Have you heard of the Environmental Working Group? They are a non-profit organization that research products that may threaten our health and the environment.
They recently found that a certain cancer-causing chemical 1,4-dioxane, is used by many companies in many cosmetic products. You will notice this chemical by other names, such as dioxane, diethylene dioxide, 1,4-diethylene dioxide, diethylene ether, glycol ethylene ether, dioxane-1,4, tetrahydro-p-dioxin, tetrahydro-1,4-dioxin.
The description of 1,4-dioxane from Wikipedia: 1,4-Dioxane is primarily used in solvent applications for the manufacturing sector; however, it is also found in fumigants and automotive coolant. Additionally, the chemical is also used as a foaming agent and appears as an accidental byproduct of the ethoxylation process in cosmetics manufacturing.
Simply speaking, this is scary stuff and cause for concern.
From the EWG study in which they read the ingredient listings of 15,000 cosmetics, skin care and other personal care products, they have published the following alarming statistics:
*22% of cosmetics and skin care products, including baby soaps, are contaminated with 1,4-dioxane.
*80 percent of all cosmetic products may be contaminated with one or more carcinogenic impurities.
Overall, they have found that this chemical is used in almost all brands of
hair relaxers and over half of the baby soaps. They broke down the contamination levels as follows:
* 97% – hair relaxers
* 82% – hair dyes and bleaching
* 66% – hair removers
* 57% – baby soap
* 45% – sunless tanning products
* 43% – body firming lotion
* 36% – hormonal creams
* 36% – facial moisturizers
* 35% – anti-aging products
* 34% – body lotion
* 33% – around-eye creams
So, what do we need to do? First thing is to read your ingredient labels and get to know the names of the chemicals we do not want on our skin. Besides the ones listed above, look for the ingredients sodium laureth sulfate and others that include the clauses “PEG,” “xynol,” “ceteareth,” and “oleth.” These all have some form of 1,4-dioxane in them.
Even if you thought that natural was the way to go, some of these names will sneakily surprise you by showing up on the label. The only true way to avoid these chemicals are to use 100% Organic products – which will be certified as so.