Urban Hippie

  • Top 10 chemicals to avoid in skin care products


    Here is my top 10 list of chemicals to avoid in skin care products. The list could be longer, but you'll be lucky if you can remember the top three. I know it's complicated and overwhelming when you first realize that the majority of the products you use for personal care, skin care, make-up, deodorant, soap, etc. contain many of these chemicals.

    I have also listed the EWG score. EWG stands for Environmental Working Group. It's a comprehensive data base that rates many skin care products and chemicals for their toxicity level. The scale is 0-10, 0 being the best 10 being the worst. 

    1.    FRAGRANCE - is an undisclosed mixture of various scent chemicals and other ingredients used as fragrance dispersant, such as diethyl phthalate. EWG SCORE 8

- some are believed to be carcinogenic. EWG SCORE 3-4

    3.    PARABENS
 - Parabens mimic estrogen and can act as potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptor. EWG SCORE 3-6

    4.    MINERAL OIL
 & PETROLEUM- Possible human carcinogen.  EWG SCORE 7

    5.    SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS) & SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE (SLES) - Is most frequently found in shampoos. Common side effects are skin irritation or swelling of the hands, arms and feet. EWG SCORE 2-4

    6.    ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL - Strong evidence of human neurotoxicity. EWG SCORE 4

    7.    PHTHALATES - DIBUTYL-PHTHALATE, DIETHYLHEXYL-PHTHALATE – has been shown to be a reproductive and developmental toxicant. The European Union banned its use in cosmetics and personal care products. Prenatal exposure to DBP has been associated with anatomical changes in the reproductive system development in baby boys. EWG SCORE 10

    8.    DIETHANOLAMINE (DEA) - pH AdjusterHuman skin toxicant - strong evidence and Human immune and respiratory toxicant. EWG SCORE 7

    9.    POLYETHYLENE GLYCOL (PEG) & PROPYLENE GLYCOL (PG)  - Penetration enhancer. Solvent - Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful. EWG SCORCE 4-6

    10. UREA - DIAZOLINDYL UREA, IMIDAZOLINDYL UREA –DMDM HYDANTOIN - DMDM hydantoin is an antimicrobial formaldehyde releaser preservative. EWG SCORE 7-8

    **EWG – Environmental Working Group - www.ewg.com


    My personal vice -- Finesse Mousse.


    This was something I had to give up when I cleared my place of toxic

    chemicals. I have been using Finesse for longer than I care to admit 

    (high school, actually) and it really gave my hair a great curl. However,

    it is full of all sorts of chemicals I want to avoid. Including TEA, 

    Fragrance and Isobutane.

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