What you put on your body is just as important as what you put in it. Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it absorbs everything including toxins. While weekly yoga or eating organic green smoothies are definitely beneficial for your health, we’re here to ensure that your beauty & skin care products are doing their job to keep you feeling your best, too.
Here’s the list of the top ingredients to watch for and avoid…(via HuffPost)
Parabens. Parabens are widely used preservatives that prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast in cosmetic products. Sounds good, right? Not so fast, they do more than that. Parabens possess estrogen-mimicking properties that are associated with increased risk of breast cancer. These chemicals are absorbed through the skin and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. They can be found in makeup, body washes, deodorants, shampoos and facial cleansers. You can also find them in food and pharmaceutical products.
Synthetic colors. If you take a look at your product label and notice FD&C or D&C, they represent artificial colors. F — representing food and D&C representing drug and cosmetics. These letters precede a color and number (e.g., D&C Red 27 or FD&C blue 1). These synthetic colors are derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. Synthetic colors are suspected to be a human carcinogen, a skin irritant and are linked to ADHD in children. The European Classification and Labeling considers it a human carcinogen and the European Union has banned it.
Fragrance. This particular category is pretty scary, because what does “fragrance” mean anyway? This term was created to protect a company’s “secret formula.” But as the consumer you could be putting on a concoction that contains tons of chemicals that are hazardous to your health. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep Database, fragrance mixes have been associated with allergies, dermatitis, respiratory distress and potential effects on the reproductive system. It can be found in many products such as perfume, cologne, conditioner, shampoo, body wash and moisturizers.
Phthalates. A group of chemicals used in hundreds of products to increase the flexibility and softness of plastics. The main phthalates in cosmetics and personal care products are dibutyl
phthalate in nail polish, diethyl phthalate in perfumes and lotions, and dimethyl phthalate in hair spray. They are known to be endocrine disruptors and have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, early breast development in girls, and reproductive birth defects in males and females. Unfortunately, it is not disclosed on every product as it’s added to fragrances (remember the “secret formula” not listed), a major loophole in the law. They can be found in deodorants, perfumes/colognes, hair sprays and moisturizers.
Triclosan. Tricolson is widely used antimicrobial chemical that’s a known endocrine disruptor — especially thyroid and reproductive hormones, and a skin irritant. Studiesraise concerns that triclosan contributes to making bacteria antibiotic-resistant. There also wasn’t enough supporting evidence that washing with antibacterial soaps containing triclosan provides any benefit over washing with regular soap and water. Tricolson can be found in toothpastes, antibacterial soaps and deodorants.
Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). This surfactant can be found in more than 90 percent of personal care and cleaning products (think foaming products). SLS’s are known to be skin, lung, and eye irritants. A major concern about SLS is its potential to interact and combine with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, a carcinogen. These combinations can lead to a host of other issues like kidney and respiratory damage. They can be found in shampoo, body wash/cleanser, mascara and acne treatment.
Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRP’s) preservatives are used in many cosmetic products to help prevent bacteria growth. This chemical was deemed as a human carcinogen by The International Agency for Research on
Carcinogens (IARC) and has been linked to occupational related cancers: nasal and nasopharyngeal. It is known to cause allergic skin reactions and it may also be harmful to the immune system. It can be found in nail polish, body washes, conditioners, shampoos, cleansers, eye shadows, nail polish treatments.
Toluene. A petrochemical derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. You may see it on labels listed as benzene, toluol, phenylmethane, methylbenzene. Toluene is a potent solvent able to dissolve paint and paint thinner. It can affect your respiratory system, cause nausea and irritate your skin. Expecting mothers should avoid exposure to toluene vapors as it may cause developmental damage in the fetus. Toluene has also been linked to immune system toxicity. It can be found in nail polish, nail treatments and hair color/bleaching products.
Propylene glycol. Propylene glycol is a small organic alcohol commonly used as a skin-conditioning agent. It’s classified as a skin irritant and penetrator. It has been associated with causing dermatitis as well as hives in humans — these sensitization effects can be manifested at propylene glycol concentrations as low as 2 percent. It can be found in moisturizers, sunscreen, makeup products, conditioners, shampoo and hair sprays.
Sunscreen chemicals. These chemicals function as a sunscreen agent, to absorb ultraviolet light. These chemicals are endocrine disruptors and are believed to be easily absorbed into the body. They may also cause cellular damage and cancer in the body. Common names are benzophenone, PABA, avobenzone, homosalate and ethoxycinnmate. They can be found in sunscreen products.
AVEDA AND GREEN INGREDIENTS…
Okay, now that we’ve told you what ingredients to avoid, you may be thinking “What products are safe to use?”
Heres how Aveda measures up to the ingredient list above…
At Aveda, our goal is to ensure our products will benefit our guests through exceptional performance, while we deliver our continued promise of environmental and social responsibility.
Aveda’s products are formulated without parabens, phthalates and sodium lauryl sulfate.
We work hard to ensure that ecological and cultural diversity is represented by responsibly sourcing key ingredients from different habitats all over the world.
Through fair compensation, we positively impact the people and economies from which some of our products’ ingredients are sourced.
Aveda firmly believes that we will succeed in our goal by striving to use what we call green ingredients in our products whenever possible. Our definition of a green ingredient requires that it meet at least one of the following criteria:
• Naturally derived, which we define to be those for which more than 50% of the molecule comes from a plant, non-petroleum mineral, water, or some other natural source.
• Certified organic.
• Sourced from sustainable or renewable plant-based origins, and does not negatively impact the ecosystems from which they are sourced.
To Aveda, continued progress and improvement in the number of green ingredients we use in our products is an essential part of ensuring we honor our Mission commitment to care for the world we live in.
Aveda’s Use Of Green Ingredients:
- Since 2000, Aveda has substantially increased our purchases of organic raw herbal ingredients and organic essential oils from 20%-25% of total tonnage to more than 90% for both while also increasing our total tonnage significantly. The exact percentage varies slightly from year to year due to product mix and availability of certified ingredients.
- Aveda has established Soil to Bottle™ traceability for certain key ingredients, which allows Aveda to progressively document and expand the source of these ingredients while promoting quality through its supply chain.
- Aveda’s development of its exclusive Babassu Betaine technology is part of its efforts to develop and use sustainable plant-based alternatives to replace the use of petrochemicals whenever possible.
- All of Aveda’s essential oils are processed in an environmentally responsible manner through steam distillation