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Beauty Detox Put Your Best Face Forward Safely

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) estimates that the aver- age woman uses at least 12 personal care prod- ucts—including soaps, shampoos, cosmetics and lotions—every day, many of which contain potentially toxic ingredi- ents. The David Suzuki Foundation states, “U.S. researchers report that one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are carcino- gens, pesticides, reproductive toxins

or hormone disruptors.” Stacy Malkan, of the Campaign for Safe Cosmet- ics, advises, “Beware of bogus claims like ‘certified hypoallergenic’, meaning- less marketing terms like ‘clean and simple’, and companies that do not list the product ingredients on their website.”

One of the most

troublesome additives is paraben, a chemical preservative found in nu- merous products that mimics estrogen and may disrupt normal hormone

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function. Others include diethanol- amine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA), hormone disrupters that can form cancer-causing nitrates and are common ingredients of shampoos, shaving creams and body washes. Various artificial fragrances are among the top five allergens around the world, and can also contain neurotoxins. Triclosan and triclocar- ban, antimicrobial pesticides used in liquid and solid soaps, are toxic to the aquatic environment and disrupt thyroid function and reproductive hormones. Sodium lauryl and laureth sulfate—detergents common in facial cleansers, shampoos and shower gels—may be contaminated with carcinogens and neurotoxins and can irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory tract.

The EWG also suggests avoiding anti-aging creams with lactic, glycolic, AHA and BHA acids; hair dyes that contain ammonia, peroxide, p-phen- ylenediamine or diaminobenzene, and all dark, permanent hair dyes; nail pol- ish and removers with formaldehyde; and skin lighteners containing hydro- quinine. Forego sunscreen sprays and beware of oxybenzone; instead, use products containing at least 7 percent zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Children’s products are not im-

mune, either. Steer clear of play make- up, including lipstick, nail polish and perfume; diaper cream that contains boric acid or sodium borate; baby wipes with Bronopol; and fluoridated toothpaste for youngsters under 2. The EWG’s Skin Deep database

( provides easy-to- navigate safety ratings for many per- sonal care products and ingredients. Their Quick Tips for Safer Cosmetics wallet guide informs shoppers how to read personal care product labels and make smart choices.

Sources:; Environment.; Safe

12 Hudson County

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