While being exposed to toxic chemicals via food intake is more known and recognized it’s also important to know what’s in the products we use every day- lotions, soaps, deodorant, shampoo’s, cosmetics, laundry detergent.
I went to my knowledgeable friend Jessica for some advice about what to look out for as far as harmful ingredients. She directed me to this site called Non-toxic Alternatives. She has TONS of good information about what to look for when choosing products. It’s definitely a site you want to check out. She also has 2 lists that contains toxic and potentially cancer causing (carcinogens) and hormone altering chemicals.
Ingredient list 1:
- Diethanolamine (DEA), found in shampoos, body washes, bubble bath, and shaving cream.
- Triethanolamine (TEA) , found in moisturizers, cosmetics, deodorant, toothpaste, body oils, and washes.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) , found in shampoo, bubble bath, shaving foam, and cleansers.
- Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) , found in shampoo, bubble bath, shaving foam, and cleansers.
- Propylene Glycol, found in the anti freeze for your car radiator, hand sanitizers, moisturizers, shaving creams, deodorants, and baby products.
- Sodium Fluoride, found in toothpaste.
- Alcohol, found in mouthwash, toners, and baby products.
- Talc, found in baby powder, make-up, and foot preparations.
- PABA, found in sunscreens.
- PEG, found in cosmetics, make-up, and shaving cream.
- Artificial flavors, found in toothpaste and mouthwash.
- Artificial colors, found in make-up, toothpaste, and shampoos.
- Benzalkonium Chloride and Benzethonium Chloride – synthetic germicides belonging to the large group of germicides known as “Quats, found in numerous household disinfectants, sanitizers including hand sanitizers and personal care products – long term use may affect immune system, cause asthma and should be especially avoided if you have COPD, or any other form of pulmonary disease.
- Ether, found in nail treatments, shampoo, and conditioner.
- Coal Tars, found in shampoo, conditioner, hair dyes, soap, skin care and cosmetics.
- Aluminum, found in antiperspirants.
- Acetone, found in nail polish remover.
- Formaldehyde, found in antiperspirants, nail treatments, and perfumes.
- Fluorocarbons, found in hair spray.
Dioxins, found in shampoo.
- Petrolatum or Mineral Oil, found in baby products, washes, and moisturizers.
- Sodium Hydroxide found in soaps and detergents, is a caustic poison, corrosive to skin.
- Triclosan found in anti bacterial soaps, hand sanitizers and even toothpaste. It use is so widespread that it is being linked to lowering the immune system and is now being detected in breast milk. (Overuse of hand sanitizers with Triclosan is not good for your children)
One of the most important things is to not automatically purchase something just because it says its “all natural.” Print out this list and or take a picture of it and put it on your phone so you have it with you at all times. That way when you are going to purchase something you can quickly access it and look up which chemicals it contains.
Want to know something scary? The Environmental Working Group (yes, same that created the dirty dozen) did a study on teens and the cosmetics they were using. Their study found 16 chemicals from 4 chemical families – phthalates, triclosan, parabens, and musks – in blood and urine samples from 20 teen girls aged 14-19. Cancer and hormone disruption are linked to these chemicals. Their study indicated that every single girl which was tested had 2 parabens (methylparaben and proplyparaben).
A paraben is a group of chemical compounds used as a preservative in cosmetics, food additives and in pharmaceutical drugs. You’ll often see products labeling “paraben free.”
The second ingredient list contains “frank” and hidden carcinogens. These can be found in many other personal care products that were not listed on this page.
Ingredient list 2:
- acid orange 3
- Acrylate copolymers
- amorphous silicates
- Benzyl acetate
- blue 1,2,4
- bronopol (2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol)
- butyl benzylphthalate
- Butylated hydroxyanisole
- butylated hydroxytoluene
- chrystalline silica
- coal tar dyes
- DEA-Cocamide & Lauramide & Oleamidecondensates
- DEA-cocamide/lauramide condensates
- DEA-Sodium lauryl sulfate
- diazolidinyl urea
- Diethanolamide-cocamide, lauramide & oleamide condensates
- dioctyl adipate
- disperse blue 1
- disperse yellow 3
- ethoxylated alcohols
- ethyl alcohol
- green 1,2,3
- Imidazolidinyl urea
- Methacrylate copolymers
- methylene chloride
- Padimate-O (octyldimethyl para-amino benzoic acid)
- PEG’s (polyethylene glycols)
- Polysorbate 60
- Polysorbate 80
- polyvinyl acetate
- polyvinyl pyrrolidone
- Pyroglutamic Acid
- red 4,9,17,19,22,33,40
- vTEA-Sodium lauryl sulfate
- titanium dioxide
- Yellow 5,6,8
Questions to ask
The first and foremost thing to do is to make sure you read the labels, carefully! If you’ve been reading my blogs you know this isn’t the first time I have said this. Reading the labels is by far the most important thing to help you stay away from things that can hurt you. I know that reading labels can be hard if you don’t know what you’re looking for but now you are armed with a complete list of destructive chemicals.
The sucky thing about finding products that are good for you is you most likely won’t be able to find them at your local grocery store (Safeway, Walmart, Publix, CVS.. etc). Sometimes convenience must be sacrificed. This makes it a little more complicated but don’t let this be the reason you stop your search. Use the internet as your tool to help you find health food stores that are close to you.
Also, you can use the internet to help you investigate a potential company you are going to buy products from. What are they about? Is their full intent of making these products for your safety? Do they have products on the market (especially prior to the one you’re checking out) that contain damaging chemicals (found in the harmful ingredient list)? Are they dedicated to the integrity of their products and ingredients and providing you with the purest and cleanest things?
I hope this helps answer a few questions on how to find cleaner, safer products. I will be dedicating a post completely to skin care soon.
Until next time,
Loriel – Healthy Roots, Happy Soul