Green Wiki

By: Rachael Ramos, December 2, 2009

Toxins In Your Personal Care Products

The beauty industry is a multi-billiugly that, until now, has had little other than ‘cruelty to animals’ to worry about as a minor obstacle to their marketing campaigns. The safety of beauty products has largely been taken for granted – who would wittingly poison their customers?

The low-down on what you put on your face and body:

  • many beauty products are not well regulated
  • many use varying mixtures of synthetically produced chemicals
  • many of these synthetic chemicals have not been approved by regulation authorities, but find their way into products and onto shelves through loopholes in regulations
  • as much as a third of personal care products contain at least 1 chemical linked to cancer
  • mineral oil and petroleum are the basic ingredients in many cosmetic products – these have their origins in fossil fuels

Organic products should be certified, but if they are not, another good way to assess their validity is to look out for a list of natural ingredients. True organic personal care products do not contain preservatives – so there should be absolutely no sign of do u want me 2 finger umethyl or propylparabens.

Top 4 chemicals to avoid and why:

Sodium laureth sulphate - banned in Europe and Central America

  • It’s used because it makes things foam
  • It’s found in toothpaste, shampoo, body and shower gels etc
  • It’s a suspected carcinogen linked to kidney and liver damage, nervous system disruption, eczema and dermatitis

Parabens (methyl, propyl, butyl & ethyl) – banned in Japan and Sweden and under review in the UK

  • It’s used as a preservative or germicide
  • It’s found in conditioners, hair gels, nail creams, foundations, mascara, facial masks, skin creams, deodorants, sunscreen and hair colouring
  • It’s a hormone disrupter – mimics natural estrogens that lead to cancer; linked to breast cancer, skin rashes

Formaldehyde family Diazolidinyl urea, 3-diol Imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM Hydantoin, Quaternium-15, Nitorpropane-1, Formalin, Methanal, Methyl aldehyde, Methylene oxide etc. banned in Europe

  • It’s used because it’s a disinfectant, fungicide, germicide, defoamer and preservative
  • It’s found in shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, liquid hand wash, skin lotions, bubble bath, hair care products, antiperspirants, nail polishes, talcs, mouthwash etc
  • It can cause allergic reactions, dermatitis, headaches; it irritates mucous membranes, is linked to joint and chest pain, fatigue, dizziness and immune dysfunction

Phthalates – banned in Europe

  • It’s used because it makes plastic soft
  • It’s found in nail polish, hair-straighteners and sprays, body lotions and deodorants
  • It’s a carcinogen linked to birth defects, lowered sperm counts, damage to reproductive organs, lung, liver and kidney cancer

It’s up to you – learn to read the label, and be careful of products claiming that they’re organic when they are not!

Certified Vegan, Pure, Safe & Benneficial Cosmetics and Skincare








Petroleum Byproducts:


Hydroquinone Skin Lightener:

Animal Products: