Preservatives are not only used in food. They are also used in everything from shampoo to makeup to help make these products last for a longer period of time. All commercial bath, beauty, and personal care products use chemical preservatives.
While these chemicals work effectively to prolong the shelf-life of products and to prevent products from developing things like mildew, bacteria buildup, and mold, some are actually believed to have negative health side effects that can cause long-term trouble. Often, it is because of chemicals like these that many people decide to make the switch to organic beauty products.
Even though further study is needed to determine the full effects of the chemical ingredients in commercial products, many people do not wish to subject themselves to chemicals that could possibly be dangerous. Especially when they are contained in products that are used on the skin on a daily basis. When chemicals are absorbed by the skin they are taken into the blood stream and can affect vital organs.
Some common preservatives in commercial products include:
- DMDM Hydantoin
- Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate
- Imidazolidinyl Urea
This preservative works by releasing formaldehyde into products. The formaldehyde is preserves the products, but it is also well known for being an irritant. Formaldehyde releasing preservatives like DMDM Hydantoin are largely restricted in Europe and Asia, and are more commonly used in America. One major reason for their restriction is that formaldehyde is considered by the EPA to be a probable carcinogen.
Strangely, even though it is used in many skin care products it is known for causing skin irritations including dermatitis. Along with this, it is believed to be an immune system toxicant and an eye, ear, and lung irritant.
This is also a formaldehyde releasing preservative. It actually works with parabens--chemicals that are also believed to have negative health benefits--to provide an antibiotic front against things like yeast, mold, and bacteria. But again, the formaldehyde it releases is a known irritant and probable carcinogen.
This ingredient is actually used often in skin care products labeled as being "gentle." Yet, in many cosmetic ingredient reviews this chemical preservative has been shown to be a toxicant and skin allergen. For example, it is known to be a skin irritant that can cause contact dermatitis in many of its users.
Next time you are buying beauty or personal care items, take a look at each products ingredients labels and try to avoid using products that contain ingredients that could be hazardous to your health.