We’ve spent the past month looking at the good, the bad and the ugly in cosmetic ingredients. Many cosmetics are safe – yet some are downright toxic.
For the most part, the hazardous cosmetic products include the same toxic ingredients. Here are the repeat offenders, along with their effects:
The big 3
Parabens are dangerous because they’re known reproductive system and developmental toxins, as well as endocrine system disruptors. Parabens also accumulate in breast tumors. Propylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Butylparaben, and Isobutylparaben all are commonly found in cosmetics.
Aside from acting as a preservative and disinfectant, Quaternium-15 releases formaldehyde. And formaldehyde is a known human immune system toxicant, as well as a human skin toxicant. Used as a disinfectant and preservative, quaternium-15 can trigger blistering, burning, itchy, scaly skin and hives – and respiratory reactions. It also triggers allergies and is toxic to your organs.
Retinyl Palmitate (and Retinyl Acetate)
Classified as known reproductive toxicants by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Retinyl Palmitate and Retinyl Acetate are toxic to your organs and reproductive system. They also interfere with cellular activity.
Other commonly used toxins
- Benzyl Salicylate disrupts your endocrine system and is an ecotoxin.
- BHA disrupts your endocrine system, is a known human toxicant, and aggravates allergies. It’s also banned from cosmetics in the European Union.
- Coumarin is a known human immune system toxicant and is banned from use in the European Union.
- Eugenol is toxic to human organs and an allergy aggravator.
- Geraniol aggravates allergies and is an ecotoxin.
- Hydroxycitronellal aggravates allergies.
- Lilial aggravates allergies and disrupts your endocrine system.
- Oxybenzone disrupts the endocrine system, is toxic to reproductive systems, aggravates allergies, is toxic to organs, enhances skin absorption, causes changes on a cellular level, and is a bioaccumulant.
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