You can and should enjoy a natural, healthy and beautiful complexion. Nature has made available a host of beneficial plant based oils and other ingredients that contain wholesome cell food and collagen enhancers, plus anti-oxidants and micro-nutrients that are readily absorbed and used by the skin to moisturize, rejuvenate and protect the skin from aging and the damaging effects of the sun and industrial pollution.
The vast majority of cosmetic and skin care manufacturers however use synthetic and petroleum based ingredients for two primary reasons: it’s far cheaper to produce, and they have a very long shelf life. Then they add even more laboratory produced synthetic colors, preservatives, stabilizers, fragrances, and thickeners or thinners, and package them in petroleum based plastic tubes and bottled to give them a “commercially viable appeal” which means they are very low in cost to produce, offer a very high profit margin, they last forever on the shelf, and they look, feel and smell nice to the consumer.
This “commercially viable” criteria however comes before the health and well-being of the consumer, or the environment. And this is the case for virtually all cosmetic or skin care products made by publically traded companies, as increasing profit margins and a growing market share drive the stock market, and the salary and bonus structure of the CEOs of these companies. Your health and doing the right thing is not the primary drivers behind publically traded companies.
We have gathered some information on the potential negative effects of many of these synthetics used in mass-produced cosmetics and skin care products. This is not an exhaustive list however, and as with anything you ingest or put on your skin, it’s ultimately up to you to read all labels, do your own research, and make your own choices.
A report on the dangerous chemicals found in common skin care and make-up products We have scoured many resources to provide you with a consumer guide to toxins in cosmetics, and their potential danger to your health. We have also listed the sources of this information to provide proper credit. We hope you find this document helpful and informative.
Possible Cancer-causing Ingredients
Many cosmetics can contain carcinogens – some of which are inherently carcinogenic by their nature – and others that are hidden carcinogens, which become carcinogenic under certain circumstances, such as when mixed, or contaminated by other carcinogens (Epstein SS, Unreasonable Risk, Environmental Toxicology, 2001). The most common of these are:
Crystalline silica (inhaled)
p-Phenylenediamine* (following oxidation)
Polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP)
*Suspected carcinogens, though evidence is limited
The following chemical ingredients may be linked to cancer, and many have been banned by the European Union on suspicion of their toxicity. What you may not know is that many of the biggest manufacturers of these products reformulate without these chemicals for the European market, but continue to manufacture with these potentially dangerous chemicals for the US market. Our hope is that you will use this list to help navigate your new purchases, and use your buying power to protect your right to health and a healthy world.
This list was compiled by Teens for Safe Cosmetics based on a survey of over 500 teens who named the products and brands they were using daily. In collaboration with a chemist, the ubiquitous chemicals were investigated for their potential harm to our health.
1. ALUMINUM ZIRCONIUM and OTHER ALUMINUM COMPOUNDS
Function: Used to control sweat and odor in the underarms by slowing down the production of sweat.
Present in: Antiperspirants. Banned by EU.
Health concerns: Linked to the development of Alzheimer’s Disease; may be linked to breast cancer; probable neurotoxin; possible nervous system, respiratory, and developmental toxin.
2. BENZYL ACETATE
Function: Solvent; hidden within “fragrance.”
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels.
Health concerns: Linked to pancreatic cancer; easily absorbs into skin causing quick systemic effects; animal studies show hyperemia of the lungs; possible gastrointestinal, liver, and respiratory toxicant; possible neurotoxin.
3. BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE and BENZETHONIUM CHLORIDE
Function: Antimicrobial agent, deodorant, preservative, biocide.
Present in: Moisturizer, sunscreen, facial cleanser, acne treatment, pain relief. Restricted in Japan and Canada.
Health concerns: Immune system toxicant; may trigger asthma; possible organ system toxicant; animal studies show endocrine disruption and brain, nervous system, respiratory and blood effects; possible carcinogen.
Present in: Moisturizer, body wash, facial cleanser, makeup remover, anti-aging products. Restricted in Canada.
Health concerns: Immune system toxicant; lung and skin toxicant; animal studies show endocrine disruption and gastrointestinal, brain and nervous system effects; irritant.
5. BUTYL ACETATE
Function: Solvent in polishes and treatments, prevents chipping.
Present in: Nail polish and nail treatments.
Health concerns: Repeated exposure causes skin dryness and cracking; vapors may induce drowsiness or dizziness; flammable.
6. BUTYLATED HYDROXYTOLUENE (BHT)/ BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE (BHA)
Function: Anti-Oxidant; slows down the rate at which product ingredients change in color.
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels.
Banned by EU.
Health Concerns: Immune system toxicant; endocrine disruptor; probable human carcinogen; animal studies show brain, liver, neurotoxin, reproductive and respiratory toxicant.
7. ETHOXYLATED INGREDIENTS:CETEARETH/PEG COMPOUNDS
Function: Surfactant, emulsifying or cleansing agent, penetration enhancer.
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels.
Health concerns: Animal studies show brain, nervous system and sense organ effects; irritant; reproductive and skin toxin, alters skin structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deep into the skin and increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream; may contain harmful impurities.
8. COAL TAR
Function: Controls itching and eczema, softens and promotes the dissolution of hard, scaly, rough skin, also used in hair dyes.
Present in: Shampoo and Hair Dye. Banned by Canada and EU.
Health concerns: Known human carcinogen; skin and respiratory toxicant.
9. COCAMIDE DEA/ LAURAMIDE DEA
Function: used as foaming agents in shampoos and bath products, and as emulsifying agents in cosmetics; foaming and cleansing agents for “mouth feel.”
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels.
Health concerns: Human immune system toxicant; forms carcinogenic nitrosamine compounds if mixed with nitrosating agents; animal studies show sense organ effects and skin irritation; may contain harmful impurities.
10. DIETHANOLAMINE (DEA)
Function: pH adjuster.
Present in: Sunscreen, moisturizer, foundation, hair color.
Health concerns: Skin and immune system toxicant; possible carcinogen; irritant; animal studies show endocrine disruption and neuro developmental, brain and nervous system effects; may trigger asthma.
11. ETHYL ACETATE
Present in: Nail polish products, mascara, tooth whitening, perfume.
Health concerns: Probable neurotoxin; possible nervous system toxin; possible carcinogen; irritant; highly flammable
Function: Disinfectant, germicide, fungicide, preservative.
Present in: Deodorant, nail polish, soap, shampoo, shaving cream. Restricted in Canada.Banned by EU.
Health concerns: Immune system, repertory, hematological, and skin toxicant; probable carcinogen and cardiovascular toxicant; can damage DNA; may trigger asthma; animal studies show sense organ, brain, and nervous system effects; possible human development toxicant.
13. FORMALDEHYDE-RELEASING PRESERVATIVES ( QUATERNIUM-15, DMDM HYDANTOIN, DIAZOLIDINYL UREA AND IMIDAZOLIDINYL UREA, DEA, MEA, TEA)
Function: Anti-microbial preservative.
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels.
Health concerns: Forms nitrosamines when in the presence of amines such as MEA, DEA and TEA; probable immune system, blood, cardiovascular and skin toxicant; possible carcinogen; animal studies show endocrine disruption, nervous system and organ system effects; may contain harmful impurities.
14. FRAGRANCE (PARFUM)
Function: Deodorant, masking, perfuming
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels.
Health concerns: Immune system toxicant; possible neurotoxin; can contain between 10 and 300 different chemicals, many of which have never been tested for safety; see phthalates. Labeling can be confusing. If uncertain, check with manufacture.
Function: Antioxidant, fragrance ingredient, skin bleaching agent, hair colorant.
Present in: Skin fading/lightener, facial moisturizer, anti-aging, sunscreen, hair color, facial cleanser and moisturizer. Restricted in Canada.
Health concerns: Immune system and respiratory toxicant; probable neurotoxin; possible carcinogen; irritant; animal studies show endocrine disruption.
16. IODOPROPYNYL BUTYLCARBAMATE
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels. Restricted in Japan.
Health concerns: Human toxicant; possible liver immune system toxin; allergenic.
17. LEAD and LEAD COMPOUNDS
Present in: Hair dye, hair products. Traces found in some red lipstick. Restricted in Canada.
Health concerns: Probable carcinogen; developmental, respiratory, gastrointestinal and reproductive toxicant; reduced fertility; animal studies show metabolic, brain and nervous system effects; suspected nano-scale ingredients with potential to absorb into the skin
18. METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE (MI/MCI) and METHYLCHLOROISOTHAIZOLINONE
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels. Restricted in Canada and Japan.
Health concerns: Immune system toxicant; animal studies show restricted growth of the axons and dendrites of immature nerves, neurotoxicity and positive mutation results; can lead to a malfunction in the way neurons communicate with each other; especially detrimental to a developing nervous system.
19. OXYBENZONE (BENZPENONE-3)
Function: Sunscreen Agent; Ultraviolet Light Absorber, UV Absorber; UV Filter.
Present in: Sunscreens and makeup
Health concerns: Associated with photoallergic reactions and immunotoxicity. Probable carcinogen and endocrine disrupter; Enhanced skin absorption and bioaccumulates to dangerous levels; biochemical cellular changes.Developmental and reproductive toxicity.
20. PARABENS (METHYL, ETHYL, PROPYL AND BUTYL)
Function: Preservative and anti-bacterial agent.
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels.
Health concerns: May alter hormone levels, possibly increasing risk for certain types of cancer, impaired fertility, or alteration of the development of a fetus or young child; studies have found parabens in breast tumors; probable skin toxicant; animal studies show brain and nervous system effects.
21. PETROLATUM (PETROLEUM)
Function: Forms barrier on skin; makes lipsticks shine and creams smoother; inexpensive skin softener.
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels. Banned by EU.
Health concerns: May be contaminated with impurities, linked to cancer or other significant health problems.
22. PHTHALATES (DIBUTYL PHTHALATES)
Function: Fragrance ingredient, plasticizer, solvent.
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels. Banned in EU.
Health concerns: Immune system toxicant; developmental and reproductive toxin; respiratory toxicant; probable neurotoxin; possible carcinogen and endocrine disruptor; bio-accumulative in wildlife.
23. P-PHENYLENEDIAMINE (PPD)
Function: Hair colorant.
Present in: Hair dye, shampoo, hair spray. Restricted in Canada.
Health concerns: Immune system and respiratory toxicant; probable neurotoxin; eczema; possible nervous system, skin, kidney and liver toxicant; irritant; may trigger asthma and gastritis; shown to cause cancer in animal studies.
24. PROPYLENE GLYCOL
Function: Solvent, penetration enhancer, conditions skin, controls viscosity and keeps products from melting in high or freezing when it is cold.
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels.
Health concerns: Alters skin structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deep into the skin and increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream; animal studies show reproductive effects, positive mutation results, brain and nervous system effects and endocrine disruption.
25. SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE
Function: Surfactant, penetration enhancer.
Present in: Many cosmetics and personal care products, read labels.
Health concerns: Alters skin structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deep into the skin, increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream; Irritant; animal studies show sense organ effects.
Function: Absorbs moisture, anti-caking agent, bulking agent.
Present in: Blush, powder, eye shadow, baby powder, deodorant.
Health concerns: Carcinogen; link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer; talc particles are similar to asbestos particles and data suggests that it can cause tumors in the lungs; probable respiratory toxin;
Function: Antioxidant, solvent to improve adhesion and gloss.
Present in: Nail polish and hair dye.
Health concerns: Liver toxin; probable developmental, nervous system and respiratory toxin; possible cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, renal and sense organ toxin; possible carcinogen and reproductive toxin; irritant; highly flammable;
Function: Anti-bacterial agent, deodorant, preservative, biocide. Reduces and controls bacterial contamination on the hands and on treated products.
Present in: Antibacterial soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, mouthwashes, face wash and cleaning supplies. Restricted in Japan and Canada.
Health concerns: Probable endocrine disrupter and carcinogen; easily bio-accumulates to dangerous levels; irritant; animal studies show reproductive and other broad systematic effects; potentially contaminated with impurities linked to cancer and other significant health problems; studies have shown it can actually induce cell death when used in mouth washes.
29. TREITHANOLAMINE (TEA)
Function: Fragrance ingredient, pH adjuster, surfactant.
Present in: Hand & body lotion, shaving creams, soap, shampoo, bath powders and moisturizer.
Health concerns: Immune system toxicant; possible carcinogen; animal studies show endocrine disruption; may trigger asthma; forms carcinogenic nitrosamine compounds if mixed with nitrosating agents.
30. 1,4 DIOXANE
Function: Penetration enhancer
Present in: Body lotion, moisturizers, sunless tanning products, baby soap, anti-aging products..
Health concerns: EPA classifies it as a probable carcinogen found in 46 of 100 personal care products marketed as organic or natural, and the National Toxicology Program considers it a known animal carcinogen. Acute (short-term) inhalation exposure to high levels of 1,4dioxane has caused vertigo, drowsiness, headache, anorexia and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs of humans. It may also irritate the skin.
Dying to look good
Every time you make up, you lather your face with a deadly cocktail of carcinogens, preservatives, mutagens, allergens, toxic heavy metals and other poisons that slip through the loose regulatory net.
Many women think that makeup is just a bit of harmless feel-good fun and that the makeup they put on their faces each day – and wear for long hours at a time – is just a benign enhancement to beauty.
Yet, by the time a woman has made up her face, she will have covered her skin with carcinogens and preservatives, mutagens (substances that cause genetic mutations), allergens, central nervous system disruptors, toxic heavy metals and poisons.
Makeup is a particularly insidious form of pollution because its chemical ingredients enter the body through multiple routes. We can swallow, inhale and absorb them through the skin as well as through the mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth and nose.
In addition, cosmetics commonly contain moisturisers in the form of wetting agents (such as propylene glycol) and humectants (such as glycerine) which, while relatively harmless in themselves, increase the skin’s permeability, thus allowing more of these toxic ingredients to be absorbed into the body (Walters KA and Hadgraft J, eds, Pharmaceutical Skin Penetration Enhancement, New York: Marcel Dekker, 1993; Hseih DS, ed, Drug Permeation Enhancement: Theory and Applications, New York: Marcel Dekker, 1994).
Many assume that the government oversees the safety and efficacy of cosmetics. But makeup manufacturers are not required by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) or the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to demonstrate that their products are either safe or effective.
What regulations there are do little to protect the consumer (Erickson K and Epstein SS, Drop Dead Gorgeous, New York: Contemporary Books, 2002). While more than 3000 ingredients are approved for cosmetics use in Europe, many more find their way into products via loopholes in the law – such as those that allow traces of banned substances if they cannot reasonably be removed during or after manufacture.
The only way to know if a cosmetic is safe is to trawl through its ingredients. Unfortunately, manufacturers are very inconsistent in listing these. Some print them on the container or on peelaway labels on the underside of the pro-duct. Others list them on the box (which is often thrown away without a glance) or just don’t list them at all as it’s not required by law. So, it is very difficult for consumers to make good decisions about what products are safe.
Allergies and more
While generally underreported, cosmetic makers know that 10-30 per cent of adults experience skin reactions (Contact Derm, 1988; 19: 195-201). The worst reactions are due to fragrance and preservatives (Contact Derm, 1987; 17: 26-34; Contact Derm, 1984; 11: 265-7). In one study, 80 per cent of those who developed makeup reactions had had no prior skin problems (Contact Derm, 1999; 40: 310-5).
European studies show that the fragrance part of a product accounts for as much as 15 per cent of all allergic reactions in those with eczema (Contact Derm, 1997; 36: 57-86; Ned TijdschrGeneeskd, 1997; 141: 571-4). Although synthetic fragrances are most commonly implicated, emerging evidence suggests that natural fragrances may also cause allergic reactions (J Invest Dermatol, 2000; 115: 129-30).
Fragrance is a particularly thorny issue for consumers as most of us will never know which fragrance chemicals are in the products we use. Manufacturers are allowed to list them under the catch-all heading of ‘fragrance’, which belies the often hundreds of different ingredients involved in a single scent (even the simplest ones use 40 to 50 ingredients). Most of these are neurotoxic chemicals associated with central nervous system (CNS) disorders such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and sudden infant death syndrome. Many have even been labelled ‘toxic waste’ by the FDA. Adult cosmetics are not the only problem. Play makeup and perfumes for children also often contain unacceptably high levels of these substances (Contact Derm, 1999; 41: 84-8).
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency report Health Hazard Information (EPA, 1991), the 20 most common fragrance ingredients constitute a toxic soup that no thinking person would wish to be exposed to. Of these chemicals, seven – 1,8-cineole, beta-citronellol, beta-myrcene, nerol, ocimene, beta-phenethyl alcohol and alpha-terpinolene – are completely lacking in safety data. As for the rest:
*Acetone is on the hazardous waste lists of several government agencies. It is a CNS depressant which can cause dryness of the mouth and throat, dizziness, nausea, lack of coordination, slurred speech, drowsiness and, in severe exposures, coma.
*Benzaldehyde acts as a local anaesthetic and CNS depressant, and can cause irritation to the mouth, throat, eyes, skin, lungs and GI tract, causing nausea and abdominal pain. It can also cause kidney damage.
*Benzyl acetate is an environmental pollutant and potential carcinogen that has been linked to pancreatic cancer. Its vapours are irritating to the eyes and respiratory airways, and it can also be absorbed through the skin, causing systemic effects.
*Benzyl alcohol is irritating to the upper respiratory tract, and can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, falls in blood pressure, CNS depression and, in severe cases, death due to respiratory failure.
*Camphor is a local irritant and CNS stimulant that is readily absorbed by body tissues. Inhalation can irritate the eyes, nose and throat, and cause dizziness, confusion, nausea, muscle twitches and convulsions.
*Ethanol is on the EPA hazardous waste list as it causes CNS disorders, and irritates the eyes and upper respiratory tract even at low concentrations. Inhalation of its vapours has the same effect as ingestion, including an initial stimulatory effect followed by drowsiness, impaired vision, loss of muscle coordination and stupor.
*Ethyl acetate (on the EPA hazardous waste list) is a narcotic that is irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract. It can cause headache and stupor, and has a defatting effect on skin which may lead to drying and cracking. In extreme cases, it may cause damage to the liver and kidneys, and anaemia with high white cell counts.
*Limonene is a carcinogen as well as a skin and eye irritant and allergen.
*Linalool is a narcotic known to cause CNS disorders, and may lead to sometimes fatal respiratory disturbances, poor muscle coordination and reflexes, and depression. Animal tests show that it may also affect the heart.
*Methylene chloride was banned by the FDA in 1988, but no enforcement is possible due to trade-secret laws protecting the chemical fragrance industry. Occupying the hazardous waste lists of several government agencies, it is a carcinogen and CNS disruptor absorbed and stored in body fat; it metabolises to carbon monoxide, reducing the amount of oxygen in the blood.
Other adverse effects include headache, giddiness, stupor, irritability, fatigue and tingling in the limbs.
*alpha-Pinene is a skin-sensitising agent that is damaging to the immune system.
*gamma-Terpinene causes asthma and CNS disorders.
*alpha-Terpineol is highly irritating to mucous membranes. Breathed into the lungs, it can lead to pneumonitis or even fatal water retention. It can also cause nervous excitement, loss of muscle coordination, low body temperature, CNS and respiratory depression, and headache. Scientific data warn against its repeated or prolonged skin contact.
The most commonly used cosmetic preservatives are alkyl hydroxy benzoates – methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben and propylparaben, either alone or, more often, in combination. Parabens are well recognised as skin sensitisers (causing skin reactions), and the UK’s Brunel University has found parabens to be oestrogen mimics as well (Toxicol Applied Pharmacol, 1998; 153: 12-9). Lab tests showed that each type of paraben had a different oestrogenic potency, with methylparaben being the least potent.
Kathon CG (mainly methylisochlorothiazolinone and methylchlorothiazolinone) is the next most commonly used preservative in cosmetics, and is also a common allergen (Contact Derm, 1986; 14: 155-7). A recent study from the University of Texas found that Kathon CG is capable of causing genetic mutations (Environ Mol Mutagen, 1996; 28: 127-32).
Many of us laugh at the obviously dangerous fashions of the past, like painting the face white with lead, and believe that today’s cosmetics represent a huge step forward in both beauty and safety. But the National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, compiled by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in 2001, noted that, while levels of lead in human tissues appear to be declining, there has been a rise in, among other things, levels of mercury.
Mercury-containing ingredients, such as phenylmercuric acetate, are common in cosmetics. Indeed, the same preservative is found in vaccines, toiletries such as soap-free cleansers, antiseptic sprays, makeup remover, eye moisturisers and mascara. These refer to mercury by one of its many synonyms – Mercurochrome, Merthiolate, sodium ethylmercurithiosalicylate, thimerosalate, thiomerosal, merzonin, mertorgan, ethyl (2-mercaptobenzoate-S) or merfamin – which aren’t readily identifiable as mercury (see The Merck Index, 12th edn, 1996, p 1590 for the complete list).
Heavy metals also get into cosmetics in other ways. Often, they are contaminants in pigments and talc. One Finnish study looked at 88 brands of eyeshadow for the presence of lead, cobalt, nickel, chromium and arsenic, and found that 66 (75 per cent) of the products had more than 5 ppm (parts per million) of at least one of these elements. The highest levels of cobalt and nickel were 41 ppm and 49 ppm, respectively – enough to cause an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals (Contact Derm, 2000; 42: 5-10).
In this instance, the elements in these cosmetics were impurities rather than actual listed ingredients, a problem shared by many cosmetics. While the researchers felt that, in most cases, the levels were not enough to cause allergic reactions, a UK study found that chronic exposure to very low levels of arsenic – lower than in the Finnish study – could disrupt hormone levels (Environ Health Perspect, 2001; 109: 5-10).
Sunscreens are also easily absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream, the effects of which are still unknown (Lancet, 1997; 350: 863-4).
Screening chemicals in sun creams, lipsticks and other cosmetics have been revealed by Swiss researchers to be hormone-disrupting chemicals. In lab tests of six common chemicals – benzophenone-3, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC), homoslate, octylmethoxycinnamate, octyldimethyl-PABA and butylmethoxydibenzoylmethane (B-MDM) – all but B-MDM acted like oestrogen in making cancer cells grow more rapidly. Japanese research has also confirmed the oestrogenic potential of sunscreens (Toxicology, 2000; 156: 27-36).
Increasing exposure to endocrine disrupters is associated with a wide range of women’s problems like breast cancer, cystic ovaries and endometriosis. These agents are also associated with problems in men, such as prostate and testicular cancers, and poor semen quality (Sci Total Environ, 1997; 205: 97-106; BMJ, 2001; 323: 1317-8).
Most of us avoid foods that contain artificial colours yet, every day, women paint their faces with a range of artificial colours known to cause health problems.
Artificial colours may be carcinogens (such as all coal-tar dyes) whereas others may contain hidden carcinogenic impurities.
While use of a single makeup product may be ‘safe’, your total daily exposure to coloured products – in soap, shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, toothpaste, deodorant, juices, cereals, pastries, coffee, creamer, even vitamins – may add up to an unacceptable risk.
Checking for harmful dyes in cosmetics is a complex business, made more difficult by the fact that, in Europe, these colours are usually listed by their INCI (International Nomenclature for Cosmetic Ingredients) numbers – usually ‘CI’ followed by five numbers (which is different again from the name given to the same ingredient when used as a food colouring – usually an ‘E’ followed by a number). The only consistent numbers used throughout the world is the CAS (Chemical Abstract Registry) number (see box, p 2).
New colours are being developed all the time, but not with an eye on safety. FD&C red 40 (allura red, CI16035, CAS 25956-17-6, or E129) is a popular addition to eyeshadow. It has been approved and used since 1994 despite the fact that all safety tests were funded and carried out by the manufacturer. Nevertheless, the US National Cancer Institute reports that p-credine, a chemical used in making FD&C red 40, is a carcinogen.
A 75-year-old woman who develops cancer would not assume that her lifetime use of cosmetics was a contributing factor. But increasingly, it appears that cosmetics contribute significantly to the total toxic load, leading to diseases such as cancer, CNS disorders and autoimmune diseases.
Liquid formulas such as foundations often contain carcinogenic nitrosamines, usually from combining formaldehyde-releasing agents such as 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3diol or quaternium-15 and amines such as triethanolamine. The longer the product is on the shelf, the higher the risk of nitrosamine formation.
Most types of makeup also contain the preservative butylhydroxyanisole (BHA), a chemical easily absorbed into the skin and designated a carcinogen by the US National Toxicology Program (NTP). Mascara – especially those that claim to extend your lashes – can contain any number of carcinogenic plasticisers like polyurethane.
Another common ingredient is silica, usually touted as a natural skin-enhancing mineral in spite of the fact that cosmetic silica is synthesised in the lab. Two years ago, crystalline silica (crystalline quartz; also found in cat litter and scouring powders) was added to the NTP list of carcinogens (9th Report on Carcinogens, NTP, May 2000).
While silica may be used in any cosmetic, the most risky are those that are easily inhaled, such as face powder and eyeshadow. The silica commonly used in cosmetics may be contaminated with the carcinogenic crystalline form, but it is impossible to tell which silica-containing products are contaminated. Using any silica-containing product is simply playing cosmetic Russian roulette.
Most makeup – even powder formulations – contain mineral oil to bind the ingredients together, and to provide the base for liquid formulas and lipsticks. Mineral oils were first recognised as carcinogens in 1987. Listed as ‘parafinnumliquidim’ (the stuff that baby oil is made from) or ‘petrolatum’ (petroleum jelly), these highly refined oils have a chequered history. Mineral oils are also thought to increase skin photosensitivity, making it more prone to sun damage.
As the mineral oils in cosmetics are highly refined, scientists can’t tell exactly how dangerous they are to humans. The thinner the oil (as in parafinnumliquidim), the riskier it is thought to be because of the high levels of volatile hydrocarbons thin oils contain. The National Toxicology Program’s carcinogens report notes that analyses of mineral oils used for medicinal and cosmetic purposes reveal the presence of several carcinogenic hydrocarbons known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These include benzo[b]fluoranthene, benzo[k]fluoranthene and benzo[a]pyrene.
The dangers of mineral oils were underscored recently when, in 2001, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission enacted a new law requiring safety caps for all toiletries containing thin mineral oils (parafinnumliquidium), including baby oils and suntan lotions. The move came after a 16-month-old baby in California died after ingesting and inhaling baby oil. The commission noted that during 1997 – 99, 64,000 children under five were brought to the ER with suspected ingestion or inhalation of mineral oil hydrocarbons.
The move was vigorously opposed by the US Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, which argued that only automotive and household chemicals should be forced to have safety caps put on their products. But this argument ignores the fact that the ingredients in toiletries and cosmetics are often exactly the same as those used by the automotive industry and in household cleaners.
When considering the things that influence good health, most of us recognise that environment has an increasingly strong influence on our day-to-day health. We understand pollution from factories and cars, in our water and on the food we eat.
But there is still a lack of awareness of the contributory effects of household and personal-care products, especially cosmetics. Women who wear makeup are exposing themselves for most of the day, and often seven days a week, to an ugly cocktail of allergens, carcinogens, and hormone and CNS disruptors – all in the name of beauty.
Pat Thomas is the author of Cleaning Yourself to Death (Gill & Macmillan, 2001), a comprehensive guide to the toxins in toiletries and cleaning products.
Story from WDDTY:
Published: 01/06/2002 00:00:00 GMT
© WDDTY MMVI
What to watch out for
When selecting kinder cosmetics and toiletries, choose products which do not have any of the following ingredients:
DEA, MEA, TEA. Cause allergic reactions, irritate the eyes and dry the hair and skin. Can be carcinogenic, especially to kidney and liver.Petrolatum, also known as mineral oil jelly, liquid
Vaseline, paraffinumliquidum and baby oil. Can cause photosensitivity and strips the natural oils from the skin, causing chapping and dryness, also premature ageing. Prevents elimination of toxins, can cause acne and other disorders.
Imidazolidinyl urea and DMDM hydantoin. These formaldehyde forming preservatives can cause joint pain, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pain, chronic fatigue, dizziness, insomnia and asthma. Can also weaken the immune system and even cause cancer. Found in skin, body and hair products, antiperspirants and nail polish.
Alcohol, or isopropyl. A poisonous solvent and denaturant (altering the structure of other chemicals). Found in hair colour rinses, body rubs, hand lotions, after shave lotions, fragrances. Can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, flushing, depression. Also, dries skin and hair, creates cracks and fissures in the skin which encourage bacterial growth.
Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) Found in shampoos, hair conditioners, toothpastes, body washes. Strong detergent which can cause eye irritation, permanent damage to the eyes, especially in children, skin rashes, hair loss, flaking skin and mouth ulceration.
When combined with other ingredients, can form nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic. Easily penetrates the skin and can lodge itself in the heart, lungs, liver and brain.
PVP/VA copolymer, a petroleum based ingredient used in hair sprays.
Padimate-O, also known as octyl dimethyl, PABA is found mostly in sunscreens. Like DEA, a nitrosamine forming agent. There is concern that the energy absorbed by this sunscreen is then turned into free radicals, which may actually increase the risk of skin cancer.
Methyl, propyl, butyl and ethyl paraben, used to extend a product’s shelf life and inhibit microbial growth. Highly toxic.Can cause rashes and other allergic reactions.
Synthetic colours: coal-tar dyes are generally labelled as FD&C or D&C followed by a number. Carcinogenic.
Talc, found in baby powders, face powders and body powders as well as on some contraceptives such as condoms.Known carcinogen.A major cause of ovarian cancer when used in the genital area.Can also lodge in the lungs, causing respiratory disorders.
Fragrance. Usually petroleium based. Can cause headaches, dizziness, rashes, respiratory problems, vomiting, skin irritation and multiple chemical sensitivity.
Most cosmetic colours are considered capable of causing cancer – such as D&C reds 2, 3, 4, 10, 17 and 23; and FD&C red 10 and blue 4 – and are banned from US and European cosmetics, but the following carcinogens can be regularly found in illegally imported cosmetics from other countries.
Common name US Europe E number CAS
Pigment red 53 sodium salt D&C red 8 CI15585 – 2092-56-0
Pigment red 53 barium salt D&C red 9 CI15585 – 5160-02-1
Rhodamine B D&C red 19 CI45170 – -
Alizarine cyanine green F D&C green 5 CI61570 – 4403-90-1
Pigment orange 5 D&C orange 17 CI12075 – -
CI Disperse Blue 1 Disperse Blue 1 CI64500 – 2475-45-8
CI Disperse Yellow 3 Disperse Yellow 3 CI3/1185 – 2832-40-8
Fast green FCF FD&C green 3 CI42053 – 2353-45-9
Ponceau SX FD&C red 4 CI14700 – 4548-53-2
Tartrazine FD&C yellow 5 CI19140 E102 1934-21-0
Sunset yellow FD&C yellow 6 CI15985 E110 2781-94-0
Brilliant blue FCF FD&C blue 1 CI42090 E133 3844-45-9
Indigo carmine FD&C blue 2 CI73015 E132 860-22-0
Toxic Chemicals Make Killer Make Up
As any young girl knows from the time she has her first Tinkerbell cosmetic case, makeup is now an essential part of being female. However, a new study—the first of its kind to study cosmetic use in teenagers—shows that even young girls are now contaminated with a toxic brew of chemicals found in cosmetics that can interfere with the normal maturation process and, eventually, even cause cancer.
According to this landmark survey, carried out by the Washington, DC-based non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG), even young teenagers show evidence of the presence of multiple carcinogens and serious hormone disruptors from makeup at levels far higher than reported by government agencies such as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In this 2007 study that lasted for six months, the EWG tested 20 girls, aged 14 to 19 years, from 18 cities scattered across eight US states and the District of Columbia. The researchers identified 16 chemicals in the girls’ blood and urine that are linked to hormone disruption.
Exposure among this age group tended to be higher than among adults, largely because of a heavier use of and experimentation with makeup. The young girls in the sampling used at least 17 products—at least 30 per cent more products than adult women—thereby exposing themselves to 174 chemicals every day, compared with the 168 present in the 12 products used daily on average by adult women.
Of the 25 chemicals that were specifically looked for, 16 (64 per cent) were found in the blood and urine samples of the participants, each of whom was contaminated by 10–15 chemicals apiece—and nine of these chemicals were found in every teen tested.
The 16 chemicals present in these young women came from four chemical families: phthalates; triclosan; musks; and parabens—all of which are known to mimic the activity of hormones. In laboratory studies examining the effects of these chemicals on cell lines and animals, all four chemical families were capable of disrupting the hormonal system (Environ Health Perspect, 1986; 65: 229–35; Environ SciTechnol, 2004; 38: 997–1002; J Toxicol Environ Health, 2005; 68: 239–51). Musks, for instance, have been found to interfere with the communications system of aquatic animals, which is controlled by hormones (Environ SciTechnol, 2004; 38: 997–1002), and parabens have proved to have oestrogenic activity in rats (ToxicolApplPharmacol, 1998; 153: 12–9). Triclosan is also known to adversely affect the thyroid gland (Aquatic Toxicol, 2006; 80: 217–27).
The scientists were also alarmed to note the high levels of parabens, used in cosmetics as preservatives. Every girl studied was contaminated with at least two parabens—methylparaben and propylparaben—both known to be moderate hormone disruptors, and two of the girls were contaminated by all six of the para-bens studied.
As the first study to examine paraben levels in young girls, the high levels found here suggest that parabens form a large part of the chemical burden in the bodies of women from a very young age. This is hardly surprising as this preservative is ubiquitous, present in 90 per cent of all cosmetics.
Of the 11 musks tested by the EWG, researchers found two types: nitromusks and polycyclic. These artificial fragrances are present in anything with a scent—from soap to lipstick. The scientists also noted that levels of the antibacterial agent triclosan were far higher than reported by the CDC. In fact, all of the participants had measurable levels of triclosan, compared with only 78 per cent of teen girls tested by the CDC.
What’s more, although all the girls demonstrated measurable levels of chemicals, the degree of exposure varied considerably, with some carrying a body burden 1000 times higher than others.
Nevertheless, and most interesting of all, the measured levels of certain chemicals did not correspond with the ingredients in the makeup the girls were currently using.
From this finding, the scientists concluded that these agents, including musk, are used in all sorts of personal-care products—from toiletries and shampoos to nail polish—and are now present in most of the population. In a blood-sample study carried out in Germany, for instance, 90 per cent of the samples contained significant levels of these synthetic musks (J Chromatogr B Biomed SciAppl, 1997; 693: 71–8).
The most worrying aspect of these findings is the potential effect of hormone disruptors on a young person’s rapidly changing body. During adolescence, a number of systems—the reproductive, immune, blood and adrenals—are rapidly changing in preparation for maturity, as are also the bones and brain. These rapid changes are accom-plished by an array of hormones present in minuscule amounts—as tiny as 1 part per billion (ppb) and even 1 part per trillion (ppt)—which operate according to an intricate system of signaling. Any hormone able to mimic this activity could wreak havoc on the developing body, as has also been shown in animal studies (ToxicolSci, 2004; 82: 598–607).
Indeed, scientists are particularly concerned that the presence of these hormone mimics may be responsible for the epidemic of premature adolescence in girls. In the US, the onset of breast development now occurs one to two years earlier than it did 40 years ago, with nearly 15 per cent of girls already beginning the process between their eighth and ninth birthdays (Pediatrics, 1997; 99: 505–12). Also, preliminary studies of phthalates show that exposure may be linked to early puberty (Environ Health Perspect, 2000; 108: 895–900).
Furthermore, exposure to these chemicals during puberty may even be a timebomb, causing unusual health effects that are not even seen in adults. Numerous studies show that adolescent rats exposed to phthalates are more likely to have testicular toxicity than adult rats (Environ Health Perspect, 1986; 65: 229–35). Furthermore, based on animal studies, the EWG scientists believe that exposure to chemicals during breast development may predispose the breast to cancer later on.
In animals, parabens have already been linked to breast cancer (Best Pract Res ClinEndocrinolMetab, 2006; 20: 121–43), although this may not be applicable to humans. The various synthetic, nitromusk compounds have also been found to be potentially carcinogenic, increasing the growth of human breast cancer cells in test-tube studies (Arch Environ ContamToxicol, 2002; 43: 257–64).
Phthalates, used in cosmetics such as nail polish—usually those containing fragrance as a solvent—have been found to damage the reproductive system of male rat fetuses in a Scottish study (The Daily Telegraph, 31 August 2008). Furthermore, studies in humans have shown that pre- and perinatal exposure to phthalates (through breast milk, for example) can cause incomplete virilization in infant boys (Environ Health Perspect, 2006; 114: 270–6).
These high levels of exposure don’t simply reflect the use of grownup makeup, but also the widespread use of these toxins in toiletries and household products in general. Furthermore, girls are exposed to them at a very early age, as even play makeup and kiddy perfumes contain large amounts of chemicals (Contact Derm, 1999; 41: 84–8).
At this time, all such products can slip through the very loose net of regulations for cosmetics. Incredibly, in the US, official government health statutes don’t require companies to test products or ingredients for safety before they are sold. Virtually all cosmetics contain ingredients that haven’t been assessed for safety by any agency anywhere and so are not held accountable to any standards.
Of the 20 most common fragrance ingredients on the market, seven have no safety data whatsoever.
Indeed, even though in most European countries cosmetics are subject to more regulations, they are still more lax than those for food—or, indeed, vitamins.
In the UK, more than 100 artificial colours are allowed in lipstick, including coal tars, but not in food—even though coal tar has long been associated with cancer, according to the First Annual Report on Carcinogens (in 1980) from the US National Institutes of Health, and DNA damage in fish (J ToxicolSci, 1979; 4: 211–9).
All the more reason for parents to realize that giving teens the facts of life includes providing them with important safety information about cosmetics, the dangers of which are far more than skin deep.
Cocktails for teens to avoid:
Many ‘organic’ products, such as nail polish, may still contain potential carcinogens. The following chemicals are dangerous for teens (and grownups, too), so always read the labels carefully.
-Phthalates, a solvent found in nail polish and other cosmetics, particularly those with fragrance
-Triclosan, a preservative used in liquid hand soaps and toothpaste
-Artificial fragrances, particularly musk, which accumulate in fat tissue and are slow to clear from the body
-Parabens, preservatives linked to cancer and hormone disruption in animal studies, and particularly found in deodorants
-Hair dyes containing p-phenylenediamine, diaminobenzene and/or all dark permanent hair dyes, which have been linked to cancer in human studies
-Emulsifiers diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA), solvents that are not harmful in themselves, but become dangerous when they react with other ingredients to form nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA), linked to stomach, liver and other cancers
-Nail polish and nail polish removers, which contain formaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen.
Safer products for teens:
For more information on the dangers of cosmetics and toiletries, see WDDTY’s Your Healthy House (£7.95; edited by Lynne McTaggart), available online from www.wddtyhealthshop.com.
List of the More Widely Known Dangerous Ingredients in Body & Food Products
This list only contains the more widely known chemicals and additives in body and food products. There are thousands more in use. Many of the chemicals listed below are suspected or known carcinogens, toxins, hormone disruptors, poisons and contaminates.
Sugar substitute found in pudding, chewing gum, non-dairy creamers, instant coffee mixes, tea mixes and gelatin desserts. May increase cancer in humans.
Also known as Dimethylketone, 2-Propanone, Beta-Ketopropane. Inhalation of moderate to high amounts, even for a short time results in entry of acetone into bloodstream where it is carried to all other organs. Nose, throat, lung and eye irritant, headaches, confusion, increased pulse rate, effects on blood, nausea, vomiting and unconsciousness, coma. Shortens the menstrual cycle in women. Effects of long-term exposure include kidney, liver and nerve damage, increased birth defects, metabolic changes and coma. Found in nail polish remover.
Found in many nail care products. Known to cause cancers in humans and experimental animals.
Acrylamide, produced naturally in some foods when cooked at high temps. Manufactured for use in polyacrylamide gels, sometimes used as a treatment for drinking water and/ or wastewater. Acrylamide causes cancer in animals and in large doses, nerve damage in humans. Smoking is a major acrylamide producer as is frying, deep frying or extended micro-waving.
Implicated in oral cancer. Found in mouthwash, astringent, toothpaste, cleansers.
May reduce sperm count. Found in shampoo and bubble bath.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid
Destroys skin cells and leaves skin more susceptible to damage from the environment and skin cancer. Actually ends up aging skin. Found in anti-aging facial creams and lotions.
Heavy concentrations may be linked to Alzheimer’s dementia. Aluminum is in many antiperspirants and prevalent in water supplies. Processed foods contain dietary aluminum.
Sodium aluminum phosphate appears in pickles, cheese and baking soda.
A photosensitizer with potential to increase risk of sunburn and skin cancer by intensifying UV exposures in deep skin layers. This sensitizer can instigate immune system response that includes itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin. It is also a penetration enhancer which alters the skins’ structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deeper into the skin, thus increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream. Found in body products.
Found in hair color and bleaching kit sensitizer – can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin, lung sensitizer – can instigate immune system response that can include asthma attacks or other problems with the lungs and airways.
Immune system toxin, respiratory toxicant, skin or sense organ toxicant, classified as toxic in one or more government assessments.
Genetically Modified, synthetic sugar substitute. People report dizziness, headaches and even seizures. Scientists believe it can alter behavior due to altered brain function. Long term effects of this genetically modified organism on human health has not been studied or tested. Found as a sweetener in foods and some body products, such as shaving gel. See our Genetically Modified / GMO Foods section for more information.
Benzalkonium chloride, cetrimonium chloride and lauryl dimoniumhydrolysed collagen Found in hair treatment products. Both are toxic and allergenic.
Inhalation of high levels can cause headaches, rapid heart rate, tremors, confusion, unconsciousness and death. Hodgkin’s and Lymphomas result from inhalation. Used in detergents, drugs, pesticides and adhesives.
Inhalation affects nervous system and is moderately toxic by ingestion. Severe eye and skin irritant. Used as a food preservative and in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics
Benzoic / Benzyl / Benzene
Contains carcinogens, endocrine disruptor, may cause birth defects. Found in shower gels, shampoos, bubble bath.
In acne treatments, bar soap, facial cleansers and food additives! Highly toxic/ irritant.
Bisphenol A or BPA
Toxic plastic chemical used as a can lining in brands of some infant formulas. Also found in water bottles, this chemical is used to produce polycarbonate and epoxy plastics. For babies, check food container labels and beware of polycarbonate plastic baby bottles. Chemical reactions can occur when plastic is heated.
BHA – BHT
Banned in other countries, these two preservatives are considered carcinogenic but remain in U.S. manufactured foods that contain oil as they retard rancidity. Found in foods and body products.
May break down into formaldehyde, may form carcinogenic nitrosamines. Found in body products.
Potential breast cancer risk and endocrine disruptor raising concern for impaired fertility or development, increased risk for certain cancers, itching burning and blistering of skin. Found in body products.
Causes cancer in animals. Used in cosmetics, inhalation could cause chemical pneumonitis.
Coal Tar Dyes – (includes D&C Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 33, etc.)
Even though their carcinogenicity has recently been proven, the 1938 Act includes a specific exemption for them. Severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, fatigue, lack of concentration, nervousness, increased risk of Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Found in bubble bath, hair dye, dandruff shampoo, toothpaste and foods. For more information, see the Dyes Commonly Used in Food and Body Product Section.
May contain harmful impurities or form toxic breakdown products, itching, burning and blistering of skin. Synthesized from coconuts, this chemical is found in body products and may be labeled natural or organic.
Formerly the active ingredient in rat poison. A carcinogenic ingredient used in the manufacturing of deodorants, shampoos, skin fresheners and perfumes.
D&C Yellow 11
Found in: Lip gloss, polish remover, nail polish, bath oil/salts/soak, body spray, mositurizer, lipstick, styling gel/lotion, bar soap, after sun products, cologne, nail treatment. Color safe for external use only, found in ingested products, Color not approved for use around eyes, in eye products
A chemical used as a wetting or thickening agent in shampoos, soaps, hairsprays and sunscreens, blocks absorption of the nutrient choline, which is essential to brain development in a fetus.
An additive that tastes like butter causes a serious lung condition called bronchiolitis obliterans, or “popcorn workers’ lung. Found in foods, especially microwave popcorn.
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
A chemical used to keep nail polish from chipping, has been connected to cancer in lab animals as well as long-term fertility issues in newborn boys. Banned in Europe, but still in use in the U.S. Found in nail polish.
A silicone emollient, which coats the skin not allowing toxins out. May promote tumors and accumulate in the liver and lymph nodes. Found in lotions and creams.
Damage and weaken tooth enamel allowing more staining and discoloration to take place. Found in tooth whitening products.
Harmful if swallowed or inhaled, causes irritation to skin, eyes and respiratory tract. Found in cosmetics.
Found in facial cleansers, shampoos and conditioners. Linked to neurotoxicity and immunotoxicity
Contains formaldehyde , an ingredient linked to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity. Allergenic, can be an irritant to eyes skin and lungs. Common in manicure/pedicure products and hair treatment packages.
Found in some mascaras’s suspected as a cause of cancer in humans, based on studies of human populations or laboratory animals.
Suffocates skin by not allowing moisture in or out. Found in facial creams and body lotions.
May contain lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. Accumulates in body and contributes to bone disease. Carcinogenic. Found in toothpastes.
Suspected carcinogen and neurotoxin, it may be fatal if swallowed, absorbed through skin, inhaled or swallowed. Can cause spasms, edema, chemical pneumonitis and is extremely destructive to tissue of the mucous membrane, this chemical is found in many nail care products. Known to cause cancers in humans and experimental animals. Found in baby shampoo, bubble bath, deodorants, perfume, cologne, hair dye, mouthwash, toothpaste, hair spray, nail polish.
Some perfumes / fragrances contain hundreds of chemicals. Some, such as methylene chloride are carcinogenic. Some cause brain damage or are neurotoxins. Avoid unless you can be sure they are not carcinogenic.
Penetration enhancer which alters skin structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deeper into the skin, increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream, skin or sense organs. As a sensitizer it can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin. Toxicant, neurotoxin, kidney toxicant, gastrointestinal or liver toxicant. Found in creams, lotions, cosmetics.
GMO/Genetically Modified Organism
Plants, animals or foods that have been genetically modified, genetically engineered or BT/Biotechnology modified. Genetic engineering enables scientists to create plants, animals and micro-organisms by manipulating genes in a way that does not occur naturally. Minimal testing shows that animals fed GMO feed, refuse to eat it. When force-fed the feed (corn, soy, tomatoes etc.) the animals developed stomach lesions and malformations of organs. GMO food is not labeled as such in the U.S. Almost all other countries have banned the use of GMO in food and body products due to insufficient testing. See GMO section for more information.
Found in styling gel/lotions. Unsafe for use in cosmetics according to the fragrance industry’s International Fragrance Association.
High Fructose Corn Syrup/HFCS
High fructose consumption has been fingered as a causative factor in heart disease. It raises blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. It makes blood cells more prone to clotting, and it may also accelerate the aging process. See Sugars, Insulin Resistance and Glycemic Index section for more information.
Hydrogenated/Partially Hydrogenated Oils
Hydrogenated oils contain high levels of trans fats. A trans fat is an otherwise normal fatty acid that has been radically changed by high heat. Trans fats are poison: just like arsenic. Partially hydrogenated oils will not only kill you in the long term by producing diseases like multiple sclerosis and allergies that lead to arthritis, but in the meantime they will make you fat! See Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils section for more information
A severely toxic and very powerful chemical. Banned in the United Kingdom, but still used in the U.S. Found in skin lightening products and hair dyes, this chemical alters the skins natural structure inhibiting the production of Melanin. Without natural protection, the skin is more susceptible to skin cancer. Prolonged use of Hydroquinone will thicken collagen fibers damaging the connective tissues. The result is rough blotchy skin leaving it with a spotty caviar