6 Toxic Chemicals Found in Common Skin Creams

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From Organic Life:

We love our body lotions: They’re not as greasy as oils, they absorb quickly, and they do the job of keeping your skin soft and smooth. And most of them smell pretty nice, too. But before you reach for that bottle on your bathroom shelf, know that what’s inside may not be as innocent as it looks. There are dozens of ingredients currently being used in top-brand body lotions that range from questionable to potentially hazardous. Watch out for these six toxic ingredients when scanning bodylotion labels. And if you spot one or more on the bottle, don’t buy it. 

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
BHA is a food preservative and stabilizer that routinely shows up in body lotions, as well as everything from lipstick to yeast infection treatments. But beware—it’s an endocrine disruptor and “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” according to the National Toxicology Program

Dozens of ingredients currently being used in top-brand body lotions that range from questionable to potentially hazardous

DMDM Hydantoin
This mysterious-sounding ingredient is a type of formaldehyde-releasing preservative used in a host of personal care items, including body lotion. (Formaldehyde releasers are used in 20 percent of all cosmetics and personal care products, according to the Environmental Working Group). It’s an irritant for eyes and skin, and while there’s no evidence that DMDM hydantoin itself is a carcinogen, formaldehyde definitely is. And if there’s an impurity in the DMDM Hydantoin used in your moisturizer, there’s a chance that formaldehyde is present.

Fragrance + Parfum 
You may think it’s nice that your lotion smells like strawberries and cream, but there’s no way that scent is natural. When you see “fragrance” or “parfum” on a label, read “a toxic mix of chemicals the manufacturer doesn’t want to tell you about.” Most notably, this includes diethyl phthalate, according to the Environmental Working Group. You may have already heard of phthalates since they’re used in just about everything from cosmetics to insecticides to wood finishes—and they’re known to be endocrine disruptors and toxic to organ systems. Synthetic fragrances like the ones used in lotions also emit harmful VOCs, which pollute indoor air quality and cause reparatory allergies and asthma.

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