Everyone wants to look good and feel good about their body. Did you know that many cosmetics that women use on a daily basis may contain toxic ingredients? Most cosmetics don’t even have an ingredients list on them. It’s time people know what they are putting on their body.
Eco-friendly or Green Cosmetics are starting to become mainstream. Companies are touting their products as being natural, no animal tested, organic, etc. There have been lawsuits over the wording. Natural Make Up is becoming more important to the entire cosmetic industry as well to consumers.
What should you look for in a green cosmetic, makeup, lotion, or hair care product?
In 2014, the new California Safe Cosmetics Program Product Database was brought online. It is being run by the California Department of Public Health and allows consumers to check their cosmetics, shampoo, lotion and other items. You can now see if a toxic chemical is being used.
It is about time! Phthalates, mercury, toluene, and formaldehyde are hiding in products possibly in your home. Just say no.
California continues to be on the forefront of creating safer products for consumers. In October, 2013 the Safer Consumer Products (SCP) program took effect. Its goal is to reduce toxic chemicals in consumer products. Hopefully their work will be adopted nationwide. They have already released a list of 164 hazardous chemicals.
Safer Lipstick and Lip Gloss
A UC Berkeley researcher found in 2012 that there are many dangerous chemicals in lipstick and lip gloss. Metals were found in every one of the 32 items tested. Toxic chemicals including lead, chromium, and cadnium were found.
A key takeaway is that all these substances are banned from cosmetics in Europe but not the US. Lobbyists and large companies have done a great job preventing safer cosmetics from being mandated in the US.
Consumers shouldn’t have to stay informed about these hidden dangers. Women who apply these products to their lips and lick them will be constantly exposing themselves to chemicals. Does your eco-friendly partner not kiss you? Now you know why!
We suggest you purchase European cosmetics due to their better safety laws. Green cosmetics may not tell you the entire story. You need to dig deeper and understand what’s in the product.
Problematic Ingredients in Cosmetics
The key ingredients to avoid include the following:
- Anti-aging creams with lactic, glycolic, AHA, and BHA acids – Additive that preserves fats and oils
- DMDM hydantoin and Imidazolidinyl urea
Fragrance and dyes – allergies, cancer, nervous system
- phthalate or dibutyl or diethylhexyl or just “fragrance”
- Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone
- Parabens or “-paraben” – Hormone disrupter
- “PEG” and “-eth”
- Sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate – May cause hormone disruption, skin irritation
- Triclosan and triclocarban (anti-bacterial)
- Triethanolamine (TEA)
Anti bacterial Soap – Hand Sanitizer Problems
Most anti bacterial soaps use Triclosan. The FDA in 2014 finally recognized that this chemical effects human hormones. It can disrupt the normal development of the reproductive system and metabolism.
People should definitely avoid any products with this ingredient. Additionally, there are risks with bacterial resistance and the effectiveness of these materials needs to be proven.
In 2016 they finally banned triclosan’s use in anti-bacterial soaps. Smart consumers steered clear of this for years before.
Here are some specific products with bad ingredients to watch for
- Hair dyes with ammonia, peroxide, p-phenylenediamine, diaminobenzene; all dark permanent hair dyes
- Hair Removers – Stick to Razors (Electric rechargable or blade replaceable, avoid disposable razrs), waxing with Soy based compounds. Avoid depilatories and Oral Contraceptives and Hormonal Treatments.
- Liquid hand soaps with triclosan
- Nail polish and removers containing formaldehyde, Toluene, Pthalates, Ethylacetate & N. Butyl Acetate
- Skin lighteners with hydroquinone
- Moisturizers containing paraben
- Sunscreens with oxybenzone – Oxybenzone has been linked to hormone disruption and low-birthweight babies.
- Body washes with sodium lauryl sulfate
- Feminine sanitary and hygiene products with bleached with chlorine or loaded with chemical fragrances
- Oral hygiene products with propylene glycol
Many cosmetic make up products have expiration dates, so be sure to observe them.
Triclosan is an anti-bacterial agent that used in many soaps and detergents. Scientific studies show that it disrupts reproductive hormone activities and brain signaling. It may hinder muscles and cause allergies.
Try not to buy any cleaner with this substance. The FDA has concluded that soap with this chemical is no better than plain soap and water. In 2016, the FDA issued a Triclosan ban in soaps. They concluded that the benefits of using antibacterial hand soap haven’t been proven.
Triclosan in Colgate Total Toothpaste
Now that triclosan is banned in soap, why is it still in Colgate Total Toothpaste? It is the only toothpaste in the United States that has this ingredient. This best selling toothpaste added the ingredient in 1997 and took the industry by storm.
If we do want triclosan in our soap, do we want to use it in an oral product? Perhaps it is time to switch toothpastes.
Organic Hand Sanitizer
The swine flu has generated a run on hand sanitizer. I saw some Organic EO Hand Sanitizer at Whole Foods and decided to look into it. They use Organic Lavender Essential Oil, Organic Alcohol (non-GMO), and Aloe Vera. It is not tested on animals. No Triclosan! The small Corte Madera, California company that makes it is struggling to keep up with demand. Remember to wash hands the correct way.
Everyone is on the lookout for H1N1 – Swine flu this season. What are some of the germiest places to avoid? A recent article helped remind us that many common access public areas are germ hot spots. You can use hand sanitizers every couple minutes or wear gloves all day. A antibacterial wipe handy to clean the following areas:
Avoiding Everyday Germ Hot Spots – Top 20 Dirtiest Places
Areas of concern:
- Door knobs
- escalator rails
- keyboards, mice
- food kept in drawers
- communal showers
- swimming pools
- ATM keypads
- Gas station pump handles and payment keypads
- shopping carts
- mailbox handle
- parking meters
- crosswalk buttons
- vending machine buttons
In the home:
- Remote controls
- Cleaning cloths
- toothbrush holders
- make up cases
- remove your shoes – recent studies have found people can bring in lead particles and other contaminants by wearing their shoes inside the home.
Airplanes are a major source of germs and have made us sick on many occasions. When the air circulation is turned off, infections can spread like wild fire. Here are some tips on surviving in this battleground:
- Use hand sanitizer after clearing security checkpoints
- The infection hot zone is 2 seats in front, behind, and on either side of you
- Change seats if you are near a sick person
- Direct the air vent to blow right in front of your face to deflect germs
- Disinfect tray tables before using
- Don’t use seat back pockets
- Use hand sanitizer after touching seats or latches to the overhead storage bin
- Don’t fill water bottles in the bathroom sink
- Stay hydrated
- Keep your nasal passages moist with saline spray
- Complain if the plane’s air circulation is shut off
- Avoid airline pillows and blankets
- Use hand sanitizer before touching your face
- All surfaces in the bathroom
Not all is lost, per the article… Every day, we encounter a large amount of live organisms and become covered with fecal matter from them. No amount of hand sanitizer can keep you completely protected. The human body is very good at defending against this, otherwise we would be sick all the time.
Nail Polish Problems
A study in 2012 by the California Environmental Protection Agency’s Department of Toxic Substance’s Control together with San Francisco’s Department of the Environment, California’s healthy nail salon collaborative, and the Campaign Safe Cosmetics found that many nail polish products which claim to be free of toxic chemicals, had at least traces of hazardous chemicals.
The following nail polishes were the ones with hazardous chemicals:
- Station 99 basecoat (made by Miss Professional Nail Products)
- Dare to Wear nail lacquer (made by LeChat Nail Care Products)
- Chelseu 650 Baby’s Breath nail lacquer (made by Miss Professional Nail Products)
- New York Summer nail color (made by Miss Professional Nail Products)
- Paris Spicy 298 nail lacquer (made by Mirage Corp.)
- Station 53 Red Pink nail color (made by Miss Professional Nail Products)
- Poshe fast-drying basecoat (made by Poshe Almell Products)
- Orly Flagstone Rush nail lacquer (made by Orli International)
- Nail Art Stripper Brush #117 Magenta Glitter (made by Omega Labs USA)
Testing Cosmetics without Animals
Animals have been used to test the safety of cosmetics for many years. This practice will be outlawed in the European Union in 2013. American companies are now working on computer models with complex algorithms to replace animal testing. These models will use animal testing results from the past to enhance accuracy. In 2012 L’Oreal began working with the EPA on this new testing technology. Lets hope that more companies do the same.
Aftershave for Men
Men take note, slapping on some burning aftershave on your face is probably not the best thing for your skin. Skin irritation and dryness may occur with products containing petroleum and other chemicals. Make some herbal aftershave.
Organic Cosmetics Lawsuit
Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps has filed a lawsuit accusing some of the larges cosmetic firms of falsely advertising products as organic when some contained little organic material, contained synthetic chemicals, 1,4 Dioxane, or used petroleum products.
The term “organic” on personal care products has no meaning unless it is certified by the USDA. So look for this symbol.