The Dirty Dozen
It’s an amazing experience to be comfortable in your own skin. It’s an art that often times can take decades to master. Whether or not you are there yet, how well do you actually know that skin that you’re in?
Your skin is your body’s largest organ and a fascinating one at that. On average it absorbs any product placed on it with in 25 seconds and 64% of any product placed on your skin ends up directly in your blood stream. This is why it’s actually faster to get the product directly into your blood stream by placing a product on your skin versus consuming it.
If you’re like us and want to protect the amazing skin you are in, it’s important to know what to avoid putting on your skin and why. We put together a helpful list of the famous “Dirty Dozen” ingredients that we recommend be shunned. Keep in mind 80% of personal care products (including baby products) on the market contain these harmful ingredients…except for Siena Soap Products! We break it down for you here:
1. BHA and BHT.
Used: Mainly in moisturizers, makeup (including lip stick) and in food as preservatives.
Effects: Causes allergic reactions, liver, thyroid, and kidney problems along with lung function impairment, problems in blood coagulation, and may cause cancer. Moreover, they mimic estrogen and can have an adverse impact on reproduction (BHA). Also, harmful to fish and other wildlife.
2. Coal tar dyes:
Used: Coal tar-derived colorants are used extensively in cosmetics. P-phenylenediamine is used frequently in hair dyes. These dyes are generally identified by a five-digit Color Index (C.I.) number. The U.S. color name may also be listed (e.g. “FD&C Blue No. 1″ or “Blue 1″)
Effects: Coal tar is a carcinogen and dyes made from it have a high potential for causing cancer. These colors are sometimes contaminated with aluminium substrate which is toxic to the brain. Potential to cause cancer and may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.
3. DEA-related ingredients.
Used: DEA (diethanolamine) and its compounds are used in moisturizers and sunscreens, while cocamide and lauramide DEA are found in soaps, cleansers, and shampoos. It’s used to help keep the oil and water from separating as well as cause a rich lather.
Effects: Can react to form nitrosamines, which irritate the skin and can cause cancer. Exposure to high doses of these chemicals has caused liver cancers and pre-cancerous changes in skin and thyroid in a few cases. Also harmful to fish and other wildlife. Look for related chemicals MEA and TEA.
4. Dibutyl phthalate.
Used: It enhances the capacity of other chemicals to cause genetic mutations. Used as a plasticizer in some nail care products.
Effects: Phthalates can be easily absorbed by our skin. It has been shown to cause developmental defects, is toxic to reproduction, can also harm the unborn, and impair fertility. Also harmful to fish and other wildlife.
5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives.
Used: These are primarily preservatives commonly found in cosmetics, including products that claim to be all-natural. Look for DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine and quarternium-15.
Effects: Slowly releases small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer.
6. Parabens ( Propyl, Mthyl and Butyl)-
Used: Primarily used as a preservative, they are used as fragrance ingredients, not listed in your favorite perfume label. Perfume recipes are considered trade secrets; hence the manufacturers are not obliged to disclose the ingredients. An estimated 75-90% of cosmetics contain this toxin.
Effects: Parabens are easily absorbed by our skin. Parabens can mimic estrogen and have been detected in human breast cancer tissues. It is estimated that women are exposed to 50mg of parabens per day.
7. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)
Used: In perfumes, lotions, creams, soaps, shampoo, deodorants and nearly every type of personal-care product on the market…even in some products marketed as “unscented.” Parfum stands for thousands of highly toxic chemicals used in fragrances. Most have not been tested for toxicity, alone or in combination. Over 3000 chemicals are used to manufacture synthetic fragrances.
The manufacturer doesn’t have to specify the exact names of the ingredients used in parfum because it is considered a trade secret. Many companies that claim to be “all natural” use fragrances in their products.
Effects: These are often unlisted ingredients that are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines, and asthma symptoms that can lead to asthma and behavioral changes in children. There is also a link to cancer and neurotoxicity. Some are harmful to fish and other wildlife.
8. PEG compounds.
Used: PEGs (polyethylene glycols) are widely used in cosmetics as thickeners, solvents, softeners, and moisture-carriers and hence used for products requiring a cream base and also in laxatives.
Effect: Can be contaminated with Ethylene oxide and 1, 4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. Ethylene oxide also harms the nervous system and causes developmental problems. They are also known to cause skin irritation and systemic toxicity.
Used: Petrolatum is a by-product of gasoline. It’s found in mineral oil and petroleum jelly used as a moisturizer in lotions, lip balms, baby creams, and in hair-products (to add shine).
Effects: Petrolatum can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Exposure to PAHs is associated with cancer, skin irritation, and allergies.
Used: Cyclomethicone and ingredients ending in “siloxane” make hair products dry quickly and deodorant creams slide on easily. They are also used extensively in moisturizers and facial treatments to soften and smoothen the skin. They are also found in medical implants. Look for ingredients ending in “-siloxane” or “-methicone.”
Effects: Cyclotetrasiloxane and Cylcopentasiloxane —D4 and D5 — are endocrine disruptors, interfere with human hormone function and possible reproductive toxicants that may impair human fertility, cause uterine tumours and harm the reproductive and immune systems. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
11. Sodium Laureth Sulfate.
Used: Primarily used as a foaming agent or detergent to be found in shampoos, facial cleansers, bubble bath products, household and utensil cleaning detergents. Look also for related chemical sodium lauryl sulfate and other ingredients with the letters “eth” (e.g., sodium laureth sulfate).
Effects: Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer and can harm the nervous system. Lauryl mimics estrogen, which is especially problematic for women hormone wise, and laureth often hosts a known carcinogen called dioxane. These chemicals are used as an engineer degreaser.
Used: Mainly in antiperspirants/deodorants, cleansers, toothpastes and hand sanitizers as a preservative and an anti-bacterial agent. Also used in laundry detergent, facial tissues, and antiseptics for wounds.
Effects: It can pass through skin and is suspected of interfering with hormone function (endocrine disruption). Extensive use may contribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It can cause irritation to the skin and eyes. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
Not only is the dirty dozen harmful to our bodies but also to our environment. Recent studies have found that many of the lakes in MN have high levels of many of the chemicals listed above. This is very harmful to our environment effecting fish and other wildlife as the chemicals pass through the food chain.
Our Promise to YOU:
To only use 100% Natural and Skin-Loving ingredients.
To always be transparent and list all ingredients used in any of our products.
To leave your skin feeling healthier and better than ever!
To offer skin care so safe you can eat it!
Much Love to you all,
*Information obtained from the David Suzki Foundation: Survey of Chemicals in Cosmetics.