Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cosmetic Ingredients to Avoid

I become more and more alert when I have to buy cosmetic products these days. The U.S. regulations for cosmetic ingredients are practically nonexistent which means the producer can put basically everything in their products. Most of these ingredients are banned in Europe and Japan but largely used on the American market. As expected, the manufacturers say their products are legal and safe according to U.S. regulations and that EU have overreacted and banned chemicals with little or no evidence of a human health threat. They are called controversial ingredients which means there are studies that proved their risk on human health and studies which found no link between the use of them and the human health. It seems that more carefully designed longitudinal studies are needed to confirm one way or the other. However, precautious as I am I would prefer to better be safe and trying to avoid them as much as possible. I would try to avoid especially the following ingredients:

Phthalates are found in medical devices (such as medical tubing and blood bags), footwear, electrical cables, packaging, stationery, toys, roofing, cosmetics (aftershave, shampoo, nail polish, fragrance, powders, skin creams, hair products) etc. In other words phthalates are everywhere around us - at home, at work, in the hospital. In E.U. three phthalates - DEHP, DBP and BBP - are banned for use in cosmetics and in all toys and childcare articles and three others - DINP, DIDP and DNOP - are banned from use in toys and childcare articles for those articles that can be put children's mouths. Within U.S., currently, there is no ban on phthalates; only the state of California will ban the use of some phthalates in children’s toys starting in 2009.

Parabens are found in baby preparations, shampoos, cleansers, deodorants, eye-products, lotions and moisturizers, make-up, personal lubricants, nail products, topical/parental pharmaceuticals, toothpaste, and other hair products, and sunscreens.

Petrolatum (also known as petrolatum jelly) is found in conditioners, creams and moisturizers, epilating wax, baby cream, nail products and makeup. Petrolatum is banned in Europe.

Propylene Glycol is found in: moisturizers, sunscreens, antiperspirants, hair strengtheners, mouthwashes, shaving products, , and stick perfumes and baby lotions.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is found in: shampoos, bubble baths, emollient creams, soaps, cream depilatories, hand lotions, permanent waves, , and toothpastes.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate is found in: shampoos, including baby shampoos.

Synthetic fragrances found in any cosmetic product.

Follow this link to read a List of Substances which are Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or Toxic to Reproduction. Many of these substances are still found in the cosmetic products we use every day.


Corinna said...

For products WITHOUT these ingredients go to
and I will be happy to answer any questions. I am VERY against products with all these ingredients, too!!

Sweetsation Therapy said...

What are you talking about? Arbonne contains all of the above. See for yourself

Do your homework first before you start misrepresenting products.

Lucia said...

I agree, Arbonne it is not safe, although is advertised as it is.

Anonymous said...

Actually, you are wrong about Arbonne and that website needs to have accurate info. I am a consultant and have access to the Product Ingredients list and they are not in our products.

Lucia said...

Hi Anonymous,

like sweesation therapy, I do trust EWG and what they say on their skin deep database; it is possible that Arbonne changed its ingredients since that research was done. Can you, please provide a link to the ingredients?

thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Products which contain ingredients that are a "trade secret" do not have to be legally listed on the ingredients label. Many times a euphemism is used to describe them; ex: "Loreal Color Booster". Not to say that this happens with Arbonne products, because I do not know if this is true, but it is possible with any cosmetic product.

Lucia said...

Thanks for your addition, Anonymous!

Robin @ said...

Great article, Lucia. I also have a passion for exposing toxic chemicals in beauty products and I am glad you are involved in this quest too.


anne said...

I just came across this article b/c I'm researching arbonne and interested in possibly becoming a consultant. Just wanted to clear something up about the skin deep site linked to above (b/c I went there a few days ago to check out arbonne products).

That site only lists one arbonne product: the Arbonne Aromasenntials Reactivate Body Lotion. This product is not in the current catalog, and I don't know how long ago it was sold.

Anyway, Arbonne has tons of products and I think it's unfair to judge the product line based on the review of one product that's not currently even being sold.

Just trying to get the correct info out there. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Arbonne Ingredients:

Facial Scrub has Methylparaben and Propylparaben, these chemicals are used to extend the shelf life of products. Body Lotion has triethanolamine, this is a carcinogenic which causes skin irritation. The bath and shower gel have ammonium lauryl sulfate which is a lathering agent. The cleansing gel has sodium lauryl sulfate which is a lathering agent and it can cause skin irritation. It is also rapidly absorbed in the brain, liver heart and eyes that can cause long-term effects. The Arbonne ingredients that the bio-chemist, herbalist, and biologists used to create the Arbonne Product line do not sound very safe or organic.

Not all Arbonne products are bad, but some do have questionable ingedients.