How to Read Cosmetic Ingredient Labels XXI

Your face is one of the first things people.  This cleanser is fairly popular and was recommended to you by a friend.  In need of a good face cleanser you purchase the product.  Your Label Poise activated while reading the bottle as you washed your face. You then realized you should have checked the ingredients first.  Remember, I am teaching you Label Poise–how to walk the walk, talk the talk, and buy products that meet YOUR standards, whether natural, organic, or safe enough.

The Label

LabelPoise21

The Ingredients

Water:  Safe!  Water is the ultimate moisturizer and is a key ingredient in any moisturizing product.

Cetyl Alcohol:  Safe!  This is a fatty alcohol that is often used as an emollient and emulsifier in conditioners. It is typically derived naturally from coconut or palm oil.  (MSDS)

Propylene Glycol:  Beware!  Propylene Glycol aka PPG is used as a penetration enhancer, humectant, and stabilizes the product despite temperature changes. This ingredient is not believed to be carcinogenic or a developmental toxin, though it may be contaminated with impurities such as Ethylene Oxide and 1,4-dioxane which are carcinogens. It is a suspected mutagen and teratogen. It is believed to be a skin irritant. In pure form it can be toxic to the central nervous system and may cause target organ damage (lungs and kidneys) with prolonged or repeated exposure. This ingredient is low on this list and should only be a low-moderate concern.  (MSDS)

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Beware!  Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) is a surfactant and foaming agent commonly found in shampoos. It is a known skin and eye irritant. SLES can also be containated with possible carcinogen 1,4-dioxane and known carcinogen ethylene oxide. Ethylene oxide can be toxic to the central nervous system; 1,4-dioxane does not easily degrade in the environment (persistent. This ingredient can be extremely drying to the hair, though it is considered less harsh than sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). (MSDS, MSDS)

Stearyl Alcohol:  Safe!  This is also a fatty alcohol that is often used as an emollient and emulsifier in conditioner. (MSDS)

Methylparaben:  Beware!  This ingredient is synthetic and acts as a preservative with anti-fungal properties.  It is naturally occurring in fruits such as blueberries as p-hydroxybenzoic acid.  This ingredient is readily absorbed into skin and it along with other parabens have been at the center of controversy about its role in causing cancerous cells in breast tissue being that parabens are xenoestrogens (mimic estrogen).  There is not conclusive proof that states that use of personal care products containing parabens causes cancer.  Methylparaben is suspected to cause DNA damage and increased skin aging when it reacts to UVB rays.  It can be a skin allergen (dermatitis) in a paraben mix.(MSDS)

Propylparaben:  Beware!  Propylparaben is used as an anti-fungal preservative, typically in concentrations less than 1%. It is commonly synthetically produced though it is produced naturally in fruits as p-hydroxybenzoic acid.  It is readily absorbed into the skin and metabolized, and has been found in urine in limited tests.  This ingredient is readily absorbed into skin and it along with other parabens have been at the center of controversy about its role in causing cancerous cells in breast tissue being that parabens are xenoestrogens (mimic estrogen).  There is not conclusive proof that demonstrates that use of personal care products containing parabens causes cancer.  It can be a skin allergen (dermatitis) in a paraben mix. (MSDS)

Butylparaben:  Beware!  Butylparaben is an antibacterial preservative that is typically used in a variety of cosmetics formulations in concentrations of less than 1%. Butylparaben is the least commonly used paraben, perhaps because it has lower antimicrobial activity. It is produced via the esterification of 4-hydrobenzoic acid and 1-butanol in the presence of an acidic catalyst, therefore it is synthetic. This ingredient is readily absorbed into skin and it along with other parabens have been at the center of controversy about its role in causing cancerous cells in breast tissue being that parabens are xenoestrogens (mimic estrogen).  There is not conclusive proof that demonstrates that use of personal care products containing parabens causes cancer.  Butylparaben is toxic to lungs and mucous membranes in pure form.  It is also slightly hazardous to skin, eyes, and lungs.  It can also be a contact skin allergen (dermatitis), along with other parabens (in a mix). (MSDS;MSDS)

 

Would you purchase this product?

Nature’s Pulchritude’s Verdict:  This product has a short ingredient list, but do not be fooled.  Though the ingredient list is short, half of the ingredients are rated Beware! and have very questionable safety assessments.  The marketing of this product is interesting as well, and misleading.  It says it is ‘soap-free’ despite the fact that SLS is a surfactant (a cleaning agent) is known to be rather harsh.  This product also says it is gentle enough to be used on babies, which could technically be true, but considering all of the parabens and propylene glycol (3rd ingredient!) is being gentle upon initial contact that important?  This product is fairly popular and have above average reviews based on performance.  Based on ingredients, I would not purchase this product.

 

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