It’s easy to poison mum for mother’s day if you are getting her certain types of perfume, make-up, toiletries or other beauty products – here’s what to check for in the ingredients of the gift product.
Acetone found in cosmetics is a solvent also utilized to dissolve plastics, thin printing ink, as paint remover.
Alcohol is drying on skin and thinning/eroding of skins natural barrier and regeneration mechanisms.
Artificial colours sometimes listed as e-numbers, are often derivatives of coal tar and can contain heavy metal salts (including trace arsenic and lead), others are synthesized by chemicals that can thin skin and block pores.
Benzyl-dimethylstearyl-ammonium-chloride has industrial application is to boost the efficacy of detergents and industrial cleaners. A skin and eye irritant associated with occupational dermatitis.
BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) is a toluene-based cosmetic preservative populating shaving gels and many male products. Toluene is a toxic chemical linked to eye and lung irritation, hormone disruption and carcinogenic implications.
Butylene glycol is utilized as a solvent and viscosity-decreasing agent to thin product for easier application. When absorbed through skin or ingested it metabolizes into “gamma-hydroxybutryic acid,” a depressant that slows down the activity of brain and central nervous system.
Carbamic acid- see Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate.
Carbomer is a chemical or class of chemicals made from acrylic acid or petroleum oil – is a plastic with all the endocrine altering implications of plastics.
Coal tar a by-product of bituminous coal, there are associated fears and potential risks of its mutagenic potential and the carcinogenic implications upon liver, skin and lungs.
Cocamidopropylbetaine was named allergen of the year in 2004 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society.
Diethanolamine (DEA) is also a feature of industrial cleaners, pesticide sprays and other and agricultural chemicals and also in the rubber processing industry.
Esters are compounds formed from an alcohol and an organic acid. In terms of the really scary ones, see parabens.
Formaldehyde Prolonged exposure can stimulate asthmatic like symptoms and increase cancer risks.
Glycol, glycol alcohol and Glycol ethers short-term exposure to glycol ethers can results in fatigue, stupor, headache, shortness of breath to pulmonary oedema, skin irritations and irritation of eyes, nose, and throat. Prolonged or chronic exposure can result in neurological changes and physical tremor as well as blood effects such as anaemia.
Iodopropynyl-butylcarbamate(IPBC) is a suspected teratogen, which means that it can increase the risk of birth defects and lower fertility. In large doses and over prolonged exposure it is considered a gastrointestinal and liver toxin. In smaller does it can be a dermal allergen. Sometimes listed as carbamic acid
Isopentane is a beauty product solvent linked to dry skin and contact dermatitis as well as nose and throat irritation.
Isopropyl is utilized industrially as a solvent, windscreen de-icer and fuel additive. It is also utilized in the production of explosives and herbicides.
Lead acetate in hair products and some cosmetics. It is lead – do I need to say more. In case I do – lead is toxic, carcinogenic, and damaging to the nervous system.
MEA (monoethanolamine) features in shaving products and bathroom items that foam. Linked with hormone disruption and the formation of cancer-causing nitrates and nitrosamines
Mineral oil is obtained from petroleum by-products and thus can cause allergies and skin irritations.
Nitrogens as Nitrosamines are the carcinogenic compounds created by the reaction of two or more nitrogen containing substances. If there is more than one ‘–amine’ suffix on the list – it is possible that reaction may take place.
Palmitic acid is utilized in many beauty products as an emulsifier— it has been linked with contact dermatitis.
Parabens (notably Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben and parahydroxybenzoate) have an xenoestrogenic effect – meaning that they are shaped quite like estrogen and once absorbed into the body they end up filling up receptors located in your cells normally reserved for real estrogen – the consequence being that other neurotransmitters and glands mistakenly start relaying messages and making adjustments based on the presence of what they assume is real estrogen.
Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) can impact upon the effect of some diabetic and blood pressure medications (particularly sulfonamides and hydrochlorothiazides).
Paraffin or paraffin oil is a coal oil – as petroleum based product it is used as fuel or fuel component, as a solvent for greases and also in insecticides.
Phthalates are considered “obesogens” – they disrupt the normal hormonal activities of the body, disrupt the endocrine system and trick the body into fat storage.
Polyvinyl-pyrrolidone Copolymer (PVP) features in the production of cosmetics such as foundation, lipsticks etc. Allergies and dermatitis are potential side effects.
Propylene glycol an emulsifying agent in skin creams and body lotions, cause contact dermatitis long term and short-term surface irritations.
Polytetrafluoroethylene often simply as “PTFE”, is the chemical agent used to make Teflon and other non-stick cookware – it is linked with osteoarthritis, early-onset menopause and breast cancer.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) can cause allergic reactions, eye irritation and over longer term exposure it can produce a drying effect on skin and pathway other skin irritations.
Sodium polyacrylate is a synthetic polymer from the crude oil industry, found in face masks, moisturizer, hand cream and sunscreen as well as eye shadow and other cosmetics.
Sulphates/ Sulfates are potential triggers of dry skin and other irritations including dermatitis.
Tetrasodium EDTA (ethylenediaminetetra acetic acid) is a product preservative made from formaldehyde, ethylenediamine and sodium cyanide.
Triethanolamine (TEA) is associated with the formation of cancer-causing nitrates and nitrosamines.
Urea is sourced from ‘mammalian urine’ – yes that’s wee that’s not your own. Used as a penetration enhancer for product it can cause reaction in sensitive skin and sensitize other types.
Vinyl acetate in mascara and eyeliner and also nail varnish is like all plastic – potential trouble with estrogen receptors and disrupting too of DNA.
Xylene is a central nervous system depressant available in nail varnish and nail varnish remover.
If you want a fuller list of the toxins in cosmetics, or methods and recipes for poison free alternatives and interesting facts about foods and herbs for skin and hair, nails and teeth – beauty treatments from the garden is available in all good stores and usual online suppliers.