- Did You Know?
- What Preservatives Commonly Found in Cosmetics and Moisturizers Should I Avoid?
- Why Does The Total Skin Rejuvenation Cream Use The Vanilla Essential Oil Blend?
- The FDA and Cosmetics
- Aren't cosmetics regulated for dangerous chemicals?
- Doesn't the cosmetic industry regulate itself to make sure products are safe?
- What evidence is there that people are being directly injured by cosmetics?
- Teen Girls' Body Burden of Hormone-Altering Cosmetics
“Did you know that toxins are lurking in your cosmetics? In referring to cosmetics it is not just make-up, but lotion, body soap, etc. Many people kow that what you put in your body is important, but what they do not know is what is put on your body is just as important – since research shows that your skin absorbs 64% of what is put on it directly into your blood stream!!!”
Warning!! Preservatives are some of the Worst Offenders!
Here are a few of the most common cosmetic, personal care, baby care and pet care preservatives that have caused adverse or toxic effects as documented by researchers, scientists and government sponsored testing around the world. By reading labels and avoiding these ingredients you will have healthier skin and hair. You will also avoid potential health risks due to long-term exposure to problem-causing substances. Many of these chemicals have more than one effect. Some are suspected carcinogens, as well as being skin irritants, hormone disruptors and poisons.
Imidazolidinyl urea. Contains free formaldehyde
Diadiazolidinyl urea. Contains free formaldehyde
2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol. Contains free formaldehyde
DMDM (Dimethylol Dimethol) Hydantoin. Contains free formaldehyde
In June, 2004, a World Health Organization panel of 26 scientists from 10 countries announced its conclusions that formaldehyde poses a greater hazard than previously thought. Formaldehyde has long been a "suspected" carcinogen and now researchers confirm the chemical is "carcinogenic to humans." There are many other problems with formaldehyde; it is both a skin irritant and an allergen. Formaldehyde is a common ingredient in perfumes, cosmetics and personal care products, and is also formed in these products from reactions with other ingredients (called formaldehyde donors). A study determined that "free" formaldehyde was present in products preserved with 3 different formaldehyde donors (see list above). Yet the cosmetic industry claimed for decades that formaldehyde donors do not contribute "free" formaldehyde into products. Free formaldehyde means fully present, active formaldehyde rather than the precursor not yet in active form.
Formaldehyde is implicated in DNA damage and inhibits DNA repair. Formaldehyde is mutagenic and can cause mucous membrane irritation, asthma, nausea, vomiting, rashes, nosebleeds, respiratory system problems, neurological problems and menstrual disorders. It is one of the main irritants in Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).
- Joint Pain
Another problem from commonly used skin and hair care product preservatives (as well as out gassing from adhesives in wood and new carpets) is an increase in muscle and joint pain as well as fatigue. Does it seem possible that today's arthritis epidemic could be directly related to formaldehyde donors found in products we use on a daily basis?
- Isopropyl Alcohol
Isopropyl Alcohol enters the body through skin as well as through ingestion. It is used as a preservative and a disinfectant. It is found in cleaning agents, cosmetics, personal care products, perfumes and rubbing alcohol. Alcohol poisoning symptoms include flushing, dizziness, depression, nausea, headaches, and coma. Rubbing alcohol baths or sponges used to soothe fevers can lead to acute poisoning through skin absorption or inhalation. Package warnings suggest using protective gloves and using in a well-ventilated area.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration called “parabens” the most widely used preservatives in the United States. Parabens found in deodorants and antiperspirants are linked to breast cancer. "Parabens are a group of chemicals found in thousands of cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical products. But a new study released by the Journal of Applied Toxicology ["Concentration of Parabens in Human Breast Tumors") found parabens have been linked to cancer. Preservatives used in leave-on products like makeup and skin lotions are of greatest concern because long-term exposure to skin increases opportunities for chemicals to reach the bloodstream. Experts say parabens can demonstrate estrogenic-like activity, increasing the risk of breast tumors."
A decade ago Brunel University (UK) researchers identified parabens as xenoestrogens that penetrated skin. "The inadvertent estrogenicity of certain synthetic chemicals and their subsequent effects on the endocrine system of humans and wildlife is of concern. This study found parabens, as xenoestrogens, may contribute to sterility in male mice and hormone imbalances in females. Xenoestrogens (hormone disruptors) are suspected of contributing to early puberty in young girls and boys”.
They may be some of the ingredients involved in the increase of breast cancer in men - and are now implicated in breast cancer in women. Yet the cosmetic industry continues to claim these ingredients are safe: "Parabens are a class of preservatives (ingredients that help prevent microbial contamination) that have been used in a wide variety of foods, drugs and cosmetics and keep products safe. Parabens have a long history of use in these products and have been specifically recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel reviewed their use in cosmetics in 1984 and concluded that they were safe as used in cosmetics."
Please note that the statement that "Parabens… have been specifically recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration" is somewhat misleading. The FDA's Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) list means only that items on this list haven't been proven UNSAFE… absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence.
There are four types of parabens used as preservatives. Note the additional names as they aren’t always called "parabens". Check your labels for all of the following:
- Methyl Paraben. Methyl Chemosept; Methyl Parasept; 4-Hydroxybenzoic acid methyl ester; Nipagin M;Tegosept M; Aseptoform; Nipagin; 4-Hydroxy methyl benzoate;
- Ethyl Paraben. 4-Hydroxybenzoic acid ethyl ester; Nipagin A; Ethyl Parasept; Solbrol A,
- Propyl Paraben. Nipasol; Propyl Chemosept; Solbrol P; Propyl Parasept; Propyl 4-hydroxybenzoate; 4-Hydroxybenzoic acid propyl ester; p-hydroxy propyl benzoate; n-propyl p-hydroxybenzoate; aseptoform p; betacide p; paseptol; propyl aseptoform; protaben p; tegosept p; 4-hydroxybenzoic propyl ester;
- Butyl Paraben. n-Butyl paraben; n-Butyl p-Hydroxybenzoate; Butyl 4-hydroxybenzoate; Butoben; Butyl Chemosept; Butyl Parasept; p-hydroxybenzoic acid n-butyl ester; 4-(butoxycarbonyl)phenol; aseptoform butyl; butyl tegosept; nipabutyl; solbrol b; tegosept butyl; butyl butex; p-Hydroxy butyl benzoate; 4-Hydroxybenzoic acid butyl ester.
Because of its aromatherapy benefits
- Warm, soothing, calms emotions, eases tension, helps with anger.
- Everyone knows the smooth sweet smell of Vanilla, always associated with cookies, ice cream, and home cooking.
- It is calming, comforting, bringing back warm memories.
- Vanilla also dispels anger, frustration, and tensions. Its relaxing influence can help to induce menstruation, and it is an aphrodisiac because of its relaxing and sensual fragrance.
Vanilla comes from an orchid native to Mexico. When Cortez met Montezuma in the 1500's he recorded that the emperor was served a drink made from powdered cocoa beans and vanilla pods. Vanilla is a vine that flowers and produces long seeds like bean pods.
Aromatherapy benefits of vanilla include heightened mental clarity, increased circulation, decreased fever temperatures, clearing respiratory airways and as a weight-loss aid. Medicinal benefits of the vanilla also have been thought to calm stomach pains, reduce hunger pangs and relieve stress. Europeans believed in vanilla's abilities to ease joint pain and aid in digestion. Natives to the South Pacific islands used vanilla to calm the stomachs of pregnant women with severe morning sickness. More modern research has claimed that vanilla can cure male impotency.
Read more: Aromatherapy Benefits of Vanilla | eHow.com
Does FDA approve cosmetics before they go on the market?
FDA's legal authority over cosmetics is different from other products regulated by the agency, such as drugs, biologics, and medical devices. Cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to FDA premarket approval authority, with the exception of color additives. However, FDA may pursue enforcement action against violative products, or against firms or individuals who violate the law.
Who is responsible for substantiating the safety of cosmetics?
Cosmetic firms are responsible for substantiating the safety of their products and ingredients before marketing. Failure to adequately substantiate the safety of a cosmetic product or its ingredients prior to marketing causes the product to be misbranded unless the following warning statement appears conspicuously on the principal display panel of the product's label:
"Warning--The safety of this product has not been determined." (21 CFR 740.10)
In addition, regulations prohibit or restrict the use of several ingredients in cosmetic products and require warning statements on the labels of certain types of cosmetics.
In general, except for color additives and those ingredients which are prohibited or restricted from use in cosmetics by regulation, a manufacturer may use any ingredient in the formulation of a cosmetic provided that the ingredient and the finished cosmetic are safe, the product is properly labeled, and the use of the ingredient does not otherwise cause the cosmetic to be adulterated or misbranded under the laws that FDA enforces.
Can FDA order the recall of a hazardous cosmetic from the market?
Recalls of cosmetics are voluntary actions taken by manufacturers or distributors to remove from the marketplace products that represent a hazard or gross deception, or that are somehow defective. FDA categorizes a firm's action as a recall (as opposed to a market withdrawal) when it determines that the product hazard or defect represents a violation of the FD&C Act.
FDA is not authorized to require recalls of cosmetics but does monitor companies that conduct a product recall and may request a product recall if the firm is not willing to remove dangerous products from the market without FDA's written request. Recalls are addressed in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), sections 7.40 through 7.59.
What actions can FDA take against firms that market adulterated or misbranded cosmetics?
FDA may take regulatory action if it has information to support that a cosmetic is adulterated or misbranded. The agency can pursue action through the Department of Justice in the federal court system to remove adulterated and misbranded cosmetics from the market. To prevent further shipment of an adulterated or misbranded product, the agency may request a federal district court to issue a restraining order against the manufacturer or distributor of the violative cosmetic. Violative cosmetics may be subject to seizure. FDA also may initiate criminal action against a person violating the law.
In addition, FDA works closely with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection to monitor imports. Under section 801(a) of the FD&C Act, imported cosmetics are subject to review by FDA at the time of entry through U.S. Customs. Products that do not comply with FDA laws and regulations are subject to refusal of admission into the United States. Violative products must be brought into compliance (if feasible), destroyed, or re-exported.
FDA takes regulatory action based upon agency priorities, consistent with public health concerns and available resources.
Can FDA inspect cosmetic manufacturers?
FDA can and does inspect cosmetic manufacturing facilities to assure cosmetic product safety and determine whether cosmetics are adulterated or misbranded under the FD&C Act or FPLA.
Does FDA test cosmetics?
The FD&C Act does not subject cosmetics to FDA premarket approval in order to be marketed legally. However, FDA collects samples for examination and analysis as part of its plant inspections, import inspections, and follow-up to complaints of adverse reactions. FDA may also conduct research on cosmetic products and ingredients to address safety concerns.
The agency does not function as a private testing laboratory, and in order to avoid even the perception of conflict of interest, does not recommend private laboratories to consumers or manufacturers for sample analysis. Testing laboratories are listed in your telephone directory.
Must cosmetic manufacturers register with FDA?
Manufacturers are not required to register their cosmetic establishments, file data on ingredients, or report cosmetic-related injuries to FDA. However, companies are encouraged to register their establishments and file Cosmetic Product Ingredient Statements with FDA's Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program (VCRP).”
Aren't cosmetics regulated for dangerous chemicals?
“Cosmetics are the least regulated products under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA). The FFDCA does not require pre-market safety testing, review, or approval for cosmetics. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pursues enforcement action only after the cosmetic enters into the stream of commerce or sometimes after it is on the shelf. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health found that 884 of the chemicals available for use in cosmetics have been reported to the government as toxic substances. A U. S. General Accounting Office report notes that the FDA has committed no resources for assessing the safety problems of those chemicals which have been found to cause genetic damage, biological mutations, and cancer. Because of minimal regulation, products plainly dangerous to your health can be, and are being, sold..”
Doesn't the cosmetic industry regulate itself to make sure products are safe?
“FDA officials have found that many cosmetic manufacturers lack adequate data on safety tests and have generally refused to disclose the results of these tests. The FDA estimates that only three percent of the 4,000 to 5,000 cosmetic distributors have filed reports with the government on injuries to consumers. In addition, it is estimated that less than 40 percent of the nation's 2,000 to 2,500 cosmetic manufacturers are even registered.”
What evidence is there that people are being directly injured by cosmetics?
“More than 38,000 cosmetic injuries requiring medical attention are reported annually in the United States according to Dr. Samuel S. Epstein (Safe Shopper's Bible Pages 182 & 183). Ingredients in shampoos, toothpastes, skin creams, and other personal care products, fabric softeners, make-up, hair care products, colognes, perfumes and other scented products can be dangerous to your health. In 1989, the United States National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health recognized 884 poisonous substances (many synthetically derived from petrochemicals) from a list of 2,983 chemicals used in the fragrance industry that are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders, allergic respiratory reactions, skin and eye irritations.
Many chemicals found in cosmetics don’t cause obvious immediate signs of toxicity, but slowly poison us through repeated use.
In America, a 1993 survey found levels of the highly toxic and carcinogenic 1,4 dioxane in 27 out of 30 children’s shampoo and bath products tested. In the same study, of 54 cosmetic raw ingredients tested, all contained 1,4 dioxane. A study conducted by the University of California on 58,000 beauty therapists, hairdressers and manicurists, revealed that they developed cancer at four times the rate of the general population.
Many drugs on the market today are administered through transdermal skin patches, which have been shown to be up to 95% more effective than oral medication. This proves that the skin, the largest organ of the body and our first line of immunity, is permeable to all chemicals.”
Teen Girls' Body Burden of Hormone-Altering Cosmetics
“A sudden flurry of interrelated hormone signals initiates the complex process of puberty in the body of an adolescent, triggering rapid development of the reproductive system. Alterations in an array of sex hormones, present in the body at levels as low as one part per billion (ppb), or even one part per trillion (ppt), guide this transformation to adulthood. Subtle hormonal signals coordinate many other critical developmental processes occurring during human adolescence, including the adolescent "growth spurt" and associated rapid bone growth, maturation of the immune, blood, and adrenal hormone systems, shifts in metabolism, and key changes to brain structure and function. The dramatic changes of adolescence, all orchestrated via shifts in the minute levels of hormones present in healthy bodies, suggest a unique vulnerability of adolescents and pre-adolescents to the effects of exposures to low levels of hormone-active chemicals found in body care products and other everyday items.
Signs of this vulnerability are evident in girls growing up all over America. Over the last 4 decades, the age at which girls begin to develop breasts has declined by 1 to 2 years (Steingraber 2007), with black girls typically developing at an earlier age than white girls. At present, about half of all U.S. girls show signs of breast development by their 10th birthday, with 14% attaining breast buds between their 8th and 9th birthdays (Herman-Giddens 1997; Lee 2001). Early breast development, as well as the appearance of pubic hair at a young age, have become so common that in 1999 the clinical definition of early-onset or precocious puberty in the U.S. was reduced from age 8 to 7 for white girls, and from age 7 to 6 for black girls (Kaplowitz 1999). By some estimates, precocious puberty currently affects as many as 1 in 5,000 children, and is 10 times more common in girls than boys (Nebesio 2005; Partsch 2001). Over the same 40 year time period, the age at which girls in the U.S. begin menstruating has declined by a few months, with substantial variation by ethnicity (Steingraber 2007). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the mean age of the beginning of menstruation, or menarche, in the U.S. was 12.8 years in 1970 (Harlan 1980); nearly 40 years later, it stands at about 12.6 years for white girls, 12.1 for black girls and 12.2 for Mexican American girls (Kaplowitz 2006; Herman-Giddens 1997, 2006).
A girl that begins puberty at an early age is at greater risk for several adult illnesses, including breast cancer (Wang 2005; Steingraber 2007; Golub 2008) and polycystic ovary syndrome (Ibáñez 1997; Kousta 2006; Steingraber 2007; Golub 2008), a leading cause of pelvic pain and infertility. Polycystic ovary syndrome is also linked to increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and impaired glucose tolerance (Auchus 2004; Kousta 2006), and increased prevalence of risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease (Kousta 2006). In addition, girls who experience premature puberty are more likely to fail to reach normal adult height (Carel 2006; Partsch 2006). In boys, early puberty may be associated with an increased risk for testicular cancer according to some epidemiological studies (Golub 2008). Early-maturing girls are also more prone to a variety of psychiatric or behavioral problems, including depression, eating disorders, and attempted suicide (Graber 1997; Kaltiala-Heino 2001, 2003a, 2003b), early use and abuse of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes (Graber 1997, 2004; Kaltiala-Heino 2003b), early sexual encounters (Kaltiala-Heino 2003b), unprotected sex (Flanigan 2003), teen pregnancy (Deardorff 2005), and conduct disorders and criminal behavior (Johansson 2005; Kaltiala-Heino 2003b; Burt 2006; Celio, 2006). Early-maturing girls are also more likely to be physically and violently victimized (Haynie 2006). Women experiencing early puberties tend to have lower academic education (Johansson 2005), while late-maturing girls tend to perform better in school and are more likely to finish college (Graber 1997, 2004)
While improved nutrition and increased incidence of obesity may play a role in the falling age of puberty, scientists and medical professionals increasingly identify exposures to hormone-disrupting chemicals as a potentially critical factor in unnaturally accelerating this critical period of development. Few epidemiological studies probe the association between exposures to trace levels of widely used hormone-disrupting chemicals and the timing of puberty. However, preliminary research on people suggests that exposures to phthalates (Colon 2000), the pesticide DDT and its metabolite DDE (Krstevska-Konstantinova 2001; Vasiliu 2004), and polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs; Blanck 2000), may be linked to early puberty in girls. In contrast, exposures to the pesticide endosulfan (Saiyed 2003), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs; Den Hond 2002), and lead (Hauser 2008) may be linked to delayed puberty in boys. The hormone-disrupting properties of these chemicals have been corroborated in numerous animal studies (e.g., ATSDR 1995, 1997, 2000, 2002). Animal studies also indicate that exposures during puberty to hormone-disrupting contaminants may trigger unique and lasting adverse health effects unlike those seen for exposures during adulthood. For example, immature and pubertal rats appear to be more sensitive than adults to testicular toxicity induced by exposure to phthalates, perhaps due to differences in the absorption or metabolism of these compounds (Gray 1986; Sjoberg 1986; Dostal 1988). Immature male rats are also more sensitive than adults to the pesticide 1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane (Lui 1987). This pesticide was banned after reports of infertility in occupationally exposed men. In parallel, immature rats may be more susceptible than adult rats to ovarian toxicity produced by the industrial chemical 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (Flaws 1994). Animal studies on breast cancer also indicate that the period around puberty, in which mammary glands undergo critical types of development, may be a period of special vulnerability to toxic chemicals that can provoke alterations in development that predispose the breast to cancer (Fenton 2006). Animals exposed to the extremely potent hormone disruptor dioxin experienced inhibited mammary gland development, the effects of which persisted into adulthood (Brown 1998; Lewis 2001; Fenton 2002). A study of 200 Belgian adolescents exposed to dioxin and other chemicals via pollution demonstrated a significant delay in breast development in girls associated with a doubling of serum dioxin concentrations (Den Hond 2002).
Researchers at the University of California at Davis have performed a thorough examination of the effects of hormone disruption during adolescence by exposing female rhesus monkeys to known estrogenic agents methoxychlor and diethylstilbestrol (DES) during puberty (Golub 2003, 2004). DES in particular was found to have a dramatic effect on development, triggering increased incidence of ovarian cysts, suppression of menses, premature emergence of some secondary sex characteristics and delayed emergence of others, inhibition of the adolescent growth spurt, reduced bone mass and length, and alterations to a number of blood and immune system parameters. Disruption in these systems could alter adult risk for reproductive system dysfunction, as well as osteoporosis, heart disease, and autoimmune disease. .”