Are Your Personal Care Products Really “Natural”?

Many of us assume that if a personal care product has the word “natural” on its label or is sold in our favorite grocery or department store, that it is safe for our use. Unfortunately, manufacturers are not required to do safety testing of ingredients they use in their products.  And there is no regulation to ensure that products that are marked “natural” actually are. Fortunately, the National Products Association (NPA) has created a list of  ingredients that should not be in a product labeled “natural”.  The PCC Sound Consumer May e-newsletter has provided these lists and also offers an in-depth look at this issue.  Below are ingredients the NPA has prohibited in products labeled “natural”. Read full article.

Ingredients prohibited by NPA

Parabens — Synthetic preservatives; potential hormone disrupters

Sodium lauryl sulfate — Harsh cleansing agent that potentially can damage the lipid layer of your skin and cause irritation

Petrolatum/mineral oil/paraffin — Non-renewable by-products of crude oil with potentially dangerous impurities

Chemical Sunscreens (Avobenzone/Oxybenzone) — Synthetic sunscreens that get absorbed and potentially disrupt hormone balance

Glycols — Petroleum-derived synthetic chemicals that potentially draw other chemicals into the bloodstream

Phthalates — Synthetic fragrance components; potential toxins

Ethoxylated ingredients (Sodium myreth sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, PEGs or PPGs) — Ingredients made partly with the petrochemical ethylene oxide, that results in 1,4 Dioxane as a trace contaminant, classified as a possible carcinogen

Ethanolamines (MEA/DEA/TEA) — Foam-and viscosity-boosting ingredients that can interact with other ingredients to form nitrosamines, a known carcinogen

Synthetic polymers (PVP/acrylates) — Synthetic stabilizers that may contain residual PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), widespread organic pollutants

Formaldehyde donors (DMDM hydantoin/diazolidinyl Urea) — Preservatives that work by releasing formaldehyde

Synthetic fragrances (absolutes/concretes) – Fragrances that use petroleum-based solvents for extraction