Toxic chemicals in cosmetics

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cosmeticWe’ve been concerned about the safety of synthetic chemicals in toiletries and cosmetics for years here at Little Green Blog.

The Campaign for safe cosmetics have released the first in a series of short videos that will introduce more people to the myth of cosmetics safety.

They hope these short videos will inspire people to join in their efforts to give the beauty industry and the FDA a makeover.

Toxic cosmetics

On average, Americans use 10 personal care products a day, exposing themselves to roughly 130 unique chemical ingredients – most of which have never been tested for safety

In the first of three You Tube videos, The Campaign for safe cosmetics interview the public to see what beauty products they used on a daily basis and whether they believe they are safe.

Mouthwash toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, soap, shower gel, shaving foam, eyeliner, lipstick, deodorant, hairspray, moisturiser, eye cream … the list goes on.

However, consumers assume they are safe. They assume that there is an agency that regulates these products.

Lead in lipstick

The truth, according to the Safe Cosmetics campaign, is that companies are allowed to put carcinogens, heavy metals and chemicals linked to infertility into their products. They have found carcinogens in baby bubble bath and lead in lipstick

As one reader rightly comments, what goes on our bodies penetrates into our bodies via our largest organ, the skin. Our skin is not a barrier, it’s a carrier.

The Campaign for safe cosmetics want as many people as possible to view this video, so please send your friends and family a link to this page and get them to pass it on too!

What about you – Are you careful about what you use on your skin or do you think this is all scare tactics?


  1. Wilson Pon on September 28, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Mrs. Green, I’ve a very sensitive skin type, which is always itchy if I’m using the ordinary body shower that fulled with chemical stuffs. After I switched it to the organic body shower, I didn’t have this type of problem anymore!

  2. Neil on September 28, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Do you need to top up the anti freeze in your car with winter coming up?

    Look in most creams sold, face creams, body creams and even creams for babies, practically all of them contain propylene glycol or anti freeze.

    Wonderful stuff, not only does it make the cream feel silky smooth when applying it also helps to open the skin up for all the other nasties to penetrate.

    Anti freeze bottles display a warning that the contents are an irritant and can cause skin problems. Funny how it can be added quite safely to products that go on the skin!

  3. Mrs Green on September 28, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    @Wilson Pon: Hi Wilson glad to hear you have found something that suits you; organic is best!

    @Neil: Hi Neil, it’s a horrifying thought that so many toxic chemicals find their way into our products. More worrying is that people believe they are ok or regulated.
    I think the Campaign for safe cosmetics is wonderful with spreading this message.

  4. Bob and Betty on September 28, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Great post! It is great to see the number of people who are concerned about what’s going on their skin. We ran across a list of ingredients to be sure to avoid. Here they are: Phthalates, Dioxanes, Aluminum, Triethanolamine, Mineral Oil, BHA, Benzophenone-3, Proylene Glycol, Polypropylen Glycol, Formaldehyde, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Monoethanolamine, Diethanoloamine, Glycerin, Polyglycerol, Petrolatum, Bronopol, Methanol, Isopropanol, Artificial colorants, fragrance allergens, Preservatives that generate formaldehyde, Cheap fillers. Another caution, organics are more seceptible to contamination and spoilage. The closer to natural, the better, but there are some great “mostly naturals” out there that are safe to use and very effective. One thing to look for is if the manufacturer as signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. Most of the large companies are holding out. It is becoming a trusted pledge for avoiding known harmful ingredients and truth/transparency in labeling. Good luck!

  5. Mrs Green on October 2, 2009 at 7:14 am

    @Bob and Betty: Hi Bob and Betty – thank you for taking time to leave such an informative comment with all those ingredients to look out for.
    I”m very cautious of the word ‘natural’ on cosmetics, so I scrutinise the labels and keep the amount of products I use down to the bare minimum.

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