Beauty AND Health: 5 Cancer Causing Personal Care Products To Avoid 

Posted on Aug 31, 2014 in Research

Looking great shouldn’t endanger your health.  Yet, cosmetic companies can (and do!) put almost any ingredient in their products. Our shampoos. sunscreens, and cosmetics often contain dangerous cancer-causing ingredients. And, research shows that what goes on the skin gets into the blood. These 5 common ingredients disrupt the functions of estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid hormone. This increase the risk of breast, prostate, colon, ovarian, and thyroid cancer.

Avoid these 5 toxic ingredients:

Parabens: These are added to lotions, creams, and cosmetics as preservatives. When applied to the skin, they enter the body and disrupt hormone function. Safer alternatives: vitamin E, rosemary oil.
Fragrance: Federal law does not require manufacturers to list these chemicals or to test their long term safety. Fragrance mixtures often contain hormone disruptors that mimic estrogen. Safer alternative: essential oil fragrance or unscented.
Phthlates: Found in lotions, nail polish, and cosmetics. They may be listed, or included in “fragrance”. They disrupt thyroid and sex hormones, mimic estrogen, and increase the risk of estrogen-dependent cancer. Safer options: Shea butter or coconut oil as lotions. Oil and groom nails but skip the polish.
Oxybenzone: Common chemical sunscreen. Linked to hormone disruption and to decreased birth weight in baby girls. Safer options: zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA): Preservative used in processed food, packaging, and personal care products. Most dry cereal bags have BHA. BHA is linked to stomach cancer, liver damage, and disruption of thyroid and sex hormones.

For safer choices, check out the Skin Deep cosmetics shopping guide.