The average woman uses 12 personal care products a day containing a staggering 168 different chemicals according to a recent article by Claudia Tanner for Mail online (April 2017).
For many years I have tried to limit the amount of products containing parabens from entering my bathroom. Since giving birth in 2013 I decided that I would only use 'paraben free' products on my daughter and was quite surprised to find I didn't need to spend a small fortune. 'Little Angels', a baby skincare range found in Asda stores are paraben free.
Now I realise it's not just parabens we need to worry about the list is growing. I wanted to learn more about the chemicals and thought I would share my findings with you. My research found that most of the chemicals used in personal products had links to causing various types of cancers. Whether you use a wide range of skin care or personal products on yourself or on your child we all need to learn more about the side effects, dangers and alternative products.
Parabens - Preservatives found in hundreds of beauty products including makeup, deodorants, moisturisers, shampoos and nail enamel. One of the biggest fears connected to the use of products containing parabens is breast cancer in women, lower sperm counts and less testosterone in men compared to those using products not containing parabens.
Coal tar - Often found in dandruff shampoos, creams, ointments and soaps. The EU has banned the use of coal tar in cosmetics, so when purchasing any of these products abroad do be aware of the products contents.
Toluene - Used within nail and hair dyes, it is a petrochemical solvent and paint thinner. It is an irritant and neurotoxic capable of causing breathing difficulties.
Methylisothiazolinone - Often found in many liquid forms of beauty products. Makeup removers, liquid soaps, detergents, body washes, hair colours, baby lotions, baby shampoos, hairspray and detergents. Like coal tar this substance has been banned by EU and like before be careful when purchasing abroad or outside EU.
P-phenylenediamine - Plastics used in hair dyes and research suggests they can cause skin reactions, organ system toxicity and possibly cancer.
Phenoxyethanol - Often found within beauty products and personal care. Perfume, makeup, hand sanitisers, deodorants, baby wipes, sunscreens and lotions. Can result in eczema and some severe life-threatening allergic reactions.
Oxybenzone - A chemical that mimics hormones, that is easily obsorbed and linked to hormone-related cancer in men and women. Found in products containing SPF, suncreams, lip balms and many other products containing SPF. Research showed oxybensone is linked to allergic reactions, early puberty in girls, low sperm count and male infertility.
Mineral Oil - Highly used ingredient found in many cosmetic products. Mineral oil and petroleum have the same origins as fossil fuels. Mineral oil sits on the skin and can block pores increasing bad skin, acne and blocked pores.
So why are some of these chemicals still used in our personal skin care products?
Chemicals preserve products, therefore enabling us to keep them for a long length of time.
I know my products are used daily and therefore I don't feel the need to have these nasty preservatives in my products, they are often replaced before they could possibly go out of date.
So what products are better for our health?
In recent years many companies have ditched the harmful chemicals and still produce amazing products. I found out about a few of my favourite products:
- Phenom range is '5 free'. This phrase relates to the 5 potentially toxic chemicals that, have been avoided in the production of the nail polish. Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde resin, Camphor are the 5 chemicals.
(hair care) - (RAW - Real, authentic and wholesome) an honest, natural origin hair care range with up to 97% natural origin, up to 99% biodegradable, no sulfates, no silicones, no parabens, no artificial colourants, traceable ingredient source and colour safe.
(skin care) - available in department stores, pharmacies and spas in over 50 countries around the world. Launched in 2000, uses only 100% plant and mineral derived actives and is free from skin-unfriendly synthetic ingredients.
I could add so many brands that are chemical free, but I will leave that for you to now research chemical free products. Don't be fooled by products claiming to be 'Organic' as products only need to have 1% organic ingredients to call itself 'organic'. So when choosing products ensure you read the ingredients contained in the product. Start now by going into your bathroom and take a look at the contents of your shampoo or bubble bath. It's frightening when you become aware to just how many chemicals are in your bathroom because you put them there!