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Toxins in Beauty Products

Tethys41's picture
Posts: 1323
Joined: Sep 2010

I know many of us are trying to reduce the risk factors in our lives to help our bodies fight cancer or to keep ourselves in remission. One area, that I think does not get the attention it deserves is beauty products and hair coloring. I received this information in an e-mail today regarding risks for breast cancer, but I think it pertains to all of us:

Many chemicals, however, are much more common and daily exposure can be routine. In his book, Exposed, Mark Shapiro makes the case:

...the sheer abundance of toxins to which women are routinely exposed - through cosmetics as well as numerous other products - prompted the Breast Cancer Fund, a nonprofit group of health-care advocates, to assert that as many as one-half of new breast cancer cases cannot be explained by known risk factors, such as genetic predisposition, smoking, or estrogen hormone-replacement therapies. The group claims that chemicals may be a significant contributing factor. A study by the University of Southern California School of Medicine concluded that women who use hair dyes at least once a month for a year are twice as likely to develop bladder cancer than women who do not; those who use it for fifteen years or longer face triple risk. The Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute cautions that some substances in cosmetics mimic the female hormone estrogen, and that such additives in hair-care products may be contributing to otherwise inexplicable incidences of breast cancer among African American women (the primary users of such hair treatments) under the age of forty. Other common substances in cosmetics include what a growing number of scientists suggest may be endocrine-disrupting chemicals, mutagens, and reproductive toxins.

So in March 2005, when the seventh amendment to the EU's [European Union] Cosmetics Directive (originally passed in 1976) came into force, requiring that all "products intended to be placed in contact with the various external parts of the human body" would henceforth be subject to scientific review, a message came out of every bottle and tube. The mystery behind beauty products' magic was laid bare: Cosmetics are far more dependent on synthetic chemicals than on natural "essences" of anything. The seventh amendment mandates that chemicals determined to be carcinogens, mutagens, or reproductive toxins - known collectively as CMRs - be removed from cosmetics sold in Europe.

poopergirl14052's picture
Posts: 1185
Joined: Nov 2010

the toxins here too. It is amazing how many carcinigens lurk in our everyday life and many people are unaware. Even the wood on your deck is treated with arsenic. Sometimes I wish I could live in a bubble,,call me bubblegirl instead of poopergirl..lol..val

Posts: 1995
Joined: May 2003

I had heard for years about the suspected link of hair dyes to certain diseases, such as with the kidneys. Then some years ago I started hearing about the chemicals used in make-up and facial products that can increase estrogen, have toxins, etc. So I have tried (as much as is financially possible) to use products that have little or no risks. My favorite website to check out products before I buy is http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/?nothanks=1. It used to be www.cosmeticsdatabase.com and I think you can still get to it that way. You can search by product, by ingredient, or by brand. They rate it on a scale, with the highest value being the worst risk. And they explain what the risks are. It's an absolutely wonderful, informative website. Ironcially, what I thought were 'pure' products turned out not to be.


Tethys41's picture
Posts: 1323
Joined: Sep 2010

Thanks Monika,
That's a great website. My shampoo, which I thought was uber safe, is only moderately so. I'm going to check this site before buying any beauty products.

Radioactive34's picture
Posts: 389
Joined: May 2011

What I find scarier is that the natural or homeopathic stuff has things that definitely do not sound like they are natural. When I was checking the suggestions for vaginal dryness, some of the natural stuff was so not natural.

I really had to read the labels and look past it's claim of all natural.

jbeans888's picture
Posts: 313
Joined: Mar 2011

Are there toxins in regular or liquid eye liner? I have always been curious about that because I use both and after I was my makeup of I am always pulling out eye crusts that are black from the eye liners.

LaundryQueen's picture
Posts: 682
Joined: Mar 2011

I like Dr. Hauschka's products--the company is German & the products were developed based on the principles of anthroposophical medicine. They are not cheap and probably not good for people who have nut or food allergies. Some people can't use natural products because of allergies.

Tethys41's picture
Posts: 1323
Joined: Sep 2010

I would try checing the eye liner you use on the website listed above in this thread. I think it would depend on the brand, not necessarily the type of beauty product.

AnneBehymer's picture
Posts: 739
Joined: Jul 2011

Today I went to this tea party hosted by face in the mirrow it is great they gave me make-up and skin care products that are all natireal (i know i did not spell that right chemo brain) it has not toxin in it and as long as I am in treatment they will supply them free of charge to help with my skin care it is a great program.


jazzy1's picture
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

You know our skin is the "largest organ in our bodies". Therefore, we tend to forget that we can absorb all the cosmetics, lotions and deodorants directly into our bodies from our external skin.

I was introduced to EWG.org and the sub-caption under SKIN DEEP. Go to this area and you can review many products by their ingredients or product names, and come up with a number rating on how safe they might be. Also, you can enter new products into the system and spit out a rating. I always shoot for products 1 to 2 rating. For instance, I've gone thru all my daily shampoos, cosmetics, toothpaste, floss, antiperspirant, body lotions, hair sprays, etc, etc. via this website. Most of the major brands such as Vaseline body lotion, L'Oreal hair dye, Maybelline mascara and eyeshadow, VO5 shampoo, Arid deodorant, etc, are all so harsh with rating of 5+...very bad! I've found even many of the products in Whole Foods aren't that great, so be cautious!!

What I did was change most of the products I've listed to products in the 0-2 range. You'll be surprised what you find.

If anyone wants to know what I researched and am using today, happy to post. It's a lot of work but know these harsh products do have cancer causing ingredients....yikes!!! Gotta cover all parts in our lives, beside the foods we eat.

Best to everyone,

2timothy1 7's picture
2timothy1 7
Posts: 348
Joined: Jan 2012

Jazzy1 I would be curious to know the brand of face makeup and lotion that you recommend.

ConnieSW's picture
Posts: 1300
Joined: Jun 2012

Jazzy, I checked this site out and feel overwhelmed. Maybe I should just stay bald and not worry about hair care products. I definitely look better with makeup but could give that up too I suppose. Washing? Brushing teeth? Sun screens (have had basal cell skin ca)? How on earth did you sort this all out?

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