What ingredients do you look for when searching for the best cream or best shampoo for eczema? Do you pay close attention to what goes into your shampoo?
The personal care products are a $50 billion industry – especially in the United States. But what if you were told that the personal care products you are using actually increases your risk for hair and skin damage, immunological problems, and possibly even cancer. Would you pay more attention to these ingredients?
What is the real cost of applying these products to your body?
Currently, the United States has banned or restricted 11 ingredients that are used in cosmetics, while in Europe, the E.U. Cosmetics Directive has banned or restricted 1,100 ingredients that are found to be toxic or dangerous.
One of the findings was that the average adult uses nine personal care products each day, containing 126 different chemicals. The study also found that more than 250,000 women, and one out of every 100 men, use an average of 15 products daily.
Make it a habit to read labels and look for any of the following common, hazardous chemicals.
Here are ingredients to watch out for and avoid:
- Parabens – used as preservatives (and commonly listed as Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, etc). These can accelerate the growth of tumors, as seen in a study that detected parabens in sample of breast tumors.
- Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) and Glycols (Propylene, Butylene, Etc.) – these solvents are produced through a process known as ethoxylation, which delivers 1,4 Dioxane to the skin. It is reported by the FDA as a known carcinogen.
- Petrochemicals (or by-products of Petroleum) – products such as Petrolatum, Vaseline, and Mineral Oil seal in moisture don’t allow the skin to properly breathe. This also means that these ingredients can trap in toxins, including waste and excess oils. These interfere with your body’s lipid barrier system.
- Lauryl/Laureth Sulfates (Sodium and Ammonium)– these are harsh detergents that irritate the skin and are commonly used in shampoos and body washes. They are often also absorbed through the skin and retained by the body in eyes, brains, heart and liver. These, also, are created through ethoxylation.
- Synthetic Fragrances – fragrance is a generic term for a company’s “secret” ingredient that contain up to hundreds (or even thousands) of harmful or irritating ingredients and solvents. Since a company does not need to reveal what is in it, it is wise to avoid products that simply list “Fragrance”.
The United Nations Environmental Programme estimates that approximately 70,000 chemicals are in common use across the world, with 1,000 new chemicals being introduced every year. Of all the chemicals used in cosmetics, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health reported that nearly 900 are toxic, and that estimate might be low.
“Natural” products are not always as safe as they claim to me. The FDA also does not have a true regulated definition for “natural products.” Because of the lack of regulation, many brands (including those that are large with a great reputation), are actually producing products that contain harmful ingredients, while selling and producing safer and cleaner versions of the same product in other countries.
These chemicals can be dangerous especially when lipstick is licked and swallowed, or when shampoo gets absorbed by you scalp or runs into your eyes or your baby’s eyes.
Now you know that in order to help you in your quest to find the best shampoo for eczema, you need to be very selective in choosing the best ingredients for your eczema product.