RedFlag Skincare Toxins to Avoid

Alcohol, Isopropyl (SD-40): A very drying and irritating solvent and dehydrator that strips skin’s moisture and natural immune barrier. May cause headaches, flushing, dizziness, mental depression, nausea, vomiting, anesthesia, and coma. Fatal ingested dose is one ounce or less.

DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), & TEA (Triethanolamine): Skin and eye irritants, causing contact dermatitis. Easily absorbed through the skin and accumulates in body organs, even the brain. Used to create foam in products like shampoo, shaving creams, and bubble bath. Repeated skin applications resulted in a major increase in the incidence of liver and kidney cancer.

Dioxin: You will not see this chemical name on an ingredient listing. It is often contained in antibacterial ingredients such as triclosan, emulsifiers, PEGs and ethoxylated cleansers such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate. Dioxin literally modifies the functioning and genetic mechanism of the cell, causing a wide range of effects, from cancer to reduced immunity to nervous system disorders to miscarriages and birth deformity. The tiniest amount can cause damage, and our bodies have no defense against it. The most visible example was Yushchenko, the new Ukrainian President, who suffered from dioxin poisoning and seemed to age overnight.

DMDM Hydantoin & Urea (Imidazolidinyl): Just two of many preservatives that often release formaldehyde which may cause joint pain, skin reactions, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pains, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness, and loss of sleep. Exposure may irritate the respiratory system, trigger heart palpitations or asthma, and aggravate coughs and colds. Other possible side effects include weakening the immune system and cancer.

FD&C Color Pigments: Synthetic colors made from coal tar, containing heavy metal salts that deposit toxins onto the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation. Absorption of certain colors can cause depletion of oxygen in the body and death. Animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic.

Fragrances: Mostly synthetic ingredients, fragrances can indicate the presence of up to 4,000 separate ingredients, many toxic or carcinogenic. Symptoms reported to the FDA include headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and skin irritation. Clinical observation proves fragrances can affect the central nervous system.

Parabens: There are four types of parabens used as preservatives, and they aren’t always called "parabens." Recently they have been detected in human breast cancer tissue. Parabens found in deodorants and antiperspirants are linked to breast cancer. Experts say parabens can demonstrate estrogenic-like activity in the body, which increases the risk of breast tumors and cancer." Parabens, as xenoestrogens, may contribute to sterility in male mice and hormone imbalances in females. Xenoestrogens (hormone disruptors) are suspected of contributing to early puberty in young girls and boys”.

PEG (Polyethylene glycol): Made by ethoxylating Propylene Glycol. Dangerous levels of dioxin have been found as a manufacturing by-product of the ethoxylation process. PEG based ingredients are in a wide variety of personal care, baby care and sunscreens. Phthalates: Xenoestrogens - hormone disruptors -commonly found in many products, although usually not listed on the labels. Health effects include damage to the liver and kidneys, birth defects, decreased sperm counts, and early breast development in girls and boys.

Propylene Glycol (PG) and Butylene Glycol: Petroleum plastics which act as surfactants (wetting agents and solvents) - easily penetrate the skin and can weaken protein and cellular structure. EPA considers PG so toxic it requires workers to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles and dispose of any PG solutions by burying in the ground. Because PG penetrates the skin so quickly, the EPA warns against skin contact to prevent consequences such as brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. There isn’t even a warning label on products where the concentration is greater than in most industrial applications.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES): Detergents and surfactants that pose serious health threats. Used in car washes, garage floor cleaners and engine degreasers and in 90% of personal-care products that foam. Animals exposed to SLS experienced eye damage, depression, labored breathing, diarrhea, severe skin irritation, and even death. SLS may also damage the skin’s immune system by causing layers to separate, inflame and age.

Triclosan: A synthetic "antibacterial" ingredient with a chemical structure similar to Agent Orange! EPA registers it as a pesticide, posing risks to both human health and the environment. It is classified as a chlorophenol, a class of chemicals suspected of causing cancer in humans. Its manufacturing process may produce dioxin, a powerful hormone-disrupting chemical with toxic effects measured in the parts per trillion – that is only one drop in 300 Olympic-size swimming pools! Tufts University School of Medicine says that triclosan is capable of forcing the emergence of 'super bugs' that it cannot kill. Its widespread use in popular antibacterial cleansers, toothpastes and household products may have nightmare implications for our future.