Dangerous chemicals in conventional cosmetics

A late realization

Despite the warnings issued by specialists, it’s only been for a few years that the mainstream consumer begun to focus on the dangerous chemicals we found in conventional cosmetics. Some of these substances were purely and strictly forbidden while some others are tolerated or restricted for certain part of the population (babies, children, pregnant women, etc.).

Makers of conventional cosmetics can carry on using these toxic ingredients quite legally though common sense would have you purely forbid these chemicals from the list of ingredients we use for conventional cosmetics. We would like to be able to buy a good our eyes closed while being sure of its harmlessness. As this ideal world only exists in our heads, you better be properly informed and able to identify these risky substances so you can avoid the cosmetics using these chemicals and adopt the principle of precaution in every purchases.

 

What are the risks involved?

Allergens, pesticides, toxins affecting the reproductive organs, Endocrine disruptors, carcinogenic elements… The list of toxic elements goes on. The health disorders they cause are more and more enlighten and feed modern public health issues. These toxic chemicals are used in any categories of conventional cosmetics and any distribution circuitry. Neither price nor prestige and “medical pledge” of a branded product protect consumers from these toxic ingredients.

 

What are these unwanted substances and in which type of products can you find them?

Colorants

Synthetics colorants are common in most conventional cosmetics because they allow the maker to have a much bigger range of colors available than the one you can afford from natural colorants. Petroleum-derived, these are toxics, allergens and suspected to be carcinogenic. In Canada, many synthetic pigments were forbidden. Only 7 out of these are authorized for cosmetics used in the eyes area. In the USA, azo-type colorants are forbidden as an element of composition in cosmetics, but not in Europe. Controversy and the scientific vagueness surrounding those products are potentially dangerous.

Perfumes

Most of the perfumes used in conventional cosmetics are synthetics and tend to provoke more allergenic reactions than natural ones. Some like synthetic musk (galaxolide, tonalide) or phthalates (Diethyl phthalate) used to fix perfumes are suspected to be endocrine and carcinogenic disruptors.

Mineral oils

Minerals oils such as paraffin oils, petroleum-derived oils, liquid paraffin, petroleum, white liquid, white oil, Vaseline, mineral oil, silicon quaternion, methylsilanol, microcrystallin wax, etc.… Petroleum derived, these are cheap and easy to produce which explain why they are widely used for more than a century in many cosmetics. They are occlusive (they fill pores) and ease the emergence of acne. Suspected to be carcinogenic, these are not biodegradable and so harmful to the environment.

Silicons

These silicons: dimethylpolysiloxane, dimethicone, phenyldimethylpolysioxane, phenyldimethicone, clometherone, aminopolysiloxane or amodimethicone, etc.… Silicons actually are a mix of selenium and oxygen. This concretely is about “plastic” matters which can be liquid and solid. These are very much used in capillary products (shampoo, hairdressers, etc.…) as much as in face creams (like the popular BB-Cream) or in lipsticks and many other conventional cosmetics. They are occlusive substances which prevent the skin to breathe. Non-biodegradable, these are harmful to the environment.

 

Parabens and formaldehydes

Parabens (methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, etc.) which were so enlightens are used as conservatives. It can trigger allergies, but also have the particularity to remain in the organism and it is precisely on that matter that they raise concerns. Considered as carcinogenic some of them have been suppressed from the market already, but some others are still used in many conventional cosmetics. And they were already put on the market in order to replace other dangerous conservatives such as formaldehydes, which use is nowadays very restricted. These formaldehydes (formol, formalin, formic-aldehyde, paraform, methanol, methyl-aldehyde, oxide-methylene, oxymethylene, oxomethane, etc.), classified as carcinogenic, are less and less employed; although they remain in nail polish and in light doses in some cosmetics with the obligation to mention it on the package when the concentration is above 0.5%.

Sodium-Lauretha-Sulfates

The SLS are tensioactives (detergents) used to emulsify and produce foam, you can find these in shower gels, shampoo, toothpaste. These are irritant and allergens.

 

Polyethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol

These PEG are part of the humectants family (designed to remain wet) and are used in many cosmetics such as hydration creams, shower gels, shampoo, etc. PEG are pollutant products derived from ethylene oxide, a toxic and flammable gaz. These provoke allergies and are suspected to be carcinogenic. PPG are derived from oils used in the industry as lubricants and antifreeze. They are highly contentious. Accused to be at the origin of some liver deformation and to damage kidneys, they also are considered as endocrine disruptors (male infertility, deregulation of feminine hormones cycles, risk of abortions, etc.)

 

Synthetic aluminum compound

Synthetic aluminum compound (chloride aluminum, aluminumchlorhydrate) can be found in deodorants and are suspected to be carcinogen and to impact the brain on the long term (Alzheimer disease). These also are irritant products.

 

Synthetic solar filters

Chemical solar filters (ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate, benzophenone, methylbenzylidene camphor) are allergens and endocrinal disruptors. On the other hand, these UV filters have such an impact on the environment. The substances released in the ocean by tourists who bathe with a solar filters coated body, these releases cause little by little the destruction of corals reefs. These chemicals are also introduced in the food chain. Eaten by fishes, they are introduced in human organisms through sea foods.

 

Why are these substances still in use?

That list of dangerous substances used in conventional cosmetics is sadly not an exhaustive one. We are not yet aware of all the side effects of the composers used to make conventional cosmetics. The industry carries on making and selling goods that consumers should carry on buying because they represent a certain danger to health. In most cases, the selection of ingredients used in conventional cosmetics is dictated by economic reasons. The chemicals in use are easy to produce and cheaper than harmless substances. It is a quite simple answer to the competition that conventional cosmetics makers are involved in.

 

Alternatives are possible

By being well informed, it is possible to have a choice. Harmless goods with no impact on health exists and are available in the different ranges of certified Bio products. Buying Bio Certified Productsis using healthy and clean products. It is also a way to get involved on a path that respect mankind as well as the environment. Come and visit our Shop, you will only find goods of an unmatched quality. 😉

 

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