Recent studies suggest there are a few key ingredients that should be avoided when shopping for cosmetics and personal care products as they are proving to be hazardous to your health.
* Preservatives: They are added to kill bacteria and other organisms from contaminating the product and to give it a longer shelf life. However, many preservatives are irritants to the cells of the skin and cause contact dermatitis. Some even release formaldehyde, a known cancer-causing chemical.
* Endocrine disruptors: Parabens, in addition to being preservatives, are xenoestrogens or endocrine disrupters. They disturb the hormone balance in your body. They are also skin sensitizers and have the potential to cause allergic reactions. They have been found in breast cancer tumors, but it is not known if they cause breast cancer.
* Fragrances: A single fragrance can be made of as many as 600 different ingredients. None of these ingredients is required to be listed on the label. Some of the chemicals used in fragrances are hazardous. A number of them may even cause cancer. Even products listed as “fragrance-free” actually may have fragrance added to mask offensive odors.
* Artificial colors: Most artificial colors are derived from coal tar, which is known to cause cancer. Generally, artificial colors are designated either as FD&C, D&C or as a color with a number after it, such as FD&C Red No. 40, D&C Green No. 5 or Yellow No. 6.
* Talc: Talc may contain cancer-causing contaminants. It’s a common ingredient in makeup and baby powder. Products containing talc should never be used on the genital area or on infants and children.
* Antibacterial agents: Antibacterial soaps are not only unnecessary, but also harmful. Triclosan, the most commonly used antibacterial agent, is classified as a drug by the FDA and as a pesticide by the EPA.
* MSG: Most people are aware that MSG in food causes a reaction in some people. MSG can be hidden in your personal care products too. MSG is toxic to your nervous system and excites your brain cells to death.
Scientists suggest that becoming familiar with these ingredients and reading labels will prevent individuals from using products that may be harmful.