12 Toxic chemicals found in your daily beauty products

Are everyday beauty products as safe as we expect them to be? Apparently not. Our bathroom cabinet might be stacked with plenty of items containing dangerous chemicals without us even knowing it. Certain ingredients found in creams, soaps and even drugs might be tumour promoters. So it raises the question, why are they sold so freely?

Many beauty and skin care treatments contains substances that might be cancerogenous in the presence of a chemical tumour initiator. The promoter increases the risk of tumour formation as well as turning benign tumours to malignant, in other words cancer. The products are sold freely because the chemicals contained in them are not causing cancer alone, but they might increase the risk of it when used in conjunction with other substances.

Although the risk of cancer is very low in itself, the fact that the public is not aware of which products might negatively interact with others, remains very disturbing. As chemicals are contained in each beauty product, like soap, shampoo, moisturisers and even acne drugs, we have drawn up a list of the 12 most common and toxic compounds found in our everyday items.

1. Benzoyl Peroxide: ingredient found in acne products, might promote tumour formation in conjunction with other chemicals. It also might act as a weak mutagen (affect DNA) in vitro studies.

2. DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), TEA (Triethanolamine): chemicals that promote foam formation in soaps, can be skin irritant and promote contact dermatitis. It is easily absorbed by the skin and can accumulate in the body.

3. Dioxin: it is not an active ingredient in products, as his toxicity is great, but dioxin can be deposited in plants and high concentration of this hazard might be found in certain components. Dioxin is also contained in certain food, such as shellfish.

4. DMDM Hydantoin & Urea: these are two preservatives to keep products for longer. Over time they might cause allergies, skin dermatitis, headaches, depression, infections of throat and ears, and fatigue.

5. FD&C Colour and Pigments: synthetic colours used in beauty products which contain heavy metal salts that might deposit toxins, causing skin sensitivity and irritation. Might be carcinogenic over time.

6. Parabens (Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl): preservatives. Present in deodorants and skin care products can cause breast cancer, hormon imbalance and infertility.

7. PEG (Polyethilene glycol): might contain high level of dioxin due to the industrial process of this ingredient. It is contained in most baby and personal care and sunscreen products.

8. Phthalates: contained in nail polish, scented lotions, shampoo, aftershaves and hairspray. Might cause birth defects, early breast development in both girls and boys and low sperm count.

9. Propylene Glycol (PG) and Butylene Glycol: humectant, keep product moisten, used in liquid foundation, lotions, ointments, spray deodorants. Causes skin irritation and might affect organs over time.

10. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS, SLES): used to produce foamy products, it is also used as an industrial degreaser. Can damage eyes, causes skin irritation, asthma, allergies and even depression.

11. Avobenzone, Benzphenone, Ethoxycinnamate, PABA: chemicals found in sunscreen products are free radical generators and might damage DNA or lead to tumour formation.

12. Triclosan: found in most antibacterial products, is a pesticide and can negatively affect human health and the environment and even promote tumour formation.

Our best advice is to read labels carefully before purchasing any beauty product and opt for those items, which are chemical free and environmentally and animal friendly. Any good health store has a wide selection of natural products.

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