The Dangerous Ingredients in Common Personal Care Products

When it comes to personal care products, there are dozens of brands to choose from when it comes to shampoo, toothpaste, sunscreen or mouthwash. But most of these products contain dozens (if not hundreds) of questionable chemical ingredients. 

by Kristine Payne

On average, women’s personal care products contain almost 200 chemical ingredients, while men’s personal care products contain almost a hundred.

Some of these chemical ingredients are harmless, but others may expose you to serious health risks from long-term use. Read on to check out a few of them:

  1. Aluminum — It may make you stink, but sweating is good for you. The aluminum in deodorant? Not so much. It plugs your sweat ducts to prevent sweating, and can even be absorbed by the skin to mess up your body.
  2. Avobenzone — Usually present in sunscreen, avobenzone doesn’t offer much in the way of sun protection. In fact, it breaks down way too quickly, offering little to no defense from harmful UV rays.
  3. Benzalkonium chloride — You’ll often see this preservative and surfactant in deodorants. However, this allergen may cause skin, eye, and respiratory allergies.
  4. Cetylpyridinium chloride — This is an antiseptic mouthwash ingredient that contains alcohol. Using alcohol to clean your hands isn’t a problem, but placing it in your mouth dries it out. A dry mouth is more prone to oral health problems.
  5. Chlorhexidine — A disinfectant and antiseptic commonly added to mouthwash. In addition to killing both good and bad bacteria, chlorhexidine has been known to increase blood pressure when consumed over an extended period.
  6. Cocamidopropyl betaine — Although adding this to shampoo will improve its performance, Cocamidopropyl betaine is often associated with allergies and irritation. Plus, it’s a suspected environmental toxin.
  7. Fluoride — Forget what you’ve been told; fluoride is bad for your health when consumed internally. Fluoride is especially dangerous for young children and promotes serious bone and dental disorders.
  8. Homosalate — Commonly found in sunscreen and face / eye serums, homosalate accumulates in the body faster than can be easily eliminated. Too much homosalate can do a number on your organs.
  9. Octinoxate — Be wary of sunscreens with octinoxate. The skin readily absorbs this free radical-producing ingredient.
  10. Parabens — From cosmetic products to deodorant, parabens are found in all kinds of products. They’re usually added to inhibit bacterial growth, but the problem with parabens is that they can disturb your body’s hormonal balance.
  11. Steareths — These are emulsifiers — waxy chemicals that keep a product’s ingredients from separating. Creating steareths typically involves the use of harsh chemicals that have no business being anywhere near you.

This is just a small sample. There are more toxic chemicals and harmful additives that you might unknowingly be exposing yourself to if you’re purchasing conventional personal care products.

Every time you wash your hair with shampoo or apply sunscreen, you risk coming into contact with these potentially dangerous ingredients.