Taking care of your health often starts with a proper diet. However, this is only one part of being healthy. Aside from the food and drinks you consume, you should also be aware of what products you put on your body. Remember, the skin is the largest organ and it makes sense to give enough attention to it.
Not a lot of people are aware of toxic chemicals present in some personal care products. Hence, it is important to be vigilant in knowing which ingredients are good and not. To help you out, here are the 10 most common toxic chemicals found in personal care products.
1- Isopropyl Alcohol
Isopropyl alcohol is one of the most common chemicals found in personal care products. It’s found in rubbing alcohol, lotions, perfumes, and even makeup products. But even if it’s found everywhere, it doesn’t make it safe.
Isopropyl alcohol is a petroleum-based substance that is similar to the composition of antifreeze agents and solvents found in shellac. When this chemical is inhaled or ingested, it can lead to vomiting, nausea, and even a coma.
2 – Chlorine
When you hear about chlorine, the first thing that enters your mind is a pool. This is because chlorine is always present in swimming pools and even in your drinking water. However, to a lot of people’s surprise, chlorine can be quite harmful.
Studies show links of chlorine exposure and consumption to diabetes, high blood pressure, and other serious health conditions. Because of the many illnesses it causes, there is a theory that chlorine can be a carcinogen.
3 – Mineral Oil and Baby Oil
Since these products are often used on babies, it is safe to assume that they are 100% safe. But that statement is completely wrong.
Baby oil’s main ingredient is mineral oil which is a petroleum-based substance. It is the same ingredient used in making plastics. So, mineral oil is considered unhealthy because it acts as a shield over your pores which blocks its ability to breathe and cleanse naturally. The more toxins that are trapped in your pores, the higher the risk you have in developing aging skin and cell breakdown.
4 – Fragrance
At this point today, most people cannot live without using any product without any kind of fragrance. In one way or another, there’s fragrance found in at least two of your personal care products. But you should be wary about using items with fragrance for the very reason that they can be carcenogenic.
In reality, most products with fragrance are made from synthetic chemicals. Unless the product explicitly says that it is made from natural ingredients, you should use these products sparingly as they may lead to brain illnesses and behavioral problems.
5 – Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
Did you know that anything with sulfates is considered toxic? SLS and SLES are specific kinds of sulfates that are commonly found in hair products and toothpaste that are linked to skin irritation, eye damage, and even breathing problems. In some studies, laboratory animals were found dead with too much exposure on these sulfates. Hence, it is advisable to look for labels that state that the product is sulfate-free.
6 – FD&C Color Pigments
Color pigments are common components of a lot of skin care products. Although they seem harmless, these color pigments are known to be made from coal tar which is able to cause cancer in laboratory animals. Some might argue that lab animals are different from humans, however, with a bad effect such as death and cancer, it is not suprising for color pigments to cause other diseases in humans. Too much use of colorants can block oxygen in cells which can ultimately lead to death.
7 – Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
PEG might sound intimidating, but its primary function is to thicken products. If you will notice, a lot of home products use thickeners and this is precisely why these products should not be used all the time. PEGs are linked to causing cancer by increasing the production of cancer cells. Too much exposure will also lead to a weaker immune system.
8 – Propylene Glycol (PG)
Just like PEG, PG is also found in a lot of personal care products. It is commonly known as the “wetting” agent (which is also another term for solvent) that is used in antifreeze products. In fact, the PG used in antifreeze is the same substance that manufacturers use in personal care products, specifically makeup and hair products. However, PG is linked to causing damage in the cell structure. It is also known to break protein structures in the body.
9 – Diethanolamine (DEA), Monoethanolamine (MEA), and Triethanolamine (TEA)
Although difficult to pronounce, these chemicals are often found in common personal care products. They are found in lotions, bubble baths, body washes, and even shampoos. The only important thing to note for these three chemicals is that they are all carcinogenic as they are linked to affecting hormone production. According to Dr. Samuel Epstein, Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Illinois, too much skin exposure to these three carcinogens can increase the chances of forming liver or kidney cancer.
10 – Imidazolidinyl Urea and DMDM Hydantoin
Last on the list of the most common toxic chemicals is imidazolidinyl urea and DMDM hydantoin. The complicated name makes people assume that this is a harmless chemical; however it is far from the case. These toxic chemicals are known to release formaldehyde which is the chemical used in preserving the dead. Just this very thought already explains why these toxic chemicals can be harmful for your body. Mayo Clinic states that use of these chemicals can damage the respiratory system specifically causing palpitations.
Exposure to these chemicals can also lead to other chronic diseases like joint pain, rashes, headaches, and loss of sleep. Overall, these toxic chemicals weaken the immune system making anyone susceptible to various illnesses.
Checking the label is not a usual practice for a lot of people, but after reading this list, hopefully, you become more aware of the chemicals used in your personal care products.