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A colourless, volatile, flammable liquid produced by the
fermentation of yeast and carbohydrates. Alcohol is used
frequently as a solvent and is also found in beverages and
medicine. As an ingredient in ingestible products, alcohol may
cause body tissues to be more vulnerable to carcinogens.
Mouthwashes with an alcohol content of 25% or more have been
implicated in mouth, tongue and throat cancers.
Alpha Hydroxy Acid
An organic acid produced by anaerobic respiration. Skin care
products containing AHA exfoliate not only damage skin cells,
but the skin's protective barrier as well. Long term skin damage
may result from its use.
A metallic element used extensively in the manufacture of
aircraft components, prosthetic devises and as an ingredient in
antiperspirants, antacids and antiseptics. Aluminium has been
linked to Alzheimer's disease.
Animal Fat (Tallow)
A type of animal tissue made up of oily solids or semisolids
that are water-insoluble esters of glycerol with fatty acids.
Animal fats and lye are the chief ingredients in a bar of soap;
a cleaning and emulsifying product that may act as a breeding
ground for bacteria.
A porous clay that expands to many times its dry volume as it
absorbs water. Bentonite, commonly found in many cosmetic
foundations, may clog pores and suffocate the skin.
Aerosol propellant. Flammable and in high doses may be narcotic
or cause asphyxiation.
An insoluble fibrous protein that is too large to penetrate the
skin. The collagen found in most skin care products is derived
from animal skins and ground up chicken feet. This ingredient
forms a layer of film that may suffocate the skin.
DEA, MEA, TEA.
Cause allergic reactions, irritate the eyes and dry the hair and
skin. Can be carcinogenic, especially to kidney and liver.
A potentially carcinogenic by-product that results from the
process used to bleach paper at paper mills. Dioxin treated
containers sometimes transfer dioxins to the product itself.
Elastin of High -molecular weight
A protein similar to collagen that is the main component of
elastic fibres. Elastin is also derived from animal sources. Its
effect on the skin is similar to collagen.
A colourless, non-flammable gas or liquid that can produce mild
upper respiratory tract irritation. Fluorocarbons are commonly
used as a propellant in hairsprays.
A toxic, colourless gas that is an irritant and a carcinogen.
When combined with water, formaldehyde is used as a
disinfectant, fixative or preservative. Formaldehyde is found in
many cosmetic products and conventional nail care systems.
Usually petroleum-based. Can cause headaches, dizziness, rashes,
respiratory problems, vomiting, skin irritation and multiple
A syrupy liquid that is chemically produced by combining water
and fat. Glycerin is used as a solvent and plasticiser. Unless
the humidity of air is over 65%, glycerin draws moisture from
the lower layers of the skin and holds it on the surface, which
dries the skin from the inside out.
Imidazolidinyl urea and DMDM hydantoin
These formaldehyde-forming preservatives can cause joint pain,
allergies, depression, headaches, chest pain, chronic fatigue,
dizziness, insomnia and asthma. Can also weaken the immune
system and can even cause cancer. Found in skin, body and hair
products, antiperspirants and nail polish.
A fine white clay used in making porcelain. Like bentonite,
kaolin smothers and weakens the skin.
A fatty substance extracted from wool, which is frequently found
in cosmetics and lotions. Lanolin is a common skin sensitiser
that can cause allergic reactions, such as skin rashes.
A highly concentrated watery solution of sodium hydroxide or
potassium hydroxide. Lye is combined with animal fats to make
bars of soap, which may corrode and dry out the skin.
Methyl, Propyl, butyl, and ethyl paraben
Are used to extend a product's shelf life and inhibit microbial
growth. Highly toxic. Can cause rashes and other allergic
A derivative of crude oil (petroleum) that is used industrially
as a cutting fluid and lubricating oil. Mineral oil forms an
oily film over the skin to lock in moisture, toxins and wastes,
but hinders normal skin respiration by keeping oxygen out.
Also known as octyl dimethyl, PABA is found mostly in
sunscreens. Like DEA, a nitrosamine-forming agent. There's
concern that the energy absorbed by this sunscreen is then
turned into free radicals, which may actually increase the risk
of skin cancer.
A petroleum based grease that is used industrially as a grease
component. Petrolatum exhibits many of the same potentially
harmful properties as mineral oil.
Aerosol propellant. Is flammable and in high doses may be
A cosmetic form of mineral oil found in automatic brake and
hydraulic fluid and industrial antifreeze. In skin and hair
products, propylene glycol works as a humectant, which is a
substance that retains the moisture content of skin or cosmetic
products by preventing the escape of moisture or water. Material
Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) warn users to avoid skin contact with
propylene glycol as this strong skin irritant can cause liver
abnormalities and kidney damage.
A petroleum-based ingredient used in hairsprays.
Very drying, irritating and corrosive.
Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS)
Harsh detergents and wetting agents used in garage floor
cleaners, engine degreasers and auto cleaning products. SLS is
well-known in the scientific community as a common skin
irritant. It is rapidly absorbed and retained in the eyes,
brain, heart and liver, which may result in harmful long-term
effects. SLS could retard healing, cause cataracts in adults,
and prevent children's eyes from developing properly.
Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES)
SLES is the alcohol form (ethoxylate) of SLS. It is slightly
less irritating than SLS, but may cause more drying. Both SLS
and SLES may cause potentially carcinogenic formations of
nitrates and dioxins to form in shampoos and cleansers by
reacting with other ingredients. Large amounts of nitrates may
enter the blood system from just one shampooing.
Coal-tar dyes are generally labelled as FD&C or D&C followed by
a number. Carcinogenic.
A soft grey-green mineral used in some personal hygiene and
cosmetic products. Inhaling talc may be harmful as this
substance is recognised as a potential carcinogen.
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| So what now?
It's a matter of personal choice really. If you are using these
products, are not suffering from any visible side effects, and
are happy to continue running a risk (it's there, even if it's
small), then let no one stand between you and the checkout
If however, you suffer from sensitive skin, allergies
and /or common sense, then look to organic cosmetics and facial
products. Below are a few tips to bear in mind when selecting a
range, and remember, most importantly, no product will remove
wrinkles or rub away fat. Sorry, but its the truth, and anyone
who can prove differently is more than welcome to submit the
evidence to us. We will gladly publish this astonishing
discovery on our front page.
Unfortunately, at this point, the only way to cheat the
ravages of time is to engage the services of a skilled,
qualified and recognised plastic surgeon.
Selecting an Organic range of cosmetics
Make sure the
range is certified by a reputable certification body. Most
online shops selling pure organic products should provide a link
back to the certification body.
Are all the ingredients
listed? If not, be very sceptical, and watch out for the term,
'parfum'. It can mask a very nasty concoction of goodies.
Remember when ordering from abroad that different countries
regulate their cosmetics in different ways and labelling
standards are not always enforced.
Opt for the smallest sizes to start off with, and don't order in
a whole range of goodies. Test one or two first to see if they
agree with you. If your skin is very sensitive, apply a small
amount of the product to your upper arm and wait two days to see
if it reacts with your skin.
TAS offers three ranges of 100% Organic
Cosmetics, NATURA, SANTE and ANIKA. There are also naturally
produced products from PURE'NUFF and EARTHBOUND ORGANICS, as
well as the TAWAS range of Aluminium free anti-perspirant
cosmetics and skincare products contain no SLS and are free from
preservatives and other synthetic ingredients.
Click here to view the range
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