So this week's "Starting the New Year Right" contribution was inspired by listener Mary Jo R, who asked me to alert you to the harmful ingredients in personal care products, from makeup for women, to soaps/lotions/haircare, etc. for both genders, so you can avoid them (thus eliminate damaging agents).
The easiest way to avoid disease-causing ingredients is to always buy from a natural products store/product line.
But, if you want to continue buying at a drug/food store, here's the list of most egregious ingredients to look for, and avoid.
Petroleum Byproducts - Polyethylene glycol (PEG, PPG, Cocoate), propylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, polyethoxyethylene, polyethoxyethylene mineral oil, Petrolatum (petroleum derivative)
Health Risks: Carcinogen; liver and kidney effects, Endocrine disrupter
Parabens - Prefixes Ethyl, Methyl, Butyl or Propyl
Health Risks: Endocrine disrupters that mimic estrogen; linked to weight gain and breast cancer
Placenta - Placenta, placental enzymes, placental extract
Health Risks: Filled with hormones that upset your own balance and increase estrogen
Found In: Skin and hair conditioners
3-4 MBC (methylbenzylidene-camphor), OMC (octyl-methoxycinnamate), OD-PABA (octyl-dimethyl-PABA), Bp-3 (bexophenome-3), HMS (homosalate)
Health Risks: Estrogenic activity; enhances the potential for pesticides to penetrate the skin
Nanoparticles - Nano zinc oxide <100mm
Health Risks: The safety of nanoparticles has not been tested, but they can cross the blood/brain barrier and move along nerves.
Found In: Sunscreens & lotions
Phthalates, eg Fragrance - DEHP, DHP, DBP 5, Dibutyl Phthalate
Health Risks: Sperm damage, infertility
Found In: Nail polish, shampoo, deodorant, lotion
Coal Tar, eg Dyes - Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5 & 6, Red 33
Health Risks: Carcinogenic
Found In: Hair color, medicated shampoos
Triclosan - Chloro, Phenol, Irgasan
Health Risks: Endocrine and thyroid disrupter; promotes antibiotic-resistant bacteria; bioaccumulates in the body
Found In: Antibacterial soap, shampoo, facial cleanser, toothpaste, deodorant
Lead & Mercury - Lead acetate, thimerosal, mercurius solubilis, mercurius sublimates, mercurius corrosives, mercuric chloride
Health Risks: Found in higher levels in women with breast cancer; neurotoxin
Found In: Hair color, wound treatments, artificial tears
Isobutene - Propellant made from petroleum processing
Health Risks: Carcinogen
Found In: Moisturizer, shaving cream, foot spray, breath freshener
Health Risks: Can cause a skin disease called ochronosis (bluish black discoloration of certain tissues around the ear & eye...yuck!)
Found In: Skin whitener
5 top items to avoid (many are outlined above in personal care):
5. Chemical Fragrances
Bottom line: If you can't pronounce it, don't use it.
Thanks, Mary Jo, and...
You have been officially alerted.