I always want to know what chemicals are in my beauty products, so I was compelled to search up the good old Google if Neutrogena was a safe sunscreen (it’s the one I recently started using). Much to my surprise, it isn’t! It’s on the
Much to my surprise, it isn’t! It’s on the EWG’s list of worst sunscreens. Oxybenzone, a chemical that can disrupt the hormone system was in my Neutrogena sunscreen, so I did the unthinkable for me: I threw it out. I do not like throwing out anything that still has some value in it. According to the EWG, oxybenzone contaminates 97% of Americans and is absorbed significantly through the skin right into our blood stream.
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Crap! There are harmful chemicals in beauty products? Now, what?
My first thought was great, do I risk an increased chance of getting skin cancer or should I just slather on the poison? There are plenty of safe options for those of who are health conscious. It does take a little bit of work beforehand educating yourself on what’s safe and what’s not. I used to check labels a few years ago but I quickly got overwhelmed at all of the information out there and how much crap is in basically every product I own!
I think for now I’ll start with sunscreen, and I’ll slowly begin to replace my beauty products with ones that are easier on the environment and my body. For now, I’ve collected a short but extensive database of chemicals to avoid in your beauty products.
WATCH OUT FOR THESE TOXIC CHEMICALS IN BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Look out for ingredients that contain paraben at the end of their name. Parabens are associated with breast cancer and may disrupt hormones, too. Used in cosmetics, moisturizers, shampoos. You name it.
BHA and BHT (butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene) Damn! Say that five times fast.
Used as preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies BHA as a possible human carcinogen. The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has listed BHA as a Category 1 priority substance because it interferes with hormone function. I don’t know about you, but I’ll listen to the big guys.
Acts as a barrier to lock moisture in the skin. When it’s in hair care products, petrolatum delivers shine. The bad thing is a petroleum product can be contaminated with PAHs. These bad boys are associated with cancer, and the European Union restricts its use in cosmetics. Much of the helpful information above is from davidsuzuki.org, a Canadian website that strives to make their country sustainable, so for all you eco guys and gals check them out!
A useful website when shopping for beauty products is the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. They have an extensive list of shopping tips for safer beauty alternatives and personal hygiene products. Search up any ingredient you think is questionable on their database and EWG will tell you if it’s toxic or not!
It’s a known carcinogen, yet it’s found in shampoos, scalp treatments, soaps, hair dyes, and lotions. If you think coal tar might be in your products, look out for coal tar solution, impervotar, KC 261, benzin B70, and petroleum benzin
Widely used in sunscreens and other SPF products. Studies suggest it may disrupt hormones and may also enhance the absorption of pesticides in the body. What to look out for on the label: homosalate, homomenthyl salicylate, HMS. Choose sunscreens that are zinc oxide based. I’m wearing one by Babo Botanicals!
Found in baby powder, body products, deodorants, face masks, and a ton of other stuff that would make this a huge list. Talc is associated with cancer and respiratory distress. It can even be contaminated with asbestos. Gross.
Above information can be found at safecosmetics.org. This is a website to bookmark for those wanting to shop for non-toxic cosmetics and personal hygiene products.
So, what do you think about all this? Do you think it’s too much work trying to avoid toxic chemicals in beauty products? Or do you think it’s worth it to research your products before buying? Leave it in the comments below!