Top 15 Body Care Ingredients to Shelve for Good!
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on November 16, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Here are 15 of the worst offenders to look out for in your personal body care products:
1. BHA and BHT: Endocrine system-disrupting preservatives also linked to cancer.
2. DEA/MEA/TEA (diethanolamine): Can create carcinogenic nitrosamines when mixed with preservatives.
3. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives: DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quaternium-15 and Bronopol, a.k.a.2-bromo-2-nitropro- pane-1,3-diol
4. Oxybenzone (BP-3/ benzophenone) and octinoxate (octyl methoxycinnamate): Two sunscreen chemicals that may disrupt our hormone system and that can trigger allergic reactions.
5. Palm oil (or anything with “palm” or “palmate” in its name, like sodium palmate): Avoid unless it’s fair trade/organic.
6. Parabens: Estrogenic preservatives also tied to damage to male reproductive system.
7. Parfum/fragrance: Laced with phthalates and other hormone disruptors and sensitizers. Note: some natural Euro brands with “parfums” are made with natural essential oils (it should say so on the label).
8. PEGs (polyethylene glycol compounds, and anything with “-eth” in its name): These are often contaminated with carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane.
9. Petrolatum/paraffin/mineral oil/petroleum distillates: Green your bodycare by avoiding these petrochemicals.
10. PPD: Can also be called p-Aminoaniline; 1,4-benzenediamine; p-benzenediamine CI 76060; p-Diaminobenzene; 1,4-phenylenedia- mine; 1,4-diaminobenzene. In all permanent hair dyes. Linked to some cancers.
11. Phthalates: Hormone-disrupting family of chemicals hidden behind the word “fragrance.” Look for the phrase “phthalate-free.”
12. Retinyl palmitate: Keep this one out of the sun as it seems to speed up carcinogenic effect of UV rays in mice.
13. Siloxanes: Pass on cyclo- or “-methicone.” Cyclotetrasiloxane (D4) and cyclopentasiloxane (D5) are
eco-toxic siloxanes (silicone-based polymers). Cyclomethicone is a mix of D4, D5 and D6 siloxanes.
14. Sodium laureth sulphate: Foaming agent in soaps and shampoos often contaminated with carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane.
15. Triclosan/triclocarban: Suspected thyroid disruptor and may contribute to antibacterial resistance.
Thanks to Ecoholic for these insights.
Click on the image to download a printable version of a handy wallet guide, or to bookmark the page on your smartphone to make it easy to shop for eco-friendly, non-toxic body care products.
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Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan