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Did you know that over 60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed into the blood stream? The skin is the largest organ of our body, and while many of us think of what we are putting into our bodies, many don’t think as much about what we are putting onto it. The benefits of using toxin-free beauty products are profound, and warrant consideration for every woman.

Who knew toxic chemicals are common additions to many of the products you used everyday. They make fragrances and nail polish last longer, helped your lotion glide on more smoothly, added elasticity to hair spray, preserved the product and more. Sounds necessary. But we want products that work and nontoxic skin care.

I don't know about you but during the course of the day I use quite a few different products on my skin. Through the years my skin has been exposed to all kinds of different chemicals some of which have been found to be toxic.

The effects of combining these synthetic chemicals are not known and it's not possible to check for all the possible combinations anyway. It's important to at least know the worst offenders when shopping for nontoxic skin care. 

After some research I was finding plenty of lists of the worst ingredients and except for a few exceptions they were pretty much in agreement. The below ingredients I found to be the most troublesome not only for our own safety but also for the effect using petroleum ingredients have on the environment.

  • Phthalates (Dibutyl and Diethyl):
    An ingredient typically used in hair spray, nail polish and some fragrances as a plasticizers providing flexibility. Considered high hazard on Skin Deep for it's various potential health problems.

  • Synthetic colors:
    FD&C and D&C followed by a number. These artificial colors are coal tar based and some of them are known to be carcinogen.

  • Synthetic fragrance:
    Fragrance is often the ingredient in a product that will cause an allergic reaction. The word fragrance tells us nothing and could mean all kinds of different ingredient.

  • Diethanolamine, Triethanolamine (TEA, DEA):
    These ingredients help to stabilize the ph of a product. They act as foaming agents in cleansers and are considered irritating and possibly toxic.

  • Imidazolidinyl Urea and Diazolidinyl Urea:
    These are used as preservatives and have been found to cause contact dermatitis. They also release formaldehyde which can be toxic.

  • Petroleum based ingredients:
    sodium laurel sulfate (a cheap detergent used in shampoos can be very irritating and cause allergic reactions)

    propylene glycol PEG and PPG (usually used in the synthetic form can cause a variety of allergic reactions)

    PVP PVA copolymers (used in hair products can be toxic if inhaled)

    petrolatum-petroleum jelly (used to help retain moisture in the skin but has been found to do just the opposite)

  • Stearelkonium chloride
    Used in hair conditioners and creams maybe even in your fabric softener, can be very irritating and considered toxic.

  • 1,4-dioxane - While not an ingredient but a by-product of other chemicals, it has been found in many of our personal care products and is linked to cancer. To learn more about it, where it's found and how to avoid it read this article about 1 4 dioxane.

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