We all want to make sure the products we use are healthy and safe, and this should include our personal care products. You may have already read about the issues surrounding triclosan and formaldehyde, but what about hydroquinone? Find out what it is and the 9 other personal care ingredients you should be informed about:
GOOD Magazine recently published an article by Alexandra Spunt, one of the two authors of No More Dirty Looks: The Truth about Your Beauty Products—and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics. Disturbingly, the FDA currently has no authority to regular what goes into cosmetics and personal care products before they hit the market. In fact, 89% of all ingredients in cosmetics have not been evaluated for safety by any publicly accountable institution.
According to Spunt, the top ingredients, contaminants, and byproducts dirtying up your face routine are:
1 Petrolatum and Related Petrochemicals: Often seen as mineral oil or paraffin, not only are these bad for the environment, but they actually create a coating on the skin that interferes with perspiration.
2 Lead Tainted Lipstick: In 2009 the FDA discovered that of 20 lipsticks it tested, all 20 were contaminated with lead.
3 Formaldehyde Preservatives: Not only in nail polish, this chemical also shows up in preservatives such as quaternium-15, DMDM-hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, and diazolidinyl urea.
4 Fragrance: Laboratory tests commissioned by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and evaluated by the Environmental Working Group state that many artificial fragrances can be hormone disrupters when used in large quantities.
5 Parabens: A very popular preservative used in over 10,000 products, there has been concern in the past that parabens contain endocrine disrupters.
6 Chemical Sunscreens: One popular chemical sunscreen ingredient oxybenzone is a suspected hormone disruptor.
7 Hydroquinone This skin-lightning ingredient is banned in Europe due to its categorization as a suspected carcinogen.
8 Nano Particles: According to Dr. Michael DiBartolomeis, a toxicologist and the chief of the California Safe Cosmetics Program, a nano may be able to "get into places it shouldn't get into—like cells or DNA." We simply don't know enough about it yet to use it so freely.
Add sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) to the mix (both potential irritants), and you've got a lot to think about.