Chemicals and your Health – Part II

harmful chemicals in your beauty products and cosmetics that you may not be aware of and should be and should avoid as well

  1. BPA and Hand sanitizer: A toxic mix

BPA/BPS is found in receipts. It mimics estrogen activity and can cause the following:

  • PCOS, infertility, premature delivery, miscarriage, and other reproductive effects in women
  • Reduced libido and sperm quality, and altered sex hormone concentrations in men
  • Altered thyroid function
  • Obesity and diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Impaired liver and kidney function
  • Impaired immune function
  • Inflammation
  • Neurobehavioral deficits such as aggressiveness, hyperactivity, and impaired learning (3)

“Hand sanitizers and other skin products (e.g. soaps, sunscreens, lotions) contain “dermal penetration enhancers” that are designed to enhance the delivery of the active ingredients they contain. Previous studies have found that dermal penetration enhancers can increase the absorption of estradiol, a chemical very similar to BPA, by as much as 100-fold.”



  • Avoid using hand sanitizer and other skin products like sunscreen or lotion prior to handling receipts.
  • Avoid handling receipts even with dry hands for long periods of time. If you are a cashier, make sure to wear gloves.
  • Use glass and stainless steel containers at home for food storage. Be aware that the lids of Mason and Kerr brand canning jars contain BPA. There are BPA-free lids, but they still may contain chemicals with estrogenic activity, and I’ve been told they’re made with formaldehyde. Weck makes 100% glass jars that are a good alternative. Crate and Barrel sells them here. My favorite stainless steel containers are from Lunch Bots.
  • Use glass, stainless steel, or silicone instead of plastic for freezer storage. Seethis article for recommendations.
  • Use a stainless steel water bottle (like the Klean Kanteen) instead of plastic bottles.
  • Don’t drink bottled water from plastic bottles, especially when they’ve been exposed to sunlight.
  • Parents: use glass baby bottles instead of plastic. Evenflo is a commonly available brand you can buy at Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, etc. and online at Amazon and other retailers.

2. Chemicals in Makeup and Cosmetics 

3. Chemicals in shampoo, soap and lotion 

4. Aluminium in anti-oxidant and anti-perspirant 

  • Readily absorbed by skin (especially freshly shaved pits), can lead to cancer and possibly even Alzheimer’s disease

5. Chemicals in your sunscreen

  • Aluminium is present. But be careful of zinc oxide/titanium dioxide too. If in nanoparticle-form, they can penetrate the skin and cause other problems.

*First published here on January 1st 2016*

Beauty Masterpost: Ingredients to avoid in beauty products

harmful chemicals in your beauty products and cosmetics that you should be aware of and should avoid if possible

  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate/SLS, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
    1. Damage eyes, severely irritate skin
    2. Endocrine disruptor, carcinogen 
  • Petroleum, Petrolatum, Mineral oil, Petrochemical, *Paraffins, Terms ending in “anol”, like isopropyl alcohol or isopropanol, methyl alcohol or methanol, butyl alcohol or butanol, ethyl alcohol or ethanol
    1. Absorbed through the skin; toxic to brain, kidney, respiratory system
  • Parabens (ethyl, butyl, methyl, propyl, isobutyl)
    1. Imitates estrogen -> causes breast cancer
    2. Found in many products
  • Alcohol (benzyl, ethyl, isopropyl [SD-40], methyl, SD alcohols)
    1. Very drying for the skin; makes you more susceptible to bacteria
  • Water
    1. Not toxic, but very drying

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