Samuel S. Epstein's Toxic Beauty: How Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Endanger Your Health . . . And What You Can Do about It, brought to the table common products that we use today that are more hazardous then what you'd think. His intro states that:
"In reader-friendly language and with meticulous scientific documentation, Dr. Epstein details the wide range of toxic ingredients in currently marketed cosmetics and personal-care products along with those ingredients effects. The ingredients fall into five categories: frank carcinogens, hidden carcinogens (carcinogens that contaminate other ingredients, or ingredients that are the precursors for carcinogens), endocrine disruptors (ingredients that are hormonally toxic, particularly harmful to women and their fetuses), penetrating agents (ingredients that pass through the skin), and allergens."
Although most of medical conspiracies are rare instances gone wrong or over-reactive people that have no idea about medical research, however there are still products of concern that are not worth their claims.
Epstein has been mostly concerned with products that have created more cancer concerns. In a press release he targeted Avon, a very popular cosmetic company pointing out major ingredients in their products that have a high cancer and hormonal damage risk:
There are many organizations that have stepped up to ad awareness to this issue such as The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics which have worked with companies such as L'Oreal and Revlon in removing harmful ingredients.
Here are some products to look out for and the chemicals they contain the next time you go shopping:
- Salon Selectives, Neutrogena Clean Shampoo and Clairol Herbal Essences contain SLS.
- Vaseline, Baby Shampoo, Baby Lotions, and Baby Liquid Soap contains Mineral Oil
Mineral oil is the main ingredient in baby cosmetic products and is alien to the human body that has numerous detrimental effects, in particular for babies, because it clogs the pores, hindering the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting skin disorders and decelerates skin function and cell development—resulting in the premature aging of your skin.
- Colgate Total Advanced Clean Toothpaste contains Trisoclan.
Colgate toothpaste has admitted to using Trisoclan saying that it is an "effective antibacterial ingredient that controls a wide range of bacteria. The copolymer is used in the formulation to prolong retention of triclosan on oral hard and soft tissues and in plaque. Without the copolymer, triclosan would be rapidly lost from the mouth, reducing its clinical effect" and further and that it's safe. However... The EPA registers it as a pesticide that scores high as a risk to both human health and the environment research has revealed that triclosan reacts with the chlorine in your tap water, chloroform is produced. What happens is that it is stored in the body tissue and can accumulate to toxic levels, damaging the liver, kidneys and lungs.
Scary isn't it? And that's only three products that have proven to be potentially extremely harmful to the human body and the environment. Although there are the organizations that are there to help out, it seems that going all natural is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself.