Posted by: ourcrunchyfamily | January 2, 2014

The Dangers of Toxic Skin and Hair Care

It’s been a long time since posting on the blog, with the busyness of a family, along with a million other things, it is hard to find the time! But I’ve promised a blog post on natural soaps/shampoos, and have been itching to start writing again anyways.

I have written a lot on baby skin/hair care, but have not yet covered what us adults could be doing to care for our skin and hair more naturally. If you think about it, and this is especially true for women, we put loads of products on our skin and hair each day, and we barely bat an eye at the list of chemicals written on the various bottles, pumps, jars and containers that house these products. A lot of us wear makeup, we put product in our hair, we wash and condition our hair, we use deodorant or antiperspirant, we use moisturizer, sunblock, hand soap, body wash, shaving cream, and the list goes on. Alarmingly, many studies show that the skin readily absorbs a number of things, which may mean that it is absorbing some, if not all, of the chemical-based products we put onto it every day. And, moreover, what’s absorbed by the skin does not get detoxified by the kidneys and liver like it would if it had come through your digestive system, as they enter the blood without being broken down.[1]

I would like to run you through a scenario here, just to prove a point. I have looked up the ingredients in a number of popular brands of skin/hair care products, and will show you what a typical person may absorb into the body on a typical day.

Products: Ingredients: Concerns associated with some of these ingredients:
You wake up and shower, using lovely smelling shampoo, conditioner and a sweet smelling, sudsy body wash.
  • FRAGRANCE
  • DMDM HYDANTOIN COCAMIDE MEA
  • COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE
  • POLYSORBATE-20
  • TOCOPHERYL ACETATE
  • SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE
  • GLYCOL DISTEARATE
  • PANTHENOL
  • GUAR HYDROXYPROPYLTRIMONIUM CHLORIDE
  • POLYQUATERNIUM-47
  • HYDROLYZED SILK
  • BIOTIN
  • NIACINAMIDE
  • ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C)
  • DISODIUM EDTA
  • WATER
  • SODIUM CHLORIDE
  • FRAGRANCE
  • LILIAL
  • BUTYLPHENYL METHLYPROPRIONAL
  • AMYLCINNAMALDEHYDE
  • GERANIOL
  • DMDM HYDANTOIN (FORMALDEHYDE RELEASER)
  • LIMONENE
  • LINALOOL
  • HEXYL CINNAMAL
  • PEG-9
  • POLYSORBATE-20
  • QUATERNIUM-18
  • CYCLOPENTASILOXANE
  • TOCOPHERYL ACETATE
  • DIMETHICONE
  • CYCLOHEXASILOXANE
  • HYDROLYZED KERATIN
  • CITRIC ACID
  • AVOBENZONE
  • BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE
  • STEARAMIDOPROPYL DIMETHYLAMINE
  • ISOSTEARAMIDOPROPYL ETHYLDIMONIUM ETHOSULFATE
  • CETYL ALCOHOL
  • PANTHENOL
  • STEARYL ALCOHOL
  • ASPARTIC ACID
  • OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) OIL
  • OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) FRUIT OIL
  • ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C)
  • NIACINAMIDE
  • BIOTIN
  • DISODIUM EDTA
  • WATER
  • FRAGRANCE
  • DMDM HYDANTOIN (FORMALDEHYDE RELEASER)
  • IODOPROPYNYL BUTYLCARBAMATE
  • METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE
  • COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE
  • SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE
  • TALLOW FATTY ACID
  • TALLOW ACID
  • STEARIC ACID
  • GLYCERIN
  • SODIUM LAUROYL ISETHIONATE
  • SODIUM ISETHIONATE
  • DISODIUM EDTA
  • LAURIC ACID
  • WATER
  • SODIUM CHLORIDE
Cancer, Allergies/Immunotoxicity,
Irritation (skin, eyes, lungs), Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Neurotoxicity, Ecotoxicology, Endocrine Disruption, Persistence and bioaccumulation.
You dry off, and put on some antiperspirant and moisturizer.
  • FRAGRANCE
  • ALUMINUM ZIRCONIUM TETRACHLOROHYDREX GLYCINE COMPLEX, ANHYDROUS
  • ALUMINUM ZIRCONIUM TETRACHLOROHYDREX GLY (19%) (ANHYDROUS)
  • PETROLATUM
  • CYCLOPENTASILOXANE
  • TOCOPHERYL ACETATE
  • TALC
  • C12-15 ALKYL BENZOATE
  • CYCLODEXTRIN
  • PHENYL TRIMETHICONE
  • STEARYL ALCOHOL
  • PPG-14 BUTYL ETHER
  • PANTHENYL TRIACETATE
  • OZOKERITE
  • ACETYL GLUCOSAMINE
  • HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL
  • BEHENYL ALCOHOL
  • PROPYLPARABEN
  • FRAGRANCE
  • RETINYL ACETATE (VITAMIN A ACETATE)
  • CETEARETH-20
  • DMDM HYDANTOIN (FORMALDEHYDE RELEASER)
  • PETROLATUM
  • LECITHIN
  • METHYLPARABEN
  • TOCOPHERYL ACETATE
  • CYCLOPENTASILOXANE
  • ETHANOL
  • ALCOHOL
  • MINERAL OIL
  • DIMETHICONE
  • SODIUM HYDROXIDE
  • ALUMINUM STARCH OCTENYLSUCCINATE
  • CETEARYL ALCOHOL
  • STEARIC ACID
  • GLYCERYL DILAURATE
  • MAGNESIUM ASCORBYL PHOSPHATE
  • GLYCERIN
  • CARBOMER
  • WATER
Ecotoxicology, Irritation (eyes, skin, lungs), Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Cancer, Endocrine Disruption, Neurotoxicity
Persistence and bioaccumulation, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Biochemical or cellular level changes.
You put some product in your hair.
  • FRAGRANCE
  • SD ALCOHOL 40
  • PEG-12 DIMETHICONE
  • CYCLOPENTASILOXANE
  • POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE
  • DIMETHYL ETHER
  • PANTHENOL
  • ACRYLATES CROSSPOLYMER
  • AMMONIUM BENZOATE
  • DIISOBUTYL ADIPATE
  • WATER
Ecotoxicology, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Irritation (skin, eyes, lungs), Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Cancer, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Endocrine disruption, Neurotoxicity, Persistence and bioaccumulation.
You put some makeup on (for this example, we used tinted moisturizer only, and still look at all the chemicals!).
  • PROPYLPARABEN
  • FRAGRANCE
  • RETINYL ACETATE (VITAMIN A ACETATE)
  • TITANIUM DIOXIDE (sunscreen grade)
  • (Active Ingredient)
  • OCTINOXATE
  • (Active Ingredient)
  • BHT
  • ETHYLPARABEN
  • METHYLPARABEN
  • PHENOXYETHANOL
  • PEG-75 STEARATE
  • POLYSORBATE-20
  • PEG-100 STEARATE
  • STEARETH-20
  • CYCLOPENTASILOXANE
  • TOCOPHERYL ACETATE
  • DIMETHICONE
  • OCTISALATE
  • (Active Ingredient)
  • CETETH-20
  • IRON OXIDES
  • TETRASODIUM EDTA
  • SILICA, AMORPHOUS
  • RETINAL
  • GLYCERYL MONOSTEARATE
  • GLYCERYL STEARATE
  • CETEARYL ALCOHOL
  • BUTYLENE GLYCOL
  • OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) FRUIT
  • OLIVE FRUIT EXTRACT (OLEA EUROPAEA)
  • SCLEROTIUM GUM
  • ISOSTEARYL PALMITATE
  • POLYSILICONE-11
  • AMMONIUM POLYACRYLDIMETHYLTAURAMIDE
  • AMMONIUM POLYACRYLATEDIMETHYL TAURAMIDE
  • LAUROYL LYSINE
  • ARGININE HYDROCHLORIDE
  • ARGININE HCL
  • ISOPROPYL ISOSTEARATE
  • ERYTHORBIC ACID
  • WATER
Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Ecotoxicology, Endocrine disruption, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Irritation (skin, eyes, lungs), Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Biochemical or cellular level changes, Cancer,
Persistence and bioaccumulation
You put on chapstick and sunblock before heading out the door.
  • PROPYLPARABEN
  • OXYBENZONE
  • (Active Ingredient)
  • TITANIUM DIOXIDE (sunscreen grade)
  • OCTINOXATE
  • (Active Ingredient)
  • BHT
  • FLAVOR
  • WHITE PETROLATUM
  • (Active Ingredient)
  • METHYLPARABEN
  • TOCOPHERYL ACETATE
  • VITAMIN E ACETATE
  • MINERAL OIL
  • ALUMINA
  • ISOPROPYL LANOLATE
  • SILICA, AMORPHOUS
  • CETYL ALCOHOL
  • PARAFFIN
  • TRIACETIN
  • ETHYLHEXYL PALMITATE
  • ISOCETYL STEARATE
  • ISOPROPYL MYRISTATE
  • LANOLIN
  • SACCHARIN
  • ALOE BARBADENSIS (ALOE VERA) LEAF EXTRACT
  • ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF EXTRACT
  • C8-C10 TRIGLYCERIDES
  • MEDIUM CHAIN TRIGLYCERIDES
  • POLYHYDROXYSTEARIC ACID
  • COPERNICIA CERIFERA (CARNAUBA) WAX
  • BEESWAX
  • WHITE WAX
  • FRAGRANCE
  • OXYBENZONE
  • (Active Ingredient)
  • BENZYL ALCOHOL
  • TRIETHANOLAMINE
  • HOMOSALATE
  • (Active Ingredient)
  • OCTOCRYLENE
  • (Active Ingredient)
  • OCTISALATE
  • (Active Ingredient)
  • PROPYLENE GLYCOL
  • OLETH-3
  • STYRENE/ ACRYLATES COPOLYMER
  • CHLORPHENESIN
  • AVOBENZONE
  • (Active Ingredient)
  • TOCOPHEROL
  • NEOPENTYL GLYCOL DIHEPTANOATE
  • BIS STEARYL/ETHYLENEDIAMINE/NEOPENTYL GLYCOL/STEARYL HYDROGENATED DIMER DILIONLEATE COPOLYMER
  • BIS-STEARYL ETHYLENEDIAMINE/NEOPENTYL GLYCOL/STEARYL HYDROGENATED DIMER DILINOLEATE COPOLYMER
  • ACRYLATES/ C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER
  • DISODIUM EDTA
  • WATER
Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Ecotoxicology, Endocrine disruption, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Biochemical or cellular level changes, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Persistence and bioaccumulation, Cancer,
Irritation (skin, eyes, lungs).
Before lunch, you wash your hands.
  • FRAGRANCE
  • TRICLOSAN
  • DMDM HYDANTOIN (FORMALDEHYDE RELEASER)
  • PEG-7 GLYCERYL COCOATE
  • COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE
  • PEG-120 METHYL GLUCOSE DIOLEATE
  • FD&C YELLOW 5
  • SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE
  • POLYQUATERNIUM-7
  • SULISOBENZONE
  • BENZOPHENONE-4
  • TETRASODIUM EDTA
  • CITRIC ACID
  • DECYL GLUCOSIDE
  • D&C GREEN 5
  • WATER
  • SODIUM CHLORIDE
Ecotoxicology, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Irritation (skin, eyes, lungs), Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Endocrine disruption, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Cancer.
After stepping out of the grocery store, you use an alcohol based sanitizer to disinfect.
  • FRAGRANCE
  • TOCOPHERYL ACETATE
  • ETHANOL
  • ETHYL ALCOHOL
  • (Active Ingredient)
  • AMINOMETHYL PROPANOL
  • FD&C BLUE 1
  • BLUE 1 (CI 42090)
  • PROPYLENE GLYCOL
  • ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL
  • FD&C YELLOW 5 ALUMINUM LAKE
  • YELLOW 5 LAKE (CI 19140)
  • ISOPROPYL MYRISTATE
  • ALOE BARBADENSIS (ALOE VERA) JUICE
  • ALOE BARBADENSIS (ALOE VERA LEAF) JUICE
  • GLYCERIN
  • DIISOPROPYL SEBACATE
  • DIISPROPYL SEBACATE
  • CARBOMER
  • WATER
Ecotoxicology, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Irritation (eyes, skin, lungs), Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Cancer, Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Persistence and bioaccumulation.
Before bed, you wash your face, and possibly use makeup remover.
  • FRAGRANCE
  • COCAMIDE DEA
  • DMDM HYDANTOIN (FORMALDEHYDE RELEASER)
  • COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE
  • PEG-120 METHYL GLUCOSE DIOLEATE
  • AMINOMETHYL PROPANOL
  • TETRASODIUM EDTA
  • CITRIC ACID
  • SODIUM COCOYL SARCOSINATE
  • GLYCOL STEARATE
  • DECYL GLUCOSIDE
  • LAURYL GLUCOSIDE
  • GLYCERETH-7
  • GLYCERIN
  • WATER
  • FRAGRANCE
  • CETEARETH-20
  • CETEARETH-12
  • PHENOXYETHANOL
  • CYCLOPENTASILOXANE
  • SODIUM BENZOATE
  • TETRASODIUM EDTA
  • CITRIC ACID
  • CETEARYL ALCOHOL
  • GLYCERYL MONOSTEARATE
  • GLYCERYL STEARATE
  • CETYL PALMITATE
  • C13-15 ISOPARAFFIN
  • COCO-GLUCOSIDE
  • CETEARYL ISONONANOATE
  • GLYCERIN
  • WATER
Ecotoxicology, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Irritation (eyes, skin, lungs), Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Cancer, Endocrine Disruption, Neurotoxicity, Persistence and bioaccumulation.

(All of these ingredients as well as their list of concerns was taken from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database, found at www.ewg.org/skindeep. You can also look up any one of your regular products on this website to find out its rating and the chemicals it contains, and you can also look up any one of the individual chemicals/ingredients listed above on the website.)

Although this is just a sample of what chemicals may be absorbed into your body on a daily basis, perhaps you use more, or maybe less, than what has been listed here, this is just provided as a sample/average daily use of skin/hair care products. If you use any/all/more than these products every day, think about what might be absorbed into your body!

I’m not going to tell you to stop washing your hair, using antiperspirant, and putting makeup on your skin, but I want to convert all of you from chemical hair and body care, to pure and natural products. There are SO MANY other options out there, there is no need to continue putting all of these chemicals into your body! The next few blog posts I plan to write will discuss natural hair and body care, and natural cosmetics and beauty products, including which products are safe, and what you can make yourself for a fraction of the cost of those chemical laden store bought products.

Today, I will start with hand soap, because it is honestly the easiest thing you will ever make yourself (and pretty cheap too!).

Hand Soap Recipe

(Note: you need a foaming dispenser for this one! If I need one, I just buy a natural foaming hand soap and reuse the dispenser by making my own refills. Or you can order foaming soap dispensers online)

Here is Environmental Working Group’s list of foaming hand soaps, rated according to toxicity, to give you an idea of which to buy: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/search.php?query=foaming+hand+soap&h=Search

Recipe:

  1. Fill your foaming soap dispenser almost all the way to the top with water.
  2. Add a few tablespoons of liquid castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s, found in the natural/organic aisle of my local grocery store)
  3. If you are not using a scented castile soap, you can add some essential oil for scent (just a few drops is all that is needed)
  4. Close the bottle and shake a little to mix ingredients

You are done! Takes maybe a minute, if even that, and the ingredients are pure and natural, non-toxic, and cheap (I know some of you will argue with me that Dr. Bronner’s can be expensive, but you only ever need to use a little at a time, so comparatively, it is cheaper!).

Ta da! A cheap, easy, and chemical free way to keep your hands clean! By the way, this also doubles as a body wash! If you’d like it to be a little stronger, you can increase the ratio of castile soap, and you can add a little oil (olive, almond, jojoba, etc…).

Happy washing!

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