If asked to put petrol by-products, engine degreaser or boiled down animal carcass on your face, would you?
You probably already do!
In 1989, a US House sub-committee asked US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to analyse 2,983 chemicals used in personal care products. The results were as follows:
884 of the ingredients were found to be toxic,
Of these, 778 can cause acute toxicity,
146 can cause tumours,
218 can cause reproductive complications,
314 can cause skin and eye irritation.
Take a look here to see what you are really feeding your body!
Aluminium salts Aluminium hydroxychloride, Aluminium chlorohydrate, Aluminium sulphate, etc. A metallic element used extensively in the manufacture of aircraft components, prosthetic devices and as an ingredient in antiperspirants, antacids and antiseptics. It blocks the skin’s pores, prevents sweating and is linked to Alzheimer’s disease, bone formations, kidney problems, seizures and breast cancer.
Aqueous Cream Paraffin and water in suspension.
BHT/BHA Butylated hydroxytoluene/ Butylated hydroxyanisole. These chemicals have been nicknamed the gender benders as they mimic the female hormone estrogen. Estrogen mimics are thought to be partly responsible for the decrease in male fertility and rise in testicular cancer observed since the 1950’s. BHA and BHT can trigger an immune system response that includes itching, burning scaling, hives and blistering of the skin.
Borax Sodium Borate. Used as an emulsifier. Can penetrate the skin, cause powerful irritation and even cause cancer. Extended use of products containing this will dry out the skin, making it brittle. In Demark it is forbidden for use in childrens’ products as studies have shown it to cause anaemia.
Collagen Collagen is made from the connective tissue of young animals – piglets and calves or ground up chicken feet. In France and other countries aborted foetuses are also used in it’s production! A Chinese cosmetic company has even harvested skin from the corpses of executed convicts, as this costs less than 5% of what it costs in the west! The company’s agent said “the use of skin taken from convicts is ‘traditional’ and nothing to make a big fuss about”!! Collagen–like substances are also made from fish.
Kathon CG Methyl chloroisothiazoline (and) Methyl isothiazolinone Used as a preservative against bacteria and fungi in cosmetics. Also used in anti-freeze for cars and a wood preservative in pressure treated timber. Used in 10-20% of cosmetics on the market. One of the most common causes of allergic reactions to cosmetics with symptoms such as redness, blisters, itchiness, boils, rashes, peeling and swelling of the skin. There are no less than 32 different names for Kathon, eg. Actizide AC and Euxyl K 100.
Mineral Oil/ Petrolatum/Paraffin/ Vaseline Derivatives of crude oil which undergo extensive chemical and physical processing, that are used industrially as cutting fluids and lubricating oils, as sewing machine oil, as floor wax, in chewing gum, to coat machines to prevent rusting and to soften leather. These products prevent absorption of vitamins and may be carcinogenic. It can block the skin’s pores up to 60% and suppresses the skin’s ability to perform it’s detoxifying and temperature controlling functions. It cannot be absorbed by the skin but forms a film over it locking in moisture, toxins and wastes and temporarily making the skin soft but actually drying the skin out making it dependant on the need for more oil (good for the companies selling it – not good for your skin!)
Why use it? It’s cheap and does not go rancid – valuable in prolonging it’s shelf life!
Propylene Glycol A cosmetic form of mineral oil found in automatic brake fluid, hydraulic fluid, aircraft wing de-icers, and industrial antifreeze. It is also used to prevent shredded coconut and ready-to-spread cake frosting from drying out! Animal tests prove it to be a strong irritant and show that it can cause liver and kidney abnormalities. It can cause contact dermatitis irritation to the eyes, skin and throat redness and soreness, nasal irritation, nausea and headaches. (This information was printed in the Wall Street Journal in the 1980’s yet no action was taken)
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) A chemical used in the industrial world as garage floor cleaner, as car wash soaps and engine degreaser and is very harsh, especially when used in cosmetics. A foaming ingredient and emulsifier, it strips the skins natural oils and can denature (destroy) eye and skin protein. SLS has been shown to enter the blood stream and therefore become systemic. It could retard healing, can cause cataracts in adults and keep children’s eyes from developing properly. It can disrupt the normal hair growth cycle causing hair to change its natural pattern of growth, can cause eczema, skin irritation and dry skin.
Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES) The alcohol form of SLS. It is a foaming agent and is slightly less irritating than SLS, but may cause more drying and is widely used. It is manufactured by a process called ethoxylation which may leave it contaminated with trace amounts of 1,4 dioxane, which causes cancer in animals. It is an eye and skin irritant and may cause contact dermatitis.
Triclosan An antibacterial disinfectant added to handwashes, soaps, kitchen sponges and ‘total care’ toothpastes. Using toothpastes containing Sodium Laureth Sulphate (for it’s foaming abilities), is enough to cause mouth and gum problems for many and when Triclosan is added it can become much worse. Ulcers and tender, spongey gums are just some problems that can arise and the more it is used, the more chances bacteria have to evolve resistance and mutation of bacteria can lead to superbugs being created.
Parabens This family of chemical preservatives include E218 methylparaben, E214 Ethylparaben, E216 Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben and Butylparaben. There has been some concern over Butylparaben with limited evidence suggesting a link to breast cancer. These chemicals have been nicknamed the gender benders because they mimic the female hormone estrogen. Estrogen mimics are thought to be partly responsible for the decrease in male fertility and rise in testicular cancer observed since the 1950’s.
Triethanolamine(TEA) Produced in the petroleum industry and is a pH balancer and supports emulsification in cosmetic preparations. It is severely irritating for the eyes and skin. It can penetrate the skin and can cause liver damage. In addition to this, when combined with nitrate ions – normally found in drinking water and many meat products – it produces a carcinogenic substance, Nitrosamine. Unfortunately it is widely used, even by more ‘natural’ cosmetic companies like The Body Shop and Lush.
Phthalates These are said to have oestrogenic properties and at high doses can damage reproductive tissues and cause deformities in embryos. Consumers currently have no way of knowing whether products contain phthalates as labelling laws don’t require phthalates to be listed separately, instead they are included under the ‘parfum’ banner. Phthalates are used to make fragrances last longer and to soften plastics, but the EU was worried about evidence that the Phthalates could leach out of plastics and in 1999 banned their use in some baby toys designed to be put in the mouth, and they have since then extended the ban.
Perfume More than 4000 chemicals are used in perfumes or fragrances today. A typical shampoo fragrance is created by mixing up to 100 of these chemicals together. 95% of these are made from petroleum. No agency regulates the fragrancy industry, yet perfume chemicals are as damaging to health as tobacco smoke! Perfume used to be made from flowers and essential oils but nowadays fragrances tend to be created from toxic chemicals and hazardous waste. In 1991, a US enviromental protection agency report stated that “Toluene, a toxic chemical, was most abundant in the auto parts store as well as the fragrance section of the department store”. Toluene has been proven to cause cancer and nervous system damage and is designated as a hazardous waste! Exposure to scented products can cause exhaustion, weakness, hayfever symptoms, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, headaches, rashes, swollen lymph glands, muscle aches and spasms, heart palpitations, nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, asthma attacks, seizures and loss of consciousness! Some of the toxic chemicals in fragrances are ethanol, acetone, formaldehyde limonene, benzene derivatives, methylene chloride and many others known to cause cancer, birth defects, infertility and nervous system damage.
Lanolin Can be contaminated with pesticides from sheep dip eg. DDT.
Spermataceti cetaceum Obtained from the head of the sperm whale.
Silk Amino Acid From dead silk worms.
Tallow Derived from animal fats. Contain heavy metals and pesticides.
Isopropyl myristate Iso-propylmyristate Can react negatively with triethanolamines.
2-broma-2-nitroprane-1, 3-diol Causes diarrhoea, headaches, loss of appetite.
Linseed oil Goes rancid very quickly.
Mmm… food for thought.
Love and light
and The Aromatree Company Team