Looking to shop make-up products? Be careful! Many products contain hazardous chemicals ingredients that can be dangerous to your health. Here’s a list of 13 deadly toxins to avoid in your make-up, cosmetic, and personal care products.
1- Parabens: commonly used in makeup, this toxic ingredient may interfere with hormone function and it has been associated with breast cancer. Look out for ingredients with “pararaben” in their name such as methylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, or ethylparaben.
2- BHA and BHT: BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are widely used as preservatives in makeup products, lipsticks and moisturizers, among other cosmetics. BHA and BHT are closely related synthetic antioxidants known to induce allergic reactions in the skin, cause cancer, and interfere with hormone function.
3- Siloxanes (Cyclomethicone): these silicone-based compounds are used in cosmetics and facial treatments to soften, smooth, and moisten. It can interfere with hormone function, may impair human fertility, and damage the liver. Check for ingredients ending with the word siloxane such as cyclotetrasiloxane.
4- DEA, cocamide DEA and lauramide DEA: widely used in moisturizers and makeup products. DEA compounds are used to make cosmetics creamy or sudsy but are known to cause skin irritation. DEA also acts as a pH adjuster, counteracting the acidity of other ingredients.
5- Parfum and Synthetic fragrances: widely used, even in some products marketed as “unscented”. Mixture of chemicals that can trigger allergies and asthma. Some linked to cancer and neurotoxicity.
6. PEGs: these petroleum-based compounds that are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers. PEGs are commonly used as cosmetic cream bases and may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which can cause cancer.
7. Petrolatum: used in a variety of make-up products, as well as lip balm/lipstick, and skin care products. Petrolatum is mineral oil jelly used as a barrier to lock moisture in the skin in a variety of moisturizers that can be contaminated with cancer-causing impurities.
8. Mineral Oil: often used in beauty treatments products, mineral oil is a petroleum by-product which may clog the pores and interferes with the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging. Its solvent properties are used on cleansers that are intended to use in removing oil-based makeup and in removing the accumulated dust and dirt on oily skin types.
9. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): used in cosmetics as a detergent, SLES can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. SLS may damage liver, irritates skin, eyes and respiratory tract.
10- Dibutyl Phthalate or DBP: often found in nail products and some hair sprays, this toxic to reproduction may interfere with hormone function. DBP’s are commonly hidden on ingredient labels under the term “fragrance”.
11. Heavy Metals: heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, and nickel can build up in the body over time and are known to cause many health problems such as cancer, reproductive and developmental disorders, neurological problems; memory loss, cardiovascular, kidney and renal problems; headaches, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea; among many others. Multiple conventional cosmetic products such as foundation, mascaras, lipsticks, tints, glosses contain multiple heavy metals.
12. Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives: widely used in moisturizers, formaldehyde is known for causing cancer. Look out for ingredient such as DMDM Hydantoin, Daizolidinyl Urea, and Methenamine.
13. Coal Tar Dyes: Labeled as P-phenylenediamine, this toxic is known to cause cancer and can be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain. Coal tar-derived colors are used extensively in cosmetics, generally identified by a five-digit Color Index (C.I.) number.