It was during a conversation about deodorants, of all things. An aquaintance of mine was telling me that she was struggling to find an alternative to supermarket deodorants, as she was trying to avoid aluminium (of which more, later). She said she'd found one that she rather liked and showed it to me so I could see that there was no aluminium.
Of course, I looked at the ingredients list and was horrified. No aluminium, sure. But there were all sorts of other nasties, and as I listed them and the issues with them, it was my friend's turn to be horrified.
I go around spouting this kind of stuff all the time, so I forget that many of us just don't realise what we're putting on our bodies.
And then I happened upon this great list from David Suzuki (check out the awesome blog, too, at www.davidsuzuki.org) and thought I'd copy it here for you. Here it is, David Suzuki's Dirty Dozen skincare ingredients to avoid:
BHA and BHT
Used mainly in moisturizers and makeup as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disruptors and may cause cancer (BHA). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by five digitsc
P-phenylenediamine is used in some hair dyes; other colours are used in a variety of cosmetics. Potential to cause cancer and may be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.
DEA, cocamide DEA and lauramide DEA
Used in some creamy and foaming products, such as moisturizers and shampoos. Can react to form nitrosamines, which may cause cancer. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
Used as a plasticizer in some nail care products. Suspected endocrine disruptor and reproductive toxicant. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives: DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quarternium-15 and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
Used in a variety of cosmetics. Slowly release small amounts of formaldehyde, which causes cancer.
Paraben, methylparaben, butylparaben and propylparaben
Used in a variety of cosmetics as preservatives. Suspected endocrine disruptors and may interfere with male reproductive functions.
Any mixture of fragrance ingredients used in a variety of cosmetics. Some fragrance ingredients can trigger allergies and asthma. Some linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. Some harmful to fish and other wildlife.
PEGs (e.g., Peg-60)
Used in some cosmetic cream bases. Can be contaminated with 1, 4-dioxane, which may cause cancer.
Used in some hair products for shine and as a moisture barrier in some lip balms, lip sticks and moisturizers. A petroleum product that can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which may cause cancer.
Siloxanes: cyclotetrasiloxane, cyclopentasiloxane, cyclohexasiloxane and cyclomethicone
Used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten. Suspected endocrine disruptor and reproductive toxicant (cyclotetrasiloxane). Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
Sodium laureth sulfate
Used in some foaming cosmetics, such as shampoos, cleansers and bubble bath. Can be contaminated with 1, 4-dioxane, which may cause cancer.
Used in some antibacterial cosmetics, such as toothpastes, cleansers and antiperspirants. Suspected endocrine disruptor and may contribute to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
To see the original article on the David Suzuki blog, click here
Photo credit: Akira Ohgaki on Flickr