Harmful Ingredients To Avoid – The Truth About 1-4 Dioxane

Skin and Body Care ProductsMany of us have chosen to use safer cosmetics and skin and body care products.  Often times that involves much research and careful analysis of exactly what goes into the products we buy.  Our decisions are largely dependent on the research that is available to us.

In March 2008, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) conducted a study analyzing leading brand name "natural" and "organic" skin care products.  The results were startling; several of these companies were producing products that were contaminated with an undisclosed carcinogenic contaminant, 1, 4-Dioxane, even those certified organic.

In order to make some harsh ingredients (such as detergent cleansers) milder, some companies add the petrochemical, Ethylene Oxide, which generates 1, 4-Dioxane as a by-product.   According to the state of California (under Proposition 65), 1, 4-Dioxane is a chemical known to cause cancer.  It is also suspected of being a kidney toxicant, respiratory toxicant, among others.

Unfortunately, you will not see 1, 4-Dioxane listed on any ingredient label.   However, there are other ingredients on the product label which may indicate that the product is contaminated with 1, 4-Dioxane. 

The following ingredients may be contaminated with 1, 4-Dioxane:

Avoid anything containing: "myreth," "oleth," "laureth," "ceteareth," or any other "eth," "PEG compounds," "polyethylene,"  "Polyethylene glycol," polyoxyethylene," or "oxynol."

More recently, some organizations have come under scrutiny for certifying products as "organic," when in fact, only a small percentage of the ingredients contained in the product are actually organic.   In many instances they are comprised of inexpensive water extracts derived from organic herbs and a few other ingredients sprinkled through out to give the impression of an "organic" product.  According to the data, while not contaminated with 1-4 Dixoxane, many of these companies routinely use detergent cleansers which are made from petrochemical compounds.   Cocamidopropyl betaine or Coco Betaine is very commonly used in many so called "natural or "organic" products.  Another common ingredient is olefin sulfonate, which is also derived from petrochemicals.   These ingredients are often used as foaming agents and penetration enhancers (they help other ingredients penetrate better).

It may be daunting to remember all of these names.  Why not write them down and keep them as a reference for your purse or wallet when you go to the store.  Always scrutinize the ingredient labels. 

Dr. Teri Dourmashkin received her Doctorate in Health Education from Columbia University. She is the Founder and President of La Vie Celeste Skin Care Inc. La Vie Celeste brings you all natural anti-aging skincare featuring R-Lipoic Acid, a powerful antioxidant. Suitable for all skin types, La Vie Celeste is the perfect union of science and nature. To learn more visit La Vie Celeste Skin Care.

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