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Many popular personal care products contain potentially dangerous chemicals and other unsavory ingredients.  Next time you go shopping, avoid these potentially harmful ingredients in your personal care products.  

What you need to know when buying personal care products

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  Personal care products are manufactured with thousands of chemical ingredients some of which are known carcinogens.  The American government doesn't require studies or testing of the chemicals in personal care products even though just about everybody is exposed to them.  Only 11 ingredients have been named as unsafe to use in personal care products.  This is a very low number because personal care products do not remain on the surface of the skin, instead they are designed to penetrate the skin.   

Avoid these ingredients:

Parabens (methyl,butyl,ethyl,propyl)- used as a preservative and not always labeled.  Parabens are commonly used in deodorants and skin care products and have been found in breast cancer tumors.  

Phthalates- Are found in many products and also are not usually labeled.  The health effects of phthalates include kidney and live damage and birth defects.  

Dioxin- This will not appear in ingredient lists.  It is often found in triclosan (a synthetic antibacterial ingredient that the EPA says is a pesticide that poses risks to human health and the environment), PEGs (dangerous levels have been found as a by-product of the ethoxylation process and are in everything including personal care, baby products, and sunscreens), and ethoxylated cleansers like Sodium Laureth Sulfate (used in 90% of personal care products that foam).  These chemicals could cause cancer, reduced immunity, and nervous system disorders to name a few.  

Formaldehyde- Common ingredient in a variety of beauty products.  It is a skin irritant and cause asthma and cancer with repeated exposure.  

Fragrance- This is a biggie because of an FDA loophole cosmetic companies can hide a bunch of chemicals under the general word fragrance.  

Coal Tardyes- These are used in anti-itch and scalp products specifically.  They are used to treat eczema, psoriasis, and other skin disorders.  Coal tardyes are a known carcinogen.  

Sunscreen- Arobenzone, benzphenone, and ethoxycinnamate are commonly used ingredients and are known free radical generators.  Free radicals are what cause cancer and damage to our skin.  

Do you need help finding products that contain ingredients you want to avoid? Head on over to ewg.org/skindeep.  The Environmental Working Group is one of the most effective environmental health research and advocacy organizations.  You can research the rating on over 68,000 products so you can make an informed decision about what products you choose to use. I use this website regularly because it helps me avoid the chemicals I don't want in my body.  

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