This is Day 94 of the Green in 365 series!
Now that you’ve checked the ingredient labels on your personal care products on the Cosmetic Safety Database, it’s time to clear out all the products that have less than ideal ingredients! This list will help you get started in purging your bathroom of unwanted and toxic chemicals. Read through your labels to find products that include any of these ingredients, you want to avoid these ingredients in your personal care products as much as possible!
10 Ingredients to Avoid in Your Personal Care Products
*This list was originally posted on Jan. 22, 2011
1. Parabens – Including methly, propyl, butlyl and ethyl paraban (anything ending in paraban), these are preservatives that have been linked to hormone disruption and infertility, and may increase the risk of certain cancers.
2. Fragrances – These can contain hundreds of different chemicals that are not required to be listed on the ingredients. So fragrance just means that there’s lots of stuff it in that you have no idea what it is, and can cause headaches, dizziness, rashes and allergic skin reactions.
3. Phthalates (DEHP, BBP, DBP, DMP, DEP) – these chemicals, that have been linked to sperm damage and infertility, can also be hidden within the label fragrance (see above).
4. DMDM hydantoin – A preservative that releases formaldehyde which is linked to asthma, skin conditions, chronic fatiugue, headaches, dizziness and other respiratory problems.
5. Mineral Oil – A derivative of petroleum this coats the skin like plastic wrap and keeps the skin from being able to breathe and absorb moisture as well as release toxins.
6. Propylene Glycol – Derived from natural gas this ingredient has been known to cause allergic reactions, hives and eczema. My sister is allergic to propylene glycol and found that it is hard to find conventional products that don’t contain this nasty ingredient.
7. Triclosan – An antibacterial agent that may contribute to anti-bacterial resistance and also cannot be completely removed from our water, so it ends up in our rivers and lakes, drinking water, and even breast milk – we’ve talked before about why it’s important to avoid triclosan.
8. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate – A detergent and foaming agent, it’s hard to find shampoo or toothpaste without SLS. Because it’s derived from coconut, some manufacturers or labels may claim that it is a natural ingredient, but it is the processing used to create SLS that makes this a toxic ingredient. It can cause malformation to children’s eyes, skin irritation, and is damaging to the immune system.
9. PEG’s – Polyehylene Glycol – PEG’s are used to help cleansers dissolve oil and grease and can be found in caustic oven cleaners – enough said – not something I want to be using on my skin. They strip away natural moisture and can damage the immune system.
10. Any ingredient with “glycol” or “methyl” – There are a whole lot of other chemicals out there that should be avoided, and many of the above ingredients also have other names, so a good rule of thumb is to avoid anything with these two terms in the ingredient label.
As you go through your products, you may be surprised at how many of them contain one or more of these ingredients.
At this point you have a few options for getting rid of these products – you can decide to use what’s left and then replace them with a safer alternative, you can find a replacement product as soon as possible and toss out the chemical filled one, or you can set your unwanted products aside to sell at a garage sale, someone, who would buy the product anyway, will probably buy them for $0.25 per bottle and at least you’re saving it from going directly in the trash.
Do you read the ingredient labels before purchasing your personal care products?
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