Chemical ingredients of all kinds slowly build up in your body and/or your skin during your lifetime. If they are a “nasty” or toxic chemical they will in time create a dehydrated, more sensitive, reactive skin which is in poor health. It is best to avoid them. We have included a list of the more common ones found in everyday personal products.
SLS – Sodium Lauryl Sulphate
- Is a detergent and surfactant: “a de-greaser” found in many personal care products such as shampoos, toothpaste, soaps, shaving foam, bubblebath and cosmetics. You will also find it, in similar concentrations in floor wash, in a car wash and in the mechanics garage to clean engines. It is a known skin irritant but is cheap to make and use.
- In the same way as it dissolves the grease on car engines, sodium lauryl sulfate also dissolves the oils on your skin, which can cause a drying effect. It is also well documented that it denatures skin proteins, which causes not only the irritation, but also allows environmental contaminants easier access to the lower, sensitive layers of the skin as well as your dermis!
- Perhaps most worryingly, SLS is also absorbed into the body from skin application. Once it has been absorbed, one of its main effects is to mimic the activity of the hormone Oestrogen. Possibly making it responsible for a variety of health problems from PMS and Menopausal symptoms to dropping male fertility and more serious medical conditions.
- Used as preservatives as they are antifungal and antibacterial. They are found in deodorants, shampoos and many other personal use items. Although the scientists cannot agree on the dangers these ingredients have been shown to cause cancer; specifically breast cancer.
- Methyl parabens on the skin does have a chemical reaction with UVB which leads to an increase in skin aging and possible DNA damage.
- They serve no purpose and may cover up if and when a product spoils.
- Many of the colouring agents that are found in what we use on our hair and our skin are made from coal tars and/ or contain aluminium, and it’s very doubtful if any of them are safe. Coal tar colours are suspected to be carcinogenic in varying degrees. They have been found to cause nausea, mood swings, headaches and fatigue. Dyes derived from precipitating soluble colours with aluminium and other chemicals, are termed “lakes” and can be neurotoxic. Both lakes and coal tar dyes can be stored in our organs and fatty tissues. Research indicates that up to twice as much toxic material can be absorbed into the bloodstream through the skin as opposed to the oral route. So colours can be a problem area with shampoos, eye colouring, mascara and nail varnishes. Note: There are “so called natural” companies selling lipsticks with what they claim are annatto colours. When confronted with the fact that annatto colours are water soluble and not suitable for making lipstick, these companies admit that they are precipitated with aluminium to form the neurotoxic lake “colours” referred to above!
- There may be up to 4000 separate ingredients in any one product; many which are toxic and/or carcinogenic and can cause symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, rashes, skin discolouration, violent coughing and allergic skin irritation. Clinical studies have shown effects on the Central Nervous System causing depression, hyperactivity, inability to cope and other behavioural changes. Alters the idea of “taking time to smell the roses” doesn’t it?
- Fragrances are found in virtually all personal care products including for men and babies.
MEA, DEA, TEA
Common pH stabilisers. When combined with air these may irritate and/or be toxic to skin.
- Coats the skin like plastic wrap inhibiting normal skin function which includes the elimination of toxins; normal perspiration. This alone slows down cell development, increasing premature ageing as well as the promotion of acne as it will clog pores!
- And we put this on babies! Baby oil is 100% mineral oil!
- Breaks down proteins and cellular structure and is used as a coupling agent in sunscreens. It is found in makeup, hair products, lotions, after shave, deodorants, mouthwashes, toothpaste, and often in greater concentrations than allowed in industrial and manufacturing applications; ie/. Anti-freeze.
- It can cause consequences such as brain, liver and kidney abnormalities.
A petroleum based solvent and denaturant – it has the ability to alter the natural substances found in another substance. It is found in hair colour rinses, body rubs, hand lotions, after shave, and many cosmetics. It is also found in anti-freeze and as a solvent in shellac, and diluted essential oils. It can be fatal if 1 ounce is ingested, but in lesser amounts over time, or by inhalation of the vapours symptoms have been shown to include headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, anaesthesia and then coma! And we all thought we’d had too much to drink!
Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea
Used as preservatives and may release formaldehyde which is a potentially toxic chemical.
Used in many acne treatments. Helps decrease bacteria by increasing oxygen to the pores. Strips the skin creating sensitivities.