Personal care products: Why should you be concerned?

December 6, 2010 at 6:01 pm 12 comments

“One third of all personal care products contain one or more ingredients classified as possible human carcinogens.”

The Story of Cosmetics – please share this fun &  insightful video with all your friends and family!

The majority of cosmetics are usually accepted into the market place based on how they feel, look and smell rather than what they contain. An overview of the multi-billion dollar cosmetic industry indicates that for every dollar spent on a product:

6% goes towards the ingredients,
12% on packaging,
12% on advertising,
20% for wages and administration,
10% to the manufacturer
and 40% to the retailer.

Should you be concerned about the chemicals in your home and the environment?

The answer is YES – why? Because while we can’t see and feel the effects instantly, the smallest amount of chemical is absorbed by your skin and internally every day without you knowing about it.

You can’t see it…
You can’t smell it…
You can’t taste it…
But you can hear it…and read about it.
Information is your most powerful defense, after that comes action!

This article will help you understand how chemicals can enter your system through the skin:

How are Chemicals Absorbed into the Skin?

The skin, the body’s largest living and breathing organ, not only acts  as a barrier it assists with elimination, and absorbs substances into the body.  This mechanism, called the pilo-sebaceous apparatus, regulates the penetration of certain substances into the epidermal and dermal skin layers, which are then absorbed into the systemic circulation and blood stream via the hair follicles and the sebaceous (oil) glands.

Scientific and medical research has shown that an estimated 8 -10,000 toxins are potentially absorbed through the skin from commercial cosmetics and toiletries.

An unsettling thought when most of us use 6-12 personal care products daily. Manufacturers continue to incorporate chemical substances such as mineral oils and petrochemicals as they are cost effective, not prone to oxidization, and have a guaranteed shelf life of up to three years or more. The addition of synthetic fragrances and artificial colours in products are based on attracting the consumer and assist with disguising putrefaction and rancidity.

Dermatologists and skincare specialists continue to endorse sorbolene and aqueous (petroleum based) creams on the basis that they do provide some protection from external factors. They appear to hydrate and moisturise but in reality they suppress the skins ability to function normally. They offer little nourishment, are not readily absorbed, do not contain any essential fatty acids (efa’s) or vitamins and disturb or even prohibit the skin from absorbing fat-soluble vitamins and efa’s.

Rather than hydrating the dermis, they inhibit the natural transpiration process creating a barrier that prevents the evaporation of water. This application has an occlusive effect similar to applying cling wrap to the outer surface of the skin.

Their long-term use is detrimental as the skin develops a dependency on constant applications creating a deterioration of the skins character and overall health; often resulting in sensitivities, blocked pores, allergenic and phototoxic reactions.

What is the most dangerous chemical?

Go ahead and have a look at your personal products and see if these chemicals below are in them. If they are, throw them out!

Possibly the most dangerous chemicals to be included in personal care products are the ammonia derivatives, which are known to have hormone disrupting effects.

This includes:


These chemicals are used to thicken and cleanse and are added to soaps, bubble baths and facial cleansers. They are not carcinogenic in themselves; however, when combined with products containing nitrates, a common preservative, a dangerous chemical reaction takes place leading to the formation of nitrosamines.

Most nitrosamines are carcinogenic. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US recognized this threat; in the 1970s it urged the industry to remove these products from its cosmetics, however a FDA report in the late 1980s found that 37 per cent of products tested still contained nitrosamines.

INDUSTRIAL ALCOHOL -Industrial alcohol is a major ingredient in mouthwash. The National Cancer Institute of America has found that mouthwashes with an alcohol content of 25% or higher have been implicated in mouth, tongue and throat cancers.

The alcohol acts as a solvent in the mouth, making the skin tissues more vulnerable to carcinogens. Also, men had a 60% higher risk and women a 90% higher risk of these cancers compared to those not using mouthwash.

ALUMINIUM – Aluminium is a metal that is widely used in antiperspirants, processed foods, soft drink cans, foil and cookware. Dr Daniel Perl, Director of Neuropathology at Mount Sinai Medical Centre in New York recommends we avoid the use of aerosol antiperspirants. He has found that aluminium in aerosol form may be more readily absorbed into the brain through the nasal passages. Studies show that regular use of these products can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 3 times.


CAUTION                      Slightly toxic (many green products carry this label)

IRRITANT                      Causes soreness, redness, or inflammation of the skin, eyes, mucous membranes or breathing system

WARNING                     Moderately toxic

CORROSIVE                 Can destroy material or living tissue

DANGER OR POISON   Highly toxic

Bit scary isn’t it? Our family now only uses ‘certified’ organic products. Always look for certified products, because while some state that they’re organic, it doesn’t mean they are 100% organic, but use some organic ingredients. You can find these products at Whole Foods or other health stores.

Visit to join the campaign against toxic personal care products!

Scorecard provides listings of the chemicals that can cause cancer, harm the immune system, contribute to birth defects, or lead to any of nine other types of health impacts. If you find any of these in your products, get rid of them!

Entry filed under: Health Hazards, Home and Health, Smart Beauty, Videos and links. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Are you and your family exposed to toxic surfactants? Against Dumb

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