Toxic Beauty

Beauty is everyone’s concern, from Botox on your lunch break to express facelifts and eyelash extensions, but do we really know what were putting on our bodies? We talk so much about what we consume  but I believe it’s so equally important to tell you about what’s in some of your products.

Many people will argue that products containing these toxic ingredients (and oh so many more)  are safe because the harmful effects only occur in large quantities.  However it doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that if you are using products that contain certain ingredients for years, that the toxins can and will build up in your system. Some faster than others. But regardless of that, why take the risk? Why not just live as healthy as you can without all the added chemicals.

Here are just a few of the toxic ingredients found in items you use everyday like shampoo, soap, lip balm, lotions, sunscreen, and toothpaste.

  • Propylene Glycol: Used in anti-freeze and found in make-up, lotion, deodorant, sunscreen, and shampoo. Causes skin irritation. Is a carcinogen. It is also an endocrine disruptor and a neurotoxin.
  • Parabens (Butyl, Methyl, Ethyl, Propyl): Found in toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, styling products, lotion and many others. Parabens are endocrine disruptors and Neurotoxins as well.
  • Titanium Dioxide: Is an effective window cleaner because it degrades anything it touches. Toxic to respiratory and immune system. Linked to cancer, asthma, allergies, and organ toxicity. Found in sunscreens. Titanium Dioxide is the main ingredient in most mineral makeups which are often tagged “natural”. These nanoparticles are more dangerous than the liquid form because they can be inhaled directly into your lungs.
  • Zinc Oxide: Mutates skin cells, and is an endocrine disrupter. Found in sunscreens and is also a main ingredient in mineral makeups.
  • Aluminum: Toxic heavy metal. Neurotoxin. Linked with cancer.
  • Toluene: Made from tar. Found in fragrances and nail polish. Causes organ damage.
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS): Chemists use SLS to split cells open labs. We put it on our heads in via shampoos and toothpastes! Also found in bubble bath solution and mascara. It is a very strong skin irritant.
  • Petrolatum, Paraffin, Mineral Oil: Found in lip balms and lotions. These ingredients interfere with your body’s own natural moisturizing mechanism. Ever wonder why your lips are mysteriously addicted to lip balm? This would be why.
  • Phthalates: A plasticizing ingredient directly linked to birth defects. Found in nail polish, and cuticle treatments. Toxic to the environment, respiratory system, immune system, nervous system.
  • Flouride: Found in toothpaste, mouthwash, breath fresheners. Is a neurotoxin, toxic to organs, aids tumor formation, endocrine disruptor.
  • Artificial Fragrances: Can cause asthma. Found in perfumes, lotions, shampoo.
  • Diethanolamin (DEA or TEA): Causes allergies, skin irritation, and toxic to immune system. Found in sunscreen, moisturizers, foundation, hand cream, soap.

I leave you with some resources to help you learn more about the products you use everyday.

Environmental Working Group – Learn about this fascinating group that is working hard to spread information and to bring about a change in the cosmetics industry.

The Cosmetics Database – courtesy of the Environmental Working Group. Search any product or ingredient for a full rundown of its harmful side effects.

Ecomii -Deciphering Product Labels

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics – Incredibly informative and up to date information.

Suggested Reading:
Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry

Toxic Beauty: How Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Endanger Your Health And What You Can Do about It

Try products from Aveda, Lush, Body Shop, Earth Science (I use this) and Kiss My Face , Jason (A personal Fave) even products from your drugstore. St Ives and Ombra are great!


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  1. Pingback: My Internet Finds Of The Week #2 | Greenderella

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