There has been debate on whether or not certain ingredients in beauty products will actually pose a risk to the health of the end user. Consumers have become increasingly aware of the harshness of the chemicals in beauty products and have become more diligent in their research before making a purchase. Most of the ingredients in question are used for product stability, and moisture; emulsifiers and preservatives, humectants of synthetic origin.
Preservatives: Among the most common preservatives in question are Parabens (Methyl, Ethyl, Butyl, and Propyl), DMDM Hydantoin, Diazolidinyl urea, Imidazolidinyl urea, Methenamine, which are all Formaldehyde releasing agents. Although affects on the body may not be immediate, over time constant exposure to these chemicals can cause cancer in the body.
Emulsifiers: PEG compounds (PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, PEG-7) are used to provide emulsion stability, and can be contaminated with 1, 4-dioxane.
Silicone oils: Another component common in heat protectants are solixanes or silicone oils these silicone oils are known to disrupt endocrine function and can be toxic to the reproductive system.
Check out EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database for more information regarding safe and harmful ingredients in personal care products.
Although these chemicals may not pose immediate danger, frequent use over time may be harmful to the body and cause irreversible damage. There are a number of companies that offer natural alternatives to products that may contain a small percentage of synthetic ingredients but will not harm the body. Natural products tend to be more expensive than products loaded with cheap, harmful fillers but will save families’ headaches, heartaches, and hefty hospital bills later.