5 Chemicals to Avoid in Beauty Products
Trying to decipher the complex and sometimes misleading ingredient lists on your favorite beauty and personal care products can be an overwhelming experience. From perfume, facewash and toners to moisturizers and body wash, harmful and toxic chemicals seem to be everywhere.
According to the Environmental Working Group, personal care products are manufactured with more than 10,500 unique chemical ingredients, some of which are known or suspected carcinogens, toxic to the reproductive system or known to disrupt the endocrine system. In the United States, cosmetic ingredients do not need FDA approval before they hit the market. Largely unregulated, cosmetic chemicals penetrate the skin and according to some scientists a number of dangerous chemicals have been found in human tissue from the use of cosmetics.
To help clean up your beauty routine this year, we’ve compiled a list of toxic chemicals to avoid. Instead of risking your health with unregulated cosmetics, consider Edens Garden’s essential oils as easy and effective replacements.
- Definition: A group of compounds used as preservatives in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.
- Found In: Makeup, moisturizers, shaving creams, deodorants, spray tanning solutions and toothpastes.
- Possible Health Concerns: Cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity and endocrine disruption.
- EG’s DIY Face Moisturizer blend: Combine 3 drops Elemi, Frankincense or Lavender with 1/2 oz of an EGCO. Apply 1/2 tsp to the face as an evening moisturizer before bed.
2. 1,4 Dioxane:
- Definition: Used to create suds in soaps.
- Found In: Shampoo, liquid soap, bubble bath and hair relaxers.
- Possible Health Concerns: Numerous studies have named 1,4 Dioxane as a possible human carcinogen. It has also been linked to organ toxicity.
- EG’s DIY Stimulating Rosemary Mint Shampoo: Add 3 drops each Peppermint and Rosemary per ounce of shampoo. For example, to an 8 oz bottle add 24 drops each Peppermint and Rosemary. Shake well and use as normal. Peppermint provides a cooling sensation, while Rosemary increases circulation.
3. Butylated Compounds:
- Definition: B BHA and BHT are used as preservatives in personal care products.
- Found In: Anti-aging products, makeup, deodorant, sunscreen, fragrances, moisturizers, lip and hair products.
- Possible Health Concerns: Developmental and reproductive toxicity, irritation, endocrine disruption and organ-system toxicity.
- EG’s DIY Mature Skin Spritz: Add the following to a 1 oz spray bottle: 2 drops each Cistus, Opopanax, Neroli and the manufacturer's recommended amount of Polysorbate 20 to emulsify the oils in water. Fill to the shoulder of the bottle with distilled water and shake well. Spritz over freshly cleansed skin. (Shelf life: 1 week)
- Definition: Used directly or released from preservatives (FRPs) in many personal care products.
- Found in: Shampoos, liquid baby soaps, body wash, hair gel and hair smoothing products.
- Possible Health Concerns: A known human carcinogen, formaldehyde can cause skin irritation and inflammation. Research shows that cosmetic products can release small amounts of formaldehyde into the air shortly after applied according to EWG.
- EG’s DIY Dandruff Blend: Combine 3 drops Rosemary, 3 drops Tea Tree and 1 oz Evening Primrose. Massage thoroughly into scalp for 1-2 minutes. Shampoo hair as usual and rinse well, repeat if necessary
- Definition: An undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and ingredients used as fragrance dispersants.
- Found In: Deodorant, perfumes, shampoo, sunscreen, body wash, serums, exfoliating scrubs, lotions and makeup.
- Possible Health Concerns: Some fragrance compounds are linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies and other sensitivities.
- EG’s DIY Natural Perfume: Combine 18-30 drops Lavender, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Geranium or Balance with 1 oz of grain alcohol. Let it sit for up to 3 weeks. Check on the aroma periodically as it will change over time. Spray it on your neck, wrists and behind your knees and ears. Alternatively, try Edens Garden’s new Rose or Jasmine Roll-Ons for a ready to use perfume.