Many chemicals used in cosmetics and cleaning products are "oestrogen mimics" and can increase suceptibility to cancer. Women and young girls use an average of 12 personal care products a day. What does this mean? It means that young woman around the globe are putting themselves at risk everytime they use a product that isn't natural.
Many of the so-called "soaps" you see at the supermarket are in fact detergents and not soap. One reason to buy handmade natural soaps is to avoid being exposed to harmful chemicals that exists in store bought detergents. Detergents are made from petroleum products and many contain parabens as a preservative; both are linked to cancer.
Nearly 90% of ingredients used in cosmetics/personal care products have not been safety tested and those ingredients that have shown to be estrogenic, like parabens, are not being pulled off the shelves. One way to protect yourself is to limit the chemicals you expose your body to.
Here are list of those most commonly used and some of the most dangerous chemicals lurking in our daily products:
Parabens: founds mainly in deoderants and moisturizers. Studies show parabens to be estrogen mimics and are absorbed through the skin.
Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA): Often used as an emulsifier or foaming agent. Toxic if absorbed into the body over a long period of time.
Phthalates: Used in hairspray, perfume, nail polish. Causes endocrine damage, particularly bad for children. They've been banned from children's toys but not from cosmetics and skin care products.
Triclosan: Found in deoderants, toothpaste, liquid soaps and mouthwashes. Sometimes isn't listed on ingredient list due to the "trade secret" protection. Dioxins linked to cancer are formed when it is manufactured or incinerated. Has been found in breastmilk.
Alkyl phenol ethoxylates: Used in shampoos, hair colours, shaving gels. This chemical is a hormone dysruptor, extremely toxic to fish and builds up in the body over time and doesn't break down quickly.
Toluene and Xylene: Woman exposed to this chemical may suffer miscarriage. Found in nail polish. Attacks the central nervous system, eyes, blood, liver, kidneys.
Formaldehyde: Commonly used in deoderants and nail polish. A human carcinogen. Can trigger asthma. Can damage DNA.
Petroleum Distillates: Possible human carcinogen. Found in mineral oil and petroleum jelly products. Prohibited for use in cosmetics in the Europen Union but not in the US. Can be found in mascara, perfume, foundation, lipstick and lipbalm.
Source: Kindred Magazine
To check on the safety report of thousands of cosmetics and other body products check out: COSMETIC SAFETY DATABASE