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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Top 12 Personal Care Product Ingredients to Avoid

Did you know that 1/3 of the personal care products on the market contain at least one ingredient linked to cancer? Or that only 20% of the chemicals in personal care products have been tested for safety? I'll just say it: I think this is scary and WRONG. I personally chose to stop being part of this mass toxicological experiment when I stopped using all conventional products. This may not be the answer for you, but at least you can educate yourself with the increasing amount of information out there and make more informed choices.

Natural Home & Garden just published an incredibly poignant online article written by Kelly Lerner and Alli Kingfisher about the dangerous ingredients lurking in personal care products. The list of the top 12 ingredients to avoid contained in the article appears below, information I feel it is my responsibility to pass along. It's time to start bringing awareness to what we're putting in and on our bodies. Please familiarize yourself with this list and if you have a few more moments, I invite you to read the whole story here.

1) Prefixes Ethyl, Methyl, Butyl or Propyl
What It Is: Parabens
Health Risks: Endocrine disrupters that mimic estrogen; linked to weight gain and breast cancer
Found In: Lotions and shampoos

2) Fragrance, DEHP, DHP, DBP 5, Dibutyl Phthalate
What It Is: Phthalates
Health Risks: Sperm damage, infertility
Found In: Nail polish, shampoo, deodorant, lotion

3) Dyes: Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5 & 6, Red 33
What It Is: Coal tar
Health Risks: Carcinogenic
Found In: Hair color, medicated shampoos

4) Triclosan, Chloro, Phenol, Irgasan
What It Is: Triclosan
Health Risks: Endocrine and thyroid disrupter; promotes antibiotic-resistant bacteria; bioaccumulates in the body
Found In: Antibacterial soap, shampoo, facial cleanser, toothpaste, deodorant

5) 3-(4-methylbenzylidene)-camphor (4-MBC), octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC), octyl-dimethyl-PABA (OD-PABA), bexophenome-3 (Bp-3), homosalate (HMS)
What It Is: Sunscreen chemicals
Health Risks: Estrogenic activity; enhances the potential for pesticides to penetrate the skin
Found In: Sunscreens

6) Polyethylene glycol (PEG, PPG, Cocoate), propylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, polyethoxyethylene, polyethoxyethylene mineral oil
What It Is: Petroleum byproducts
Health Risks: Carcinogen; liver and kidney effects
Found In: Lotions

7) Petrolatum
What It Is: Derivative of petroleum
Health Risks: Endocrine disrupter; carcinogen
Found In: Lotions

8) Lead acetate, thimerosal, mercurius solubilis, mercurius sublimates, mercurius corrosives, mercuric chloride
What It Is: Lead and mercury
Health Risks: Found in higher levels in women with breast cancer; neurotoxin
Found In: Hair color, wound treatments, artificial tears

9) Isobutene
What It Is: Propellant made from petroleum processing
Health Risks: Carcinogen
Found In: Moisturizer, shaving cream, foot spray, breath freshener

10) Placenta
What It Is: Placenta, placental enzymes, placental extract
Health Risks: Filled with hormones that upset your own balance and increase estrogen
Found In: Skin and hair conditioner

11) Hydroquinone
What It Is: Hydroquinone
Health Risks: Can cause a skin disease called ochronosis
Found In: Skin whitener

12) Nano zinc oxide <100mm
What It Is: Nanoparticles
Health Risks: The safety of nanoparticles has not been tested, but they can cross the blood/brain barrier and move along nerves.
Found In: Sunscreens, lotions

If you're as disheartened and overwhelmed as I've gotten in the past looking over this list, please consider contacting me about Shaklee products, in which NONE of these ingredients can be found. They are naturally safe and effective, ensuring you never have to wonder what's lurking in your bathroom vanity again.