption of other active ingredients. This chemical’s ability to help products push active ingredients deep into your dermis is a HUGE problem, because Polythlyene Glycol is often contaminated! According to a report in the International Journal of Toxicology by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, PEG is often contaminated with ethylene oxide (used to manufacture mustard gas), 1,4-dioxane, polycyclic aromatic compounds, and heavy metals (lead, iron, cobalt, nickel, cadmium, arsenic). Yuck!
4. DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine) & TEA (triethanolamine): often found in soaps, shaving creams, and cleansers, these chemicals can degrade to form carcinogenic nitrates and nitrosamines. According to Dr. Samuel Epstein (Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Illinois), “repeated skin applications….of DEA-based detergents resulted in major increase in incidence of liver and kidney cancer.” To make matters even worse, the FDA’s John Bailey says that “the risk equation changes significantly for children”.
5. Nanoparticles: often found in sunscreens, anti-aging moisturizers, BB creams, etc., nanoparticles (usually micronized particles of zinc or titanium dioxide) are so small that they can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream. Manufacturers claim that the low concentrations found in most beauty products hasn’t been proven harmful to human health–but what happens when you use two or more products with nanoparticles? When you double your exposure, you double your risk. Ian Illuminato of Friends of the Earth notes that “Consumers must be aware that nanomaterials are being put into sunscreens with very little evidence about their safety and relative efficacy.” Exposure to micronized zinc or titanium dioxide can provoke inflammatory responses, oxidative stress, and cell damage.
What can be done? Be proactive. Take charge of your own health and educate yourself about the common toxic ingredients that your cosmetics. Here’s how:
1. Check the ingredient list. The FDA doesn’t require cosmetics manufactureres to list the ingredient list on the label…but often a bit of crafty Googling will help you find it. If you can’t find the ingredient list anywhere, there manufacturer is probably hiding it for a reason!
2. Not sure about an ingredient that you see in your skincare products? Take the time to find out more about the products . The Environmental Worker’s Group Skin Deep is a great resource.
3. Make the switch to 100% natural and organic skincare products. Organic products use the power of potent anti-aging ingredients found in nature to help you reduce fine lines, eliminate wrinkles, and erase age spots (though be sure to always, always, always read the label!) And remember – though organic and natural products may be more expensive initially, but they’ll save you thousands down the line in helping you prevent cancer and other health problems.
(Here’s what a beauty product label should look like!! Notice how you can pronounce and recognize ALL of the ingredients! This is the label for our 100% Organic Enchant by Esteem Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid. CO = Certified Organic.)
Ready to reform your skincare routine? Here’s what customers have to say about our 100% Organic Enchant by Esteem Vitamin C Serum with Hyraluronic Acid:
“I can’t believe how great my skin looks and feels! Enchant glides on and leaves NO greasy residue. I’ll never use anything else again!” –Sherrie
“I love the consistency of it, when you apply it on your face, within minute it gets absorbed by your skin. There’s no greasy/sticky texture left on your skin and no unpleasant smell…It is almost a month, since I started using the product: It had been very refreshing and perfect to hydrate my entire face. It absorbs quick. Am really loving how soothing and smooth my skin has become.” –Trilok
Thanks gals! We spent months of careful research perfecting our organic Vitamin C Serum, and we’re pretty darn proud of it! Want to read more rave reviews? Click here!