The Dirty Dozen (Plus):
This is a list of toxic cosmetic ingredients to avoid in your cosmetics. Make note and avoid them, because the U.S. FDA will not protect you from them! The European Union has already banned 1328 harmful chemicals from cosmetics, whereas the FDA has only restricted 11!
1. Methyl-, Propyl-, Butyl-, Isobutyl- and Ethyl- Paraben: Used as cosmetic preservatives. Banned in the EU. They can be easily absorbed through the skin into the blood stream, depositing destructively in the body's tissues. Parabens break down into p-hydroxybenzoic acid, which has estrogenic activity in human breast cancer cells.
2. Petrolatum/Petroleum/Petroleum Distillates: Also known as mineral oil or petroleum jelly. Banned in the EU. A very inexpensive emollient used in cosmetics. Possible human carcinogen. It has no nutrient or moisterizing properties, and can prevent skin from self-hydrating, leading to more dryness.
3. Sodium or Ammonium Lauryl /Laureth Sulphate: A cheap, harsh preservative used as a bubbly cleaning agent in cleansers, shampoos and toothpastes. Very drying and irritating to the skin and hair, causing rashes, dandruff, and other allergic reactions. Often derived from petroleum.
4. Diethanolamine/ Cocomide DEA/Lauramide DEA/Triethanolamine
(TEA), and Monoethanolamine (MEA): Often used in cosmetics as
emulsifyers and/or foaming agents. DEA and TEA are "Amines" (ammonia
compounds) and can form cancer-causing nitrosamines when they come in
contact with nitrates.: Found in cleansers, shampoos, and various soaps. Hormone disruptor. May cause carcinogenic nitrosamines. Depletes the body of choline, needed for fetal brain development.
5. Propylene Glycol: Usually a sythetic petrochemical mix used as a humectant and "penetration enhancer" that alters the cellular structure of the skin so that chemicals can pass through more easily. All of the "PEG"s (polyetheylene glycol) and PPG (polypropylene glycol) are related synthetics.
6. Fragrance, or Phalates: These are synthetic fragrances that can have as many as 200 ingredients. These are endocrine disruptors and may cause reproductive and developmental harm. There is no way to know what chemical is being used, as the label may only list "fragrance." A good rule of thumb is to not purchase anything with the word "fragrance" anywhere on the ingredient list. If a product contains natural scent, it will merely say, "essential oils." Do not be fooled by sneaky, pseudo-natural companies that say things on their labels like, "Made with a blend of natural fragrances and essential oils." If it says "Fragrance," it is chemical.
7. Synthetic Colors/Artifical Colors/ Coal Tar: A
known human carcinogen, used as an active ingredient in some dandruff
shampoos and anti-itch creams. Coal tar based dyes can be listed as FD&C Blue
1, used in toothpastes, and FD&C Green 3, used in mouthwash.
8. PVP/VA Copolymer: A petroleum-derived chemical used in hairsprays, styling aids and other cosmetics. When its particles are inhaled can sometimes damage the lungs.
10. Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea: Preservatives which the American Academy of Dermatology has determined to be a primary cause of contact dermatitus. Two trade-names of these chemicals are Germall II and Germall 115. Both of these chemicals release formaldehyde.
11. Stearalkonium Chloride: An inexpensive ammonium compound used in hair conditioners and creams. Developed by the fabric industry as a fabric softener.
12.Triclosan: An "antibacterial" synthetic with a chemical structure similar to Agent Orange! Registered as a pesticide by the EPA. Hormone disruptor and carcinogenic.
13. 1, 4-Dioxane:
Often a contaminant in products containing sodium laureth sulphate and ingredients containing the terms, "PEG," "oleth,"
"ceteareth," "xynol," and most other ethoxylated "eth" ingredients. Known animal carcinogen and possible human carcinogen.
14. Hydroquinone: A bleach found in skin lighteners and moisterizers. Is banned in some countries due to its toxicity. Possible carcinogen. Known to cause DNA and liver damage.
15. Formaldehyde: Can cause immune system toxicity, respiratory irritation, and cancer. Used in baby bath soap, nail polish, and hair dye as a break-down product of diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, and quarternium compounds.
16. P-Phenylenediamene (PPD's): It is also listed as 1,4-Benzenediamene, p-Phenyldiamene, and 4-Phenyldiamene.Commonly found in hair dyes, this chemical can damage the nervous system, cause lung irritation, skin rashes and other allergic reactions.
17. Lead and Mercury: Although these are natural elements, they can be toxic to the humans. They are natural contaminants of hydrated silica, one of the ingredients in toothpaste, and lead acetate is sometimes found in hair-dye. Brain-damaging mercury, found in the preservative "thimerosol," is used in some mascaras.
18. Nanoparticles: Particles in cosmetic ingredients that are milled to less that 100 nanometers, becoming small enough to penetrate the skin, flood blood steam and enter brain cells.