Dirty Dozen Ingredients

by 12 July 17, 2008 0 Comments

To give an overview of what I call the "Dirty Dozen Ingredients", I have made a list of what I consider the most commonly used potentially dangerous ingredients in personal care products.  I will go into a little more depth on individual ingredients in the near future. 

In the first column, I have listed the ingredient name and in the second column, I have listed the known health risks associated with each of these ingredients.  As part of the common labeling cover up, you may not see the ingredient name listed directly on the label.  For instance, Phthalates are never listed as phthalates on the ingredient label.  Phthalates are found under the catch-all phrase "fragrance".  Fragrance is used on a label to encompass everything from trade secrets to ingredients the company does not want to list individually.  If Fragrance is on the label, it can represent up to 300 different individual ingredients.  For this reason, I would suggest that if Fragrance is on the label, don't buy it.

The only other on this list that wouldn't be on the label is "contaminants".  Usually contaminants come from one of the following:

  • Pesticides in the ground where the plants were grown or animals were grazing
  • Chemical solutions used to extract essential oils or process ingredients

For this reason, it is really a good idea to purchase organic whenever possible. Purchasing Certified Organic products will insure contamination is not an issue and purchasing products which use therapeutic grade essential oils will insure the integrity of the essential oils used.  Therapeutic grade essential oils are steam distilled or cold-pressed without contaminants; therefore pure enough to ingest.




    Phthalates (DEP, DEHP, Fragrance)

    Organ Damage, Reproductive Defects


    Linked with MS, CFS, Fibromyalgia

    Parabens (Methylparaben, Propylparaben, etc.)

    Found in Breast Tumors


    Chemical Reactions Change Ingredients in the Bottle Into Carcinogens

    Petrochemicals (Paraffin, Petrolatum,

    Mineral Oil)

    Carcinogen Banned in



    Formaldehyde Releaser

    Sulfates (Sodium Laurel & Sodium Laureth)

    Mutates Cells, Denatures Protein

    Dyes (FD&C Yellows 5&6, Red 3)             

    Cause Cancer, Some Contain Lead & Arsenic


    Can Contain DDT, a Neurotoxin

    Propylene Glycol

    Liver & Kidney Damage


    Fibers Similar to Asbestos, Linked to Lung and Ovarian Cancer


    (e.g. Extracting Solvents) Not on Label