Skin Deep…and what to beware of!

This company reveals the true toxicity levels and lists the potential
harm of your make-up, skin care, hair care, nail care, eye care,
dental and oral care, perfume/cologne.

Even if this doesn’t spark an interest in you check up on the products
that you use for your children if you have them (they are SO worth

Skin Deep

About Skin Deep
Skin Deep was conceived and developed by the Environmental Working
Group, a non-profit research and advocacy organization based in
Washington, D.C. focused on safeguarding public health and the
environment. Skin Deep is an online, brand-by-brand personal care
product safety guide with in-depth information on 14,835 products –
1,051 brands of lotion, lip balm, deodorant, sunscreen and other
popular products – and the 7,093 ingredients that form them. With its
core of 37 toxicity and regulatory databases, Skin Deep provides
safety ratings and brand-by-brand comparisons that can help consumers
choose safer products, and that can guide companies in plans for
reformulating products.

Here’s a link to a WONDERFUL resource for healthy/homemade alternatives for your children!
“Our skin is by far the largest organ, and the cosmetic and personal-care product industry is doing it great harm with a number of common ingredients that are cancer-causing agents, or just plain dangerous, say an increasing number of researchers, group activists, and even the government itself.”1 Because the skin is permeable, such ingredients not only harm the skin itself, but can penetrate to cause internal damage as well.

“Every day we use products that we think are safe. We assume the product has been tested and any dangerous ingredients labeled. The truth is, products are not always safe and manufacturers don’t have to tell us so….2 An FDA document posted on the agency’s World Wide Web home page says, “a cosmetic manufacturer may use an ingredient or raw material and market the final product without government approval.”.

In 1938, the FDA granted self-regulation to the cosmetics industry — allowing the industry to determine what to put into products, regardless of what tests show. Most of the 25,000 chemicals used have not been tested for long-term toxic and systemic effects (affecting the entire body system). Many are outright toxins or contain toxic byproducts.

According to Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, “….Even if the FDA suspects that serious adverse health effects are caused by a cosmetic product, they can’t require the manufacturer to provide test data to prove the product safety.”

During our daily personal care regimen, most of us have exposed ourselves to more than 200 different chemicals. A recent surge of media attention reveals new concern about detrimental ingredients that are affecting more than our physical health.

An article in a recent USA Weekend says: “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is increasing research of synthetic chemicals (pesticides, plastics, and industrial mutants) that may be juggling your hormone signals. After reviewing nearly 300 studies, the EPA concluded that ingredients in shampoos, dyes, and other everyday products….may be playing havoc with hormones that control reproduction and development.”.

How about so-called “natural” products? Since there are no regulations about what is “natural”, the term is often abused, and many such alternative have the same dangerous ingredients as the products they claim to replace. Consumers must be educated and aware. Of the hundreds of toxic chemicals used in personal and skin care products, we have chosen some of the “worst offenders” to describe. If you learn about even these few and start reading ingredient labels, you can avoid some of the most serious carcinogenic and hormone-disrupting chemicals. Please take action now. The health and well-being of your family depends on it!

What else?

What you put on your skin can go into your body to affect your health and sense of well-being—either negatively or positively. YOU CAN CHOOSE WHICH… if you know the facts (which the “cosmetic conspiracy” wants to hide from you). As your body’s biggest organ, your skin is your most important immune defense barrier as well as your largest organ for eliminating waste. Commercial products with harmful petroleum ingredients can plasticize and “constipate” your skin, making germs more likely to get in and toxins less likely to get out of your body. The result: Neither you nor your skin are as radiant and healthy as you could be!

Every day we use products that we think are safe; but the truth is that products are NOT always safe—and manufacturers don’t have to tell us so. Ever since 1938—when the FDA granted self-regulation to the cosmetics industry—such products can be marketed without government approval of ingredients, regardless of what tests show. Most of the 25,000 chemicals used have not been tested for long-term toxic effects. In a typical day, you might be exposed to over 200 different chemicals, many of which are suspected of causing cancer or juggling hormones. EPA tests conclude that ingredients in shampoos, dyes, and other personal care products “may be playing havoc with hormones that control reproduction and development.”


· Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40): a very drying and irritating solvent and dehydrator that strips your skin’s moisture and natural immune barrier, making you more vulnerable to bacteria, molds and viruses. It is made from propylene, a petroleum derivative and is found in many skin and hair products, fragrance, antibacterial hand washes as well as shellac and antifreeze. It can act as a “carrier” accelerating the penetration of other harmful chemicals into your skin. May promote brown spots and premature aging of skin. A Consumer’s Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients says it may cause headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, narcosis, anesthesia, and coma. Fatal ingested dose is one ounce or less. Alternative: BGSE

· DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (monoethanolamine), & TEA (triethanolamine): hormone-disrupting chemicals that can form cancer-causing nitrates and nitrosamines. Already restricted in Europe due to known carcinogenic effects, but Americans may be exposed 10-20 times per day! Used to create “foam” in products like shampoo, shaving creams, and bubble bath. Dr. Samuel Epstein (Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Illinois) says that repeated skin applications… of DEA-based detergents resulted in a major increase in the incidence of liver and kidney cancer. The FDA’s John Bailey says this is especially important since “the risk equation changes significantly for children.” No alternative necessary.

· DMDM Hydantoin & Urea (Imidazolidinyl): just two of many preservatives that often release formaldehyde which may cause joint pain, skin reactions, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness, and loss of sleep. Exposure may also irritate the respiratory system, trigger heart palpitations or asthma, and aggravate coughs and colds. Other possible side effects include weakening the immune system and cancer. Alternative: Lonicera Japonica

· FD&C Color Pigments: synthetic colors made from coal tar, containing heavy metal salts that deposit toxins onto the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation. Absorption of certain colors can cause depletion of oxygen in the body and death. Animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic. No alternative necessary

· Fragrances: mostly synthetic ingredients, often containing animal urine or feces! Fragrance on a label can indicate the presence of up to four thousand separate ingredients, many toxic or carcinogenic. Symptoms reported to the FDA include headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and skin irritation. Clinical observation proves fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and other behavioral changes. Alternatives: Aromatherapeutic, organic essential oils.

· Mineral Oil: petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic, clogging the pores. Interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging. Used in many products (baby oil is 100% mineral oil!) Alternatives: Moisture Magnets (Saccharide Isomerate) from beets; Ceramides, Jojoba and other vegetable oils, etc.

· Polyethylene glycol (PEG): potentially carcinogenic petroleum ingredient that can alter and reduce the skin’s natural moisture factor. This could increase the appearance of aging and leave you more vulnerable to bacteria. Used in cleansers to dissolve oil and grease. It adjusts the melting point and thickens products. Also used in caustic spray-on oven cleaners. One Alternative: Planteren TM (Decyl Glucoside)

· Propylene Glycol (PG) and Butylene Glycol: petroleum plastics which act as “surfactants” (wetting agents and solvents). They easily penetrate the skin and can weaken protein and cellular structure. Commonly used to make extracts from herbs. PG is strong enough to remove barnacles from boats! The EPA considers PG so toxic that it requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles and to dispose of any PG solutions by burying in the ground. Because PG penetrates the skin so quickly, the EPA warns against skin contact to prevent consequences such as brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. But there isn’t even a warning label on products such as stick deodorants, where the concentration is greater than in most industrial applications. Alternatives: water extracted herbs, Essential Oils, etc.

· Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): detergents and surfactants that pose serious health threats. Used in car washes, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers—and in 90% of personal-care products that foam. Animals exposed to SLS experienced eye damage, depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation, and even death. Young eyes may not develop properly if exposed to SLS because proteins are dissolved. SLS may also damage the skin’s immune system by causing layers to separate and inflame. When combined with other chemicals, SLS can be transformed into nitrosamines, a potent class of carcinogens. Your body may retain the SLS for up to five days, during which time it may enter and maintain residual levels in the heart, liver, the lungs, and the brain. Alternative: Ammonium Cocoyl Isethionate.

· Triclosan: a synthetic “antibacterial” ingredient—with a chemical structure similar to Agent Orange! The EPA registers it as a pesticide, giving it high scores as a risk to both human health and the environment. It is classified as a chlorophenol, a class of chemicals suspected of causing cancer in humans. Its manufacturing process may produce dioxin, a powerful hormone-disrupting chemical with toxic effects measured in the parts per trillion; that is only one drop in 300 Olympic-size swimming pools! Hormone disruptors pose enormous long-term chronic health risks by interfering with the way hormones perform, such as changing genetic material, decreasing fertility and sexual function, and fostering birth defects. It can temporarily deactivate sensory nerve endings, so contact with it often causes little or no pain. Internally, it can lead to cold sweats, circulatory collapse, and convulsions. Stored in body fat, it can accumulate to toxic levels, damaging the liver, kidneys and lungs, and can causing paralysis, suppression of immune function, brain hemorrhages, and heart problems. Tufts University School of Medicine says that triclosan is capable of forcing the emergence of ‘super bugs’ that it cannot kill. Its widespread use in popular
antibacterial cleansers, toothpastes and
household products may have nightmare implications for our future.
Alternative: BGSE

Interested in a healthier lifestyle for you and your family and looking for support? Check out-

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About Mamamojo

My name is T. I am a homeschooling, home/water birthing, dreadlocked, special needs mama to four beautiful daughters. I'm married to my best friend. I am a natural childbirth and breastfeeding advocate. I have done some volunteer work as a peer counselor with WIC and as a doula with Birthwell Partners and plan to be a midwifery assistant one day. My blog was created to put some alternative information out there about breastfeeding, childbirth & other issues regarding motherhood and life in general. I hope that you enjoy reading here and visit me often. Thanks for reading!
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