Even people who are very particular about what they put into their mouths – who buy organic or natural foods with as little processing as possible – aren’t as aware of the number of harsh chemicals they are exposing themselves to every time they step into the bathroom. Skin and beauty care products – even those that are marketed as “natural” – can in fact contain a whole array of harmful ingredients, the most common of which are listed below.
Derived from the petroleum product propylene, isopropyl alcohol can irritate and dry, stripping the protective acid mantle from the skin and leaving it more vulnerable to infections and acne.
Ammonia (or ammonium) ingredients are also very common petroleum derivatives and are not only toxic but have been liked to certain forms of cancer.
Another ingredient found in many skin care products, this has been linked to cell damage and mutation as well as testicular cancer.
The use of products with this chemical and promote free radical damage to the skin and lead to a greater chance of developing some forms of cancer.
BHA and BHT
If absorbed into the system, these chemicals are linked to the increased breakdown of Vitamin D, disruption of hormones and increased cholesterol.
All ingredients containing “DEA” are known carcinogens and have already been banned in Europe because of this.
“Fragrances” is an umbrella terms for nearly 4,000 different chemicals, some of which have been linked to central nervous system damage and can lead to depression and hyperactivity.
This toxic ingredient has caused leukemia in laboratory animals and has been prohibited in European cosmetics since 2001.
Lanolin, a product from sheep, will carry with it any chemicals used in the raising of that sheep and much of it is high in organochloride pesticides, the most famous of which is DDT.
Laureth Family Ingredients
Ingredients in the laureth family like sodium lauryl sulfate are toxic skin irritants linked to acne and dermatitis as well as more serious side effects like cell mutation.
This chemical is a potential carcinogen and can also decrease moisture in the skin, leaving it more vulnerable to acne and the aging process.
Parabens are suspected to cause a number of health problems, including the development of estrogen-driven cancers like cancer of the breast.
Vaseline, mineral oil and the like can clog the pores and interfere with skin cell function, causing acne and premature aging.
Phenol Carbolic Acid
This dangerous additive has been linked to serious side effects like collapse of the circulatory system and convulsion and it can even be fatal.
Commonly found in soft plastic bottles, these chemicals are linked to cancer and to cell mutation.
These chemicals are all dangerous in their own ways and even though they are found in skin care products, can actually cause a variety of skin problems. Aiming for all-natural or organic products or even making beauty products at home from safe ingredients are both good ways to avoid these harmful petrochemicals.
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