If you're one of those folks whose mantra is "ignorance is bliss" then stop reading right now. But for those of you who don't mind a little disillusioning every now and then, you'll most likely be repulsed, yet fascinated by these gross ingredients found in some cosmetics that we all use. It's like when you get an email with a ridiculous YouTube video of a dog tap dancing and you just have to forward it to your friends or post it on Facebook -- these findings are just too dang interesting not to share.

Do this simple exercise on a few of the personal care products you and your loved ones use on an everyday basis. It could be your toothpaste, shampoo a moisturizing cream or deodorant. See how many of the bad ingredients listed in the table below you can find in your cosmetics and personal care products

Here is a typical list with ingredients of an hand cream:

Water, Glycerin, Panthenol, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Petrolatum, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Avena Sativa Kernel Flour (Oat), Avena Sativa Kernel Oil (Oat), Ceramide 3, Avena Sativa Kernel Extract (Oat), Methylparaben, Steareth 20, Benzalkonium Chloride, Sodium Chloride

The product is described as containing "natural" herbal extracts. YOU do your own exercise and see how many bad ingredients you can find in your products.

 "Natural" products

Definition: A natural product is a chemical compound or substance produced by a living organism - found in nature that usually has a pharmacological or biological activity for use in pharmaceutical drug discovery and drug design. A natural product can be considered as such even if it can be prepared by total synthesis.These small molecules provide the source or inspiration for the majority of FDA-approved agents and continue to be one of the major sources of inspiration for drug discovery. In particular, these compounds are important in the treatment of life-threatening conditions.

Natural products may be extracted from tissues of terrestrial plants, marine organisms or microorganism fermentation broths so you have ingredients from: The plant kingdom, The microbial world, The marine world,  Animal sources and Venom's and toxins

In recent years there has been an increase in consumer awareness of "green" issues and the "naturalness" of a product for environmental and health reasons. Another trend gathering popularity is consumers wanting health focused, holistic products (which are often also organic) in their lives. This trend parallels the desire to return to the simple life and "get back to basics", and there is increasing consumer demand for plant-based simple, formulations that are mild yet very effective. Consumers becoming more and more informed on natural trends have generated an increased demand for these natural and organic ingredients in the skin care market. This has resulted in a boom in organic products available, i.e. those grown without pesticides for food categories, and we are seeing this expanding to include cosmetic products. In fact, more organic and/or "all natural" products and cosmetic lines are entering the market at a very rapid rate. 

It's important to note that there is presently no standardized government controlled definition for a cosmetic product to put 'natural' on its package or in its advertising. Companies make their own definition of natural and often use it liberally as a consumer 'buzzword'. Thus, it's important that consumers understand that "natural" does not ensure safety or the best.

I did some online digging and I find that some researchers from Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database after they checked some beauty products contain pretty much everything in the circle of life from placenta to road kill they made a list with ingredients to avoid.
The purpose of this story is not to point fingers or out any makeup, skin care or hair care companies because sometimes there is a communication break down in the supply chain, and some cosmetic companies aren't even aware of the shocking ingredients in their products. In addition, many companies have phased out the use of some of these disturbing ingredients such as whale vomit (more on that below...). Instead we just thought we'd lift the veil of the amazing smells and technologies of beauty products and unwrap the cute packaging to show you some of the medieval-sounding ingredients that are shockingly still used in some cosmetics.

Toxic cancer causing (carcinogenic) chemicals in the air we breathe, the food we eat and the personal care toiletries we use on our hair, skin and in our mouths may be contributing to the spiralling rate of cancer and metabolic disease.

Here are a few examples of the ingredients that you should avoid:

 Mineral Oil

Petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic, clogging the pores. Interferes with skin's ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging. Used in many products (baby oil is 100% mineral oil!) Any mineral oil derivative can be contaminated with cancer causing PAH's (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons). Manufacturers use petrolatum because it is unbelievably cheap.
Breast cancer and impurities. EWG's assessment of product ingredient labels and data on cancer-causing chemicals identified three common impurities in personal care products that are linked to mammary tumors in animal studies — ethylene oxide, PAHs, and 1,3-butadiene. Since September 2004 the EU has banned the use of petroleum jelly due to the carcinogenic contamination found in products containing petrolatum. The ingredients for which these impurities are of concern are used in one of every four personal care products on the market. Here are the others names for this ingredient.

Mineral oil = Liquidum paraffinum (also known as posh mineral oil!) = Paraffin oil = Paraffin wax = Petrolatum = Liquid Paraffin = White Petrolatum = Liquid Petrolatum = Huile Minerale = Paraffine = Nujol = Adepsine Oil



Any chemicals used on sheep will contaminate the lanolin obtained from the wool. The majority of lanolin used in cosmetics is highly contaminated with organo-phosphate pesticides and insecticides. 

Placenta (Placental Protein)

Extracts from human and certain animal placenta are known to condition skin and hair and found in certain products. However, since placenta is crucial for a baby's growth in the womb, these same extracts in cosmetics give your body a hit of hormones. Estrogenic content in cosmetics may increase breast cancer risk in users, and if a woman uses personal care products that contain estrogen while she is pregnant, it may trigger extremely early puberty for her child.

Cochineal Beetles (Dactylopius Coccus)

Cochineal beetles are bugs that eat the prickly pear cactus in South America. Pucker up because according to "The New York Times" when they are full of cactus juice, these insects are scraped off the plant, boiled and dried out and crushed into "carmine," which is used in a particular red dye that's used in some lipstick and blush. The good news is, by 2011 cosmetic companies will have to disclose any bug ingredients in their makeup.

Dynamite (Diatomaceous Earth/Diatornite)

Diatomaceous earth (DE) is one of the two components that make up dynamite. According to StyleCaster, due to its hollow and porous properties, DE makes a pretty good abrasive and is found in most mild exfoliators, natural toothpastes, deodorants and powders so it up to you to check this and decide if is good for your health.


Got mascara in your eye? Not to worry, just blink it out. That is, unless it contains Thimerosal, a preservative derived from mercury, which has been known to cause brain damage at low levels.

Road Kill (tallow)

According to Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, the process of rendering animal fat consists of boiling animal carcasses in a pot to create fatty byproducts. The decaying animals used come from every source imaginable: lab animals, dead stock (animals that die before they reach the slaughterhouse), euthanized zoo and shelter animals, expired meat from grocery stores and -- wait for it -- road kill. The majority of this fat is used as a skin-conditioning agent and an emollient in cosmetics like lipstick, eyeshadow and soap.

Whale Vomit (Ambergris)

According to "The New York Times", Ambergris, which is waste from the digestive system of sperm whales (um, vomit), is used as a fixative perfume base. Thankfully, most companies have phased out whale vomit and switched over to synthetic alternatives.

Aluminum from deodorants and antiperspirants

Many people do not know, but antiperspirants contain toxic heavy metals. Rubbing the underarm deodorant inevitably lead to the absorption of these chemicals, which will cause Alzheimer's disease or cancer. But let's see what science really says.

Perfume was used to mask body odor for several hundred years, but in the 19th century the ability to reduce the odor was developed. The active ingredient in antiperspirants with aluminum chloride was original, but complaints of skin irritation led to increased use of aluminum hydrochloride, as an alternative. Aluminium was established as a neurotoxin and has been shown to negatively affect property of the blood-brain barrier, causing DNA damage and epigenetic side effects. 
Research has shown that aluminum salts used in antiperspirants have negative effects on a number of species, such as non-human primates, mice, dogs and others. An experiment with mice found that if you apply an aqueous solution of aluminum chloride on the skin causes "a significant increase of aluminum in urine, serum and whole brain." Other experiments on pregnant mice showed transplacental passage of aluminum chloride.

Antiperspirants containing aluminum (usually in the form of a compound called aluminum - zirconium - triclorohidrat - glycine). The role of this compound is to block the sweat glands that open pores in the skin, and also to absorb some of the water. But some studies have shown that aluminum is absorbed into the skin. In animal studies, aluminum has been shown to be carcinogenic.

Aluminum has a role in Alzheimer's disease?
Almost every metal, which is abundant in the environment has a role in human health and nutrition. There is also no doubt that aluminum occurs in brain tissue of people who have Alzheimer's. 

Concentrations of aluminum in the brain leading to premature aging of the body. It accumulates in the brains of people who have Alzheimer's disease, and in the brains of people who do not. Aluminum concentrations are particularly high within "the connections", which destroys the brain in Alzheimer's disease, but it is a matter of time until aluminum lead to tissue damage, or damaged tissue that absorbs more aluminum.

Alzheimer's Disease is not the only condition that can be caused by fear of exposure to aluminum. The European Journal of Cancer Prevention reports says that "shaving combined with the use of underarm antiperspirant deodorant containing aluminum may play a role in breast cancer." Hair is a skin barrier protection and shaving, removes the open pores and lead to increased absorption of aluminum.

A recent study published in the Journal of Anorganic Chemistry of aluminum found in breast tissue obtained from operation of mastectomy (breast removal operation reached the cancer). Researchers took samples from both breast tissue and from adipose tissue of the breast. Measuring the level of aluminum in these samples experts found that the external regions of the breast, armpit and the side that is in the concentration of aluminum is significantly higher than in internal regions of the breast (the central areas, median and medial). In exactly those places where they found maximum concentrations of aluminum, breast tumors occur more frequently.

Then, in December 2003 was published in European Journal of Cancer Prevention study that found a statistically significant correlation between frequency of use antiperspirants and the occurrence of breast cancer earlier. 437 women with breast cancer were interviewed in the frequency of habitual use of antiperspirants and shave armpit hair. Laugh at those most frequently used in most antiperspirants several times a day, cancer occurs at younger ages.

In the September 2005 edition of the Journal of Anorganic Chemistry published a study that has shown that aluminum is a metaloestrogen, is a metal activating estrogen receptors throughout the body. Aluminum is also genotoxic. It produces mutations at the DNA level.

Search the list of ingredients and see if it contains aluminum antiperspirant use and if so immediately stop use and seek a product that does not contain this ingredient.

Deodorants containing aluminum: Dove, Nivea, Sure, Mum, Palmolive Sanex, Lynx and many more

Deodorants not containing aluminum: Epoch, Deo Roll-on-ul Krauter  


I know what you're thinking:

Why would anyone in his right mind want to give up her shampoo, conditioner, hairstyling products, skin care products and makeup?

But then I thought, with all this talk of harmful ingredients like the ones mentioned on this list and the virtue of inner beauty, maybe we could learn a thing or two from a product 'diet' so you should avoid this ingredients and look for quality products that have all full list of ingredients displayed and they do not hide anything.

Finding beauty products that perfectly match your skin type could end up being a long and expensive process. What makes it even more complicated is the consistent launch of a host of new products. With every brand investing millions of dollars in marketing and promotion asserting that it's the best, it is easy to be misguided so my advise is to talk to a beauty specialist and find out your skin type and what are the best option for your problems and try to find the products that work with your budget, your health and your time.
I am here to help you and give you advise so please feel free to get in tuch with me about your skin problems.

1 comment:

Sofia Sana said...

It is nice information...
Antiperspirants containing aluminum (usually in the form of a compound called aluminum - zirconium - triclorohidrat - glycine)
Thank you...

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