Dr. Isfahan’s 7 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid in your Self Care Products
As I was browsing through research articles that talked about toxic ingredients in our beauty care items, I was shocked to come across an alarming statistic: The average woman uses 12 personal/beauty care products a day containing staggering 168 different chemicals!
As a PhD Biomedical Scientist that creates hair care products (Alodia Hair Care), this is a very disturbing statistic. I know that the human skin absorbs up to 60% of the chemicals in products which are then subsequently absorbed into the bloodstream.
Many of these synthetic chemicals are skin irritants, skin penetrators, endocrine disrupters and are carcinogenic.
Top 7 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid at All Cost
Take a look at your product label. Do you see FD&C or D&C? These letters represent artificial colors. F - represents food and D&C represents drug and cosmetics. These letters precede a color and number (e.g., D&C Red 27 or FD&C blue 1). These types of synthetic colors are created from petroleum or coal tar sources. Synthetic colors are suspected to be a human carcinogen, a skin irritant and are linked to ADHD in children.
propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl-, and isobutyl-
Parabens are preservatives used in many beauty items. They are thought to aid in the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells and it has been reported that they may be able to do this even in tiny amounts.
The reason why parabens can do this is that they have a chemical structure that’s similar to estrogen, which means they can mimic the effects of that hormone in the body.
Another study found that some men who use products containing parabens have lower sperm counts and less testosterone than men who do not use products.
Propylene glycol is a known skin irritant and penetrator. It is associated with dermatitis as well as hives. It can be found in moisturizers, sunscreen, makeup products, conditioners, shampoo and hair sprays.
These are used in 100’s of products to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics. The main phthalates in cosmetics and personal care products are dibutyl phthalate in nail polish, diethyl phthalate in perfumes and lotions, and dimethyl phthalate in hair products. They are endocrine disruptors and have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive birth defects in males and females. Unfortunately, it is not disclosed on every product as it’s added to fragrances. With my line Alodia Hair Care, we specifically state ”phthalate-free fragrance” and you should look for products that state this in their ingredient lists.
diethanolamine [DEA], monoethanolamine [MEA], and triethanolamine [TEA]
There’s evidence that these chemicals are a human skin toxicant. Numerous studies have classified them as respiratory and organ toxicants.
They are found in a whole range of cosmetics including soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners and dyes, lotions, shaving creams, pharmaceutical ointments, eyeliners, mascara, eye shadows, blush, make-up bases, foundations, fragrances and sunscreens.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
This surfactant can be found in more than 90 percent of personal care and cleaning products (think foaming products). SLS’s are known to be skin, lung, and eye irritants. A major concern about SLS is its potential to interact and combine with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, a carcinogen. These combinations can lead to a host of other issues like kidney and respiratory damage. They can be found in shampoo, body wash/cleanser, mascara and acne treatment.
Mineral oil and petroleum
petrolatum, petroleum jelly, and paraffin oil
Mineral oil and petroleum are the basic ingredients in many cosmetic products today. Both mineral oil and petroleum have the same origins as fossils fuels ( i.e. coal or gasoline).
Foundations, cleansers, and moisturizers often contain mineral oil. By locking moisture against the skin, mineral oil sits on the skin’s surface and can potentially block pores, increasing the risk of acne and blackheads.
A huge health concern with petroleum products is that they can contain a chemical ( 1,4-dioxane) that has been found to cause cancer in animals.
As a Biomedical Scientist that has performed bench research studies on a wide variety of human diseases, I understand that it is extremely important to stay away from products that contain chemicals that increase your likelihood of developing a disease.
I am so excited about Alodia Hair Care partnering with BLK + GRN because they share my passion for showcasing products that are plant-based and do not contain any of the chemicals listed above.