The Dirty Dozen - Twelve Ingredients To Avoid

Thursday, 4 August 2016  |  Sarah

The "Dirty Dozen" - Twelve Ingredients To Avoid In Your Beauty Products

Many mainstream products contain ingredients that can be a burden on our body’s nervous, lymph, and detox systems. Did you know that there’s a “dirty dozen” in beauty products. The following twelve ingredients are considered to be the worst offenders in mainstream beauty products:

1. BHA and BHT - preservatives used mostly in moisturisers and makeup. These chemicals are suspected endocrine (hormone) disruptors.

2. Coal tar dyes - p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as "CI" followed by a five digit number These chemicals are possibly carcinogenic and may contain heavy metals that are toxic to the brain.

3. DEA-MEA-TEA - Used in creamy and foaming products, DEA can react with other ingredients to form nitrosamines, which may cause cancer. 

4. Dibutyl phthalate -  used in nail care products, dibutyl phthalate is a suspected endocrine disruptor and toxic to the reproductive system.

5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives - such as DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15. These ingredients slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

6. Parabens - used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disruptors that may also interfere with male reproductive functions.

7. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance) - any number of fragrance ingredients may be used in cosmetics — even in products marketed as "unscented." Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma, some have been linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. 

8. PEG compounds - used in cosmetic cream bases, PEGs may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which is a known carcinogen. 

9. Petrolatum - used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in lip balms and moisturizers. Petrolatum may be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer

10. Siloxanes - look for ingredients ending in "-siloxane" or "-methicone." Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. These may be endocrine disruptors and in the case of cyclotetrasiloxane it may be toxic to the reproductive system. 

11. Sodium laureth sulfate/Sodium lauryl sulfate - used in foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, body washes and bubble bath. SLS/SLES may be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. 

12. Triclosan - an antibacterial agent that can be found in antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and antiperspirants. Triclosan is a suspected endocrine disruptor and is thought to have played a large part in the increase in antibiotic resistance in bacteria.