Toxic Timeout Ingredient Focus: Polyacrylamide

WHAT IS IT? Polyacrylamide is a synthetic polymer, commonly found in skin cleansers, lotions and creams, self tanning products, makeup, moisturizers, hair care and nail care products. Used as a thickening and suspending agent, this ingredient dries to form a thin coating over the skin which aids in moisture absorption and retaining tan-care.

HEALTH RISKS:¬†This ingredient is deemed is a possible¬†carcinogen and has been known to affect the¬†respiratory system and cause skin irritation. It is environmentally toxic to the air, soil and water.¬†The¬†Cosmetic Database¬†has found polyacrylamide to be a moderate hazard ingredient and has noted multiple concerns, including neuro-toxicity and organ system toxicity. However, what strikes of most concern, is the fact that polyacrylamide is contaminated with acrylamide, a known toxin (high hazard ingredient at Level 10 ‚Äď the highest level possible). Acrylamide has been strongly linked with the following: cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergic reactions, organ system toxicity, neuro-toxicity, irritation of the skin and eyes, and endocrine disruption, and biohazardous effects. Scary stuff!

Healthy alternatives: For some great products that are Polyacrylamide-free check out some of our favorite lines including Luzern, Elemis, and Intraceuticals.

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  1. Do you have a compact, concise list of all ingrediants to avoid in cosmetics, beauty products, etc?

    Karyn Draper | 12.05.2012 | Reply


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