Toxic Skin Care Ingredients Glossary

Do you know what you're putting on your skin?

Have you ever wondered what those hard to pronounce ingredient names on conventional skin care and cosmetic labels really are? As consumers we should be made aware of what we are exposing ourselves to. Our skin is our largest organ and what is put on it is absorbed into the body. That's why it's very important to choose only all-natural and organic skin care products that nourish, heal and protect the skin.

Be sure to read labels carefully. Just because conventional products label say "Natural" doesn't make it so. This toxic skin care ingredients glossary will keep you informed about chemical skin care ingredients that are harmful to your health; and should be avoided.  These harmful chemical ingredients will NEVER be found in Botanic Glow products.

Click here for a list of natural ingredients that are safe, healthy and beneficial for the skin.

Toxic skin care ingredients that are harmful to the body and should be avoided

Acrylamide: A potentially cancer-causing agent used to manufacture certain chemicals, plastics, and dyes. Used in cosmetics and lotions.

Alkylphenol Ethoxylates: A synthetic surfactant that can be potentially cancer-causing. Used in many shampoos and detergents.

Aluminum: A toxic ingredient commonly used in deodorants and antiperspirants. Aluminum is linked to Alzheimer's disease, brain disorders and breast cancer.

Ammonium Laureth Sulfate: A chemical foaming agent the can cause liver toxicity. Used in bubble baths.

Carmine: Derived from dried insects and can causes skin irritation. Used as a coloring agent in cosmetics.

Chromium Oxide: Could cause adverse skin reactions. Used as a coloring agent in cosmetics.

Dimethicone: May cause adverse reactions. Used as a smoothing agent in skin care products.

Coal Tar Dyes (artificial colors): D and C Blue #1, Green #3, Yellow#5, Yellow #6, Red #33 can cause severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, fatigue, nervousness and lack of concentration. Used in shampoos, conditioners, hair dyes, soap, skin care and cosmetics.

DEA (Diethanolamine) Cocamide DEA; Laurimide DEA; Linoleamide DEA, Oleamide DEA) are readily absorbed into the skin. These are hormone disrupting and potentially carcinogenic: Used in shampoos, body washes, bubble bath and shaving creams.

Dioxins: Dioxin is the name generally given to a class of super-toxic chemicals, the chlorinated dioxins and furans, formed as a by-product of the manufacture, molding, or burning of organic chemicals and plastics that contain chlorine. It is the nastiest, most toxic man-made organic chemical; its toxicity is second only to radioactive waste. Used in many cosmetics, shampoos and bubble baths.

Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde, a colorless, pungent-smelling gas, can cause watery eyes, burning sensations in the eyes and throat, nausea, and difficulty in breathing. Used in deodorants, nail polish and perfumes.

Mineral Oil: Mineral oils is a derivative of crude oil used as an industrial lubricating agent fluid. When used in personal care products it interrupts the skin's natural ability to eliminate waste. It can cause sensitive skin and premature aging. Used in cosmetics and lotions.

Methyl, Propyl, Butyl, Ethyl Parabens (PHB Esters): Parabens can cause skin and eye irritants. The have shown up in breast cancer tumors and has been known to damage sperm production. Used as preservative in skincare and cosmetics to prevent bacteria mold and extend shelf life.

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): Often used as a cleansing agent to help dissolve oils. Used in cosmetics and shaving creams.

Petrolatum: Petrolatum is a oil based grease used as an industrial lubricant. It's effect on the skin is similar to mineral oil. Used in many personal care products, some of many are baby care products, shampoos and bath washes.

Phthalates: Phthalates are a family of industrial chemicals that are used as plastic softeners or solvents in many different consumer products. May affect hormones and increase the risk of breast and testicular cancers. Used in cosmetics and over 5,000 personal care products and nail polishes.

Propylene Glycol: Used in anti-freeze products and brake fluids. Has been known to cause skin sensitivity and dermatitis. May lead to brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. Used in skincare moisturizers.

PVP/VA Copolymer: A petroleum-derived chemical. Used in cosmetics and hairsprays.

Stearalkonium chloride: Is a type of benzalkonium chloride which is used as an anti-static agent, a surfactant and an antimicrobial. Originally developed for the fabric industry as a fabric softener. It is considered toxic. Used in some cosmetics and hair care products, particularly conditioners.

SLES (Sodium Laureth Sulfate), SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate): Both are chemical foaming agents known as surfactants and can cause liver toxicity: Used in shampoos, bubble baths, shaving creams and cleansers.

Synthetic Fragrance: Sometimes simply labeled as 'fragrance' can refer to toxic ingredients and/or preservatives or smells, that cause many health problems. Used in facial cleansers, toners, moisturizers and many more personal care products.

Quaternium: A formaldehyde releaser. It's known as an allergen and a carcinogen (cancer causing agent). It is in all cleaning products, laundry products, health and beauty products and even baby products.

Talc: Talc is closely related to the potent carcinogen asbestos. Talc particles have been shown to cause tumors in the ovaries and lungs of cancer victims. Used in baby powder, make-up and foot preparations products.

Toluene: Formerly known as toluol, is a clear, water-insoluble liquid chemical with the typical smell of paint thinners. Repeated exposure may cause liver, kidney and brain damage. Often used in cosmetics to adjust the pH levels.

Triethanolamine (TEA, Tea, Stearate TEA): Used as an intermediate for emulsifiers, waxes, herbicides, cutting oils, and cement additives; also used as a solvent for casein, shellac, dyes, and resins. Used in moisturizers, mascara, facial cleansers, styling gels, lotions, sunscreens and tanning oils.

Triclosan: A chlorophenol, a class of chemicals which is suspected of causing cancer. It is a pesticide registered with the FDA. Used in soaps, deodorants, toothpaste, shaving creams, mouth wash, and cleaning supplies.

Xanthene: Inhibits cell metabolism. May increase the effects of acne. Used for dyeing foods and also used for coloring cosmetics and pills.

Xylene: A solvent in the printing, rubber, and leather industries. Often used in shampoos as a thickening agent that helps suspend other ingredients, clearing out the cloudy look of a formula.

Zinc Stearate: A zinc soap known for repelling water, and is used in the cosmetics and personal care industries as a lubricant. It may have a similar effect on lungs as asbestos. Used in cosmetic creams and powders.

Updated: 2/13/2016

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