Warning: some of you may think I am a conspiracy theorist after reading this.? I was going to address this issue little by little (as I have started to do), but after continuously seeing what I am seeing on the shelves, in ads, and in other skin care blog posts, I decided I needed to talk about it now.? Please keep in mind these are NOT my opinions, these are facts.
I have already written a lot about ingredients.? I have talked about quality and quantity, a bit about essential oils, and a bit about ingredients you should avoid, like parabens (in all forms: methyl, ethyl, butyl, isobutyl, etc), formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (quaternium-15, sodium hydroxy methyl glycinate, etc), grapefruit seed extract which mimics paraben (not to be confused with grapeseed extract, a powerful antioxidant), sodium/ammonia lauryl/laureth sulfate, polysorbate, etc.? There are way too many to list here… I will have to post a full list of ingredients to avoid at another time.
How Bad Could These Ingredients Really Be?
The reason these ingredients are bad is because they are irritant to the skin, some are PROVEN to be found in certain cancer tumors, and all of them cause free radical damage to the body, which can also potentially cause cancer.
Maybe now you are thinking “I put these products on my skin, not directly into my body.”? Sorry to tell you, but your skin absorbs 60% of what you put on it.? And these ingredients accumulate in the body over time, the more you use them.? When you order lunch, you don’t say “I’d like a side of formaldehyde with that please”.? If you don’t want to ingest it, why would you want to put on your skin?
These Ingredients are Everywhere
I am sick and tired of seeing these ingredients in products in every price range, that we use everyday. I am sick and tired of the fact that in order to buy products that do not contain these ingredients, you have to go out of your way to a specialty store, do specific research on the Internet, and sometimes pay a higher price.
I had repeat experiences with several other similar companies, which led me to the conclusion that if a company does not make their full ingredient list easily accessible, it is because they DO NOT WANT YOU TO KNOW what is inside.? It is not for the fear that you will try to recreate the product in your kitchen, it is because they know the public is becoming more aware if ingredient safety and can easily copy and paste an ingredient into the Skin Deep Report to check its safety.? They are hoping that their online shoppers will be so impressed with their pretty websites and magical ingredients that they won’t even think about what OTHER ingredients are in the products.What really gets me though, are the companies that claim to be “natural”, and have “preservative-free formulations”.? I was just on the website of one of the most popular “natural” cosmetic companies and was looking for their ingredient lists.? While they spotlighted certain ingredients that supposedly have magic powers, there was no complete list of ingredients anywhere on the site, for any of the products.? So I called the customer service number and asked if maybe I missed it.? They said, no.? The company does not publish their ingredients.? I asked specifically, if the products contain parabens.? They said they didn’t know, and gave me a different “corporate” number to call.? Well that number was out of service.? So next time I was in their store, I checked the products themselves, and sure enough, they contained parabens, along with several other harmful ingredients.
They Wouldn’t Do That…Would They?
Why would a company do this?? Don’t they care about my health and safety?? All these big companies care about is their bottom line.? They use these harmful ingredients because they are cheap, and they extend the product life enough that they can manufacture gigantic batches of these products that potentially sit on shelves for years before they even get to the stores.
Some of them are making a big deal that they have “reformulated” their products to no longer contain parabens (since the public is the most aware of parabens).? OK great.? Wait…not so fast.? Check your labels to see what they replaced the parabens with.? I had a favorite shampoo that I stopped using awhile ago when I learned about parabens and saw that it contained them.? Then, a couple of years later, I saw on the website that it had “reformulated” to be paraben-free.? I went to the store, picked up the bottle and checked the label.? Sure enough, the product now contains quaternium-15: a formaldehyde-releasing preservative.
What Can I Do About It?
It all comes down to this.? Cancer is on the rise.? Chronic illnesses are on the rise.? Allergies are on the rise.? You need to look at what you are putting on your body that could be putting you and your family at a higher risk, especially if you have already had cancer or have a family history of it.? You can stop using these products now, and find ones that are safer.? Spread awareness.? Share this post.
Of course there are many other environmental factors that contribute to these illnesses that are out of our control. But if you can easily eliminate one that is IN your control, aren’t you better off?
1/10/11: Edited to add:? Saw this article today. ? Check it out…it really sheds light on this topic.