We all know that much of our food is laden with harmful chemicals that have been known to cause cancer, reproductive issues and other ailments. Many of us have chosen to go the organic-only route to avoid these effects. But what many people don’t know is that there is just as many harmful chemicals in our beauty products. A quick look at the ingredients list in your most used face lotion or body scrub will show you just how little we pay attention to what we’re putting on our skin. These five ingredients are believed to be the most dangerous, though the actual list of harmful beauty ingredients is much longer.
You’ll see this ingredient in almost every type of product, including shampoo, body wash, deodorants and face washes. It is a preservative that keeps your product from growing bacteria and mold. While it may seem beneficial, it’s actually been known to increase the risk of breast cancer. Researchers have found this chemical in biopsies of breast tumors.
We know that artificial colors in food is no good, so why would it be okay in beauty products? Surprise, surprise, it’s not. Anything on the ingredients list with a FD&C or D&C before it means it has artificial coloring in it. These colors come from petroleum and coal tar sources. When this ingredient seeps into your skin, it may increase your risk for cancer. It has also been linked to ADHD in children. While Europe and other countries have banned it from their products, the USA still allows it.
This may be the most surprising of all. Fragrance is everywhere, and we all want to smell our best. But what makes up that pretty flower scent in your everyday perfume is actually a mixture of many harmful chemicals, some that have been linked to allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and reproductive disorders. It’s not just perfume to look out for, either. Fragrance is often in body washes, shampoo, conditioner, and even foundation.
This chemical increases flexibility and softness of products. It is found in nail polish, perfumes and lotions, among other widely used products. Their presence has been linked to increase risks for breast cancer, reproductive birth defects, and many harmful problems. This is perhaps the sneakiest ingredient, as many products don’t disclose it on their list.
It is an antimicrobial ingredient known to be an endocrine disruptor. It has been blamed for causing thyroid and reproductive issues. It also irritates the skin. Many researchers believe it teaches some bacteria to become antibiotic resistant. When tested against other soaps that do not contain triclosan, researchers found that the presence of triclosan actually doesn’t provide any more benefit in killing germs. It is often found in soaps, toothpaste and deodorant.