This is a post that I wrote on my health coaching website but feel that it holds even more importance here on TMM.
So here it is
I felt compelled and saddened as I sat down to write this post and honestly a little mad.
As a new mom I am a lot more conscious of ingredients in personal care products than I was before, specifically baby products.
I am sure you can imagine a woman may find herself in the baby section of Target and get mighty curious about ingredients...
I pride myself (totally obnoxiously) on using chemical free, and botanically-based products but was curious what these popular brands had to offer.
When I started turning around bottle after bottle of baby wash and baby lotion only to find them all filled with parabens, mineral oil, and fragrance I couldn’t believe it!
I thought to myself if that is what they have in baby products, which are supposed to be the most gentle. Then I wonder what they have across the store in the “adult” products, so I walked over to have a look.
I again was not surprised but at the same time, surprised, how could this even be legal? It’s poison right here for you to purchase at the convenient price of $4.95 a bottle.
I decided to put together this list of products and highlight the harmful ingredients which you can see below. I’ve also included a product key so that you can understand what these harmful ingredients really do.
A. AVEENO BABY SOOTHING RELIEF MOISTURE CREAM= Petrolatum
B. AVEENO BABY WASH AND SHAMPOO= FRAGRANCE
C. EUCERIN AQUAPHOR HEALING OINTMENT FOR BABY= MINERAL OIL
D. JOHNSON AND JOHNSON HEAD TO TOE BODY WASH= FRAGRANCE
E. JOHNSON BABY LOTION= FRAGRANCE
A. AVEENO DAILY MOISTURIZER= PETROLATUM
B. EUCERIN ORIGINAL HEALING LOTION = MINERAL OIL
C. PALMERS COCOA BUTTER= PETROLATUM, MINERAL OIL, Propylene Glycol, YELLOW 5 (CL 19140), ORANGE 4 (CL 15510). FRAGRANCE
D. VASELINE LOTION WITH ALOE= PETROLATUM, METHYLPARABEN, PYLPARABEN, Propylene Glycol
E. OLAY QUENCH DAILY LOTION= PETROLATUM, ETHYLPARABEN, METHYLPARABEN, PROPYLPARABEN
F. Lubriderm= Mineral Oil, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Ethylparaben
Petrolatum= Petrolatum, commonly known as petroleum jelly, is a byproduct of petroleum. It coats the skin and does not let it breath. Our skin is our largest detoxifying organ and can not let out toxins with this occlusive byproduct which has also been found in cancerous tumors. “Side effects of petrolatum include finding the petroleum byproduct in breast tumors, suffocation of the skin, premature aging and aggravated acne.”
Mineral oil= This product is also occlusive meaning it prevents the pores of your skin from breathing. It is also a byproduct of GASOLINE! “Mineral oil is a colorless and odorless oil that’s made from petroleum—as a by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline.”
“The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that this unpurified form contains contaminants that have been linked in studies to an increased risk of cancer. A 2011 report by the National Toxicology Program, for example, stated, “Untreated and mildly treated mineral oils are known to be human carcinogens based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from studies in humans.”
Methylparaben= “Is widely used as a preservative in women's cosmetics, such as skin creams and deodorants. This compound has been found intact within breast cancer tissues. Some researchers suggest that methylparaben may increase risk of breast cancer, or accelerate the growth of these tumors.”
Methylparaben can also damage your skin and eyes when it is found in eye drops. This paraben has been linked to cancer.
Propylparaben= Can mimic estrogen in the body and increasing the production of this hormone can cause internal inflammation.
“Because hormones play such a vital role in the body by stimulating various biological processes, chemicals that mimic hormones can lead to a significant number of problems and pain from internal inflammation. When this happens, you may start gaining weight, retaining more fluids, and can even lead to cancer. Estrogen-related problems from propylparaben are especially detrimental to women who are pregnant or nursing, and are already facing wide hormonal fluctuations.”
Ethylparaben= This paraben acts as a hormone (endocrine) system disruptors.
Fragrance= This is a term not truly regulated by the FDA. Hundreds of chemicals can go under just the one word, fragrance, on a product's ingredient list. Many people have a poor reaction on their skin from products with added fragrance, it’s a disruptor to the body. “If a cosmetic is marketed on a retail basis to consumers, such as in stores, on the Internet, or person-to-person, it must have a list of ingredients. In most cases, each ingredient must be listed individually. But under U.S. regulations, fragrance and flavor ingredients can be listed simply as “Fragrance” or “Flavor.”-FDA.gov
According to the FDA, “Some components of fragrance formulas may have a potential to cause allergic reactions or sensitivities for some people.
"FDA does not have the same legal authority to require allergen labeling for cosmetics as for food. So, if you are concerned about fragrance sensitivities, you may want to choose products that are fragrance free, and check the ingredient list carefully.”
Sodium laureth sulfate= According to the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, SLS is a "moderate hazard" that has been linked to cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, skin irritation and endocrine disruption.
“Undiluted SLS can cause skin and eye irritation, as well as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. “
So what are you the consumer supposed to do?? My advice would be to read the ingredients label and stay away from words you can't pronounce or don't understand. Obviously stay away from the ingredients listed above. There are tons of natural options out there that don't put harmful stuff in their products.
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It's up to you what you choose, but I hope you feel much more informed and empowered as the consumer after reading this.