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Dangerous Beauty Products – What to Avoid

Dangerous Beauty Products – What to Avoid

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Harmful synthetic chemicals abound in our personal care products. They can cause a multitude of health problems, ranging from asthma and skin irritation to cancer. There are some beauty products that just plain are not worth the risk associated with using them, due to their incredibly toxic and dangerous ingredients.

My recommendations on products to avoid:

1. Perfume (synthetic): Contain phthalates, which can disrupted hormones, increase the risk of certain cancers, cause infertility and allergic skin reactions. Also contain parabens (possible carcinogen, hormone disorder) and dioxins (carcinogens). The natural option is to use certain essential oils for perfume.

2. Skin Lighteners: Contain hydroquinone, a known carcinogen.

3. Hair Straighteners & Relaxers: Contain placenta (high in hormones, alters sexual development in young girls).

4. Hair Coloring: Some contain lead and most contain p-phenylenediamine, a probable carcinogen. They also contain many chemicals that are skin and eye irritants.

5. Nail Polish & Polish Removers: Some manufacturers have removed a few of the most toxic chemicals from their formulas, but many still include formaldehyde (carcinogen) and phthalates (carcinogen, endocrine disruptor, linked to asthma). Definitely never apply nail polish to children.

6. Anti-Bacterial Soaps & Anti-Bacterial Products: Contain Triclosan (hormone disruptor, impairs immune function, create "super germs", linked to birth defects and potentially carcinogenic.

7. Anti-Aging Creams: These contain lactic, glycolic, AHA and BHA acids, which can cause skin irritation, photosensitivity, and some are carcinogenic.

Check ingredients and pay attention to warning labels! If your product has severe warnings, you may want to reconsider using it on your body. Remember that your skin is a porous organ, and chemicals that are applied to it get into your bloodstream. Eyes and mouth are mucous membranes, and any products applied around them also make them way into your bloodstream. Products that are sprayed (aerosols, such as hair spray, etc.) are quickly absorbed by your respiratory system and into the bloodstream as well.

The Good News

You might be wondering what to do about the chemicals that seem to abound in the products we use. Well, the easiest way to avoid these toxic chemical ingredients is to buy all natural or organic personal care products. There are some essential oils that can be irritating to eyes or skin, but natural products made from mineral or botanical ingredients are infinite safer than their conventional counterparts, and most work as well or better than the conventional versions.

By Cynthia Timm

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