Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cosmetic Chemicals To Be Aware Of

Just because it says 'natural' on the label, it doesn't mean it truly is. Manufacturers have been able to influence lawmakers to pass laws which give them a wide leeway as to how they advertise. Using the word natural does not mean it has been produced by nature, it does not mean it has been processed naturally and most importantly it does not mean that it will not harm your skin or health.

Unfortunately, the overuse of the word has given consumers a reason to be wary. That is why you must educate yourself about the products that you use. Don't feel overwhelmed. It takes just a short learning curve to find products that are truly natural and good for you.

Now, I know that many of these chemicals are approved by our government agencies, such as the FDA, and their main argument is that there are such small amounts of bad chemicals in these products that they will cause no harm. But multiply these chemicals and the combinations in the amount of foods and products you purchase and use and then guess what? It's not just a small, 'safe' amount anymore. With the odds of getting some kind of cancer becoming close to every 1 out of 4 people the amount of money we have spent on curing cancer has been poured down the drain. Prevention is the best medicine, and information is your weapon.

To help you read product labels correctly here is a list of the most common ingredients to be aware of, and stay away from.

Any Synthetic Colors

Designed to make a product appear more attractive, they are also believed to be cancer causing chemicals. Usually printed on the label as D&C or FD&C followed by a number or color; such as D&C Red No.7.

Any Synthetic Fragrances

Companies can claim proprietary information, and are then not required by law to let you know what kinds of stuff that actually goes into the word 'Fragrance' that is used on the label. It may seem odd, but the word fragrance, as they use it ,can contain over 200 combinations of chemicals. For people who suffer any kind of allergies, skin rash, vomiting or coughing, especially after using products that do not tell what goes into them, a good idea is to stop using them immediately.


This is a mineral oil, mineral oil jelly, additive that is added to products like lip balm. The twist is that it causes the very problems it claims to help prevent, like chapping and dry skin. It interferes with our bodies own natural moisture producing processes. So you use it, feel a bit better, then it cause dryness, so you use it again, feel better....

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate

A synthetic chemical that is generally used in shampoos to help produce foam. Somehow we have developed the association that a great amount of foam is very cleansing. Advertised under the guise that it is 'derived from coconut', it can cause hair loss, rashes, a scalp-like dandruff and different types of allergic reactions.

Propylene Glycol

While this can be a natural mix of vegetable glycerin and grain alcohol, in cheaper products it usually is a synthetic petrochemical mix. Can cause allergic and toxic reactions.

Methyl Paraben - Propyl Paraben - Butyl Paraben - Ethyl Paraben

While this can be a natural mix of vegetable glycerin and grain alcohol, in cheaper products it usually is a synthetic petrochemical mix. Can cause allergic and toxic reactions.

Diazolidinyl Urea - Imidazolidinyl Urea

After the parabens listed above, these are the 2nd most commonly used preservatives. These are two very toxic chemicals. Also found under the trade names of Germall II and Germall 115. Known to be a major cause of contact dermatitis. (American Academy of Dermatology).

PVP/VA Copolymer

Another petroleum based chemical used in cosmetics such as hair sprays and wave sets. The fine particles in the spray are considered to be toxic when breathed in. If you have or don't want to develop lung problems it is best to keep away from products containing these chemicals.

Stearalkonium Chloride

Another toxic chemical that is often used in creams and hair conditioners. It can cause allergic reactions. It was originally developed by the fabric industry as a cheap fabric softener.


Used in some cosmetics to convert acid into a salt (stearate), becoming a base for a cleanser. If absorbed into the body over a period of time it can cause allergic reactions, such as eye problems or a dryness of your skin and hair. In other words, toxic.

Here are some more potentially troubling additive ingredients:

Acetylated Lanolin - Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol - Algin - Carrageenan - Cetearyl Alcohol and Ceteareth 20 - Cocoa Butter - Coconut Butter - Disodium Monooleamido PEG 2 - Sulfosuccinate - Ethylhexyl Palmitate - Glyceryl 3 Diisosterate - Hexadecyl Alcohol - Isocetyl Stearate - Isodecyl Oleate - Isopropyl Isostearate - Isopropyl Myristate - Isopropyl Palmitate - Isostearyl Isostearate - Laureth - Lauric Acid - Myristyl Lactate - Myristyl Myristate - Octyl Palmitate - Octyl Stearate - Oleth 3 - Oleyl Alcohol - PEG 16 Lanolin - PG 2 Myristyl Propionate - Polyglyceryl-3-Diisosteatate - Potassium Chloride - Propylene Glycol Monostearate - Red Algae - Sodium Chloride - Sodium Lauryl Sulfate - Sorbitan Sesquinoleate - Soulan 16 - Steareth 10 - Stearyl Heptanonate - Xylene

To protect yourself and others, purchase organic based products as much as possible. You may well find that some of your skin and allergy problems will disappear when you stop using products that are manufactured with chemicals that are truly not that good for you.

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