When it comes to beauty products, the effects of the ingredients they contain can be more than just skin deep. The cosmetics industry uses thousands of synthetic chemicals in its products, in everything from lipstick and lotion to shampoo and shaving cream.
Many of these substances are also used in industrial manufacturing processes to clean industrial equipment, stabilize pesticides and grease gears. And we can all agree that an ingredient that effectively scours a garage floor may not be the best choice for a facial cleanser.
In the U.S., major loopholes in federal law allow the cosmetics industry to put thousands of synthetic chemicals into personal care products, even if those chemicals are linked to cancer, infertility or birth defects. At the same time as untested chemicals have been steadily introduced into our environment, breast cancer incidence has risen dramatically.
Following are some of the chemicals commonly found in cosmetics and what they do to us.
Knowledge is power. Learn how to avoid the nasty chemicals in personal care products.
Tips for choosing safe cosmetics >
Phthalates are a group of endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are found in cosmetics like nail polish and in synthetic fragrance—both perfumes and fragrance ingredients in other cosmetic products. Phthalate exposure has been linked to early puberty in girls, a risk factor for later-life breast cancer. Some phthalates also act as weak estrogens in cell culture systems.
Triclosan is used in antibacterial soaps, deodorants and toothpastes to limit the growth of bacteria and mold. The chemical, which is classified as a pesticide, can affect the body’s hormone systems—especially thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolism—and may disrupt normal breast development. Widespread use of triclosan may also contribute to bacterial resistance to antimicrobial agents.
1,4-dioxane is not listed on ingredient labels. It is a petroleum-derived contaminant formed in the manufacture of shampoos, body wash, children’s bath products and other sudsing cosmetics. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has ranked it as a possible carcinogen, and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) has identified it as a reasonably anticipated carcinogen.
Information from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics on 1,4-dioxane in bath products
Parabens are a group of compounds widely used as an antifungal agent, preservative and antimicrobial in creams, lotions, ointments and other cosmetics, including underarm deodorants. They are absorbed through the skin and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors.
Ethylene oxide is used to sterilize surgical instruments. It can also be a contaminant of personal care products such as shampoos and body washes, because it is used to buffer the harshness of some sudsing agents, and trace amounts can be left behind. It is classified as a known human carcinogen and is one of 51 chemicals that the National Toxicology Program (NTP) identifies as mammary carcinogens in animals.
Shaving creams, spray sunscreens and foundations, and anti-fungal treatments that contain the propellant isobutene may be contaminated with the carcinogen 1,3-butadiene. Exposure occurs mainly through inhalation. This chemical has been found to increase mammary tumors in rodents.
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of chemicals that occur naturally in coal, crude oil and gasoline. One of the more common PAHs is naphthalene. Some cosmetics and shampoos are made with coal tar and therefore may contain PAHs. They have been shown to increase risk for breast cancer.
Placental extract is derived from human or animal placentas and is used in hair conditioners, shampoos and other grooming aids, particularly those marketed to women of color. The National Toxicology Program (NTP) has identified progesterone, the major hormonal contaminant in placental extracts, as a reasonably anticipated carcinogen.
Lead may be a contaminant in over 650 cosmetic products, including sunscreens, foundation, nail colors, lipsticks and whitening toothpaste. Lead is a proven neurotoxin, linked to learning, language and behavioral problems. It has also been linked to miscarriage, reduced fertility in men and women, and delays in puberty onset in girls.
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Naturally Better Colour
Organic Colour Systems is the first-ever range of permanent colours made from the maximum amount of certified organic ingredients and the minimum amount of chemicals… to colour hair as naturally as possible.
Our unique approach is gentle but effective and easily colours even resistant grey hair.
And because hair responds better to natural ingredients it looks naturally healthier and glossier with radiant, longer-lasting colour.
Naturally Healthier Hair
Most hair colour products use harsh chemicals like ammonia that damage hair in the colouring process, stripping hair’s natural health and shine.
Organic Colour Systems is different. We’re kind to hair and it shows.
By using fewer chemicals and no ammonia, Organic Colour Systems maintains hair’s essential protein and moisture balance.
And it doesn’t damage hair in the colouring process.
Our unique colour and care system restores even damaged hair, giving it healthier body, suppleness and shine.
Colour without limits
Versatile, with easy colour correction, Organic Colour Systems takes the limits off creativity imposed by inflexible, harsh chemical products.
It’s easy to create fiery reds, intense coppers, rich golds, auburn browns, frosty platinums and an incredible range of natural tones.
What’s more, with Organic Colour Systems colours are true to the colour chart and stay locked-in for longer.
The Full Range
The full range is made up of 64 fully intermixable colours and concentrates; plus a selection of Activators, 2 Lightening powders and oil.
What color line does your salon use? Alfaparf Milano? Redkin? Matrix? Schwarzkopf? keune? Goldwell? Box color? You are causing real harm to, not only your hair, but to your overall health as well! your salon or stylist might be telling you their line is “ammonia free” or that it has minimal amounts of ammonia or that it is healthy for you and your hair, or that it is healthier than it once was, or that organic color doesn’t work… Do your research, they are not being honest with you. It’s your health and your body. if you are wondering about organic beauty or have questions about the brands being used on you, give us a ring, we’ve done the research and would be happy to help!Leave a reply
The Health Effects of Hair Coloring with chemical-based hair dyes
“The health effects of hair coloring are, to a certain extent, unknown. And the link between hair coloring and cancer is controversial and, to date, inconclusive. But many of the chemicals contained in frequently used hair dyes have been shown to be dangerous. Such chemicals can cause allergic reactions and perhaps even neurological problems.
There are alternatives to such hair dyes, such as plant-based henna and infrared techniques that open up hair shafts to allow coloring. Such “green” solutions are advisable for anyone who wants to avoid the risks associated with many hair coloring products.
Types of Chemically Based Hair Coloring
There are three main types of chemically based hair coloring products, as explained by Surviving-Hairloss.com. Temporary hair dyes are like surface paint: They don’t penetrate the hair shaft and are easily washed off. Semi-permanent dyes contain smaller molecules that do penetrate the hair shaft. Permanent dyes use the harshest products, which break up the original color pigment in your hair and replace it.
Potentially Dangerous Chemicals in Hair Coloring Products
Chemicals in hair coloring products include PPD, or para-phenylenediamine, which can cause allergic reactions such as burning and headaches and is also a potential carcinogen; coal tar, which is in 70 percent of hair coloring products and can cause allergic reactions; lead acetate, which has been banned in European countries as a possible carcinogen and, as with, other lead products, may cause potentially serious neurological problems; DMDM hydantoin, a preservative that has been linked to immune system problems; ammonia, which can be toxic and corrosive and may cause respiratory problems; and resorcinol, which can be an irritant and is a potential carcinogen.
Hair Coloring and Cancer Risks
A potential link between hair-coloring and cancer has been debated for years. The American Cancer Society states, “The evidence from these studies remain quite inconclusive. Most of the available evidence does not support a link to cancer risk. Those studies that do show a link find that it is too weak to be considered a major public health concern.”
A study from the University of Southern California in 2001 found a doubling of the rate of bladder cancer for women who regularly used permanent dye on their hair, as well as for hair stylists who worked with such dyes. However, those results were not replicated in subsequent studies.
The American Cancer Society believes that larger studies are needed and notes that some ingredients in hair coloring products have caused cancer in lab animals.
Hair Coloring and Other Health Risks
Chemically based hair coloring products can cause allergic reactions leading to severe skin and eye irritations, according to the American Cancer Society. In rare cases, the eye irritations can lead to blindness. Such products should be tested on a small patch of skin before they are used on the hair and scalp.
Chemically based hair coloring products contain some nasty stuff. There are perfectly good substitutes, such as plant-based henna dye, that don’t contain such risks. You can avoid any potential health risks associated with hair coloring by choosing products that are not only safer but also environmentally friendly. Call it a win-win solution.”
My Hair Trip Salon Denver offers alternatives to traditional, chemical-based hair dye systems, and is Denver’s highest rated eco-friendly salon and spa.
Surviving-Hairloss.com: How Much Do You Know About Hair Coloring?
USC News: Study Points to Bladder Cancer Risk From Long-term Hair Dye Use
American Cancer Society: Hair Dyes
Jennifer Aniston chopped off 6 inches of her infamous, honey-hued hair after a mishap with controversial keratin treatment, Brazilian Blowout.
From her iconic “Rachel” layered hairstyle in the TV show, Friends, to today’s soft, a-line bob Jennifer Aniston’s hair is no stranger to the spotlight.
All Keratin Treatments Are Not Created Equal
A whirlwind of controversy has circled treatments such as, Brazilian Blowout as early as 2005. This is due to the inclusion of formaldehyde in their product’s smoothing solution.
In 2011, the National Toxicology Program, an interagency program of the Department of Health and Human Services, named formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen.
There has been additional concern that once the product’s solution is heated near the scalp (necessary for application), formaldehyde can penetrate the scalp and hair follicle, causing irreversible damage to the cells responsible for hair growth.
Meaning, once the hair follicle is damaged, it will have difficulty growing hair, again.
“If Aniston wanted to maintain her enviable lustrous locks, she could have opted for a keratin treatment that is both formaldehyde-free and contains L-cystine, an amino acid that promotes hair growth,” says Organic Salon Systems’ Technical Director, Rebecca Gregory.
Lesson 1: Opt for a keratin treatment that is absent of formaldehyde, and promotes hair health. Ex Keragreen
Heavy Chemical Treatments Can Hurt Hair More Than Help It
“We are constantly up against this battle,” Gregory continues, “people use hair products that give their hair a temporary feeling of health and shine, but in reality, these products are just packed with petrochemicals and plastics that end up causing the hair to be dry and brittle in the long run.”
Celebrity Hair Stylist, Rachel Wood says she’s, “not surprised Jen’s doing the chop. Many [treatments] have chemicals that can damage the hair.”
Lesson 2: Chemically-laden hair products give hair a false feeling of health, and damage strands more in the long run.
Overly Damaged Hair = Necessary Hair Chop
Jennifer Aniston’s Brazilian Blowout-induced haircut reminds us that once hair has been damaged beyond repair, it will need to be trimmed (yes, sometimes that trim can be up to 6+ inches).
If severely damaged hair goes uncut, the hair strands will eventually split completely in half and fall out at the root.
Which brings us to our final lesson:
Lesson 3: Damaged hair will have to be cut in order to prevent hair fall and promote healthy hair growth.
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