There are a lot of toxic ingredients in skincare and perfumery.
Fortunately, due to the ever-expanding information highway of the internet, they are much easier to identify with the help of great websites and blogs. While each source may not be 100% accurate, at least we have a place to start, and with that, a choice. How lucky are we to have a choice? Some people in the world struggle to survive, so let us all be thankful for even the smallest choice!
Here are some ingredients to avoid:
Preservatives – Parabens
They include methylparaben , ethylparaben , propylparaben and butylparaben and are synthetically and cheaply produced as preservatives in skincare, perfume, makeup and foods. These compounds have shown up in breast cancer tumours, although studies show they are non-toxic. Possibly this is a hint not to use underarm deodorants with aluminium and parabens! Often these compounds are followed by numbers and these can be different in different countries. Have a look on your face cream, what is the preservative used in it? You’ll probably find it has a list of ingredients that sounds hideous – another hint – stay away from this shit.
Basic rule of thumb – if it has a number, its not natural. I am not claiming all synthetics are bad, but with the groundswell against ingredients such as these over the past 20 years, something isn’t quite right. And on the flip side, possibly not all natural ingredients are healthy either. For example an ingredient in bergamot essential oil is warned as being phototoxic – makes you burn faster when in the sun.Remember you have a choice, and the ability to inquire.
Preservatives – Formaldehyde
It is used as a preservative, and more recently formaldehyde-releasing preservatives are used. It is a naturally occurring substance, but the issue is the over use in skincare ingredients .This has recently been taken out of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo – but it was in there from it’s inception in 1953. Known to create cancer in humans (again), it is toxic to many organs and really isn’t very nice. It’s used in cleaning products too and is also used in most nail polishes and of course its that pungent ingredient used in embalming fluid and in scientific labs to preserve tissues ans organs.
Foaming Agents – Sulphates
Many people are now aware of the sulphates used as surfactants in shampoos, body wash, toothpastes and any else you can think of that foams up.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) is the foaming agent that is used in about 90% of shampoos with Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES), Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate or Sodium Myreth Sulphate, also used. These compounds are known to create cancer in people and other dastardly disease when tested on animals. And they are tested on animals and you can be assured nearly everything we use in society today has been tested on animals.
Each perfumes is considered a trade secret and most are not legally obliged to list what the ingredients are. They include neuro-toxins, carcinogens, allergens and sensitizing agents. Individual ingredients may include some of the above, plus Phthalates which can effect fertility. Most perfumes are not subject to any health guidelines and are made from thousands of individual synthesized notes. So next time you spray your favourite perfume all over you, remember what’s in it. You are also involving yourself with the un-healthiness of those around you too.
This is listed in many skincare products so the producer doesn’t have to give away firstly, what scent is in it, and secondly what toxic crap is in it. Many chemicals can be grouped under this heading as a generic description for the scent. Even some relatively natural products still have “fragrance” on the list of ingredients so no one can steal their particular combination of scent. Sorry, if you can’t tell me what’s in it. I don’t want it! I want to make an informed choice.
And can you imagine what toxic chemicals are in cleaning products? Vile.
Check out these great resources before you buy your next bottle of perfume or expensive cream or serum:
Lord I wish more bloggers would write posts like this…for several years I have been researching and reading up on this and it is scary business. I am trying hard to steer my teenage daughters away from anything unnatural and looking to nature for remedies (ie: tea tree oil for acne). I have gone so far as only allowing them to purchase make-up from one company that uses berries,teas and herbs to color their make-up and is one hundred percent natural as well as only natural water based nail polish that removes with water and not the harsh chemicals of nail polish remover. Unfortunately all of these chemicals are ubiquitous in our every day lives but one little change at a time might make a difference. And hopefully I am instilling these ideas into my children!
Yep great idea. I do the same with my nieces and nephews. Just teaching them to be mindful is a good thing, and trying to make better choices.