toxic products and toxic chemicals

In their new book, our Guest Editors James and Laurentine dig into a slew of practical topics. One of them is how to avoid the wrong ingredients and how to find the right ones. We asked them to share their own list of 12 toxic chemicals in personal care to avoid, straight from their new book. It’s like a Toxic Timeout study guide! Bookmark this list as a label-reading primer. There’s a way to find beauty products that don’t come at a cost to our own health…

Coal-tar Dyes: Coal-tar dyes include p-Phenylenediamine and colors listed as CI followed by five digits. They are used in hair dyes and may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.

Diethanolamine (DEA), cocamide DEA, and lauramide DEA: Used in some creamy and foaming moisturizers and shampoos, these amides react to nitrosamines, which may cause cancer. They are harmful to fish and other wildlife.

Dibuytlphthalate: Used as a plasticizer in some nail-care products, dibuytl phthalate, is suspected endocrine disruptor and reproductive toxin. It is harmful to fish and other wildlife.

Unnatural Preservatives: DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methenamine, Quarternium-15 and Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate Used in a variety of cosmetics, these preservatives slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer.

Parabens: Methylparaben, Butylparaben, and Propylparaben Used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives, these chemicals are suspected endocrine disruptors and may interfere with male reproductive functions.

Butylated Hydrozyansiole (BHA) and Butylated Hyrdoxytoluene (BHT): Used in moisturizers as preservatives, BHA and BHT, as suspected endocrine disruptors, may cause cancer. They are known to be harmful to fish and other wildlife.

Parfum: Some fragrances, like parfum, can trigger allergies and asthma. Some are even linked to cancer and neurotoxicity and are harmful to fish and other wildlife.

PEG Compounds such as PEG-60: Used in some cosmetic cream bases, PEG compounds and be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer.

Petrolatum: Used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks, and moisturizers, petrolatum and other petroleum-based products can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer.

Siloxanes: Cyclotetrasiloxane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane and Cyclopethicone Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten, siloxanes are suspected endocrine disruptors and, in the case of cyclotetrasiloxane, reproductive toxin. They are harmful to fish and other wildlife.

Sodium laureth sulphate: Used in some foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble bath, sodium laureth sulphate can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer.

Triclosan: Used in some antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and deodorants, triclosan is a suspected endocrine disruptor and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. It is harmful to fish and other wildlife.

No matter how clean we try to eat and shop, we can all benefit from the detoxifying power of green drinks. Check out our limited edition Hungry For Change gift set and get your greens on!

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  1. Thank you for this! Do you have a list of cosmetics that are safe?

    Natalie | 06.21.2013 | Reply
    • Natalie, look through our beauty section! We recommend tons of amazing beauty brands that are toxin-free. We also really on the Skin Deep database to research individual products!

      The Chalkboard | 07.13.2013 | Reply
  2. Please, would you post a listing of cosmetics that are free of these things? For skincare I use Obagi. There’s no way I can check for all these ingredients that you listed. Please help!
    Thanks so much.

    sandi bruss | 06.21.2013 | Reply
    • Arbonne prestige level health and wellness products are not only free of these harmful chemicals, but are vegan certified, gluten/soy/dairy free. 45 day money back guarantee on everything for any reason. Available only through independent Arbonne consultants (me!) and provide an amazing, life-changing business opportunity to those who are open! Read our green commitment and ingredient policy on my website. Enjoy!

      Karen | 06.25.2013 | Reply
    • Sandi, we review natural beauty products all the time on the chalkboard. Check out our beauty section under style + living. Also google Skin Deep for a huge database of product ratings!

      The Chalkboard | 07.13.2013 | Reply
  3. Have any of you heard of Neways? This company has been making safe skin care and make-up products, as well as household and personal care products for the last 26 years. There are over 3000 ingredients that they WILL NOT USE in their products. Check out my website for more details.

    Patsy | 06.24.2013 | Reply
  4. Good list. What’s the name of the book?

    Ronnie | 10.08.2013 | Reply
    • Hi Ronnie, check out the book Hungry For Change!

      The Chalkboard | 10.08.2013 | Reply

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