In the first part of this series, we discussed what ways chemicals can be absorbed into your skin and which daily-use products to swap out first for safer alternatives. This time we’re back to dive deeper into the ingredients you need to avoid in order to live a healthy, uncomplicated life — Let’s dive in.
Haven’t read our first post in this blog series? Read it here:
Found In: Fragrance, Toys, Detergent, Lube, Nail Polish, Aftershave, Soap, Shampoo, Hair Spray
Why It’s Dangerous: Phthalates are, according to most chemists, capable of causing damage to your lungs, liver, kidneys, testes development and most importantly, can cause endocrine disruption (chemicals that interfere with hormones and are capable of causing cancerous tumors, birth defects and more) over time as it builds in your system.
Found In: Moisturizers, Lotions, Makeup, Spray Tans, Shaving Gel
Why It’s Dangerous: Parabens are used as preservatives in a wide variety of products. The concern comes from their ability to mimic estrogen. There is evidence that sperm count can be lowered with greater exposure to parabens. There are also many studies that link these chemicals to skin cancer and breast cancer. While inconclusive, it has become quite easy to avoid parabens. At the end of the day, you’re better off avoiding parabens rather than the alternative of finding out these claims are true five years from now.
Fragrance + Perfumes
Found In: Makeup, Perfume, Cologne, Moisturizers, Creams, Deodorant
Why It’s Dangerous: Fragrance is one of the most worrisome mixtures of chemicals in our list. Federal trade law does not require brands to break down the ingredients found in fragrance mixtures, which means these companies can get away with nearly anything in their scents. Fragrance is highly irritating to skin and is known to be one of the top 5 allergens in the world. That spritz of perfume before a night out on the town could be introducing toxic chemicals you couldn’t even imagine into your body’s bloodstream. Luckily, many brands have taken a health-conscious approach to their products. Look for fragrance-free options when possible. If you are looking for a great non-toxic perfume or cologne, check out the unisex and non-toxic brand DedCool.
Found In: Deodorants, Antiperspirants
Why It’s Dangerous: Aluminum is used in deodorants and antiperspirants for it’s ability to block sweat glands, reducing the amount we sweat overall. The concern with aluminum is one of many chemicals on this list — it accumulates in our systems as we expose ourselves to it. There are studies that have suggested that aluminum is easily absorbed by the skin and may be a long term cause for Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer.
Found In: Shaving Cream, Shampoo, Conditioner, Toothpaste, Face Wash
Why It’s Dangerous: Sulfates are typically responsible for creating the foaming and lathering effect in many of the products we use. When it comes to long term effect, there are studies linking sulfates to damaging one’s eyes, lungs and skin. Sulfates are known to strip the skin and hair of essential oils and can leave behind redness and irritation as well. Another note is that sulfates are used in floor cleaners and can have a corrosive effect over time. Essentially, sulfates act as detergents and are often responsible for that squeaky clean feeling left on your skin or hair after using soap or shampoo respectively, but in reality you’re stripping yourself of an important protective layer on the skin.
We hope these tips to leading a healthier lifestyle are helpful for you and your loved ones. The Parrish Law Firm’s goal is to create a more aware and more intelligent community for all of us to enjoy together. If you have any questions, we recommend resources such as EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) website whose database covers harmful and potentially harmful chemicals in day-to-day products. Do you have tips you would like to share with your neighbors? Message us on Facebook or e-mail us here.