Contaminants in Skin Care Products

Ingredients used in skin care products can be contaminated with toxic, carcinogenic, 1,4-dioxane.

The contaminants can be in more than one product you use, and there can be more than one contaminant in a single product. You may be applying several contaminated products to you skin and hair at any one time!

In the last report I spoke about the ingredients to avoid and recognising them is a challenge, but an ingredient can be contaminated during the manufacturing process and it won’t be listed on the label as it is not intended as an ‘ingredient’

Any chemical process with ethylene oxide can produce these impurities. To avoid 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide, steer clear of these cosmetic ingredients that can be contaminated: – PEG, (it often has a number added after the word) polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, ‘..eth..’ (as in sodium laureth sulfate) ‘…oxynol…’ ‘…oleth…’ or ceteareth.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sites this little group as possible human carcinogens. Studies show that they readily penetrate the skin.

As far back as 1982 the Cosmetic Industry’s self-regulated CIR (Cosmetic Ingredients Review) board stated that they were “…aware of the problem and making efforts ..”

In 2000 the FDA “continuing concerns … evidence linking systemic cancer”

2003 FDA “1,4-dioxane can be removed… without reasonable cost”

2003 CIR “importance of purification procedures was stressed” apparently to their members.

Now, after almost 2 decades, very little  has been done to remove the dangers of the contamination to these ingredients. Research indicates 57% of all Baby soaps and 34%of all Body lotions are at risk.

NITROSAMINES are formed when 2 types of ingredients react together. The reaction occurs during manufacture and storage. In 1996 the FDA urged cosmetic manufacturers to voluntary remove from cosmetics any ingredient that may combine with others to form an extremely potent carcinogen called nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA).

NDEA “is readily absorbed through the skin and accumulates in the organs such as the liver and bladder etc where it induces chronic toxic effects” according to studies by scientists at the University of San Jose (Matyeska et.al 2000)

The International Agency for Research of Carcinogens has found the nitrosamines are carcinogenic in all animal species studied, including primates. No other carcinogen has been found to be carcinogenic in as many species as nitrosamines.

Surfactants are substances that dissolve grease and oil and hold them in suspension so they can be rinsed away with water. Ingredients listed on a label containing the term DEA (DiEthanolAmine), TEA (TriEthanolAmine) and MEA (MonoEthanolAmine) such as Cocomide DEA and Linoleamide MEA. These compounds can react with other chemicals during the manufacturing and storage to form nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic.

Analysis by the EWG shows that 10% of products contain ingredients that can combine to form nitrosamines.

U.K Department of Trade and Industry found that nitrosamine levels in some products had more than doubled four months after they were opened and had increased four-fold over 17 months (DTI 1998)

Natural saponins for foaming agents are a better choice as they don’t strip away the natural oils when they cleanse the skin, scalp and hair.

Protect your self and your family by choosing skin and personal care products that do no contain any of these ingredients. Find out about Cleansers by clicking here