We all know that choosing high quality personal care products is essential to getting the best potency and also integral to avoiding unnecessary cheap additives and ingredients. Just because a product is “natural,” “organic,” or “green,” doesn’t mean that you should pass by the label and trust it. By becoming your own green beauty detective you can avoid using and paying for products you don’t really want in your homes or on your body. “One in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors. Many products include plasticizers (chemicals that keep concrete soft), degreasers (used to get grime off auto parts), and surfactants (they reduce surface tension in water, like in paint and inks). Imagine what that does to your skin, and to the environment, (source).” This is a staggering statistic but by making some small changes and knowing what to look for you can ditch the chemical nasties for high performance green products instead.
- Parabens: Parabens such as Prefixes Ethyl, Methyl, Butyl or Propyl, love to hangout in shampoos and lotions!
- Phthalates: Also know as Fragrance, DEHP, DHP, DBP 5, Dibutyl Phthalate. This pesky group are everywhere! Anything with artificial fragrance is at risk for containing phthalates. Particularly prevalent in deodorant, nail polish and shampoo.
- Coal Tar: Otherwise known as Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5 & 6, Red 33, this group of chemicals are widely regarded as carcinogenic.
- Triclosan: You know the surge of antibacterial soaps? Triclosan is the main ingredient. This group can also be listed as Chloro, Phenol, or Irgasan.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: “This surfactant can be found in more than 90 percent of personal care and cleaning products (think foaming products). SLS’s are known to be skin, lung, and eye irritants, (source).”
- Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRP’s): “Preservatives are used in many cosmetic products to help prevent bacteria growth. This chemical was deemed as a human carcinogen by The International Agency for Research on Carcinogens (IARC) and has been linked to occupational related cancers: nasal and nasopharyngeal, (source).”
- Sunscreen Chemicals: Otherwise known as benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate and ethoxycinnmate this group is designed to absorb ultraviolet light. The problem with this group is that they are easily absorbed right into the body causing concern for cellular damage and actual cancer.
- Siloxanes: “Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.” Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane), (source).”
These are some of the most common offenders that are found lurking in our everyday products but the good news is that there is a whole world of green beauty products that don’t contain any of these ingredients. Becoming an empowered consumer that can do their own research is integral to taking charge of your own health and also protecting our precious environment. Here at Salon Movement we take great pride in being a green-focused company and love hearing about others becoming aware of the environmental impacts of our everyday lives.