Did you know that a company can hide up to 100 different chemicals under the term "fragrance/parfum"? If you see this listed on your product, proceed with caution!
Read this article from the NIH:
Contrary to popular belief, most exposure to hazardous pollutants that affect health and well-being occurs indoors (Ott et al., 2007, Brown, 2007). A primary source of these indoor pollutants and exposures is common fragranced consumer products, such as air fresheners, cleaning products, laundry supplies, and personal care products (Cheng et al., 2015, Nazaroff and Weschler, 2004, Steinemann et al., 2011).
Exposure to fragranced products has been associated with a range of adverse human health effects, including migraine headaches, contact dermatitis, asthma attacks, respiratory difficulties, and mucosal symptoms (e.g., Kelman, 2004, Caress and Steinemann, 2009, Elberling et al., 2005, Millqvist et al., 1999, Johansen, 2003, Kumar et al., 1995).
Propylene Glycol is an ingredient in ANTIFREEZE, paint and electronic cigarettes. This ingredient comes with risks for skin irritation and should never be used on infants or pregnant women especially.
Check out this article from NIH on Propylene Glycol Toxicity in Children:
"Propylene glycol (PG) is a commonly used solvent for oral, intravenous, and topical pharmaceutical agents. Although PG is generally considered safe, when used in high doses or for prolonged periods, PG toxicity can occur. Reported adverse effects from PG include central nervous system (CNS) toxicity, hyperosmolarity, hemolysis, cardiac arrhythmia, seizures, agitation, and lactic acidosis. Patients at risk for toxicity include infants, those with renal or hepatic insuficiency, epilepsy, and burn patients receiving extensive dermal applications of PG containing products."
"Parabens are a group of chemicals widely used as artificial preservatives in cosmetic and body care products since the 1920s. Since cosmetics contain ingredients that can biodegrade, these chemicals are added to prevent and reduce the growth of harmful bacteria and mold, increasing the shelf life of the product. The concern with these chemicals is that scientific studies suggest that parabens can disrupt hormones in the body and harm fertility and reproductive organs, affect birth outcomes, and increase the risk of cancer. They can also cause skin irritation. Moreover, studies have detected parabens in nearly all urine samples taken from adults in the U.S., regardless of demographic (Ye 2006)."
"Parabens are used as preservatives in some cosmetic products, but so-called “long-chained” parabens can act as estrogens and disrupt hormone signaling. A recent study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3855500/) by scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health linked one type of paraben to impaired fertility in women. Read the labels carefully to spot products that contain parabens, especially the long-chained varieties—propylparaben, isopropylparaben, butylparaben and isobutylparaben." --EWG
This is a penetration enhancer which means it allows for other bad ingredients to more easily absorb into your skin.
"Sodium laureth sulfate (sometimes referred to as SLES) is used in cosmetics as a detergent and also to make products bubble and foam. It is common in shampoos, shower gels and facial cleansers. It is also found in household cleaning products, like dish soap.
Depending on manufacturing processes, sodium laureth sulfate may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. i The International Agency for Research on Cancer ethylene oxide as a known human carcinogen and 1,4-dioxane as a possible human carcinogen. Ethylene oxide can also harm the nervous system iiand the California Environmental Protection Agency has classified it as a possible developmental toxicant based on evidence that it may interfere with human development. iii 1,4-dioxane is also persistent. In other words, it doesn’t easily degrade and can remain in the environment long after it is rinsed down the shower drain. 1,4-dioxane can be removed from cosmetics during the manufacturing process by vacuum stripping, but there is no easy way for consumers to know whether products containing sodium laureth sulfate have undergone this process. iv
The industry panel that reviews the safety of cosmetics ingredients notes that sodium laureth sulfate can irritate the skin and eyes (though approving of its use in cosmetics). v
Health Canada has categorized sodium laureth sulfate as a “moderate human health priority” and flagged it for future assessment under the government’s Chemicals Management Plan."
"Scientific studies link phthalate exposure to reproductive abnormalities in baby boys, reduced testosterone and sperm quality in men and early puberty in girls. Animal experiments underscore their toxicity to the reproductive system. Where might you encounter these pernicious chemicals? In some cosmetics fragrance mixtures. Since the law doesn’t require full disclosure, you have no way to know when phthalates lurk in that bottle of lotion. To be on the safe side, buy unscented personal care products."--EWG
"Some cosmetics chemicals are designed to react with water in the bottle to generate a little formaldehyde, a preservative, to keep the product from growing mold and bacteria. But formaldehyde is a potent allergen which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization consider carcinogenic. Formaldehyde releasers include DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, and quaternium-15. Where do you find them? Shampoos, conditioners, bubble bath and other personal care products—even those intended for children. A 2010 study found that nearly one fifth of cosmetic products contained a formaldehyde releaser."--EWG
"Triclosan is a bacteria-killing chemical used in toothpastes (to prevent gingivitis), liquid hand soaps, body washes, clothing, cutting boards and other household goods. It has been shown to interfere with thyroid signaling and male and female sex hormone signaling. Triclocarban is the active ingredient in some antibacterial bar soaps. Researchers have linked it to reproductive abnormalities in laboratory animals. The federal Food and Drug Administration announced that these chemicals should not be considered safe or effective in antibacterial soaps and body washes and gave manufacturers time to substantiate their claims or phase them out of the market [https://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2013/12/fda-trying-again-clean-your-hand-soap]. "--EWG
According to EWG, this preservative has been found in breast tumors. It's been linked to hormone disruptions, reproductive issues, allergic reactions and more.
"Parabens are a family of related chemicals that are commonly used as preservatives in cosmetic products. Preservatives may be used in cosmetics to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and mold, in order to protect both the products and consumers.
The parabens used most commonly in cosmetics are methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and ethylparaben.
Product ingredient labels typically list more than one paraben in a product, and parabens are often used in combination with other types of preservatives to better protect against a broad range of microorganisms.
FDA doesn’t have special rules that apply only to preservatives in cosmetics. The law treats preservatives in cosmetics the same as other cosmetic ingredients."
"Personal care products are the greatest contributors to paraben exposure, as seen in studies comparing paraben levels in the bodies of women, men, adolescents and children who regularly use cosmetics and those who do not. Adolescent girls who wear makeup every day had 20 times the levels of propylparaben in their urine compared to those who never or rarely wear makeup (Berger 2018). The use of body and face lotions, hair products, sunscreens and makeup have all been predictors of and correlated with remarkably increased levels of urinary parabens (Sahki 2018, Nassan 2017, Braun 2014 and Fisher 2017).
Parabens can act like the hormone estrogen in the body and disrupt the normal function of hormone systems affecting male and female reproductive system functioning, reproductive development, fertility and birth outcomes. Parabens can also interfere with the production of hormones."
"Retinoic acid is used in anti-aging skin creams. Retinyl palmitate, a related chemical, is added to roughly one-quarter of the sunscreens in EWG’s Guide to Sunscreens database. U.S. government scientists have found that these chemicals speed the development of cancerous lesions on sun-exposed skin. The results suggest that people who go out in the sun while wearing retinyl palmitate creams and sunscreens may be at an increased risk for skin cancer. Instead of restricting these chemicals immediately, the FDA has ordered additional testing. EWG recommends that you avoid products containing retinoic acid and retinyl palmitate." EWG
"Some hair straighteners can contain as much as 10 % pure formaldehyde. The cosmetic industry’s own scientific advisory board has warned against formaldehyde-based hair straighteners. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued warnings and fines to numerous salons that use them, exposing their workers to intense, and potentially cancer-causing, formaldehyde fumes. Some nations ban formaldehyde-based hair straighteners. Yet some small companies persist in making and selling them to unwitting consumers, and the FDA has failed to take punitive action. People who want to straighten their hair or undergo a “smoothing” treatment should find out if the salon uses a product containing formaldehyde, also called methylene glycol. If it does, avoid it."-EWG