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Well-Women guide to the Hazards of Chemicals


The Hazards of Chemicals in Beauty Products. What’s OK and what to avoid

Please click here for extensive information

Please Click HERE to read about the dangers of additives in our food

Please Click HERE to read about the hazards of chemicals in household cleaners

60 per cent of what you apply to your skin gets absorbed into you body so bearing in mind the huge lists of toxic ingredients on the back of some of the products, if you already have an autoimmune disease, you will not be doing yourself any favours.

Even if you are perfectly well, chances are you won’t be for long if you continue using the products containing the alarming list of ingredients below.

They are Immune system disruptors and gradually invade cells causing cancer and other major illnesses. The use of hair colourants is a major concern due to the amount of time colourant is left on the hair as all the while, it is being absorbed by your scalp which is like a sponge, soaking up the toxins. It is recommended that a large dose of anti-oxidants are taken prior to and for a few days after hair colouring, together with plenty of fibre. You should also drink loads of water to flush out your system.

Better still, use more Natural hair colourants to minimise many of the risks. Few hair colours are completely free of toxic ingredients and those that are, are often not the colours we want. Naturtint, Herbatint and Tints of Nature have cut down on many of the more suspect ingredients. However, you should still flush out with water before during and after their use. Try to limit the use of hair colours to 6-8 weeks and just re touch the roots rather than a whole head application. highlights and low lights are also safer.

I can not overemphasize the need to change your lifestyle dramatically and go organic, or as close as you can to being chemical free. Basically if you use these products every day, you are setting yourself up for serious health problems, yet so many people are just ignoring the very worrying evidence.

Many of these products disrupt the immune system and the endocrine system and many people are eventually becoming very ill. We are all absorbing chemicals from products we use at an alarming rate since we use these products every day, often more than once. At worst, these chemicals are even causing cancer. And all in the name of beauty. You can buy organic and 100 per cent natural products that are safe and you will notice the difference when you use them, to your skin, hair and health. They should all have a health warning on them like cigarettes. Next time you buy a product, check out the list and see how many of these products are listed and note the array of other horrors in one huge list. Can they really be doing you any good? Is it really ok to be spraying the chemicals under your arm, so close to lymph nodes and also your breasts?

The list is endless, in fact there are over 800 chemicals in beauty products many of which are potentially carcinogenic. Here are just a minute few:

Alcohol (Isopropyl)

This is a solvent and is found in hair colourants, body lotion, hand lotion, after shave, perfume and fragrance. It is also used in anti-freeze. It can cause depression, headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting. The fatal dose if taken internally is only one ounce.

bath products DEA(dienthanolamine) MEA(monoethanolamine) TEA(methanolamine)

DEA and MEA are usually listed after another product such as lauramide DEA. They are carcinogenic and hormone disruptors. Used repeatedly, they can cause liver and kidney cancer. They are usually in products like bubble bath, hand wash, shampoos, soaps and cleansers, shower gels and body washes, basically anything that foams.


Most beauty products contain fragrance and this includes shampoo, conditioners, facial skincare products, soap, bath products sunscreen, in fact the list is endless and up to 4000 chemicals can be involved. Many of the properties in fragrance are potentially carcinogenic and toxic and can affect the central nervous system causing dizziness, vomiting, nausea amongst many others. On one occasion I was sprayed by an assistant in the beauty hall of a department store. The fragrance made me so ill I had a migraine for 3 days, so I can quite understand this. You can make your own fragrance using essential oils

Polyethelene glycol (PEG)

Unfortunately this can be found in facial cleansers and is added to dissolve the oil and grease on our skin It also thickens the product to make it creamy. This product can also be found in oven cleaners. They disrupt the immune system by stripping our skin of it’s natural moisture and are also potentially carcinogenic.

Propylene glycol (PG)

This product is found in haircare products, cosmetics, after shave, deoderants, mouthwashes, toothpaste, It is also used in processing our food. It is the active ingredient in anti freeze and industrial workers handling this product have to wear gloves and even eye protection because of it’s toxicity to the skin, yet it is in a high concentration in products we are using on our skin daily and even putting into our mouth (toothpaste and mouthwash). It also has to be disposed of at hazardous waste sites.

Sodium lauryl sulphate or also sodium laureth (SLS)

This product is in 90 per cent of all shampoos and really anything that foams. It is a surfactant and is also used in detergents. Research has shown it is damaging to the immune system, the eyes and skin and when combined with other chemicals in products can also be carcinogenic. It is now seen as a real health threat because it is present in products that are innocently used daily. Problem is, it’s residue stays in the body where it then wreaks havoc. Because it gets absorbed by the skin, it is even more dangerous than eating it.

make up Mineral oil

Using this is like putting a seal over your skin, or wrapping it in plastic cling film. Think on this one….we put it all over our babies! It acts like a seal and stops the skin from breathing disrupting our natural immune barrier. It stops the skin from eliminating toxins causing them to accumulate. This contributes to acne and by it’s very nature in causing toxin build up, causes premature aging of the skin.


This product is carcinogenic and 500,000 more deadly than DDT Ethyl Alcohol

DMDM Hydantoin and Urea

These preservatives actually release formaldehyde into our bodies which is carcinogenic. Even funeral directors are saying that they only need to use half the formaldehyde that they once used because of the high concentration in our bodies at the time of death.

Methlyparaben and propylparaben

Parabens are dangerous....period!

Parabens are used as preservatives in cosmetics and there are four main parabens in use: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben. You have no doubt seen them on the ingredients list of many products in your bathroom cabinet. Shriek!!!!

In the EU, cosmetic ingredients are listed by law so it is really easy to check before you buy. They are also oestrogenic. That means they have the ability to mimic oestrogen in the female body meaning?

Well, parabens have been found in most breast tumours, so what does that tell you? They can cause an escalation in progression and size of tumour. These preservatives are absorbed into the body and disrupt enzyme and endocrine activity. They are potentially lethal and carcinogenic. Check out this very important site for further information about parabens

more makeup Carmine

This is in lipsticks, blushers and eye shadows. And has been connected to heart problems


This is a preservative with the potential to cause skin reactions and allergies irritation.


Used in moisturisers, eyebrow pencils, wax hair removers and much more (See also mineral oil) Derived from petroleum or coal.


This cheap ingredient, once again derived from petroleum and causing the same problems as mineral oil, sits on the skin affecting the skin’s natural moisture barrier.

Stearalkonium chloride

This chemical is used in hair conditioners and creams. It causes allergic reactions and as it is cheap, and also used in fabric softeners, it is easier for companies to use rather than spending the money on plant based ingredients which are deemed expensive, even though the natural products really do boost hair and skin health.

Synthetic colours

Used to give make up items their colour they will appear as FD&C, or D&C followed by number and colour. Many of these are potentially carcinogenic,

Please remember these productsare dangerous They are toxic to our bodies, more so because we are using them daily, sometimes 2 or 3 times. They are causing a build up of free radicals and are causing DNA damage. Many of the large cosmetic houses are still using these products and some of them are brand names that we trust.

When looking for products, first ensure that the products really are organic or botanical as many say that they use natural ingredients and in fact do use them but ensure that the "dangerous" chemicals are not in the product. Many products are not 100 per cent natural and indeed it is hard to get them as natural as 100 per cent as many would "go off" on the shelves so preservative are usually necessary. However many companies have an ethos where they are responsible to mankind and the environment and use natural preservatives and ingredients where possible. It is best to find such reputable companies and then stick to their brands so that you really do know what you are getting and that they are committed to providing what they say.

The cosmetics industry is such a money making conglomerate and large companies know that women will pay anything to look good and often don't care what is in the product or how much damage it is causing them. Take botox for example. How can anyone inject botulism into their face? It would be better to have cosmetic surgery maybe? I'm confused.

Also, has anyone considered the potential dangers of spray tanning booths? You are standing in a booth being sprayed from head to toe with chemicals. All because you want a sun tan. How ridiculous. To read more, Please click HERE

There are certain brands I use myself and some of my favourites are: Raw Gaia, Essential Care, Dr Hauschka, Jane Iredale and Green People, although there are many more products to try that are as natural as possible won’t harm you. Please see my beauty page. Dr Hauschka products are recommended by Madonna and Jerry Hall.

Green People products are recommended by Kate Moss, Daryl Hannah, Helena Christensen and Davina McCall. Many celebrities are going along the natural route too, so proving we don’t need to make sacrifices to look good. Many of Green people products are available in trial sizes and their dietary range is really fantastic for optimum health.

By substantially reducing down the amount of times you are using a product containing chemicals, you are benefiting your skin, hair, body and immune system. I noticed that my facial skin pumped out oil when using products containing chemicals because they are so harsh, but this reduced when using organic products. You are much much less prone to irritation of any kind and your skin really looks a lot fresher and younger and glows. When you think about it, how can it glow with chemicals in it? (except in a radio active kind of way, I suppose!!) I Try to make sure that most of the products I use are chemical free. There has to be some exceptions though. However I have actually become quite afraid of using products containing chemicals.

Your hair benefits too and is stronger and shinier. The thing about organic shampoo’s is that they do not lather as much due to the absence of sodium laureth sulphate, but your hair is still clean afterwards. It may not be “squeaky” clean, but this is usually because it has been stripped of oils. Oily hair tends to be less oily as the chemicals in shampoo are being absorbed into your scalp causing the sebaceous glands to over act. Dry hair benefits because it is not being stripped of all goodness. The organic hair conditioners are fantastic and you know your hair is being nourished. (No silicone in the ingredients)

With cleansers, your skin is not being stripped of it’s natural moisture barrier or preventing your skin from breathing or eliminating toxins. Bath and shower products are unlikely to cause candida or irritation as the ingredients are beneficial and not chemical.

Make up is also beneficial to your skin and without blocking pores or stopping skin from breathing. There are many products to choose from and with trial sizes available, you can mix and match and even take them on holiday. There are also anti aging products and luxurious facial oils so you are not losing out on luxury, just on chemicals and scary ingredients.

Body lotions and sun creams are not packed with potentially carcinogenic ingredients and slavering these on will not cause you anxiety about damaging your immune system or sealing your skin off causing problems with toxin elimination.

Also, in a world that is becoming more and more damaged by pollutants and chemicals, you are doing your bit for environmental issues as the bottles and packaging are recyclable. Green people also sell baby products, fluoride and SLS free toothpaste, home care products, suncare products as well as cosmetics, haircare and skincare products. They also do their own body spa range. I particularly recommend their cooling eye gel to reduce puffiness.

Dr Hauschka range is gorgeous with a face care range, eye and lip care products, body care, sun care. I particularly love their light rose day cream as a beautiful scented face cream, their tinted moisturiser, bronzing powder and their translucent bronze concentrate which gives a warm sun kissed glow to the face. None of the products are outrageously over priced and the quality is fantastic.

With so many yummy products to choose from there is bound to be one for you as many organic and natural brands have an extensive range.

Please Click HERE to read about chemicals in well known beauty products

Please Click HERE to see books about chemicals and their harzards

Please Click HERE to read about additives in our food that are potentially life threatening

Please click HERE to read about chemicals in sunscreen

Please Click HERE to read about chemicals in our home

Please Click HERE to go to the Well Women home page

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