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 – 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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