What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it absorbs everything including toxins. If you are concerned about not eating unhealthy foods like trans fat, then you’ll definitely want to know which synthetic ingredients you should watch out for in the products you use.
If you are concerned about harmful effects of common beauty products, you may want to avoid products that contain the following ingredients:
Petroleum- Another like mineral oil, this product can clog the pores and smother the skin. You may find petroleum in your face creams, lotions and lipsticks.
Paraffin- Derived from coal or petroleum, paraffin is a wax filler; the same kind of wax found in cheap candles. It is used to solidify products such as bath bars (they aren’t even allowed to be called soap), and liner pencils. It can be a skin irritant and clogs the pores.
Propylene Glycol- Ideally this is a vegetable glycerin mixed with grain alcohol, both of which are natural, but it’s usually made from synthetic chemicals. It has been known to cause hives and eczema. Beware of related chemicals labeled PEG and PPG.
PVP/VA Copolymer- A petroleum-derived chemical that’s used in hair styling products and some cosmetics. Considered toxic since if inhaled, it can damage the lungs.
Stearalkonium Chloride- This toxic chemical was designed by the fabric industry for use as a fabric softener. Companies use it in hair conditioners and lotions because it’s much cheaper than natural conditioning ingredients such as proteins.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate These foaming agents found in soaps and shampoos are skin irritants and can enter the heart, brain and liver through your skin, where they accumulate in your organs.
Toluene Generally found in nail polish and hair dye, Toluene is toxic to the nervous system, and breathing it in can cause dizziness and headaches. High exposures can lead to birth defects and miscarriage, so watch out if you work in a nail salon (and educate your favorite salons!). Toluene-free brands are on the rise.
Fragrance Owing to an FDA loophole, companies hawking cosmetics are able to mask a whole slew of nasty chemicals, many of which are phthalates, under the label “fragrance.”