Chemicals and Synthetics to Avoid in Personal Care Products

From Health Facts
Jump to: navigation, search
Latest Edit: Hector 2012-09-10 (EDT)

The following chemcials and synthetics are best avoided in personal care products. For further information on these chemicals or for assistance in choosing personal care products visit [1].

Chemical/Synthetic Products Found In Adverse Reactions/Claims Risk
Alpha hydroxyl acid (AHA) Anti-wrinkle cream, skin and hair care products. Used as a solvent in cleaning compounds and for tanning leather. Skin is exfoliated chemically instead of mechanically via abrasion, dries and increases skin aging. With concentrations over 3% thins the skin. Low
Alkyl-phenol-exthoxylates Shampoo Mimics estrogen, reduces sperm count Low
Ammonium laureth sulphate Hair and bubble bath products, shaving cream, liquid hand soap Easily absorbed by the skin, irritation to skin, eyes, and lungs Low
Aluminum starch octenylsuccinate Colour additive in cosmetics, eyeshadow

Neurotoxicity, organ system toxicity. Contamination concerns arsenic, lead, heavy metals || High

Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40), cetostearyl alcohol Skin and hair products, fragrance, body rubs, antibacterial hand washes. Acts as a carrier accelerating the penetration of other harmful chemicals If synthetically produced (*) is toxic and poisonous. Drying, irritating solvent, strips skin of moisture and natural immune barrier, headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, headaches, flushing, dizziness. Dries skin and makes it more susceptible to bacteria, molds and viruses Low
Bentonite, soap clay Facial mask and face products, makeup, soap Research has found that it is toxic to animals. Respiratory toxicant Mod
Benzene, toluol, toluene, methylbenzene, phenylenediamine Nail polish / nail and cuticle treatment, cosmetics. Also found in cigarettes allergies, irritation to skin, eyes, lungs, neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity, toxic to bone marrow, liver and kidneys High
BHT (DBPC) Lipstick, moisturizer, foundation, sunscreen, concealer, facial moisturizer, deodorant, antiperspirants Allergies, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity, irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) Mod
Ceteareth-20 (see polyethylene glycol)
Coal tar Shampoo (esp to treat dandruff, dry scalp), hair dYes, eczema cream, anti-itch cream, rosacea cream Potentially severe allergic reactions, skin irritation, contact dermatitis, harmful to the immune system, respiratory toxicity, irritation to skin, eyes, lungs, multiple organ system toxicity, neurotoxicity High
Cocamido betaine, Cocomidopropyl betaine, carboxymethyl, inner salt, quaternary ammonium compounds Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, facial cleanser, hair colour, toothpaste, bubble bath, soap Eyelid dermatitis, contact dermatitis, asthma-like symptoms, immune system irritant. May produce nitrosamines, may release formaldehyde Mod
Carbomer 934, 940, 941, 960, 961C As a thickener, stabilizer in creams, toothpaste, eye makeup, bathing products Eye irritation Low
Diethanolamine (DEA), mono-ethanolamine (MEA), tri-ethanolamine (TEA), amides, coco, coconut fatty acid (used to make products “foamy”) Used in liquid soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dye, lotions, soap, cream, bubble bath. Used in dishwashing detergent and laundry soap. Synthetic solvent, brake fluid, industrial degreasers and antifreeze Harmful to the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Irritates skin, eyes, mucous membranes. Hormone-disrupting, health risks to infants and young children. Causes allergic reactions, contact dermatitis. Toxic and hazardous. Contamination with nitrosamines Mod to High
DMDM hydantoin, MDM hydantoin Hair products, facial moisturizer/cleansers, sunscreen, body wash Allergic reactions, irritation to skin, eyes, or lungs, organ system toxicity. Contamination concerns formaldehyde High
'Dioxane – see polyethylene glycol
Ethanol (trolamine, triethanolamine) Facial products, moisturizer, sunscreen, makeup Allergies, immunotoxicity, irritation to skin, eyes or lungs, endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity. Contamination concerns nitrosamines High
FD, FDC, FD&C colour Shampoo (esp to treat dandruff, dry scalp), hair dYes, plus many other personal care products Potentially severe allergic reactions, skin irritation, contact dermatitis, asthma attacks, fatigue, nervousness, headaches, nausea, lack of concentration, linked to cancer Mod
Fluoride Toothpaste, mouthwash, tooth whitening, breath fresheners Hazardous chemical especially to children. Linked to dental deformity, arthritis, allergic reactions, Crohn’s disease, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity High
Formaldehyde Formalin, formic aldehyde, merthaldehyde, methanol oxomethane Skin, body and hair products, sunscreen, nail products, antiperspirants. Also found in wrinkle-resistant clothing, glues, adhesives, paints, and furniture Dermatitis, severe allergic reactions, the respiratory system, joint pain, skin reactions, chronic fatigue, dizziness, loss of sleep, triggers heart palpitations, aggravates coughs and colds, weakens immune system, biochemical or cellular level changes, neurotoxicity High
Fragrances or perfume. (term includes up to 4,000 ingredients, often petroleum based) Various products Headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discolouration, violent coughing, vomiting, skin irritation, affects central nervous system, depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, behavioural changes, hormone disruptor. Due to the range of ingredients used the type of adverse reactions is broad Mod to High
Hydantoin DMDM' – see DMDM
Imidazolidinyl urea Facial moisturizers and cleansers, makeup, sunscreen, bodywash Irritation, Allergies, multiple organ toxicity. May be contaminated with formaldehyde Mod
Lead acetate Hair dYes, styling gel / lotion, dandruff / scalp treatment Hormone disruptor, accumulates in the bones, allergies, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, persistent bioaccumulation, ecotoxicity High
Mercury (thimersol, Hg, ethyl mercury sodium salt, ethylmercurithiosalicylate) Eye drops, ointment, deodorants, makeup. Found in vaccinations Neurological damage, behavioural abnormalities, leg cramps, muscle weakness, numbness, depression, allergies, immunotoxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation, organ system toxicity, endocrine disruption, irritation biochemical or cellular level changes, ecotoxicity High
Mineral Oil (paraffinum, petroleum by-product) Many personal care products, Baby oil (100% mineral oil) Interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Coats the skin like plastic, clogging the pores. Slows down skin function and cell development, results in premature aging Mod
Paba (ethyl paba, para-aminobenzoic acid, benzoic acid) Sunscreen agent, hair products, body wash / cleanser, moisturizer, shaving cream, facial moisturizer Photosensitivity, contact dermatitis, allergies, immunotoxicity, biochemical or cellular level changes, neurotoxicity, organ system toxicity, may increase the risk of skin cancer High
Parabens (butyl, ethyl, germa, methyl, propyl) Petroleum based Body wash / cleansers, hair products, toothpaste, tooth whitening Absorbed through intact skin and from the GI tract and blood. Allergic reactions, endocrine disruptor (mimics estrogen), found in breast tumors, neurotoxicity, organ system toxicity High
Polyethylene glycol (PEG 4-200, polyoxethylene, polygocol, polyether glycol, stearyl ether) Petroleum based Hair colour, bleaching and other hair products, facial moisturizer, sunscreen, acne treatment, anti-bacterial soap, deodorant. Causes delay contact allergy, toxic to kidneys, nervous system, skin and lung irritant. Contamination concerns ethylene oxide, 1,4-dioxane Mod to High
Phenylenediamine Permanent hair dyes / bleaching, hair spray, shampoo Eczema, bronchial asthma, gastritis, allergies, irritation to skin, eyes and lungs, photosensitivity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicity. Contamination concerns nitrosamines High
Phthalates -see fragrances
Propylene glycol (propane-1,2-diol, 2-hydroxypropanol methylethyl glycol) Hair products, facial moisturizer / cleanser, body wash, sunscreen. Also found in anti-freeze, de-icer, latex paint, laundry detergent Decreases natural moisture of the skin, weakens protein and cellular structure. Irritation of nasal and respiratory passages, kidney damage, liver abnormalities, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption. If ingested can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Damages cell DNA. Mod
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate / sodium laureth sulfate (in most products that are “foamy”) Shampoo, hair conditioners, hair colouring / bleaching, body wash, facial creams, lotions, soaps. Found in car wash soap, engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners Corrodes hair follicle and impedes hair growth, skin irritation, dermatitis. Penetrates the eyes, brain, and liver. Degenerates cell membranes, damages the immune system, may cause blindness, depression, cataracts, retards the healing process. Can form toxic nitrosamines. Mod
Styrene / acrylates copolymer, butyl ester Nail polish, sunscreen, body wash / cleanser, facial moisturizer, foundation, concealer Adverse reactions Mod
Synthetic colours – see coal tar
Silica talc – silicon dioxide Baby powders, face powders, eye shadow, blush, sunscreen, lipstick, lip gloss, condoms, contraceptives Allergies, immunotoxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation, biochemical or cellular level changes, organ system toxicity. Toxic when inhaled – affects in lungs, causing respiratory disorders, ovarian cancer. Low - High
Toluene (see benzenes)
Triclosan (5-chloro-2-phenol) Facial cleanser / moisturizer, body wash / cleanser, soap, antibacterial soap, deodorants, toothpaste Irritation to skin, eyes of lungs, organ system toxicity, endocrine disruptor, persistence and bioaccumulation, ecotoxicity. Contamination concerns dioxin and chloroform. High
Triethanolamine (TEA) Facial moisturizer, sunscreen, facial cleanser, makeup. Used as a pH balancer. Facial dermatitis, irritation (skin, eyes, lungs), allergies, endocrine disruption, organ system toxicity. Contamination concerns nitrosamines. High
Vinyl acetate, ethenyl acetate, acrylate copolymer Mascara, acne treatment, perfumes, deodorizers, paints, sealants, chewing gum Organ system toxicity, neurotoxicity, multiple, additive exposure Mod