Synthetic chemicals can be found in the majority of beauty products, from lipstick to shampoo. Alarmingly, a correlation has been observed between the use of such chemicals and the rise in breast cancer, hormone disruption and other health issues. On a more superficial note, I’ve certainly found that my skin reacts to a lot of synthetic cosmetic products (redness, breakouts etc.) where as more natural products seem to be a lot kinder to my skin.
Rather than attempting to memorize the extensive list of ingredients to avoid, I generally go by the rule that if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, it’s probably not great for you. Here are the top 10 most wanted on my Beauty Blacklist…
Parabens (Methyl, Propyl, Butyl) - Linked to breast cancer, elevated stress hormones and DNA mutilation. May also cause skin irritation and allergies. Environmental contaminant.
Diethanolamine (DEA) Triethanolamine (TEA) - Known carcinogens and irritable to skin. Linked to brain abnormalities and tumors in animals.
Urea (Diazolidinly, Imidazolidinyl) - Release potentially toxic formaldehyde, carcinogenic, skin irritant.
Sulfates (Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate – SLS) - Foaming agents that cause skin and eye irritation, water contamination and potentially carcinogenic
Petrolatum - Clogs pores and may cause what it claims to prevent i.e. dryness, sensitivity, chapping etc.
Propylene/Polyethene Glycol - Linked to liver, kidneys and brain interference.
PVP/VA Copolymer - Can be toxic if inhaled.
Stearalkonium Chloride - Causes irritation and may be toxic to organs.
Synthetic colors - May look attractive but can be carcinogenic.
Synthetic Fragrances - May cause headaches, dizziness, skin irritation, respiratory problems and hyper-pigmentation
A more extensive list of ingredients to avoid can be seen here: