Kew Beach Naturopathic Clinic

Putting the "care" back in healthcare

The dirty dozen, skin care edition

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By Helena Ovens, ND

Originally published in our Summer 2011 newsletter

Below is a list of the most prevalent ingredients found in many “natural” body-care products and their effects on the human body.

Please read labels carefully!

1. Bisphenol-A

Also called BPA. Often used in moisturizers and makeup as antioxidants and preservatives. Associated with tumor growth and hormone dysfunction. Also harms wildlife when it finds its way into the environment.

2. Coal Tar Dyes

Appears as “p-phenylenediamine” or colours listed as “Cl” followed by five digits. Common in hair dyes and linked to cancer. Also contains heavy metals which are toxic.

3. DEA

Diethanolamine makes products soapy or sudsy but irritates skin. May be toxic to  immune and nervous systems.

4. Dibutyl phthalate

Found in nail polish. Enhances genetic mutations via other chemicals.

5. Formaldehyde-releasing Agents

Irritate skin and eyes, and harm marine life when flushed into water systems. Examples are DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quarternium-15 and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate.

6. Parfum

Fragrances are considered “trade secrets” and may contain toxic chemicals.

7. Parabens

Preservative in makeup; linked to breast cancer & hormone disruption.

8. PEG compounds

Polyethylene glycol compounds open skin pores, allows harmful chemicals to penetrate. Often found in creams and is linked to cancer.

9. Petrolatum

Aka mineral oil jelly, this chemical caracinogen is common in moisturizers.

10. Siloxanes

Used to soften, smooth and moisten. Can irritate the skin, eyes and lungs.

11. Sodium Laurel Sulphate

Creates foam (found in shampoos & conditioners) & may be contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, both of which cause cancer.

12. Triclosan

Found in antiperspirants, deodorants, cleansers and hand sanitizers as a preservative and anti-bacterial agent. Interferes with hormone function.


One thought on “The dirty dozen, skin care edition

  1. Pingback: The Best Solutions to Limit Toxin Accumulation from Everyday Exposures » Dr. Alison Chen, ND

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