Toxins to Avoid

We at Awaken Nature respect you so much for taking the time to make your own personal care products! As you know there is increasing evidence that manufactured personal care products - the soaps, shampoos, creams, toothpaste and deodorants we use daily - contain many harmful chemicals.

U.S. researchers report that one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care and beauty products are industrial chemicals that are suspected to harm the environment as well as cause health problems such as cancer, reproductive disorders, asthma and severe allergies.

Many products include plasticizers (chemicals that keep concrete soft), degreasers (used to get grime off auto parts), and surfactants (they reduce surface tension in water, like in paint and inks). Imagine what that does to your skin, and to the environment.

Here is a list of the dirty dozen toxic chemicals that are found in most store bought personal care products - Visit our website and download our “Why DIY? Shoppers Guide” to help you avoid harmful chemicals using this list of toxic ingredients on the go:

  1. BHA and BHT - In moisturizer, makeup, lipstick etc. May cause cancer and interfere with hormone function. Harmful to fish and other wildlife
  2. Coal tar dyes: - Look for P-PHENYLENEDIAMINE in hair dyes and colours listed as "C.I." followed five digits in other products. Potential to cause cancer and can be contaminated with heavy metals toxic to the brain.
  3. DEA-related ingredients - In creamy and foamy products such as moisturizer and shampoo. Can react to form cancer-causing nitrosamines. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  4. Dibutyl phthalate - In nail products. Toxic to reproduction and may interfere with hormone function. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives - Look for DMDM HYDANTOIN, DIAZOLIDINYL UREA, IMIDAZOLIDINYL UREA, METHENAMINE, or QUARTERNIUM-15. Widely used in hair products, moisturizers, etc. Formaldehyde causes cancer.
  6. Parabens - Widely used in makeup, moisturizers, etc. May interfere with hormone function. Associated with breast cancer.
  7. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance) - Widely used in some products marketed as “unscented” (often the last ingredient). Mixture of chemicals that can trigger allergies and asthma. Some linked to cancer and neurotoxicity. Some harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  8. PEG compounds - Widely used in conditioners, moisturizers, deodorants, etc. Can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer.
  9. Petrolatum - In hair products, lip balm/lipstick, skin care products. Petroleum product that can be contaminated with cancer-causing impurities.
  10. Siloxanes - Widely used in moisturizer, makeup, hair products, etc. May interfere with hormone function and damage liver. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  11. Sodium laureth sulfate - In products that foam such as shampoo, cleansers, bubble bath. SLES can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which may cause cancer. SLS may damage liver. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
  12. Triclosan - In “anti-bacterial” products such as toothpaste, soaps, hand sanitizers. May interfere with hormone function and contribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.
*Although there are many more harmful chemicals in cosmetics these 12 are the most widely used and/or most harmful - DIY and doing your own research is the only way to truly live toxin free.