Toxic Timeout: FD&C Color Pigments

What Is It? Grab any given bottle of shampoo, tube of toothpaste or package of baby wipes and you’ll notice a common trend. FD&C color pigments run rampant on drugstore shelves across the world: They appear in everything from body washes and cleansers to deodorants and body lotions. These synthetic colors are made from coal tar, which should be reason enough to avoid them.

Health Risk: Don’t be fooled by the seemingly harmless acronym for “Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act,” which mandated the certification of select color additives. Almost all FD&C pigments are carcinogenic. The coal tar deposits the toxins from heavy metal salts directly onto skin, causing irritation and sensitivity. And that is the least extreme of reactions: Certain colors can cause depletion of oxygen in the body and even death. Animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic.

How To Avoid It: Keep an eye out for FD&C in all cosmetics – and even food and beverage products. Some of our faves? We adore Soapwalla Kitchen’s Deodorant Cream (yes, it really works!) for toxin-free moisture control, Fig+Yarrow Tooth Powder for a bright smile, and Ila Body Cream for Glowing Radiance for…well, glowing radiance.

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