Kawartha Lakes Wellness Company

What Is That Doing In My Shampoo?

Written by Liv Plowman

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Posted on February 21 2021

Do you ever read the ingredients on the back of your personal hygiene bottles, ever wonder what's in your shampoo, moisturizer, or soap? After many years of my asking.... "What exactly is that in my lotion? What the heck is that ingredient in my soap?"....I am happy to say that all the questioning of chemical ingredients are no longer an issue for me! I only use natural products without harmful ingredients and everything I use is made here in Canada (I'll tell you about that company at the end of this blog)

I'm gladly sharing with you today a long list of possible chemicals, additives and many harmful ingredients that may be sitting in your bathroom right now - or have been used in products in your lifetime! You deserve to know about these ingredients and I don't really care that large corporations won't be happy I'm squawking about this, however, come on, it's about time we started taking responsibility for our health - and the first step to that is education! If our government and large corporations have allowed harm to befall our families by hiding what we have been putting on our skin - it's time to stop trusting them. Read on and I hope you appreciate knowing the truth about the crap that may be on your bathroom shelves right now.

You've probable already heard me say that many potentially harmful personal care product ingredients can lead to or have been linked to cancer, hormonal issues, skin sensitivities, reproductive disorders, and birth defects including developmental disabilities in children. Several reports based on cosmetic research, state that the average number of personal care products used daily contain between 80 and 126 unique ingredients collectively. The cosmetics industry as a whole use between 10,500 and 12,500 unique chemical ingredients. Are you aware that most of these are industrial chemicals and they are carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and endocrine system disruptors? In particular, many cosmetic products are comprised of this list I am sharing with you - so you can go to your products and start chucking the crap out of your life......so here's my list:

  • LASTICIZERS namely phthalates, which are additives that keep materials soft and workable, have been linked to asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity, type II diabetes, autism spectrum disorders, and male fertility issues among other health issues.

  • COAL TAR DYES, which can be identified by their five-digit Colour Index (C.I.) numbers, are artificial coloring agents that could contain heavy metals that are toxic to the brain.

  • FORMALDEHYDE-RELEASING PRESERVATIVES (with names like quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethyl glycinate, bromopol and glyoxal) that create a reaction and slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which we know causes cancer.

  • PARABENS, which are used to extend the shelf life of products, are preservatives that might interfere with male reproductive functions.(You've already heard me go on about Parabens in past blogs)

  • PARFUM, which are fragrances used to mask the smell of other ingredients and to enhance the experience of using the product can trigger allergies, asthma, cancer and neurotoxicity. Sometimes even used in products that say they are “fragrance-free.”

  • Ingredients ending in "-siloxane" or "-methicone," which are used to soften, smooth and moisten. They are supposed endocrine disrupters and reproductive toxicants. Keep an eye on this one if you are trying to have a baby! Men and women!

  • URFACTANTS such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate, which are also degreasers meant to remove stubborn substances like grease and oils off of auto parts and which causes the foaming reaction in cosmetic cleansers, can also be tainted with cancer-causing agents.

  • TRICLOSAN, which is an anti-fungal agent that is commonly used in anti-bacterial products such as toothpaste, cleansers, and antiperspirants, has the potential to contribute to bacteria’s resistance to antibiotics.

  • LEAD, which is a neurotoxin that builds up in the body over time and is used in several lipsticks, can be absorbed into the body through the skin on the lips. This is equated with actually eating the lipstick. There is no amount of lead that is safe to consume.

  • BENZOYL PEROXIDE, which is used in acne treatments, can cause the drying, burning, itching, peeling and swelling of the skin.

  • 1,4-DIOXANE, which is found in soap products that create suds, is not listed on product labels but is rather hidden inside ingredients like Sodium Laureth sulfate, PEG compounds, and chemicals that include the clauses xynol, ceteareth and oleth. This contaminant is created when common ingredients in a product mix together, react and lead to its formation. It is considered to be a probable human carcinogen. So if all the ingredients in your soap are there to clean you - stop complaining if your natural soap doesn't lather up the way you want! Sometimes you have to trade off a few things to remain healthy! Natural soaps often use a natural carrier oil to create good lathers - castor oil - which is healthy for your skin. It isn't even necessary to use 1,4 DIOXANE when there are many natural products that create lather - or suds - how pathetic that chemicals are being hidden in many other ingredients, not to mention the chemical reactions that haven't been monitored, resulting in health issues for Canadians

  • ACRYLATES (ethyl acrylate, ethyl methacrylate, and methyl methacrylate), which are found in artificial nail products, are used as adhesives to hold false nails and eyelashes in place. They can potentially cause cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity, cellular and neurological damage and irritation.

  • BENZOPHENONE & RELATED COMPOUNDS are chemicals used to protect products from UV light. These have been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity, and irritation.

  • CARBON BLACK, which is a black powder used for eyeliner, mascara and lipstick pigmentation, has been linked to cancer.

  • HOMOSALATE, which is used in sunscreen and is meant to absorb short-wave UVB rays that are associated with DNA damage and skin cancer, is a potential endocrine disruptor and can contaminate breast milk.

  • ETHYLENE OXIDE, which in cosmetics products is used to decrease the harshness of chemical agents that cause soap to create suds, is known to be a human carcinogen.

  • 1,3-BUTADIENE is contained inside isobutene, which is a propellant. Propellants turn liquids into gases and are commonly used in aerosol products such as shaving creams, spray sunscreens and foundations, and anti-fungal treatments. 1,3-butadiene is a carcinogenic chemical, and exposure to it occurs mainly through inhalation.

  • HYDROQUINONE, which is used in skin lighteners geared toward women of color, have been linked to cancer, organ-system toxicity, respiratory tract irritation.

  • METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE AND METHYLCHLOROISOTHIAZOLINONE, which are used as preservatives, have been known to cause irritation of the skin, eyes, or lungs.

  • OCTINOXATE, which is used in sunscreens and makeup to absorb UV rays, is an endocrine disruptor. It mimics estrogen and is considered a possible cause of kidney, eye, liver and reproductive problems.

  • POLYACRYLAMIDE, which is used for binding cosmetic ingredients and for its lubricating, anti-static, and foaming properties, is known to be a neurotoxin.

  • ETHYLHEXYL SALICYLATE (AKA SALICYLIC ACID AND BETA HYDROXY ACID OR BHA), which can be used as a hair conditioner or as a skin conditioner to remove acne, dandruff, corns, calluses, and warts, can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, or lungs.

  • HEXYL CINNAMAL, which is a fragrance additive that gives off the scent of Jasmine is considered a fragrance sensitizer. It is a possible human immune system toxicant or allergen.

  • BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPIONAL (AKA LILIAL), which functions as a fragrance and masking ingredient, is connected with possible bioaccumulation, organ system toxicity, endocrine disruption and allergies, and contact dermatitis.

  • YELLOW 5 (AKA TARTRAZINE), which is a synthetic yellow dye used to color cosmetics, can cause lethal asthma attacks, hives, DNA damage, tumors of the thyroid and ADHD.

  • DIBUTYL PHTHALATE OR DBP, which is used as a solvent for dyes, interferes with hormone function and can weaken or damage fertility.

  • SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCES AND PARFUM, which are sometimes even used in products that claim to be “unscented,” can cause asthma, allergies, cancer and neurotoxicity.

  • MERCURY (AKA MERCUROUS CHLORIDE, CALOMEL, MERCURIC, OR MERCURIO), which is used for skin lightening, anti-aging or blemish control, can accumulate in the body and can cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, or neurotoxic problems.

  • TALC, which is used for its anti-moisture and anti-friction properties, poses the risk of lung cancer from breathing in the powder. This can cause respiratory problems, namely a chronic lung irritation, known as Talcosis.

  • PROPYLENE GLYCOL, which is used as a moisturizer, a carrier in fragrance oils, a solvent and which retains the moisture content of skin, can also enhance the skin’s ability to absorb other chemicals and toxins. This increases the potential for irritation.                                               

Health Canada mandates strict regulations for cosmetics including posting the publication of product ingredient lists. This allows Health Canada to identify and prohibit a product in the event that it contains a harmful ingredient; however, it gives companies that import, manufacture, advertise, or sell consumer products in Canada the responsibility of ensuring that their product ingredients conform to the health and safety requirements.

Vigilance is necessary now during these pandemic times. Besides the obvious - it truly is up to you to be responsible for what the hell is going on your skin - better still - it's your responsibility to know what you are putting on your child's body. Take the time to educate yourself. There is no excuse to not do your research especially in this day and age with the plethora of knowledge available to you about harmful chemical ingredients in your hygiene products.

If it's too much work or you just don't want to know then consider purchasing your products from a company like SXY Soaps and SXYU Cosmetics - Canadian Owned, Canadian Operated and Canadians who care about producing natural body care products. All their products are available at gendermart.com  so give it a try - maybe just replace one product a month and by the end of the year - you and your family will be healthier for your good choices!

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