Top Hair and Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid

I’ve been using sulfate free shampoos for several years now, but I never paid attention to what was in them. I decided take a look at the ingredients list and look them up using the Holistic Dad’s Facebook page, on Environmental Working Group, a site in which you can search specific products or ingredients and be informed of their health hazards. I’ve found this site to be a very useful tool, they also have many great articles.

My specific shampoo has an overall rating of 6, which means it is a moderate hazard to my health. Their rating system is as follows: 0-2 = low hazard; 3-6 = moderate hazard; 7-10 = high hazard. So, my shampoo is not as bad as if could be, but it definitely isn’t as good as I’d like it to be. One thing I’ve noticed through research is that “fragrance” is bad! If a product has “fragrance” in it, the health hazard rating is usually fairly high. “Fragrance” is a term that the cosmetic industries use on ingredient lists that disclose only that there are unnamed chemicals in the product. My advice, and what I plan to do from now on, is avoid scented products as much as possible, unless of course it is a natural scent from an essential oil.

As I share this information with all of you via my mobile device, I also hold my precious sleeping baby boy. And it makes me angry, sad and terrified that the government basically allows personal care product manufacturers to use almost any chemical they want, regardless of risks. Potentially giving our babies cancer!

Here is a list that I’ve found helpful, from EWG, of potentially harmful and cancer causing ingredients to avoid:

How to navigate product ingredients lists:

Start at the end, with preservatives and avoid:

•Words ending in “paraben”

•DMDM hydantoin

•Imidazolidinyl urea

•Methylchloroisothiazolinone

•Methylisothiazolinone

•Triclosan

•Triclocarban

•Triethanolamine (or “TEA”)

Check the beginning of the ingredients lists, where soaps, surfactants, and lubricants show up, try to avoid:

•mineral oil, also known as white oil, liquid paraffin, and liquid petroleum

•petroleum

•ingredients that start with “PEG”

•ingredients that have an “-eth” in the middle (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate)

Read the ingredients in the middle, avoid:

“FRAGRANCE,””FD&C,” or “D&C.”

Especially for our children

Extra caution is in order for kids because, pound for pound, they are exposed to more contaminants in everyday products than adults. Their immature metabolism and organ systems are typically less capable of fending off chemical assaults. Even subtle damage to young bodies can lead to disease later in life.

Here are the Environmental Working Group’s top five tips for kids:

•Use fewer products and use them less often

•Don’t trust ad hype. Check ingredients!

•Buy fragrance-free products

•Avoid the use of baby powder

-Always avoid these top six chemicals of concern for kids:

•2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3 Dio

•BHA

•Boric acid and sodium borate

•DMDM Hydantoin

•Oxybenzone Triclosan

For more info on environmental health for family’s I recommend EWG’s Healthy Homes Tip Series

I hope everyone finds this helpful and useful…it sure gives me the drive to learn how to make my own natural products without all the harmful additives!

**I’ve updated this post to include this graphic, which I saw on Holistic Dad’s Facebook page, not sure of the original source, if you know feel free to contact me**

Toxic skin care ingredients to avoid

Sources: http://www.ewg.org

Comments

  1. DiaryofaHairPrincess says:

    this was very informative, thank you!

  2. amandak23k says:

    Great post!! I get so confused about what to avoid and what's ok. I am finding that a lot of these chemicals are in everything!!!!! It is scarey how they government AND how parents seem not to care about all these chemicals and un-natural things being used. A product that says all natural IS NOT just because the label says it is. They wonder why there are so many kids with autism (sorry if that's not spelled right, mental block right now!!), mental issues and behavioral issues. There are so many kids diagnosed with mental diseases such as bi-polarism and on medications that are intended for grown ups. It's sooo scarey to think how scarey the world is going to be when all these kids grow up and don't want to be on medication anymore or forget to take it. I know that the chemicals in shampoos are not causing this, but all the processed foods and chemicals in other things that weren't around before and all these childrens diseases weren't around before either. There has to be a link in there somewhere. Sorry for getting a little off the subject of chemicals in shampoos and hair products, but somehow it's all connected.

  3. I totally agree Amanda! There are so many harmful chemicals in most everything. While the skin and hair care products are causing cancer and other diseases, foods and medications are causing mental health problems. It is sad and scary. I try to use true natural products, natural remedies when the kids are sick and organic foods. The Healthy Homes Tip link I listed above talks about, not just skin and hair, but also gives adive on other household items such as cleaners, etc., and organic foods, because you're right it's not just shampoos and soaps causing health problems!

  4. DsMommy says:

    I totally agree Amanda! There are so many harmful chemicals in most everything. While the skin and hair care products are causing cancer and other diseases, foods and medications are causing mental health problems. It is sad and scary. I try to use true natural products, natural remedies when the kids are sick and organic foods. The Healthy Homes Tip link I listed above talks about, not just skin and hair, but also gives adive on other household items such as cleaners, etc., and organic foods, because you're right it's not just shampoos and soaps causing health problems!

  5. Dreamer13 says:

    Great post! I love that site. I don't buy a thing until I look each ingredient up on the EWG. 😉

    ~Karli
    http://www.curlyhairdoideas.com

  6. LYGBC says:

    I appreiate this post :) I will be sharing it with my readers :) There are loads of good information throughout this post KUDOS! I just dont get how these companies can use items like formaldehyde!! SMH

  7. I appreiate this post :) I will be sharing it with my readers :) There are loads of good information throughout this post KUDOS! I just dont get how these companies can use items like formaldehyde!! SMH

  8. It is crazy that our government doesn't have more strict laws reguarding the use of ingredients in our skin care products. I try to stick to natural products…some hair care brands that are natural and don't have the ingredients mentioned above are Bee Mine, Kinky-Curly, Created by Nature, SheaMoisture…to name a few.

  9. DsMommy says:

    It is crazy that our government doesn't have more strict laws reguarding the use of ingredients in our skin care products. I try to stick to natural products…some hair care brands that are natural and don't have the ingredients mentioned above are Bee Mine, Kinky-Curly, Created by Nature, SheaMoisture…to name a few.

  10. Chamallie says:

    Most of those ingredients listed above are in most shampoo's. The one that really scares me tht I do not see listed (unless I missed it) is BHT. It's in a product that I bought from Sally Beauty Supply that I used to co wash. OF course I stopped using it. It was also in my Dove deodorant which I stopped using as well. It has been proven to cause cancer. It is banned in all but 3 products in Australia and completely banned in Japan. IDK why it is not banned here. It's in my husband's deodorant as well. Yes, BHT scares me.

  11. Nikki says:

    I love the cosmetic database. I do a lot of freelance articles on skin care, and they're an excellent resource.

  12. It is an excellent source source, Nikki, I love it too, very handy

  13. Anitra says:

    This is great. We recently stopped using any hair products with any type of paraben and stopped the petroleum a while ago. Great list. Found you on the StumbleUpon 4 U hop and just stumbled this for you.

  14. Julia says:

    Knowing what not to put in your hair and body is sometimes more important than knowing what to put in it. It’s a little scary to think that there are millions of people who are using these harmful products or buying harmful product for their children! It all stems from lack of knowledge, Only a few people can pronounce “Methylchloroisothiazolinone” properly, let alone know what effects this compound has on the human body. This is a problem because not only do some of them not work, but can have serious health effects as well.

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