FYI: Repost from July with the addition of Benzene, amid new study released today.
Independent lab finds 'troubling' levels of cancer-causing chemical in more types of dry shampoo products containing Benzene, report alleges
Please read your labels!!
11 Ingredient Categories To Avoid In A Skincare Product
Nowadays, more people are looking for natural shampoos, softer for their hair, eco-friendly and kind on the environment. All those labels filled with information, it gets confusing! “Sulphate free”, “Silicone free”, “Paraben free” … what information is true and what should you base your choice on? Is it enough to just avoid certain ingredients? In order to help you to make the right choice, here is a list of 10 ingredients you do not want to find in your shampoo/lotions/sprays etc...
*11 Ingredients Categories To Avoid In A Beauty Product*
1. Silicones and polymers. On label: Dimethicone, Amodimethicone, Acrylates Copolymers: are synthetics compounds, non-renewable and non-biodegradable sources, often found in body washes as little exfoliating beads that are actually plastic and incredibly harmful to our waterways and our aquatic loving animals and fish.
2. Allergens. On label: Phenoxyethanol, Cinnamal, Citral, Coumarin, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Limonene and Linalool: Are all allergenic substances listed by the European Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (CSSC) and the EWG. They pose risks of toxicity (aquatic fauna), irritation and skin allergies.
3. Phenoxyethanol is classified in particular as "moderate danger" for health, in particular for its toxicity to the immune system and for allergies, according to EWG. It is an ingredient of concern and has shown to be a hormone disruptor and carcinogenic in lab animals. It should NEVER be used on your face or on children, EVER!! (Personally, it just shouldn't be used at all)
4. Formaldehyde. On label: DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinylurea, Imidazolidinylurea, Quaternium-15: all release formaldehyde which is now a worldwide known carcinogenic contaminant;
5. Ethoxylated surfactants. On label: Sodium Laureth Sulfate and all the ingredients that end in -eth (eg. Ceteareth, Laureth-4, Laureth-23: they are all contaminated with carcinogenic agents; these ingredients are caused by a reaction with ethylene oxide, a synthetic chemical known to be carcinogenic and contaminated by a manufacturing impurity listed carcinogenic to humans like 1,4-Dioxane. This chemical is listed to be part of the group 2B by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) because of its cancer-causing properties in humans;
6. Ethoxylated emulsifiers. On label: PEG, PPG- ..., Polysorbate- (20, 30, 80...): they are all contaminated by carcinogenic substances generated from the reaction caused by ethylene oxide, like the one mentioned above
7. Ingredients containing Benzene. Other Other names Benzol (historic/German) Cyclohexa-1,3,5-triene; 1,3,5-Cyclohexatriene (theoretical resonance isomers) Annulene.
Inhalation: Can irritate the nose and throat. Can harm the nervous system. Symptoms may include headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness and confusion. A severe exposure can cause unconsciousness.
Skin Contact: SKIN IRRITANT. Causes moderate to severe irritation. Symptoms include pain, redness, and swelling. Can be absorbed through the skin, but harmful effects are not expected. Any skin contact will also involve significant inhalation exposure.
Eye Contact: EYE IRRITANT. Causes moderate to severe irritation. Symptoms include sore, red eyes, and tearing. The vapour also irritates the eyes.
Ingestion: Harmful. Can cause effects as described for inhalation. Aspiration hazard. May be drawn into the lungs if swallowed or vomited, causing severe lung damage. Death can result.
Effects of Long-Term (Chronic) Exposure: Can cause dry, red, cracked skin (dermatitis) following skin contact.
Can harm the blood. Can cause a decrease in the number or size of red blood cells (anemia). Can cause a decrease in white blood cells and platelets, and harm the immune system. Blood tests may show abnormal results.
May harm the nervous system. Conclusions cannot be drawn from the limited studies available.
Carcinogenicity: CARCINOGEN. Known to cause: cancer of the blood or blood system. Has been associated with: other types of cancer.
8. Ingredients containing amines. On label: Triethanolamine and Cocamide DEA/MEA (and all the ingredients that end in ‘DEA’ or ‘MEA’): these ingredients are contaminated by nitrosamines, a chemical known to have cancer-causing risks to humans named in the Proposition 65 list
9. Artificial dyes. On the label: FD&C, D&C, name of a colour followed by a number or "dye". Artificial dyes may come from petroleum or may contain heavy metals. Some artificial dyes may cause irritation or sensitivity according to EWG, or may be contaminated with recognized carcinogens according to CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest).
10. Endocrine disruptors. On label: Propylparapen, Isopropylparapen, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben, BHA, BHT, Phthalate, Triclosan: These substances can interfere with the correct functioning of the hormonal system;
11. Isothiazolinones. On label: Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) and Methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT): chemicals known to cause skin allergies and eczema. There have been multiple cases of individuals that developed heightened sensitivity and increase incidents of chemical burns due to these ingredients
The Impact On Health
What is the impact that the use of our shampoos/soaps/lotions etc... can have on us over time? Science at this time does not have enough data to assess the lifetime impacts of being exposed to these different contaminants. The fact is that our skin is penetrable which means; It can easily absorb a variety of chemicals. Hard to believe, but more than 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants were found in the blood of the umbilical cord of 10 newborns! This study was conducted by the EWG in 2005, by researchers from two major laboratories. Researchers are just beginning to understand the cumulative effects of prolonged exposure to chemical contaminants in small quantities in our everyday products. It is difficult to determine the impact of these contaminants, their quantity and the interaction between different chemical agents. In response, environmental health studies that analyze our daily exposure to chemical products are increasing.
Organizations such as the Organic Consumer Association in the United States, among other things they highlight the presence of contaminants in our cosmetics and are fighting for more transparency in legislation. A positive step in the right direction of change!
The Impact On The Environment
It is important to question what effects the products we're utilizing have on our planet. Industries use non-renewable resources i.e. repetitive effects on the environment. The chemicals that flow freely through our rivers and lakes affect the sea life. Industrial impurities such as 1.4-dioxane are also very problematic. It is known, for example, that 1.4-dioxane is a substance that cannot be filtered by water purification stations. It accumulates and finds itself in the drinking water.
Read your labels and please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.