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Home > Information Library > Ingredients > Ingredients to Avoid

Natural Solutions offers you some educational resources and a list of ingredients that we have made a point to avoid throughout the catalog. We strive to bring you the very purest we can find in specific shopping areas. We know that there may be some ingredients that one shopper may feel is safe, while another will feel is toxic. There is so much to learn yet, and while many ingredients are up in the air, we promise that we will strive to do our best to bring consumers real choices to satisfy everyone's needs, and yet not stray from our goal of offering the purest we know about!

 

More than 38,000 cosmetic injuries requiring medical attention are reported annually in the United States according to Dr. Samuel S. Epstein (Safe Shopper's Bible Pages 182 & 183). Ingredients in shampoos, toothpastes, skin creams, and other personal care products, fabric softeners, make-up, hair care products, colognes, perfumes and other scented products can be dangerous to your health. In 1989, the United States National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health recognized 884 poisonous substances (many synthetically derived from petrochemicals) from a list of 2,983 chemicals used in the fragrance industry that are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders, allergic respiratory reactions, skin and eye irritations.

Many chemicals found in cosmetics don't cause obvious immediate signs of toxicity, but slowly poison us through repeated use.

In America, a 1993 survey found levels of the highly toxic and carcinogenic 1,4 dioxane in 27 out of 30 children's shampoo and bath products tested. In the same study, of 54 cosmetic raw ingredients tested, all contained 1,4 dioxane. A study conducted by the University of California on 58,000 beauty therapists, hairdressers and manicurists, revealed that they developed cancer at four times the rate of the general population.

Many drugs on the market today are administered through transdermal skin patches, which have been shown to be up to 95% more effective than oral medication. This proves that the skin, the largest organ of the body and our first line of immunity, is permeable to all chemicals.
 


Here are ingredients to look for and you won't find them in our products, unless you want nail polish. Right now in order to wear polish, women and men have to compromise, but we have what we feel are better choices.  The Honeybee polish remover uses a benzoate, and typically we stay clear from that, but to get a waterbased polish off, you can't use solvent based removers; you have to use either grain alcohol or their own polish remover.

*synthetic binders, fillers, emulsifiers, thickeners 
* cortisone, tar, anti-biotics, steroids, phosphates 
* dyes, colorings, fragrances 
* mineral oil, paraffin, lanolin (unless its certified to be clean), petrolatum, PVP/VA copolymer, DEA, TEA, MEA 
* alcohols, formaldehyde, acetone 
* synthetic alpha and beta hydroxy acids 
* preservatives, parabens, ureas, propylene glycol 
* sodium laurel or laureth sulfate, ammonium laurel or laureth sulfate


More Details on the above:

Aluminum - Thought to contribute to Alzheimer's Disease.  Found in almost all antiperspirants.
Works by blocking pores so sweat cannot be released by the skin.

Artificial Colors - FD&C, derived from coal tar.  For example, Azo dyes are a risk to asthmatics, eczema sufferers and people sensitive to aspirin.  Causes hyperactivity in children, severe headaches, blurred vision and itchy/watery eyes and nose (Antczak, 2001). (PLEASE NOTE OUR MESSAGE ABOUT NAIL POLISHES HERE AT NATURAL SOLUTIONS)

DEA, MEA, TEA - Causes allergic reactions, irritating to eyes and dries out hair and skin (Fairley, 2001).

Dibutyl Phthalate - Found in all persons tested by the CDC (Center for Disease Control, USA) in a 2000 Fall study.  Highest levels were found in women of reproductive age.  Causes birth defects in animals, and damaging to the male reproductive system (ABC News, Internet Ventures 2000).  Used in cosmetics to assist the absorption of other ingredients.

Formaldehydes - A preservative.  Causes skin reactions.  Imidazolidinyl urea is the second most identified preservative causing contact dermatitis ( American Academy of Dermatology: Fairley, 2001).  Some other names that are related to this preservative are: DMDM hydantoin, Quaternium 15, Diazolidinylurea, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol

Fragrances - Can contain up to 200 undeclared substances (Fairley, 2001).  Major cause, in addition to artificial colours, of skin irritations and allergies (Antczak, 2001).  May cause dizziniess, skin irritation and hyperpigmentation (Fairley, 2001). Dibutyl Phalate can be hidden in synthetic fragrance and you'll want to be sure to avoid that.

Genetically Modified Organisms - Soy, Corn.  Effects still undetermined.

Isopropyl Alcohol - Drying agent, from petroleum.

Methylisothiazolinone - Causes allergic reactions and irritations (Fairley, 2001).

Mineral oil - petrochemical emollient. Watch for some derivatives like petrolatum, glyceryl stearate and cetyl alcohol. Although the later two can be also found in natural form. Make sure you know first before you buy.

Parabens (if the links are not accurate, please inform us): Petroleum product.  Triggers skin irritations and may be an xerestrogen (Fairley, 2001).May play a role in falling sperm counts and rising breast cancer rates (Fairley, 2001).Used in 99% of all cosmetics (Fairley, 2001), and in many so-called 'natural' products.

Paraben Info (WebMD)
Paraben Info (Friends of the Earth)
Paraben Info (BBC News)

Parraffin - Derived from petroleum.  In the form of wax, mineral oil or petrolatum.  Comedogenic, i.e.blocks pores.

Propylene Glycol - When derived from petroleum.  Increases the amount of acid in the body, resulting in metabolic problems.  Large amounts are needed to produce this effect (Agency forToxic Substances and Disease Registry or ATSDR, 2003).

Sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate - Forms carcinogenic nitrogen compounds when combined with specific ingredients.  Irritating to eyes, skin and lungs (Antczak, 2001).  Harmful if swallowed and may cause damage to eyes (Antczak, 2001).

Tallow - Animal fat.  Not suitable for vegans, and may be a skin irritant.

Toluene - Found in many nail products and nail polish removers.  Produced during the process of making gasoline and other fuels from crude oil or coal.  Evaporates into the air when products containing toluene are opened. May affect the nervous system, and/or cause tiredness, confusion, weakness, nausea, or loss of appetite.  Symptoms disappear when exposure is eliminated (ATSDR, 2003).

"Reading labels and recognizing problematic ingredients are necessary skills for a consumer who intends to choose products that are completely natural. The cost of a cosmetic is not a reliable indicator of either its quality or natural characteristics. Most cosmetics, from the lowest priced, to the most costly brands, are composed of identical base ingredients (Begoun, 1991)........Cosmetics do not stay on the surface of the skin without penetrating to some degree. Lipstick wearers, for example, consume 1.5 to 4 tubes in a lifetime (Aveda). If one considers the ingredients being internalized by the body, absorbing plant oils and waxes, mineral pigments or essential oils is a healthier alternative than absorbing petroleum by-products and synthetic chemicals. The ability to choose the right cosmetics for you depends on accurate ingredient knowledge, personal needs and market choices. Caring for one's whole body includes skin care choices that support and contribute to a healthy lifestyle....................................Natural cosmetic products and make-up are safer, healthier alternatives especially when these products are composed of all natural ingredients. A natural product is described as one that contains mostly or completely naturally derived ingredients (Antczak, 2001). It also indicates that the product is free from, or contains minute amounts of artificial chemical additives. Caution is required when products claim to be natural. For instance, they may contain small amounts of plant extracts, but the bulk of the product is petroleum based and loaded with fragrances. Instead, consider switching to completely natural products, which perform to the same standard as their non-natural counterparts. The organic make-up co. offers a wide range of simple, affordable and high quality products. Our cosmetic products are carefully formulated from plant waxes, plant oils, essential oils from flowers, barks and spices, as well as richly coloured mineral pigments...................Switching to all-natural cosmetic products and make-up can help you to avoid feeding your skin harmful chemicals. Many skin problems, such as acne, contact dermatitis, irritations and allergies may disappear once petroleum or synthetic ingredients are removed from your skin care regimen. Using fully natural products can contribute to healthy skin and a healthy body in the long term.......We invite you to give our natural products a try. They are completely natural, vegan and an excellent alternative to conventional cosmetics and make-up." By Lori Stryker, B.Sc., B.H.Ec., B.Ed.

References:

  • Antczak, Dr. Stephen and Gina, (2001). Cosmetics Unmasked, Harper Collins, London.
  • Begoun, Paula, (1991). Don't Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me, Beginnings Press, Seattle.
  • Fairley, Josephine, (2001). Organic Beauty, DK Publishing, London.
  • www.abcnews.com, ABC News Internet Ventures, 2000.
  • www.atsdr.cdc.gov, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, April 2003.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

  • Learn more about Health Canada's List of Prohibited and Restricted Cosmetic Ingredients, also known as the Cosmetics Ingredients Hotlist: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/person/cosmet/prohibited_e.html
  • This iste has many links to studies by the FDA, by the Environmental Health Network, etc. Make sure you take your time: http://www.lindachae.com/Current_News.htm