In Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid Part 1 we talked about the lack of government overseeing of the listed ingredients used in skin care products. We pointed out that it isn’t the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) or any other government agency that determines which ingredients are safe or not, instead it is determined by the CIR (Chemical Ingredient Review) Board which is financed and controlled by the cosmetic industry trade association. This is like having your doctor formulate his own medications, and then telling you how good it is without anyone else testing to see if it was true. Inappropriate at best, irreparably harmful at worse.
We listed some of the more troubling ingredients in Part 1, and we will list a few more down below:
Triclosan is used as an anti-bacteria ingredient in hundreds of products ranging from deodorants to soaps to fragrances and other skin care products. Virtually all of the anti-bacteria creams that are offered for free in public places like rest rooms, grocery stores to clean shopping carts, and restaurants to clean your hands contain Triclosan. The FDA in September of 2016 finally banned its use in soaps and cleanser products and demanded it be removed from all such products by September of 2017, as noted in the online magazine Tree Hugger,. For years, the EWG (Environmental Working Group) had it listed as a dangerous toxin that is both an Endocrine System Disrupter and an Organ System Toxin. What’s still of concern is that the chemicals being used to replace Triclosan by the soap manufacturers could be just as dangerous.
Of even greater concern is that the FDA only banned its use in soap. Triclosan can and is being used in a number of deodorants, anti-microbial creams, hair shampoos and conditioners, after shave lotions, and even toothpaste. Colgate Total contains Triclosan which means the FDA is saying Triclosan is too dangerous to put on your skin but it is okay to put in your mouth and swallow.
Propylene Glycol/Butylene Glycol
Propylene glycol/butylene glycol are used in numerous skin care products as a conditioning agent and humectant. It has been associated with irritant and allergic contact dermatitis as well as contact urticaria pigmentosa (skin lesions); these sensitization effects can be manifested at propylene glycol concentrations as low as 2%.
FD&C (Food, Drug & Cosmetics) Color & Pigments
FD&C (Food, Drug & Cosmetics) Color & Pigments are dyes used to pretty up food and skin care products. They are derived from coal tar and therefore are laden with heavy toxic salts. In an article published by Nutura Veda, it is pointed out that FD & C dyes not only are irritants, but they deplete the body of needed oxygen. Worse of all, they have been shown to be carcinogenic (cancer producing) in several animal tests. Yet they are used in numerous skin care products and a significant number of foods. It’s a cover-up for products that otherwise would visibly cause concern. The European Union requires a warning to be put on any product using FD&C colors.
Hydroquinone is a skin lightener that reduces dark blemishes. It lightens by reducing the Melanin in your skin and therefore is altering your skin pigment and at the same time weakening the collagen and elastin skin cells which are the most important cells needed to keep you looking youthful and wrinkle-free. It has caused skin blotches and dermatitis in more than a few users.
The list of chemical ingredients used in skin care that are potentially harmful can be quite extensive and beyond the scope of this or any normal length article. In general, since many chemicals are derived from petroleum and the human body cannot easily eliminate petroleum from the body it is best to eliminate, or at least minimize the use of chemicals for either ingestion or topical skin care use. Many times, chemicals are qualified as being safe if they are used in small quantities. The question one must ask themselves is if somebody told you that small amounts of arsenic were not toxic would you still ingest it in small quantities on a daily schedule? Always read the ingredient list for whatever skin care product you are buying. If there are more chemical names that you never heard of vs. ones you are familiar with, do not use that product.
A very real concern of chemical content in skin care products is not just the ones listed in the ingredient list, but the ones that are not listed. These are the so called “hidden ingredients” that are either used to manufacture and process the listed ingredients or are chemical byproducts that develop during the manufacturing process. Processing chemicals are rarely, if ever, listed in the ingredient list. Yet, some of the most toxic chemicals are just that, processing chemicals. The listed chemical ingredients are infused and contaminated by the processing chemicals in literally hundreds, if not thousands of cases.
Here are some common processing chemicals that can be damaging to your skin:
1,4-Dioxane is one of the most common yet dangerous and toxic processing chemicals, and has been banned in Canada. It is generated whenever a chemical is processed via a process called ethoxylation, in which ethylene oxide, a known breast carcinogen, is added to other chemicals to make them less harsh. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has classified 1,4-Dioxane as a carcinogen, an organ toxin (especially the kidneys and liver), and an irritant for the eyes, nose and throat. The EWG also classifies 1,4-Dioxane as extremely toxic and carcinogenic. What is more unsettling is that they found it as a contaminate in almost 50% of all skin care products.
If the ingredient list label contains the terms sodium laureth sulfate, Dimethicone, Mineral Oil or Petrolatum, PEG compounds, Polyethylene, Polyethylene glycol, Polyoxyethylene, or chemicals that include the prefix/suffix xynol, ceteareth, oxynol and oleth it probably contains 1,4-Dioxane.
Phthalates are hardly ever listed as an ingredient or composition but they are everywhere. They are used to make plastics and therefore are found in anything that is in contact or packed in plastic – from food to household cleaners. Phthalates are fixators (scent stabilizers) and are used in virtually anything that has a scent. That new car smell is phthalate. Virtually every perfume or fragrance contains phthalates. A study done by the US Centers for Disease Control found a trace of it in every single person they analyzed. This is problematic because phthalates have been found to act as a hormone disruptor linked to reproductive defects, insulin resistance, and developmental problems in children. If you see fragrance listed as an ingredient, then you have a phthalate in your product. If the product is packed in a plastic container then you can be sure it is phthalate contaminated.
PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)
PAHs are found in industries that produce or use coal tar, coke, or bitumen (asphalt) for any processing procedures. PAHs are basically a byproduct of the process. They can be found as a contaminate in many petroleum-based chemicals. Among the most common ingredients that are usually contaminated with PAH’s are petrolatum or mineral oil. The EWG rates PAH’s as having an extremely high toxicity rating. They are banned in Canada and are listed as a carcinogen. California EPA Proposition 65 also states that PAH’s are carcinogenic.
You will never see these ingredients or chemicals in our products. Learn more about the Replenish Plus difference by reading Our Story.