Today, we’ll talk about how to be green and gorgeous in our quest to be young and fabulous. Did you know, that according to the Environmental Working Group, only 11 percent of 10,500 ingredients in beauty products have been tested for safety?
One in thirteen women are exposed every day to ingredients through their personal care products that are known or probable carcinogens and reproductive toxins. The average woman’s morning routine puts her in contact with a hundred chemicals before breakfast! Oh my gosh!
These chemicals might contain impurities that are carcinogenic, and many of them are actually classified as neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors. Certain chemicals mixed with other chemicals become carcinogenic or another chemical in a particular formulation may cause liver and kidney abnormalities. And yet we pay to have these terrible, nasty stuff get into our body, then washed them off and pollute the environment.
Okay, enough whining, let’s put on our hot mom cap and get educated on what bad stuff to avoid. If you’re like me who is paranoid enough and reads the ingredients of everything you buy, good for you. If not, it’s time to pay attention so you don’t waste your money poisoning yourselves slowly!
Ingredients to avoid at all costs:
COAL TAR: Used in dandruff shampoos, anti-itch creams. Coal tar–based dyes such as FD&C Blue 1, used in toothpastes, FD&C Green 3, used in mouthwash.
FRAGRANCE: Term is used to mask hundreds of ingredients, including phthalates.
HYDROQUINONE: Found in skin lighteners and facial moisturizers.
ALUMINUM: Often used in eye shadow as a color additive and also used in deodorants.
TRICLOSAN: Used in almost all antibacterial products, including soap, toothpaste, and cosmetics.
P-PHENYLENE DIAMINE: Also listed as 1,4Benzenediamine; p-Phenyldiamine and 4Phenylenediamine.
LEAD AND MERCURY: Lead could appear in toothpaste as a naturally occurring contaminant of hydrated silica. Also appears as lead acetate in men’s hair dye. Mercury is found in a cosmetic preservative called thimerosol.
- Cocamide DEH
- Lauramide DEA
- Cocamide MEA
- Triethanolamine (TEA)
- Diethanolamine (DEA)
Mineral Oils: Appears on labels as “petroleum” or “liquid paraffin.” Prohibited in Europe but not in United States. Why?????
Parabens (methyl-, ethyl-, propyl, butyl, isobutyl-): Chemical preservatives.
Phthalates: Often hidden as “fragrance”. Dibutyl and diethylhexyl have been banned in the European Union but not in the United States. Another why???
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES): It is used in brake fluid and antifreeze and also in a huge variety of skin care products, including toothpaste, shampoo, bubble bath, and soap.
Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): Typically used as a grease-dissolving cleaner and a thickener for skin care products. Also look out for propylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol, and butylene glycol.
Formaldehyde-Producing Preservatives: Examples are hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, and diazolidinyl urea.
Talc: Found in baby products, underam deodorants, and cosmetic powder products, talc contains a chemical that is similar to asbestos and can increase the risk of certain ovarian cancers.
- Acrylates and Methacrylates
- Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40)
Tocopherol Acetate: synthetic version of Vitamin E.
Phenonip: Peservative blend that contains the parabens: phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, proylparaben, and isobutylparaben.
Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (Quats): listed on your ingredient list as benzalkonium chloride, cetrimonium bromide, quaternium-15, and quaternium 1-29.
Cationic Surfactants: Look out for these ingredients: stearalkonium chloride, benzalkonium chloride, cetrimonium chloride, cetalkonium chloride, and lauryl dimonium hydrolyzed collagen.
- Benzyl Alcohol
Silicone Derived Emollients: These emollients include: dimethicone, dimethicone copolyol, and cyclomethicone.
- Carbomer 934, 940, 941, 960, 961C
Where to start? Gather your personal care stuff and READ the labels. Shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, toothpaste, lip products, hand lotions, creams, makeup, etc. There’s no other way to do this but to go through each one. My personal technique and time saver is that if there’s a long list of ingredients and lots of words too cryptic for me to read, I toss it out or don’t even buy it.
There you go, my hot moms. I hope this list helps in getting you started to be more conscious on what you slather onto your body. Organic or all-natural doesn’t always mean they’re good for you. Not because an item is on sale means it’s good for you. It may be good for your pocket, but not necessarily good for your body/health. You have to read the labels/ingredients. Being green and gorgeous is a win/win for both you and the environment.