Parabens: Ethyl, Butyl, Methyl, Propyl, and Parahydroxybenzoate
Parabens are the second most common ingredient in skin care products ... water is first. The most widely used preservatives in the United States, they may cause skin rashes and other allergic reactions.
Studies show they possess mild estrogen-like qualities. Preliminary research uncovered parabens in human breast cancer tumors. This does not prove a causal relationship, however. Parabens are ubiquitous. They are an estimated 75-90% of all personal care products. Even many so called "natural" and some organic skin care products contain parabens (check labels!).
There is a gradual phase out of these preservatives occurring in the natural skin care industry. Preservatives are essential. However, there are all natural, nontoxic preservatives that are both safe and effective.
*Found in: baby preparations, cleansers, deodorants, eye-products, lotions and moisturizers, make-up, personal lubricants, nail products, shampoos and other hair products, and sunscreens.
Also known as petroleum jelly. Purified petroleum is common to moisturizers and other cosmetic products. It forms an oily layer on the skin that prevents moisture evaporation. It purportedly smooths and moisturizers skin, but often has the opposite effect. It causes allergic reactions in some. Manufactures love petrolatum because it is very inexpensive (read: a cheap addition for manufacturers).
*Found in: baby creams, conditioners, creams and moisturizers, makeup, nail products, and wax depilatories.
Phthalates are known human endocrine disruptors, respiratory toxicants and developmental toxicants. These ingredients have also been shown to bioaccumulate in wildlife, making them an environmental toxicant. They have been banned for use in Europe. Phthalates are used as fragrance ingredients and as solvents in cosmetics.
Found in: perfumes, nail polish, lotions
This is the most common moisture-carrying ingredient, excluding water itself, in personal care products. Extensively used in makeup. It is known to elicit allergic reactions, including hives, and is associated with eczema. Safer glycols are gradually replacing propylene glycol. The CIR Expert Panel maintains its safety in concentrations up to 50%.
*Found in: antiperspirants and deodorants, baby lotions, hair strengtheners, moisturizers, mouthwashes, shaving products, sunscreens, and stick perfumes.
Considered toxic. Some individuals develop thesaurosis, which is foreign bodies in the lung, due to inhalation of PVP in hairspray. Rats ingested intravenously with PVP developed tumors.
*Found largely in: bronzers, eye makeup, and hair products.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
A detergent, emulsifier, and wetting agent. It is drying and often irritating to skin. Associated with eczema. The Journal of the American College of Toxicology states this chemical has a "degenerative effect on the cell membranes because of its protein denaturing properties" and that "high levels of skin penetration may occur at even low use concentration." The CIR Expert Panel is reassessing it for safety.
*Found in: bubble baths, emollient creams, cream depilatories, hand lotions, permanent waves, shampoos, cleansers, soaps, and toothpastes.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Acts as a water softener and a foaming and wetting agent. Often in products designed for mildness, such as baby shampoos. Yet it leads to eye and skin irritation in some. The CIR Panel is reexamining its position on this chemical also.
*Found in: shampoos, including baby shampoos and cleansers. (Look for all natural shampoo to avoid controversial lathering ingredients).
The Fabric industry developed this as a fabric softener. It softens hair, allowing easier combing. Known to cause allergic reactions and irritation to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. Considered toxic. CIR Expert Panel is reassessing for safety guidelines.
*Found in: hair conditioners and creams.
These are categorized as either D&C-- Drugs&Cosmetics, or FD&C-- Food, Drugs&Cosmetics. Personal care products contain both categories. "D&C" followed by a color holds certification for external use only. You will not find it in lipstick or other products intended for mucous membranes.
(Note: Since skin absorbs much of what is applied, "external use" provides little protection.)
Unlike most ingredients used by the industry, synthetic colors are regulated by the FDA. Yet, most are derived from coal tar. Many people are allergic to coal tar. Of greater significance is the association of coal tar and cancer. Most all coal tars cause cancer when subcutaneously injected in lab mice. In fact, many formerly approved colors are now banned in the US because of recognized carcinogenic properties.
*Used in a large variety of personal care products, most notably hair dyes. What color is that drugstore shampoo ... neon green anyone? Nontoxic all natural skincare products, as opposed to traditional skin care, rely on botanical ingredients for subtle color.
There may be up to 200 ingredients encompassed by the term "fragrance". Furthermore, manufactures are not required to disclose actual ingredients in their formulas. They receive protection for such proprietary formulas. Reactions to fragrance in personal care include: coughing, dizziness, headaches, hyper-pigmentation, rash, skin irritation, and vomiting.
*Synthetic fragrances lurk in the majority of traditional personal care products. Even many so called natural products use synthetic fragrance. To be safe, look for 100% "all natural skin care products." Natural essential oils are the ideal fragrance.
There have been many recent studies showing that the chemicals in sunscreens break down on a molecular level when energized by the Suns radioactive UV Rays. This break down leads to the development of free radicals which steel electrons from your DNA in order to stabilize themselves. This is a cascade effect because for each electron taken a new free radical molecule is created in its wake. This break down of your DNA and further replication of broken cells is known as abnormal cellular growth. When the process goes wild and the body can't stop it it's called cancer. The only way to stop the cascade of free radical damage is through the use of antioxidants. While we avoid all synthetic sunscreen ingredients at Instinct, the biggest offenders are the following: Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, methoxycinnamate, octinoxate, benzophenone-3, PABA (para-amino benzoic acid)
For information about the products we do use click HERE