The ‘Dirty Dozen’ Toxins in Your Skin Care Products

There are more than 82,000 chemicals in common cosmetics and personal care products. Because the skin is the body’s largest detox organ and one of the best ways to eliminate toxins is through perspiration, slathering chemicals on your skin may actually impair proper skin detoxification and increase the number of toxins absorbed into your body.

The Environmental Working Group offers a “Dirty Dozen” list of pesticide-laden conventional produce. Here’s my version for skincare toxins. It’s more important than ever to read labels on your skincare products and cosmetics. If your products don’t have labels it’s fair to assume that the manufacturer has something to hide and these products are best avoided. Here are the toxic chemicals to avoid:

Artificial dyes and coal tar—these numbered dyes have names like yellow dye #5 or red dye #4 and are found in most cosmetics, body care products, and hair dyes. Derived from coal tar, they also sometimes appear on the label as “CI” followed by 5 numbers such as “CI 75000.” They are potentially cancer-causing and contain heavy metals that are toxic to the brain.

Benzoates—Often these chemicals go by the name benzyl- or sodium benzoate.

BHA and BHT—The full name of these chemicals are butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene. Both of these chemicals are suspected carcinogens and hormone disruptors.

DEA, MEA, and TEA—the full names of these chemicals that make products sudsy or creamy are diethanolamine, monoethanolamide, and ethanolamine, these toxic ingredients react to form nitrosamines that are cancer-causing.

Dibutyl phthalate—Found in cosmetics and baby care products phthalates have been linked to ashtha, birth defects, and cancer.

Fragrance—the single ingredient “fragrance” or “parfum” can actually contain up to 500 other ingredients, many of which are petroleum byproducts and have been linked to cancer, asthma, allergies, and nerve damage.

Lead—rarely listed but frequently found in cosmetics, especially lipsticks so be sure yours says “lead-free.”  Lead is a serious threat to the brain and nervous system and is difficult to eliminate once it gets absorbed into the body.

Parabens—used to extend the shelf-life of products, these toxins go by many names:  butyl-, ethyl-, isobutyl-, methyl-, and propyl- parabens. Parabens have been identified by the European Commission on Endocrine Disruption to be hormone disruptors and a contributing cause of hormonally-linked cancer, reproductive disorders, and other serious health issues.

Petrolatum—found in many products including “petroleum jelly” and you guessed it:  it is derived from petroleum products.

Sodium lauryl sulphate—acts as a foaming agent and is frequently found in shampoo, body wash, and soap and may cause cancer.

Stearalkonium chloride—A common allergen found in many conditioners and creams.  Often cited as “natural” it is a toxic ingredient that is used because it is cheaper than natural protein ingredients.

Toluene—Found in nail polish toluene is an extremely toxic ingredient that can cause damage to the nervous system, blood, eye, liver, kidney, and respiratory system.  It may also affect a developing fetus.

Triclosan—Added to cosmetics and body care products as an antibacterial ingredient, I explain in my upcoming book The Probiotic Promise how this ingredient is contributing to the development of virulent superbugs that are resistant to our best drugs.

Adapted with permission from the book Weekend Wonder Detox by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, DHS, ROHP.  Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM, DHS, ROHP.

 

Check out my new books Weekend Wonder Detox, 60 Seconds to Slim, and The Probiotic Promise. Subscribe to my free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow my blog on my sites HealthySurvivalist.com and DrMichelleCook.com, and Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook. Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.  Take the FREE WEEKEND WONDER DETOX QUIZ to determine which detox is best for you.

102 comments

Sonia M
Sonia M11 months ago

Good to know thanks for sharing

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Mbotanicals u.
Mbotanicals u1 years ago

Thanks for sharing this precious information. I like your concern in the post which is very useful for me. this is how i always trust on Natural beauty products in which all the ingredients are in natural form. the one of the best thing about them that they don't have any side effects...!

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Pablo B.
.2 years ago

tyfs

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R2 years ago

Scary info!

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R2 years ago

TYFS.

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Sen Senz
Sayenne H3 years ago

Wow thats ... a lot.

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Sen Senz
Sayenne H3 years ago

Wow thats ... a lot.

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Williams G.
Past Member 3 years ago

Super-Duper blogs! I love it really!! Would come back to visit soon, again Thanks.
click here

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

Why would these corporations put these chemicals in our products? Makes no sense to me!

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Diane Pease
Diane P3 years ago

Products that contain these chemicals are the ones that are cruelly tested on animals. They do it to see how much the animals can take before it is blinded, burned of dies. I, personally, do not want any of these products to come in contact with my body. Please, choose to buy cruelty free. It is safer for you, the animals and the environment. If the harmful chemicals are eliminated, the cruel testing will become a thing of the past.

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