Dangers Lurking in your Personal Care: 5 Felon Ingredients to Avoid at all Costs


The safety of our food has been on the radar for decades, but only in the last ten years or so, have larger corporations and government bodies started paying attention to the toxic ingredients we put on our bodies in the name of beauty.

According to the Environmental Working Group’s executive director, Heather White, “Many Americans are surprised to learn that the ingredients in their makeup, shampoo and body lotion are largely unregulated, and in some cases, harmful to their health.” Some researchers report that there are in fact 80,000+ chemicals in use today many of which are toxic and have not been tested.

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are trying to change that by introducing a new bill creating the Personal Care Products Safety Act. The Act would require the FDA to evaluate five risky ingredients every year; if research shows the ingredients pose health risks, the ingredient would be banned or restricted in use in the U.S.

At Healing Lifestyles & Spas, we’ve been watching the cosmetics industry for 15+ years, and for the last 9 years, we have been compiling the safest and best ingredients found in winning products for out annual Earth Day Beauty Awards and making known our growing list of toxic no-nos to avoid.

The Environmental Working Group also keeps an incredibly rich list of safe and not-so-safe ingredients in their Skin Deep Database.

Curious about the first five ‘felon’ ingredients that the Senators wish to target as toxic?

If the Personal Care Products Safety Act is passed, it would require that the FDA review and investigate five potentially risky ingredients every year. The current 5 up to the chopping block:

1. Propyl paraben: We try to avoid parabens already, but this preservative has been linked to hormone disruption. Interesting too, it’s marked as ‘not a word’ on spell check in Microsoft Word. How can that be when it’s one of the worst felons in the beauty industry?

2. Methylene glycol: A form of formaldehyde used in hair smoothing treatments. It has been recognized as a carcinogen.

3. Lead acetate: Used in men’s hair dyes, this chemical has links to neurotoxicity.

4. Quaternium-15: Another preservative that releases formaldehyde.

5. Diazolidinyl urea: Another preservative that also releases formaldehyde which is a known carcinogen.

Melissa, Editorial Director

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