Toxic Tuesday Ingredient Focus: Saccharin
One not-so-sweet ingredient you should know about and what to try instead
WHAT IS IT? Saccharin is a petroleum-based sugar substitute derived from coal-tar. Saccharin is used in tabletop sweeteners, baked goods, jams, chewing gum, canned fruit, candy, dessert toppings and salad dressings. It also is used in cosmetic products, vitamins and pharmaceuticals. More commonly, it is found in many lip balms and toothpastes.
HEALTH RISKS: Saccharin is a known carcinogen and can cause allergic reactions such as headaches, breathing difficulties and skin eruptions. Ironically, lip balms containing petrolatum actually have an adverse effect. Instead of soaking in and moisturizing the skin, it forms a barrier on the skin, coating it, instead of moisturizing it, making lips chapped and increasing the need to apply more frequently.
ALTERNATIVE: Try a product like L’Occitane’s Pure Shea Butter that truly soaks into the skin without adding to your chemical load. What is your favorite all-natural body balm?