5 Chemicals You Need To Avoid In Your Cosmetics
By: Pinki Thu, 09 May 2019 4:24 PM
An initial study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted in 2008 found 16 chemicals from four chemical families — phthalates, triclosan, parabens and musks — in the blood and urine of 20 teen girls. Though some of these ingredients have since been banned, some are still not strictly regulated.
Long-term exposure to these chemicals can also affect mothers and have future consequences for their daughters. A 2018 study shows that mothers who had higher levels of phthalates and tricolsan during pregnancy would have daughters who started puberty earlier than other girls. The researchers also discovered that girls with increased levels of parabens in their system started puberty as young as 9.
This group of chemicals is often used as a softener in plastic products and an additive in cosmetics like nail polish, moisturizer and fragrance, including scents added to other products. Because companies aren't required to list the ingredients used to create "fragrance," phthalates are often not listed on the label.
Parabens are widely used as a preservative in all sorts of body care products and cosmetics to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. On ingredient lists, they appear as methyl-, ethyl-, propyl-, isopropyl- and butylparaben.
Triclosan, the main active ingredient in antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizer, is also found in toothpastes, deodorants, face and body washes and acne treatments. Numerous studies have detected triclosan in the breast milk, blood and urine of ordinary people; in fact, a 2008 CDC survey found that 75 percent of Americans have triclosan in their bodies.
* Nitro- and polycyclic musks
Another toxic ingredient hidden in the catch-all term 'fragrance' is musk, or specifically, nitro- and polycyclic musks. These chemicals are found in many products that list 'fragrance' among their ingredients and can be absorbed through the skin, inhaled and ingested.
Eyelash glue, nail glue, nail polish and hair gel: these are just a few of the ways in which we are exposed to formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is used to prevent the growth of bacteria in personal care products and cosmetics.