So many items in this world smell, taste, feel, and look good…and yet it does NOT mean it is good for us. Most store-bought products are actually filled with toxic ingredients! Please read the ingredient labels, no matter how amazing the advertising is.
I remember when I used to think and believe that everything sold in stores was safe...yes, I truly did believe that! It was years ago now for me, but maybe you are just starting your eye-opening journey of reading all ingredients and understanding what is and isn't good for our bodies. If so, you are in the right place! I have dedicated this article to identifying and addressing these toxic concerns. People perish for lack of knowledge, so let's learn and be empowered.
“Even the most beautiful things can be toxic.” ~Jodi Picoult
Also, feel free to google and research this in more depth on your own as well. Though some manufacturers and brands will defend such ingredients, even despite scientific evidence of being carcinogenic, organ toxic, endocrine/hormone disrupting; cancer rates are still soaring. And sadly, it is rarely linked back to all the cancer-causing products on store shelves in which we ingest or slather all over our bodies!
Let’s start with the popular bath and body works lotion:
Petrolatum- petroleum based semi-solid; i.e., Vaseline. It can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), known to cause cancer and organ toxicity. It can also be used as a machinery lubricant, which is much more appropriate for its use, not on our body!
Fragrance(perfume) - unless specified as an essential oil blend (plant based scent/fragrance), synthetic chemicals in fragrances are petroleum-based and can be harmful to human health. Chemicals include phthalates, benzophenone, styrene, and even formaldehyde, known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors.
Diazolidinyl Urea- produced by a chemical reaction of allantoin and formaldehyde in the presence of sodium hydroxide solution and heat. It’s used as a preservative, yet acts as a formaldehyde releaser. Formaldehyde is a well-known neurotoxin and carcinogen. Also known to cause contact/skin issues and allergies.
Tetrasodium EDTA- made from ethylenediamine, formaldehyde- a known carcinogen according to the National Cancer Institute. It is also contains sodium cyanide, which is made from the toxic gas hydrogen cyanide. It is used often as a mold inhibitor.
BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) - is a lab-made chemical added as a preservative.
BHT has been linked to reproductive and developmental toxicity. It is also listed as a possible carcinogen. It does not take large amounts to still have a profound and negative effect on our body.
Benzyl Alcohol- used as a solvent for inks, waxes, shellacs, paints, lacquers and also unfortunately used as a preservative in lotions/cosmetics. Toxic to ingest and sadly neonatal deaths have been attributed to its use. Please see references/links below for more detailed information.
Propylparaben- manufactured synthetically for use in cosmetics, lotions, pharmaceuticals, and food. It is used as a preservative to extend shelf life of products. Studies have shown most malignant breast tumors showed high concentrations of parabens. Studies have also shown it affecting the ovaries, kidneys, and thyroid and adrenal glands.
Butylphenyl Methylpropional- is a known fragrance allergen and has actually been banned in the EU due to reproductive harm. It can cause harm to the fetus during pregnancy and affects fertility. As of March 1, 2022, it should be prohibited in products in the US as well. This was in most of bath and body works lotions prior to this time, so check the ingredients. Better yet toss these lotions out!
The Devil is in the Details!
These are just a few of the eye-opening ingredients, though there are more. I encourage you to research all of the ingredients listed on the above picture from the back of the lotion container. If you happen to have any of these lotions or products in your home, be sure to look into all the ingredients for yourself. Our skin is the largest organ of our bodies and though it provides an excellent barrier, it also absorbs what we apply on it. We were given only one body to take care of and blindly trusting what is considered safe, often leads to health issues and cancer. Time to wake up and keep our eyes open.
Make Your Own Lotion
For an incredible alternative- MAKE YOUR OWN LOTION - this recipe is easy and my absolute favorite! It only takes a few ingredients that you can even substitute or play with to your own liking. These lotions not only feel amazing and luxurious on the skin, but the organic and natural ingredients are wonderful for you and come with numerous benefits.
If you realize you have been using these toxic products and are in need of detox, check out these detoxifying herbs.
Remove impurities with a cleansing and soothing DIY essential oil salt bath soak.
Onyije, FM., Hosseini, B., Togawa, K., Schüz, J., Olsson, A. "Cancer incidence and mortality among petroleum industry workers and residents living in oil producing communities: a systematic review and meta-analysis." World Health Organization, 28 April 2021. https://www.iarc.who.int/news-events/cancer-incidence-and-mortality-among-petroleum-industry-workers/#:~:text=The%20review%20identified%20petroleum%20industry,colon%2C%20rectum%2C%20and%20pancreas.
"Petrolatum, Petroleum Jelly." Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, 2022. https://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/petrolatum/
Price, A. "Dangers of Synthetic Scents Include Cancer, Asthma, and Kidney Damage." Dr. Axe, 17 November 2016. https://draxe.com/health/dangers-synthetic-scents/
Garcia, E. "Diazolidinyl Urea- toxicity, side effects, diseases, and environmental impacts." Chemical News, 11 November 2017. https://www.chemicals.news/2017-11-11-diazolidinyl-urea-toxicity-side-effects-diseases-and-environmental-impacts.html
"Diazolidinyl Urea." National Library of Medicine. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Diazolidinylurea
"Tetrasodium EDTA." Advanced Dermatology, 6 January 2016. https://www.advanced-dermatology.com.au/tetrasodium-edta
"EDTA, Tetrasodium Tetrahydrate Salt." Material Safety Data Sheet. https://datasheets.scbt.com/sc-204735.pdf
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "How food preservatives may disrupt human hormones and promote obesity." Science Daily, 9 August 2017. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170809155736.htm
Corcoran, G.B., Ray, S.D. "Benzyl Alcohol." Science Direct: Encyclopedia of Toxicology, 2014, Pages 429-432. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123864543002517
Stoiber, T. "What Are Parabens, and Why Don't They Belong in Cosmetics?" EWG, 9 April 2019. https://www.ewg.org/what-are-parabens#:~:text=Propylparaben%20can%20alter%20the%20expression,cancer%20cells%20(Okubo%202001).
100% Pure. "5 Common Side Effects of Parabens." 100% Pure, 3 January 2020. https://www.100percentpure.com/blogs/feed/5-common-side-effects-of-parabens
Women's Voices for Earth. "Beyond the Label: Health Impacts of Harmful Ingredients in Cleaning Products." Women's Voices for Earth, April 2016. https://www.womensvoices.org/beyondthelabel/#:~:text=Butylphenyl%20methylpropional%20may%20cause%20harm,the%20EU%20as%20of%202022.
Scanlon, E.M., "European Union's Lilial Ban Puts Social Media Microscope on U.S. Products Containing the Chemical Compound." Goldberg Segella, 24 March, 2022. https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/european-union-s-lilial-ban-puts-social-6324675/#:~:text=Lilial%2C%20the%20trade%20name%20of,as%20of%20March%201%2C%202022.