More Skin Ingredients to Avoid

As promised in my last entry, here are some more skin care ingredients that you must avoid if you are going to keep you and your kids cancer free.

Stearalkonium Chloride: This is asubstance that is included in many skin and hair care products that studies have indicated is safe in the concentrations used in products of this nature.

However, additional studies have indicated that in higher concentrations, it is a known skin and eye irritant and it is also known to cause allergic reactions, particularly in those with sensitive skin. If your baby's eyes are watering, make sure this chemical is not in anything you are putting on her hair or in her skin.

Triclosan: Triclosan is regarded by the EPA as a pesticide, one that is believed to be carcinogenic for humans. It is so toxic and powerful that it is usually measured in parts per trillion, to the extent that one drop in 300 swimming pools could be sufficient to cause hormonal difficulties.

However, because it is a powerful antibacterial agent, it is used in many common household products like toothpaste, antibacterial lotions and soap. It is definitely not something that you should be washing yourself or cleaning your teeth with. Keep this mind the next time you buy that antibacterial soap.

DMDM hydantoin: DMDM hydantoin is a chemical preservative that releases formaldehyde which limits the development of microorganisms. Unfortunately, it also causes allergic reactions range from mild to severe, joint pain, rashes, depression, headache, chest pains, chronic fatigue and a loss of sleep.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): Sodium lauryl sulfate is an ingredient that is found in almost all household products that foam such as shampoo. It has been used in products like baby shampoo even though it is known to cause allergic reactions and damage to young eyes. This is another substance that is often included in toothpaste as well, but one that is to be avoided.

Diethanolamine (DEA): Diethanolamine is another chemical to be found in foaming products that is known to be a skin irritant.

In fact, because they are known to cause hormonal problems and to be carcinogenic, diethanolamine (and the ‘mono' and ‘tri' versions of the chemical) are already restricted or banned in many European countries as a result of the known risks associated with them.

These risks were highlighted on the CBS TV program ‘This morning' as long ago as 1998 when it was reported that a Federal government study had shown that DEA and detergents that contained it posed significantly increased cancer risks, particularly of kidney and liver cancer.

Mineral oil: Mineral oil is a byproduct of the processing of oil into petroleum products. When applied to the skin, mineral oil literally coats your skin with a ‘saran wrap-like' cover that completely prevents your skin from breathing.

It will clog your pores to the extent that blocked pores, spots and pimples become almost inevitable, preventing your skin from sloughing off the dead cells and getting rid of toxins.

And note that far from being as gentle and kind as you might imagine it would be, ‘Baby Oil' is almost always pure mineral oil. Be careful and read the labels!

Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid

Most moms use skin screens, moisturizers and other skin care products on themselves and on their kids. However is any of the ingredients actually harmful to your kid? Here is a look at some of the things we find in skin care products that you might want to avoid.

Artificial fragrances: Quite often, these chemically produced artificial fragrances will be listed on the label as nothing more than ‘a fragrance'. Unfortunately, chemicals like these are often irritating, especially if you have sensitive skin. If your skin is sensitive and you suffer headaches, dizziness or rashes after using a particular skin product, the chances are pretty good that the culprit is an artificial fragrance. You should therefore stop using it immediately.

Artificial colors: Avoid any products that suggest they contain artificial colors for exactly the same reason that you would avoid artificial fragrances. These cause cancer!

In the UK and Australia, artificial colors are usually described as ‘E numbers' whereas in the USA, they will have an FD & C code number together with a description of the color. Some food colorings are known to be potentially harmful, in some cases possibly carcinogenic, so any skin care product containing them should definitely avoided.

Diazolindinyl Urea: This is a preservative chemicals that is sometimes used in make up and skincare products. This chemical is known to be toxic and can cause contact dermatitis and other skin problems, so it is one that should be avoided.

Methyl Paraben and Propyl Paraben are two chemicals that are used as preservatives to extend the shelf life of skincare products and make up. Once again, there is some evidence that these two chemicals are toxic and that they might be a cause of allergic reactions as well as breast and other forms of cancer.

Somewhat ironically, there is also evidence that a combination of parabens and sunlight accelerates skin ageing as well.

Propylene Glycol: Propylene glycol is a synthetic organic glycerin that is used in many different ways including in skincare products (as a moisturizer) and make-up.

This petroleum-based plastic is such a powerful solvent that it can eat through a steel tank in 48 hours, which is why it has to be stored in plastic drums. In the USA, the EPA considers propylene glycol to be so toxic that it insists on workers wearing protective clothing, goggles and gloves, yet it is used in some products in strengths of up to 20%.

Given these facts, it is perhaps not surprising that this is a chemical that is known to cause severe allergic reactions in some people.

In my next blog entry I will give you some more advice as to what chemicals to avoid in skin care lotions and sunscreens! After all we have to keep our families safe!