Avoid These 10 Toxic Ingredients

It’s impossible to avoid every single synthetic chemical out there, but you can do your part and be mindful on the number of toxins your body is exposed to. Here are ten toxic ingredients we recommend avoiding and a list of which products you can commonly expect to find them:

1. Synthetic Fragrances

Yes, they make your products smell delightful, but if you knew that one fragrance in a personal care product can consist of as many as 200 combined chemicals, you’d be less impressed. As opposed to scents that are naturally derived or plant-based (like essential oils), “fragrance” is a catch-all term and may contain combinations of the other toxic ingredients listed below.

It can be found in:
Skincare, hair care, makeup, body spray, and perfume, cologne, aftershave products, laundry detergents, room fragrances.

2. Parabens

One of the oldest forms of modern cosmetic preservatives, parabens (any chemical that ends in “paraben”) have been used since the 1930s as a way to keep formulas free from bacteria, mold, and fungi. Parabens easily penetrate the skin and mimic or interfere with estrogen in the body and disrupt the endocrine system (responsible for hormone production).

It can be found in: 
Deodorant, antiperspirant, moisturizer, sunscreen, makeup, shampoo, fragranced products.

3. Synthetic Colors

Those bright, artificial colors found in thousands of products around the world have a dark side. They contain chemicals commonly derived from petroleum products and they are considered a human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer—not so pretty after all.

It can be found in: 
Makeup, toothpaste, nail polish, hair dyes, tanning spray, medications, bath towels, bed linens, shoes, carpets, and thousands of foods.

4. SLS

Sulfate-based ingredients (SLS or SLES) are added to products to create a lather or bubbles and remove dirt and oils from skin and hair. The biggest issue with sulfates is that they can cause varying levels of skin and eye irritation, which can get worse the longer the product is in contact with the skin.

It can be found in: 
Toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, hand soap, hair color products.

5. Formaldehyde

Think back to biology class—do you remember that liquid in the jar you used preserve the frog you dissected? That liquid was formaldehyde—when it’s vapor is present in the air at levels exceeding 0.1 ppm, some people experience watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat, coughing, wheezing, nausea, and skin irritation.

It can be found in: 
Mattresses and pillows, bed sheets, furniture, air fresheners, clothing, laundry detergent, nail polish and remover, hair straightening treatments.

6. Phthalates

Phthalates make plastics more flexible—colourless and odorless, they soften the vinyl floors of kitchens and bathrooms and put the flex in our shower curtains. Unfortunately, phthalates have been linked to asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, obesity, and type II diabetes.

It can be found in: 
Cosmetics and personal care products, plastic and vinyl toys, shower curtains, wallpaper, vinyl flooring, raincoats, food packaging and wraps, detergents.

7. BPA

BPA is used to coat the inside of metal products—when BPA containers are made, not all of the BPA gets sealed into the product, allowing part of it to break free and mix with the container’s contents once food or fluids are added. Due to its estrogen-like shape, BPA can influence bodily processes, such as growth, cell repair, fetal development, energy levels, and reproduction.

It can be found in: 
Items packaged in plastic containers, canned foods, feminine hygiene products, baby bottles,  thermal printer receipts, household electronics, sports equipment, and dental filling sealants.

8. Tricolson

Triclosan is used as an antibacterial agent as well as a preservative to resist bacteria, fungus, mildew, and odors in household products often advertised as “anti-bacterial.” Triclosan can pass through the skin and is suspected of interfering with hormone function (endocrine disruption).

It can be found in: 
Deodorants, cleansers, hand sanitizers, laundry detergent, facial tissues, garbage bags, toys, linens, mattresses, toilet fixtures, clothing, furniture fabric, and paints.

9. Toluene

You know that strong smell you find in paint thinners? That’s toluene—often listed as “benzene”, “phenylmethane”, and “methylbenzene”—these are petrochemicals derived from petroleum or coal/tar sources that wreak havoc on the immune system.

It can be found in: 
Spray paints, primers, multipurpose cleaners, paint thinners, bathmats, wood sealers, coloring pens, and markers.

10. Propylene Glycol

If you’re reading labels (and I hope you are!), you’ve probably seen “propylene glycol” on your skin care and hair care products. Propylene glycol is a synthetic liquid substance that absorbs water. It’s used as a skin-conditioning agent and is classified as a skin irritant and penetrator. It’s damaging health effects (which include hives and dermatitis) can be caused by propylene glycol levels as low as 2 percent.

It can be found in: 
Moisturizers, sunscreen, makeup products, conditioners, shampoo and hair sprays.

It’s easy to avoid this ingredient. Just look for it on the label. Better yet, buy from reputable, all natural and organic brands that are more conscientious and selective in the ingredients they use in their formulations. Give your skin real nourishing, moisturizing ingredients and I think you’ll notice the difference right away!

Author: katielane

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *