Harmful Oral and Skin Care Ingredients – Touch Me Not List


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This is a list of carcinogenic ingredients found in our personal care, make up and skin care.  If you see any one of these ingredients on the list, Be Smart!  Do your homework!  A label reading ” Natural or/and Organic, doesn’t mean it is safe from toxic chemicals!

The following are all harmful ingredients that many companies put in their Oral, skin and hair care products (and cosmetics). We recommend that you do NOT use products containing any of the following ingredients:

* Mineral Oil
* Petrolatum (Petroleum Jelly)
* Sodium Lauryl (Laureth) Sulfate
* Alcohol
* Propylene Glycol (PG) / Sorbital
* Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
* Calamine
* Ascorbic Acid
* Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Parabens)
* Imidazolidinyl Urea, Diazolidinyl Urea and/or DMDM Hydantoin
* Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA) and/or Monoethanolamine (MEA)
* Artificial (Synthetic) Colors
* Fragrances
* Lanolin
* Talc / Talcum Powder
* Glycerin
* Aluminum
* Isopropyl Palmitate, Acetylated Lanolin, Carmine and Pentahydrosqualene

* Mineral Oil is a petroleum derrived preservative and is the chief cause of that greasy after-feel on the skin. A liquid mixture of hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum, mineral oil can attract dirt and causes blackheads and eruptions. It can accelerate free radical damage, thus speeding up the aging process, because it causes toxins to build up in the skin.

Mineral Oil is an extremely cheap ingredient (much cheaper than any natural oil) and is colourless and odorless, it is used in many skin care products to fill up space in a bottle and to make the shelf life last between 3-5 years. It has no proven benefit to the skin whatsoever.

Mineral oil can not be absorbed by the skin therefore leaving mineral oil in the pores which retards the absorption of emollient (moisture) creams. To add insult to injury, mineral oil is not water soluble so it cannot be rinsed off. It sits on the skin, drying your skin out and clogging the pores, causing acne. Instead of penetrating the skin, Mineral Oil coats and wraps your skin like plastic wrap. Your skin literally suffocates because oxygen can’t penetrate it and it can’t breathe, therefore, it starts to die and/or age prematurely.

* Petrolatum (Petroleum Jelly) is a grease made from petroleum. It is used in industry as a grease component. Manufacturers use petrolatum because it is unbelievably cheap. Petrolatum exhibits many of the same potentially harmful properties as mineral oil. While attempting to hold moisture in your skin, it traps the toxins and wastes that are inside your skin’s layers. Your skin smothers and can’t breathe, which leads to prematurely aged skin. You are using a product that creates the very problem that you are attempting to alleviate.

* Sodium Lauryl (Laureth) Sulfate is a harsh detergent found mainly in products that “foam.” Research has shown that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate may be one of the most dangerous ingredients found in personal care products. It is used in industrial engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners, water softeners, and auto cleaning products, as well as many skin and hair care products. It is often disguised in so-called “Natural” products as (in parenthesis) as a coconut derivative.

It is considered to be a potent irritant, and is the standard irritancy substance used (meaning it is assumed it will net an irritated reaction) to measure and compare the irritancy potential of other ingredients. Because it’s such a strong and efficient degreaser, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate dries the skin and hair. It strips your skin and hair of its natural oils. It may even damage the immune system causing the layers of your skin to inflame and separate. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate has been linked to eye damage, intestinal damage, breathing problems, skin spots, and cysts. It can cause cataracts in adults and prevent children’s eyes from developing properly.

Every wonder why more women are getting male pattern baldness these days? According to the Journal of American College of Toxicology, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate corrodes and damages the hair follicles. It can actually cause your hair to fall out!

After exposure, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate can stay in your body for up to 7 days. It penetrates easily into your skin and then lingers around in your heart, liver, lungs, and brain. In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (www.aad.org), these surfactant molecules stay on your skin long after you think you’ve washed them off and as they sit there, they literally strip-away fatty acids, moisture and amino acids from your hair and skin.

* Alcohol is another cheap ingredient and is very drying and potentially irritating to the skin. Alcohol strips natural moisture from the skin and can contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles. If you swallow or inhale Isopropyl Alcohol, it may cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, coughing, wheezing, abdominal pain, mental depression, hallucinations, narcosis, and coma. The fatal ingested dose is about one fluid ounce.

* Propylene Glycol (PG) / Sorbital, which are commonly used in moisturizers as humectants, should be avoided. Chemically derived from alcohol, Propylene Glycol binds repels moisture from the skin, therefore the skin ends up not receiving any benefit at all from the moisturizer.

Propylene Glycol is the main active ingredient in anti-freeze. There is no difference between the Propylene Glycol used in anti-freeze and the Propylene Glycol used in personal care products. It can also be found in brake fluid and hydraulic fluid.

The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) warns companies who put Propylene Glycol into their products that it:
o May cause skin and eye irritation
o May be harmful if inhaled or ingested
o Can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, gastrointestinal disturbances, and depression
o Can inhibit skin cell growth. This means that your cells will not be able to reproduce normally. If your body cannot make new cells, then the cells will get old and wrinkled. Did you know that some wrinkle creams can make you look older, rather than younger? Propylene Glycol may be the reason.
o Can damage the skin and muscle tissue. Propylene Glycol is a chemical used in food processing. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires food workers to wear protective gloves, clothing, and goggles when working with Propylene Glycol. This is because Propylene Glycol quickly penetrates into your skin.
o And Propylene Glycol is linked to Contact Dermatitis, Liver and Brain Abnormalities, and Kidney Damage

* Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) is used in cleansers to dissolve oil and grease, as well as to thicken products. Because of its effectiveness, PEGs are often used in caustic spray-on oven cleansers. PEGs can destroy the natural functioning of your skin which help keep it soft and moist. And what’s worse, products with Polyethylene Glycol are likely to be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a carcinogen (cancer causing chemical). Studies show that dioxane easily penetrates into your skin.

* Calamine contains about 5% Zinc Oxide (which can clog pores) and a good deal of Phenol, which is extremely toxic to skin. In 1992, the FDA actually tried banning calamine altogether, but that didn’t happen.

* Ascorbic Acid is considered to be the most irritating and least stable of any of the forms of vitamin C. Because it deteriorates so easily, it can quickly lose it’s effectiveness in Vitamin C creams and just become and irritant. Sensitive skins especially should avoid this ingredient.

* Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Parabens) an be found in almost all of your personal care products. They are the most commonly used preservatives in the United States. The sole purpose of preservatives in cosmetics is not to protect you from bacteria, but to protect and extend the shelf life of the cosmetic. Parabens have caused many allergic reactions, skin rashes, and are known to be highly toxic. They can also have an estrogenic or feminizing affect on your body, meaning it can make men more feminine.

In the book Organic Beauty by Josephine Fairley states that “concern is raised over parabens in skin care products absorbed throught the skin of pregnant women. Research has shown that they may affect the future fertility of male babies. Professor John Sumpter or Brunel University, England – and expert on estrogenic chemicals in the environment – believes the result could be significant, because over the last few decades, paraben use has been very widespread in the cosmetic industry. The chemical preservatives might just play a role in falling sperm counts and rising breast cancer rates.”

* Imidazolidinyl Urea, Diazolidinyl Urea and/or DMDM Hydantoin are the most commonly used cosmetic preservatives after the Parabens. They are just three of the many preservatives that release formaldehyde. Nearly all brands of skin, body and hair care products, antiperspirants, and nail polish found in stores contain formaldehyde releasing ingredients. According to the Mayo Clinic, formaldehyde can irritate the respiratory system, cause skin irritations, and trigger heart palpitations. Exposure to formaldehyde releasing products may also cause allergies, nose congestion, nausea, headaches, dizziness, ear infections, chronic fatigue, depression, asthma, chest pains, and loss of sleep. But more seriously, formaldehyde is toxic to the immune system, a human mutagen, and is carcinogenic.

* Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA) and/or Monoethanolamine (MEA) are usually listed on ingredient labels with the compound being neutralized. So look for names like Cocamide DEA or MEA, Lauramide DEA, TEA Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, etc. Neither DEA nor TEA is carcinogenic. However, if products contain nitrites (as a preservative or contaminant), chemical reactions can occur as products are sitting on the store shelves. This reaction leads to the formation of nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic. Large amounts of nitrates may enter your bloodstream after just one shampooing. The FDA did two studies showing that 27 out of 29 cosmetics contained high levels of Nitroso-Diethanolamine. “Repeated skin applications have resulted in a major increase in liver and kidney cancers,” states Dr. Samuel Epstein of the National Toxicology Program.

* Artificial (Synthetic) Colors will be labeled FD&C (Food, Drug or Cosmetics) or D&C (Drugs or Cosmetics). This designation will be followed by a color and then a number. Some examples are FD&C Red No. 6, D&C Green No. 6, or FD&C Blue No. 1. Is your shampoo blue or green? If it is, you can bet on it that it contains a coal tar color. Artificial Colors are made from coal tar, a coal derivative. There is a great deal of controversy about the use of coal tars. Almost all of the coal tar colors cause cancer. Some artificial colors even contain heavy metal impurities such as arsenic and lead. Both of these metals are carcinogens.

* Fragrances are the number one common cause of allergies and irritant reactions to cosmetics. The FDA does not require manufacturers to list the ingredients of a “fragrance.” When you see the word “fragrance,” it can have as many as 4,000 separate chemicals. Some problems you may experience when exposed to these chemicals may be: headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, forgetfulness, irritability, hyperactivity, visual problems, clumsiness, watery eyes, stuffy nose, skin rash, skin discoloration, depression, mood changes, inability to concentrate, and sleep problems. Remember that a product labeled “unscented” may in fact contain a fragrance to mask other chemical odors. A product must be marked “fragrance-free” or “without perfume” to indicate nothing has been added to make it smell good. Some fragrance reactions occur only when the skin is exposed to sunlight.

Because the FDA does not require manufacturers to list hazardous chemicals in their fragrances, you have no way of knowing whether it contains carcinogens. For example, methylene chloride is one of the most common “fragrance” ingredients and is a confirmed carcinogen.

* Lanolin, an animal by-product, is made from the fatty secretions from sheep’s wool. Lanolin is not used in its pure from because of its allergy causing potential. Nonetheless, cosmetic grade lanolin may be contaminated with carcinogenic pesticides such as dieldrin, lindane, and DDT. The FDA recognizes that the contamination of lanolin in skin care products is a problem. Pesticides are likely to migrate through your skin into your bloodstream to do their damage.

* Talc / Talcum Powder causes cancer in laboratory animals and using it in the female genital area increases your chance of ovarian cancer. Talc enters the reproductive tract if used this way. And inhaling talc may be harmful too. Never use talc on babies. Not only is it a possible carcinogen, but inhaling it may cause acute respiratory distress and result in death.

* Glycerin is synthetically made from propylene alcohol or naturally from vegetable oils. Unless the humidity of the air is over 65%, glycerin will draw moisture from the lower layers of your skin and hold it on the surface. Glycerin dries your skin from the inside out. It is also a human mutagen.

* Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer’s Disease. Since your body has no useful purpose for aluminum, it considers it a toxin. Studies show that regular use of products with aluminum compounds can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s by 300%!

* Finally, watch out for: Isopropyl Palmitate and Acetylated Lanolin, which are both known for clogging pores. Carmine and Pentahydrosqualene are insect shells and shark liver oil, respectively.

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