Updated: Dec 6, 2021
It's a shame that we need to be so on guard about the ingredients we ingest and absorb. It's ridiculous that we need to beg for truthful information and fight for ingredients that won't hurt us. It's criminal that the chemical companies care not a wit about people and health. And it's outright disgusting how they lie to put money in their pockets with zero regard to how it affects people's lives.
Topping off my hit list are deodorants because of their proximity to sensitive glands around the breast area and because of how many brands call themselves natural while sneaking in chemicals that are harmful. I also have major issues with lubricants - of all kinds - which I wrote about here. They are loaded with chemicals despite the fact that they go directly into our bodies through one orifice or another.
Here is a smattering of just a few of the chemicals that find their way into the products we use every day:
Aluminum is a hazardous substance identified as a toxin to the human nervous system, immune system, musculoskeletal and genetic systems. Some research shows that aluminum can produce toxic, oxidative stress in the brain; the prevailing concern here being the steep rise in Alzheimer’s disease. A study that examined the brain autopsies of elderly people found them to have aluminum levels more than 20 times higher than that of a group of middle-aged individuals.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and Australian Institute for Biomedical Research
Propylene glycol is used in the chemical, food, and pharmaceutical industries as antifreeze, among other things. It is a solvent for food coloring and flavoring, and for paint and plastics. It can enter your bloodstream through your skin if you come in direct contact with it and do not wash it off.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Phthalates are typically found in fragrances. Certain phthalates are listed as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” and “may adversely affect human reproduction and development,” and “the development of the male reproductive system."
The Thirteenth Report on Carcinogens published by the National Toxicology Program, National Toxicology Program and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
Triclosan alters hormone regulation in animals and is suspected of harming the immune system and contributing to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs. Researchers have found that triclosan disrupted muscle function and caused both heart and skeletal muscles to fail in humans. Others found that triclosan affected estrogen-mediated responses. Chemicals that mimic estrogen are known to increase the risk of breast cancer.
University of California Davis and Toxicological Sciences
Parabens mimic estrogenic activity. Raised levels of estrogen have been linked to breast cancer and said to be the reason women develop endometriosis.
Cosmetic Ingredient Review, International Journal of Toxicology
Formaldehyde has neurotoxic characteristics and systemic toxic effects. The EPA considers formaldehyde to be a probable human carcinogen.
National Center for Biotechnology Information
Other chemicals to watch out for that "behave" like formaldehyde and/or are often concealed under a different name are: Formalin, Methanal, Oxymethyline, Urea, 1,3-Dioxetane, Quaternium 15, Methylaldehyde, Methylene Oxide, Formic Aldehyde, Oxomethane Formalin, Phenol Formaldehyde, DMDM Hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl, Diazolidinyl, Methylene Glycol
Leucidal is the go-to "natural" preservative prevailing in the market today. But, a recent study showed Leudical Liquid is laced with a synthetic disinfectant called didecyldimethylammonium chloride. You will find the particular ingredient studied listed on labels as Leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate. The study says...
"[The results] clearly indicate that the salicylic acid and the didecyldimethylammonium chloride are largely derived from petroleum-based precursors and that neither is the product of a recent fermentation of plant material. The didecyldimethylammonium salts, which are used as detergent biocides and wood preservatives, have toxicity to aquatic organisms and can also affect human health."
Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry
There's no question people are becoming more aware of the dangerous ingredients commonly used in food processing/cosmetic manufacturing. And companies lie. So, it becomes as much about reading labels and understanding ingredients as it does about trusting the source. Unfortunately, even if the label says safe and natural, when the company is not trustworthy, the claim is meaningless.
You may also enjoy reading, Study Raises Questions About Leucidal Safety.