The Dirty 30: A List Of Toxic Beauty Product Ingredients To Avoid

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The Dirty 30: A List Of Toxic Beauty Product Ingredients To Avoid
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Women tend to use several beauty products daily all over their bodies. They use these products on their hair, their face, their skin, and other body parts day in and day out. Because it makes them beautiful, most women don’t even bother looking at the ingredients of the beauty products that they use. A lot of the time, some of the ingredients can be very hazardous to their health. Below is a list of the dirty 30 – the most toxic ingredients in beauty products that we should really be concerned to avoid.

1. Aluminum Zirconium And Other Aluminum Compounds

Used For: Prevents sweating and controls odor in the underarms through minimizing the production of sweat. [1]
Found In: Stick, gel, and roll-on antiperspirants/deodorants.
Health Hazard: Recognized as a neurotoxin that causes damage to nerves and nerve tissue; Linked to the development of Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases; Could be linked to breast cancer and damages breast cells; Possibly a nervous system, developmental, and respiratory toxin. [2]

2. Benzalkonium Chloride And Benzethonium Chloride

Used For: Antimicrobial agent; Antistatic agent; Deodorant agent; Cosmetic biocide; Surfactant-suspending agent; preservative. [3]
Found In: Bath products, skin products, personal cleanliness products, shaving creams/gels, suntan products, eye makeup, fragrances, acne treatment, pain relief. [4]
Health Hazard: Could trigger asthma; Immune system toxicant; Possible organ system toxicant; Studies in animals have shown endocrine disruption; Animals studies also revealed nervous system, respiratory system, and blood effects; Possible carcinogen. [5]

3. Benzyl Acetate

Used For: Perfuming; Fragrance Ingredient; Solvent. [6]
Found In: Conditioner and other cosmetic and personal care products that have a scent. [7]
Health Hazard: Possible link to pancreatic cancer; Animal studies have shown hyperemia of the lungs; Possible liver, gastrointestinal, and respiratory toxicant; Likely neurotoxin. [6]

4. Bronopol

Used For: Antimicrobial; Preservative. [8]
Found In: Acne products, anti-aging products, moisturizer, body wash, makeup remover, facial cleanser. [9]
Health Hazard: Gastrointestinal, liver, lung, and skin toxicant; Immune system toxicant; Animal studies have shown endocrine disruption as well as nervous system and gastrointestinal effects; Irritant; Possible carcinogen. [10]

5. Butyl Acetate

Used For: Solvents in nail care products and treatments which prevent chipping. [11]
Found In: Nail polish, nail polish removers, basecoats, and other manicuring products and treatments. [11]
Health Hazard: Eczema on the hands, arms, and face; Skin dryness and cracking; Vapors can cause drowsiness and dizziness; Flammable. [12]

6. Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)/ Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)

Used For: Antioxidant, prevents or slows down deterioration due to chemical reaction with oxygen; Helps to preserve integrity, color, and appearance of cosmetic’s formula. [13]
Found In: Eyeliners, eye shadows, lip glosses, lipsticks, perfumes, foundations, moisturizers, skin cleansers, and diaper creams. [13]
Health Hazard: Possible carcinogen; Immune system toxicant; Endocrine disruptor; Animal studies have shown liver, brain, reproductive, neurotoxic, and respiratory toxicant. [13]

7. Coal Tar

Used For: Softens and helps with the dissolution of scary, hard, and rough skin, controls itching and eczema. [5]
Found In: Shampoo, scalp hair treatments, soaps, hair dyes, lotions. [14]
Health Hazard: Known carcinogen; Skin and respiratory toxicant. [14]

8. Cocamide DEA/Lauramide DEA

Used For: Thickening and foaming agent in shampoos and bath soaps, Emulsifying agent in cosmetics. [15]
Found In: Shampoo, bath soaps, and other personal care products. [15]
Health Hazard: Carcinogen; Immune system toxicant; Animal studies have shown significant organ effects and skin irritation; May have harmful impurities. [15]

9. Diethanolamine (DEA)

Used For: Used to make cosmetics creamy or sudsy; pH adjuster, counters acidity of other ingredients. [16]
Found In: Moisturizer, sunscreen, soaps, cleaners, shampoos, foundation, hair color. [16]
Health Hazard: Possible carcinogen; Skin and immune system toxicant; Animal studies have shown neurodevelopmental, brain, and nervous system effects as well as endocrine disruption; Possible asthma trigger. [16]

10. Ethoxylated Ceteareth/PEG Compounds

Used For: Emulsifying and cleansing agent, surfactant, penetration enhancer. [5]
Found In: Skin conditioners, emulsifiers, and other cosmetics and personal care products. [17]
Health Hazard: Carcinogen; Reproductive and skin toxicant, alters skin structure; May have harmful impurities; Animals studies have shown nervous system and sense organ effects. [17]

11. Ethyl Acetate

Used For: Solvent in nail care. [18]
Found In: Nail polish, nail polish remover, basecoats, other manicuring products, mascara, perfume, and teeth whitening products. [18]
Health Hazard: Possible carcinogen, Irritant; Highly flammable; Probable neurotoxin; Possible nervous system toxin. [18]

12. Formaldehyde

Used For: Preservative, disinfectant, germicide, and fungicide. [5]
Found In: Nail polish, nail glue, eyelash glue, hair gel, baby shampoo, hair smoothing products, body soap, body wash, color cosmetics, deodorant, shaving cream. [19]
Health Hazard: Carcinogen; Immune system, hematological, repertory, and skin toxicant; Cardiovascular toxicant; Damages DNA; Asthma trigger; Animal studies have shown sense organ, brain, and nervous system effects; Possible development toxicant. [19]

13. Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives (Quaternium-15, DMDM Hydantoin, Diazolidinyl UREA And Imidazolidynl UREA, DEA, MEA, TEA)

Used For: Antimicrobial preservative. [5]
Found In: Nail polish, nail glue, eyelash glue, hair smoothing products, hair gel, baby shampoo, body wash, body soap, color cosmetics. [19]
Health Hazard: Forms nitrosamines when in the presence of certain amines such as MEA, DEA, and TEA; Probable immune system, cardiovascular, skin, and blood toxicant; Possible carcinogen; Harmful impurities; Animal studies have shown endocrine disruption as well as organ system and nervous system effects. [5]

14. Fragrance (Parfum)

Used For: Masking, perfuming, deodorant. [20]
Found In: Perfumes, colognes, deodorants, and nearly every type of personal care product. [20]
Health Hazard: Immune system toxicant; Hormone disruptor; Possible neurotoxin; Contains between 10 and 300 different chemicals, many of which have not yet been safety tested. [20]

15. Hydroquinone

Used For: Skin bleaching agent, antioxidant, fragrance ingredient, hair colorant. [21]
Found In: Sunscreen, hair color, anti-aging products, facial moisturizer, skin fading/lightening products, facial cleanser, moisturizers. [21]
Health Hazard: Probable neurotoxin; Immune system and respiratory toxicant; Possible carcinogen; Animal studies have shown endocrine disruption; Irritant. [21]

16. Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate

Used For: Preservative that prevents mold, bacteria, and other germs from spreading. [22]
Found In: Foundations, concealers, self-tanners, bronzers, mascaras, eye shadows, makeup removers, shampoo, conditioner, shaving creams, diaper creams, anti-itch and anti-rash creams, body washes, bath soaks, hair dyes, lip balms, moisturizers. [22]
Health Hazard: Gastrointestinal and liver toxin; Allergenic; Human toxicant; Linked to potential for reduced fertility and increased risk of problems in pregnancy; Suspected teratogen, may increase risk of birth defects. [22]

17. Lead And Lead Compounds

Used For: Colorant. [5]
Found in some brands of: Lipstick, lip gloss, other lip products, eyeliner, nail color, hair dye, hair products, eye shadows, whitening toothpaste, foundations, sunscreens, blush, moisturizers, eye drops, concealer. [23]
Health Hazard: Carcinogen; Developmental, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and reproductive toxicant; reduced fertility; Organ system toxicity; Animal studies have shown metabolic, brain, and nervous system effects. [23]

In a scientific study, more than half of 33 brand‐name lipsticks tested (61 percent) contained detectable levels of lead, with levels ranging from 0.03 to 0.65 parts per million (ppm). None of these lipsticks listed lead as an ingredient. Products from L’Oreal, Cover Girl and Maybelline had some of the highest levels, while Revlon and Body Shop were found much safer; though different shades by the same brand often had variable lead content; reflecting the difficulty in making safe choices. For a full list of the brands tested, visit [24].

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18. Methylisothiazolinone (MI/MCI) And Methylchloroisothiazolinone

Used For: Preservatives that inhibit bacterial growth in cosmetic products. [25]
Found In: Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hair color, lotion, sunscreen, shaving cream, mascara, hairspray, makeup remover, liquid soaps, baby lotion, baby shampoo, and detergents. [25]
Health Hazard: Immune system toxicant; Animal studies have shown restricted growth of axons and dendrites of certain immature nerves, neurotoxicity, and positive mutation results; Detrimental to developing nervous system; Allergies; Organ system toxicity; Malfunction in neuron communication. [25]

19. Oxybenzone (Benzpenone-3)

Used For: UVA and UVB Ray Absorber; Sunscreen Agent; Ultraviolet Light Absorber; UV Filter. [5]
Found In: Sunscreens, lotions, and makeup foundation with SPF. [26]
Health Hazard: Hormone Disruptor; Photosensitizer; Probable carcinogen and endocrine disruptor; Biochemical, cellular changes; Developmental and reproductive toxicity. [26]

20. Parabens (Methyl, Ethyl, Propyl And Butyl)

Used For: Preservative, antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial. [27]
Found In: A broad range of personal care products such as shampoos, mascara, foundations, and body lotions. [26]
Health Hazard: Carcinogen; Hormone disruptor; Impaired fertility or alteration of the development of a fetus or young child; Found in breast tumors; Possible skin toxicant; Animals studies have shown brain and nervous system effects. [27]

21. Petrolatum

Used For: Barrier to lock moisture in the skin; Makes hair, lip, and skin products shiny and smoother. [28]
Found In: Lipsticks, lip balms, hair care products, skin care products, and soaps. [28]
Health Hazard: Contaminated with cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. [28]

22. Phthalates (Dibutyl Phthalates)

Used For: Fragrance ingredient, added to plastic containers, solvent. [5]
Found In: Scented lotions and shampoo, perfume, aftershave, hair spray, nail polish, and other cosmetic and personal care products. [29]
Health Hazard: Developmental and reproductive toxin; Can be passed on in breastmilk; Immune system toxicant; Respiratory toxicant; Possible neurotoxin; Possible carcinogen and endocrine disruptor. [29]

23. P-Phenylenediamine (PPD)

Used For: Natural looking hair colorant, not prone to fading. [30]
Found In: Hair dyes (even “natural” ones), shampoo, hair spray, and other hair care products. [30]
Health Hazard: Animal studies have shown it to cause cancer; Likely to trigger asthma and gastritis; Immune system and respiratory toxicant; Probable neurotoxin; Causes contact dermatitis; Possible nervous system, kidney, liver, and skin toxicant; Allergen. [30]

24. Propylene Glycol

Used For: Improves freeze-thaw stabilizer of emulsions; Prevents creams and lotions from developing grainy textures at low temperatures; Moisturizer, solvent, and penetration enhancer. [31]
Found In: Creams, lotions, and other cosmetics and personal care products. [31]
Health Hazard: Could alter skin structure; Animal studies have shown reproductive system effects, positive mutation results, nervous system effects, and endocrine disruption. [5]

25. Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Used For: Penetration enhancer and surfactant. [5]
Found In: Eye makeup, lipstick, sunscreen, shampoo, hair color, bleaching agents, body washes, toothpaste, cleansers, makeup foundations, bath oils and salts, and many other cosmetics and personal care products. [32]
Health Hazard: Could alter skin structure; Irritant; Animal studies have shown organ effects; Organ toxicity; Developmental and reproductive toxicity; Neurotoxin, endocrine disruptor; Possible mutations and carcinogen. [32]

26. Talc

Used For: Absorbs moisture, prevents caking, bulking agent, smoothens and softens products, makes makeup opaque. [33]
Found In: Blush, baby power, body and shower products, eye shadow, powder, deodorant, lotions, feminine hygiene products, foundation, face masks, and lipstick. [33]
Health Hazard: Irritant; Carcinogen; Could cause tumors in the lungs; Probable respiratory toxin Organ system toxicity. [33]

27. Toluene

Used For: Antioxidant, solvent, improves gloss and adhesion. [5]
Found In: Nail polish, nail treatments, hair dye. [34]
Health Hazard: Developmental and reproductive toxicant; Liver toxin; Possible cardiovascular, renal, sense organ, and musculoskeletal toxin Possible carcinogen; Irritant; Highly Flammable. [34]

28. Triclosan

Used For: Antimicrobial, antibacterial, preservative. [35]
Found In: Antibacterial soaps, tooth paste, tooth whitening products, deodorants, antiperspirants, shaving products, color cosmetics, creams, face wash, mouth washes and cleaning supplies. [35]
Health Hazard: Endocrine disruptor; Probable carcinogen; Can easily bio-accumulate to difficult levels; Irritant; Animal studies have shown reproductive, and other systematic effects; Studies have shown it can induce cell death when used in mouthwashes. [35]

29. Triethanolamine (TEA)

Used For: Fragrance ingredient, surfactant, pH adjuster. [5]
Found In: Perfumes and other scented body products, hair products, hair dyes, shaving creams and gels, shower gel, eye serums, skin creams and lotions, makeup foundation, blush, mascara, skin cleansers, eye shadows, and eye liners. [36]
Health Hazard: Possible carcinogen; Immune system toxicant; Endocrine disruptor; Asthma trigger; Animal studies have shown liver, bladder, and testicular cancer and organ toxicity. [36]

30. 1,4-Dioxane

Used For: Penetration enhancer. [5]
Found In: Shampoo, liquid soap, bubble bath, body lotion, sunless tanning products, moisturizers, baby soap, anti-aging products, hair relaxers. [37]
Health Hazard: Probable carcinogen; Irritant; Acute exposure to high levels has caused vertigo, anorexia, drowsiness, lung, throat, eye, and nose irritant. [37]

As you can see from the list, a lot of our skin care and beauty products are filled with toxic chemicals. They could cause some serious damage to us, so what do we do? Should we avoid using beauty products altogether? The best thing to do would be to check the ingredients list and contents found on the labels of beauty products. As much as possible, choose natural and organic alternatives. If a toxic product is found on the list, make sure there is only a minimal amount. Beauty comes with a price, but sometimes the price may not always be worth it.







































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