Commonly Found Ingredients Bring Bad Things

Ingredients

Parabens are used to preserve food and cosmetics products because they prevent bacterial growth. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization consider the chemicals safe at low levels. While the amount of parabens in any product is typically quite small they are everywhere and it is thought that parabens can be stored in the body creating a cumulative effect which could pose a health risk.

In the 1990s, parabens were deemed xenoestrogens―agents that mimic estrogen in the body. “Estrogen disruption” has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. And in 2004 British cancer researcher Philippa Darbre, Ph.D., found parabens present in malignant breast tumors. As a result, experts in many countries are recommending limits on paraben levels in cosmetic products.

Please see below for the most common parabens used which might come in handy for checking your ingredient labels:

  • Butylparaben
  • Methylparaben
  • Propylparaben

PEGs Are Responsible for Bringing in Bad Things
PEGs (polyethylene glycol) is better known by its acronym, PEG, isn’t a single ingredient. It is a class of ethylene glycol polymers that are used to help keep beauty stable. PEGs also are responsible for helping to bring bad chemicals into your skin. This includes the harmful ingredients they are often contaminated with. According to a report in the International Journal of Toxicology by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, pollutants found in various PEG compounds include ethylene oxide (used to manufacture mustard gas), 1,4-dioxane, polycyclic aromatic compounds, and heavy metals (lead, iron, cobalt, nickel, cadmium, arsenic).

PEGs are typically followed by a number correlating to how many units of ethylene glycol they contain. The lower the number, the more easily the compound is absorbed into the skin. Please see below for the most common PEGs used which might come in handy for checking your ingredient labels:

  • PEG-4
  • PEG-100
  • Propylparaben

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