Photo by ChutterSnap on UnsplashWe are constantly being told to be more conscious of the products we are using on our face and body, but how can we be careful if we don’t even know what to watch out for? There are a slew of ingredients, both natural and synthetic, that we should be aware of when buying every day personal care products. Many of these are questioned to have long term effects on the body and the environment, especially with daily use for a long time frame.As you may know, Meryl our Founder decided to create Hynt Beauty when she was battling breast cancer and she learned that almost all of her cosmetics products had potentially carcinogenic ingredients. However, it did take a lot of meticulous research, note taking and comparisons between the studies and claims made by various authoritative and other well intentioned organizations, until she felt she was confident enough to identify which products were "safe" to use vs. questionable.So, when it came to developing pure natural formulations for her own line of cosmetics, she decided the brand must do all the work for the customers so that women can rest assured that what they are wearing on their face each day is impurity-free, feels gentle on skin, and is also gentle on the environment.And in keeping, we have a pretty intense Black List of "no no" ingredients, some of which, will leave you dumbfounded that they are still formulated into creams and lotions that we slather all over our body and face. Coal Tar? Formaldehyde? Check, check -- but under names that don't sound so repulsive.We could only select a few to highlight in this post but we'll follow up with more. But, if you are interested in looking up other ingredients in the meantime, check out Skin Deep's product database for an ingredient hazard rating. They have over 64,000+ products rated on their site. We hope that this will at least pique your interest in better addressing those ingredient labels and help you make safer choices at the store!IMPORTANT NOTE for all our readers but especially those who are passionate about the ingredient toxicity debate; please note that the ingredients discussed below were questionable enough to us that we have chosen to not include them in our formulations. However, none of these have been sufficiently proven to directly cause the effects mentioned below when used in the quantities that are currently acceptable in beauty and personal care products. If they were, the FDA would have had to ban them already. Interesting to note however, some are restricted for use in cosmetics in other countries such as the EU nations and Japan.
Isn't that what specimens are preserved in!? Yes, it is and it is also a potential cancer causing carcinogen that are found in many nail polishes, hair straightening treatments, body washes and other hair products. Formaldehyde has also been linked to reproductive issues, leukemia and asthma1. Scary!But wait, don't go looking for just Formaldehyde on the ingredient label list. In many cases, it is disguised behind different names like: diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, imidazolidinyl urea, hydantoin.
A good take away from Formaldehyde is that Natural and Organic does NOT mean it is safe!The scary thing is, Formaldehyde can be called natural and it can even be called organic because the chemical is a naturally occurring organic compound. Even dangerous chemicals like Arsenic, which we all know is dangerous, is a "natural" ingredient so don't be fooled by those "natural" and "organic" marketing copy. Be sure to look on the ingredient list to make sure all your natural ingredients are impurity-free and feel gentle on skin.
The fact that an ingredient like Mercury can be formulated into any personal care or beauty product is shocking but it's actually hidden in mascaras, anti-aging products and other creams and lotion type products under the disguised name of mercurous chloride, calomel, mercuric and mercurio.
Symptoms of mercury poisoning can be serious and may include irritability, tremors, changes in vision and hearing, memory problems, and numbness, and mercury can contaminate breast milk in pregnant and nursing women. Random tidbit: In India & China, Mercury was used as an aphrodisiac in 500BC and Chinese women have been reported to consume Mercury as birth control 4,000 years ago2.
Hard to believe yet again but coal tar is quite often formulated into various hair products, colorants and shampoos. It's mainly used as a dermatological treatment. And since "Coal Tar" doesn't look so great on the ingredient label, these clever scientific names are used instead: aminophenol, phenylenediamine and diaminobenzene.
Certain coal tar ingredients are linked to cancer. People who have psoriasis sometimes use coal tar remedies for treatment but are warned by doctors that they run the risk of cancer in return3.So why would we willingly use these potentially risky ingredients in our beauty!?
PARABENSThis is the one that you probably hear about and know about most; it's practically become the poster child for bad ingredients! That's because parabens are widely used as an effective, cheaper preservative option across the board in beauty, health and personal care products.Parabens often appear as Butylparaben, Methylparaben, Propylparaben or Isobutylparaben on the ingredient lists.Parabens may mimic the estrogen hormone potentially leading to imbalance, of special concern with young girls and pregnant women, which some people believe could increase the risk of developing breast cancer, DNA damage and skin irritation at the very least with repeated longterm use. So that's why parabens get the bad rap but unfortunately, most conventional brands, even those that appear to be natural, have not yet excluded it from their formulas. Try taking a look yourself.
Triclosan is most commonly found in antimicrobial soaps, detergents, deodorants, shaving products, whitening toothpastes and makeup, too, as an anti-microbial to kill bacteria, fungus and deodorize. Listed as Triclosan, Triclocarban, Irgasan, Lexol-300, Ster-Zac, Cloxifenolum or Microban. Triclosan is already restricted in cosmetics in Canada and Japan and Triclocarban is a restricted ingredient in all the European Union nations. Where is the USA?!
So why is this ingredient potentially harmful? It is linked to weakening of the immune system, disruption of muscle function, altered hormone regulation and the kicker…it's a pesticide so it's toxic for the environment.
Unfortunately, there's quite a loop hole when it comes to listing phthalates in the ingredient labels of cosmetics and personal care products because it can hide under the ingredient "Fragrance."Fragrance mixtures are considered proprietary blends that should not be copied by other companies. So, the regulations do not require the listing of individual fragrance ingredients. Phthalates often find themselves as a part of this blend but it can stay incognito behind the Fragrance mask.While the FDA states that the ingredient has not been sufficiently linked to any major health concerns in the quantities that are found in cosmetics and personal care products, studies have been published throughout the decades that suggest hormonal disruption, thyroid irregularities, and asthma and skin allergies in adults and children. Animal studies have also indicated that phthalates can trigger miscarriages and infertility in females7. While animals studies in themselves are horrible and animals are dosed in higher quantities than are formulated into human products, it doesn't seem right to slather these on our bodies, and our babies' bodies, either.
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