Nearly 90 per cent of ingredients used in cosmetics and personal care products have not been safety tested for human health effects. However, some ubiquitous ingredients such as parabens have been shown to be estrogenic.
Parabens are a group of compounds widely used in deodorants and moisturisers, and food such as pie fillings, beer and jam. Look for ingredients listed as Alkyl parahydroxy benzoates – butyl/methyl/ ethyl/ propyl/ isobutyl/ paraben. Studies have shown that parabens are estrogen mimics and can be absorbed by the body through the skin.
According to the lead researcher of a recent study, Philippa Darbre, an oncology expert at the University of Reading, in Edinburgh, the chemical form of the parabens was found in 18 of the 20 tumours tested, indicated that they originated from something applied to the skin, the most likely candidates being deodorants, antiperspirants, creams, or body sprays. The research was published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology on 8 January 2004.
Placental extract and estrogenic chemicals
Placental extract (from human, equine or porcine sources) and other estrogenic chemicals such as those used in HRT and the pill, are also used in cosmetics and hair-care products, particularly products marketed to women of colour. Placental extract is believed to promote growth and thickness of hair. However, research indicates that use of these products in infants and children may be linked to precocious puberty or early sexual maturation, which may increase risk of breast cancer.
Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA)
Often used in cosmetics as emulsifiers and/or foaming agents. They can cause allergic reactions, eye irritation and dryness of hair and skin. DEA and TEA are ‘amines’ (ammonia compounds) and can form cancer-causing nitrosamines when they come in contact with nitrates. Toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time.
These chemicals are found in hair sprays, perfume and nail polishes. Look for ingredients that end in ‘phthalate’. Risks include endocrine system damage (phthalates chemically mimic hormones and are particularly dangerous to children). Phthalates have been banned in the US from children’s toys because of fears about future futility. They have not, however, been banned yet from being used in cosmetics and skin care products.
Found in deodorants, toothpaste, liquid soaps and mouthwashes. As an ingredient, look for names such as 5-chloro-2- (2,4 dichlorophenoxy) –phenol. May not be listed on label as contained in some trademarked mixtures. Research indicates levels of triclosan have been found in human breast milk. Dioxins (linked to cancer) are formed when it is manufactured or incinerated.
Alkyl phenol ethoxylates
Found in shampoos, hair colours, shaving gels. Also known as nonylphenol and octylphenol. Research indicates that they are hormone disruptors; are extremely toxic to fish; and are bio-accumulative (build up in the body faster than they can break down).
Toluene and Xylene
Found in lacquers and nail polish. Look for ingredients such as toluol or methylbenzene and xylol or dimethylbenzene. Research indicates that women exposed to toluene may suffer from miscarriage. Attacks the central nervous system, eyes, blood, liver, kidneys, and skin. OPI, maker of salon nail polish, has recently agreed to remove toluene from their products.
Well i know we want to look great! but be very very careful on what type of cosmetics your in! please take it serious.