Are Your Body and Face Care Products Dangerous to Your Health?

I’ve discussed the detrimental effects of Parabens, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and other ingredients in every day products.  I can’t underline the importance of choosing organic, chemical-free body care products, so am publishing this article that sums it all in detail.

Please read labels! Don’t get sucked in to buying dangerous products.  If the FDA says it’s safe at 1% potency in one prodcut, why don’t they admit that since we likely use at least 10 products containing these ingredients in a day (your shampoo, your conditioner, your toothpaste, your deodorant, your cream, your perfume, your dish soap…), at those levels we are slowly poisoning ourselves!

Don’t take a risk with your family’s health.  Our family has stopped buying any products with these ingredients.  Instead try “100% PURE” for personal care, or “Aubrey’s” and use Olive Oil soap for your skin, or “Castile Soap” for laundry and dishes (INGREDIENTS: Water, Saponified Organic Coconut*, Organic Palm* and Organic Olive* Oils (w/Retained Glycerin), Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Essential Oils, Citric Acid, Vitamin E).

100% Pure                                              Lavender Liquid Soap - 8 oz.

Scan your deodorant ingredients, the most direct way to get chemicals in your body… especially for women who shave under their arms. 15 types of Parabens have been found inside breast cancer cells, in the EXACT form that they occur in cosmetics!!

DANGEROUS BEAUTY: Scientists Warn of Harmful Ingredients In Our Shampoos and Cosmetics

by David Lowell Kern

(reprinted from

New health concerns are being raised over some common but possibly dangerous ingredients in hair shampoos, skin creams, toothpastes, and other personal care items. Researchers in the U. S., Germany, Switzerland, Japan, found these ingredients may be linked to premature baldness, cataracts, environmental cancers, contact dermatitis, and possible eye damage in young children.

Sodium Laurel Sulfate

Here are some of the dangers that have been linked to this ingredient:

Eye Damage in Young Children
(SLS) is a detergent found in about 90 percent of commercial shampoos. Also known as sodium dodecyl, sodium laureth sulfate (SLFS) this chemical has been shown to damage protein formation in eye tissue in young animals, raising serious concerns about the possibility of ocular tissue malformation, blindness in infants and young children. Researcher Keith Green, Ph.D., D. Sc., of the Medical College of Georgia, also reports that exposure to SLS causes improper eye development in children and that since it is absorbed systemically through the skin, it doesn’t have to enter the eye directly.

Toxicity and Cancer
 SLS has its tendency to react with other ingredients to form NDELA, a nitrosamine and potent carcinogen. According to a 1978 FDA report, shampooing the hair with a product contaminated with this nitrosamine can lead to its absorption into the body at levels much higher than eating nitrate- contaminated foods. (Researchers estimate the nitrate absorption from one shampoo is equal to eating a pound of bacon.) The FDA has recently warned shampoo manufacturers of unacceptable levels of dioxin formation in products containing SLFS.

Damage To Your Skin
Researchers have known for years that SLS is a skin irritant. It is used as a laboratory standard for irritating skin and inducing contact dermatitis.2,3,4
Sodium Laurel Sulfate is useful to lab testing because of its ability to penetrate and impair the skin barrier. 5 It damages the skin barrier functions,6 enhances allergic response to other toxins and allergens,7 damages and alters skin cells, 8 causes substantial roughness to the skin, 9 results in severe modification of skin recombinant structure.10 SLS is listed as toxic to skin in many studies.11,12,13

Premature Hair Loss
Sodium Laurel Sulfate is implicated in premature hair loss in men and women, and may be one reason for wide-spread incidence of thinning hair. Because SLS is such a caustic cleanser, it actually corrodes the hair follicle and impairs its ability to grow hair. SLES (sodium lauryl ether sulfate) causes dramatic decline in the hair growth cycle, and prolongs the hair loss phase (normally 3 months) by a factor of eight.

Sodium Laurel Sulfate is also implicated in scalp irritation, eczema, dandruff, and other scalp conditions. Many shampoos designed to alleviate dandruff, itching, and other scalp disorders may actually be causing the toxicity of SLSe-containing formulas to the skin and scalp.

Natural Brands Offer No Protection
Ingredient reviews of shampoos sold in health food stores under natural brands and labels have turned up many formulas containing SLS.  You must check the ingredients on each product.

What You Should Do

* Check your shampoos, toothpaste, liquid soaps, body gels, and other skin products for sodium lauryl sulfate. We recommend that you avoid any further skin contact with products containing this ingredient.
* If you have children, make sure they are not using shampoos and toothpastes containing SLS. Children under 6 are especially vulnerable to improper eye development. Also check sunblock products. (We found one that contains Sodium Laurel Sulfate and aluminum, a potentially dangerous combination for brain cell deterioration.)
* Replace products containing SLS with safe alternatives (formulas without Sodium Laurel Sulfate).
* Check all your cosmetic products for propylene glycol, and get them off your skin. If you have infants, check your baby wipes and baby lotions, and find alternative products that are safe for children (some baby wipes are available with aloe instead of propylene glycol).


1. Clayton et. al., Ed. Chem. Tox., 1985
2. Br J Dermatol 1992 Sep
3. Contact Dermatitis 1992 Jul
4. Acta Derm Venereol (Stockh) 1991
5. Acta Derm Venereol Suppl (Stockh) 1992
6. The Lancet, Feb 3, 1990
7. Contact Dermatitis 1993 Sep
8. Contact Dermatitis 1993 Mar and 1993 Feb
9. Contact Dermatitis 1992 Sep
10. Journal of Toxicology, Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology, 1992
11. Toxicology Letters, Vol 26, 1985

Alkylphenol Ethoxylates

Found to reduce sperm count

Benzene/Benzoic Acid/Benzyl Benzoate

Considered a carcinogen, is an endocrine disruptor, and is suspected to cause birth defects

Coal Tar

Known human carcinogen. Prohibited for us in cosmetics in the European Union. May contian harmful impurities or breakdown products. Found in dandruff shampoos, anti-itch creams and hair dyes.

Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Paraben

Used as inhibitors of microbial growth and to extend shelf life of products. Have caused many allergic reactions and skin rashes. Studies have shown that they are weakly estrogenic and can be absorbed by the body through the skin. Widely used even though they are known to be toxic.

Dibutyl Phthalate

Prohibited for us in cosmetics in the European Union. Possoble human reproductive or developmental toxin. Endocrine disruptor. Found in some nail polish, perfume and hair spray.

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. This chemical interferes with the body’s ability to absorb choline, needed for proper fetal brain development.

Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea

These are widely used preservatives. The American Academy of Dermatology has found them to be a primary cause of contact dermatitis. Two trade names for these chemicals are Germall II and Germall 115. Neither of the Germall chemicals contains a good antifungal agent, and they must be combined with other preservatives. Both these chemicals release formaldehyde, which can be toxic.


This is an extreme irritant to the mucous membranes with often destructive effects. It is also considered to be a neurotoxin and carcinogen. (If you have your hair chemically straightened, you are exposing yourself to formaldehyde both through your scalp and your lungs!)


The label of “Fragrances” can mask a multitude of toxic, synthetic chemicals, many of which suppress the immune system, are endocrine disruptors, and cause cancer. When looking for scented products, make sure it’s scented by essential oils — which are expensive; therefore, companies usually list what essential oils are contained in the product without reverting to the generic term “Fragrances”.

Isopropanol/Isopropyl Alcohol

This is a skin irritant that causes flushing, pulse rate fluctuations, dizziness, headaches, and nausea.

Lead Acetate

Known human reproductive and developmental toxin. Prohibited for use in cosmetics in the European Union. Found in some hair dyes and cleanser.


Possible human carcinogen. Possoble human reproductive or developmental toxin. Found in some eye drops and ointment.

Methylisothiazoline, or MIT

This can cause skin and eye irritation and is known to cause neurological damage.

Parabens (Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben)

Increases a person’s risk of breast cancer. These class of chemicals are also endocrine disruptors and have been linked to fertility problems.


Also known as petroleum jelly, this mineral oil derivative is used for its emollient properties in cosmetics. It has no nutrient value for the skin and can interfere with the body’s own natural moisturizing mechanism, leading to dryness and chapping. It often creates the very conditions it claims to alleviate. Manufacturers use petrolatum because it is unbelievably cheap.

Petroleum Distillates

Possible human carcinogen. May contain harmful impurities or breakdown products. Prohibited for use in cosmetics in the European Union. Found in some mascara, perfume, foundation, lipstick and lip balm.


This has been linked to damage of the organs — kidneys, lungs, and liver — as well as the reproductive system.

Propylene Glycol

Usually this is a synthetic petrochemical mix used as a humectant.

It has been known to cause allergic reactions, hives and eczema. When you see PEG (polyethylene glycol) or PPG (polypropylene glycol) on labels, beware—these are related synthetics.

According to the safety data sheets of industrial chemical manufacturers, chemicals such as Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol will cause serious health conditions, including liver and heart damage and damage to the central nervous system if sufficient is absorbed by the body.

PVP/VA Copolymer

A petroleum-derived chemical used in hairsprays, styling aids and other cosmetics. It can be considered toxic, since inhaled particles can damage the lungs of sensitive persons.

Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate

A cheap, harsh detergent used in shampoos for its cleansing and foam-building properties. Often derived from petroleum, it is frequently disguised in pseudo-natural cosmetics with the phrase “comes from coconuts.” It causes eye irritation, scalp scurf similar to dandruff, skin rashes and other allergic reactions.

Stearalkonium Chloride

A quaternary ammonium compound used in hair conditioners and creams. Developed by the fabric industry as a fabric softener, it is a lot cheaper and easier to use in hair conditioning formulas than proteins or herbals, which are beneficial to the hair. Causes allergic reactions. Toxic.

Synthetic Colors

Used to make cosmetics “pretty,” synthetic colors, along with synthetic hair dyes, should be avoided at all costs. They will be labeled as FD&C or D&C, followed by a color and a number. Example: FD&C Red No. 6 / D&C Green No. 6. Many synthetic colors can be carcinogenic. If a cosmetic contains them, don’t use it.

Synthetic Fragrances

The synthetic fragrances used in cosmetics can have as many as 200 ingredients. There is no way to know what the chemicals are, since on the label it will simply read “fragrance.” Some problems caused by these chemicals include headaches, dizziness, rash, hyper-pigmentation, violent coughing, vomiting, skin irritation—the list goes on. Advice: Don’t buy a cosmetic that has the word “fragrance” on the ingredients label.


It’s up to us to manage our health and as much as possible our environment.

~ Be Well.


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