While it may not be time to toss all of your expensive personal care and beauty products in the trash, there may be some truly horrible chemicals in nearly all of the beauty products you use; harmful chemicals that could seep into your bloodstream and build up toxicity over time. As environmental toxicity seems to be increasing in all areas of our lives, you may want to take care of what you're putting ON your body, as well as in it.

Labeling on cosmetics and personal care products can be tough to understand. In fact, the industry is so shockingly unregulated that it’s usually impossible to trust the claims that manufacturers place on their products. A word such as “natural” can be used by anyone for anything. Even “organic” is often misleading.

With that in mind, here are 5 of the most commonly used beauty product compounds and chemicals to avoid:

  1. Dioxane – Known as 1,4-dioxane, this contaminant is usually not listed on ingredient labels, yet has been linked to cancer found in products that create suds, such as shampoo and liquid soap.

  2. Lead – Heavy metals like lead, arsenic, mercury, are contaminants found in a wide variety of personal care products including lipstick, whitening toothpaste, eyeliner and nail polish.

  3. Acrylates – The ingredients found in artificial nail products, we are mainly exposed to these chemicals through inhalation or skin contact. Yeah, it’s the “stink” you smell in your nail salon.

  4. Carbon Black – Linked to increased incidence of cancer, this dark black powder is used as a pigment in cosmetics such as eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick.

  5. Homosalate – It’s summer, which means increased use of sunscreen. This chemical is widely used in sunscreens and other skin care products with SPF. It is a potential endocrine disruptor, with studies in cells suggesting it may impact hormones. In addition to direct health concerns following exposure, this chemical may also enhance the absorption of pesticides in the body.

This is by no means a complete list of the harmful and potentially harmful chemicals and compounds found in personal care and beauty products but, it’s certainly a good starting point for detoxifying your home. If you would like to know more, click on any of the links below:

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