Harmful Cosmetics – Your Complete Skincare Guide

Painting ourselves with toxic chemicals to look pretty isn’t a modern invention; history is replete with examples of women risking vitality for allure.

Cocktails of white lead and chalk or vinegar have been used for thousands of years to lighten complexions and erase blemishes.

According to a British study that looked into routines of over 2,000 women, an average woman bombards her body with up to 515 chemicals every day.

Personal care products are manufactured with 10,500 unique chemical ingredients, some of which are known or suspected carcinogens.

The skin readily absorbs up to 100% of the products applied topically. These harmful ingredients are used by the Australian cosmetic industry to formulate thousands of products and testing is not mandatory before they are sold.

The Australian Government allows the use of toxic chemicals even though research has proven direct links to major health concerns including; birth defects, asthma, depression, migraine, cancer, hormone disruption, allergies, low sperm count and infertility, miscarriage, low sex drive, endocrine disruption, and other chronic health complaints.

Toxic chemicals are by far the cheaper alternative to natural ingredients and it appears that profit comes before health, considering the Australian cosmetic industry has sales of approximately $5 billion per annum.

The European Union now bans more than 1,100 chemicals from personal care products because they may cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm.


The Hazards Of Cosmetics

Polyethylene Glycol (PEG): potentially carcinogenic petroleum ingredient that can alter and reduce the skin’s natural moisture factor. This could increase the appearance of aging and leave you more vulnerable to bacteria.

Used in cleansers to dissolve oil and grease. It adjusts the melting point and thickens products. Also used in caustic spray-on oven cleaners.


Phthalates are a group of endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are found in cosmetics like nail polish and in synthetic fragrances.

Phthalate exposure has been linked to early puberty in girls, a risk factor for later-life breast cancer, feminization of baby boys, damage to sperm in men, altered sex hormones in boys, altered thyroid hormones, increased insulin resistance in men, and asthma and skin allergies in kids.


Triclosan was initially developed as a surgical scrub for medical professionals, but now is used in antibacterial soaps, deodorants and toothpastes to limit the growth of bacteria and mould.

The chemical, which is classified as a pesticide, can affect the body’s hormone systems – especially thyroid hormones.

Stored in body fat, it can accumulate to toxic levels, damaging the liver, kidneys and lungs and can cause paralysis, suppression of immune function, brain hemorrhages, and heart problems.

Widespread use of triclosan may also contribute to bacterial resistance to antimicrobial agents.

1,4-dioxane is a petroleum-derived contaminant formed in the manufacture of shampoos, body wash, children’s bath products and other sudsing cosmetics. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has ranked it as a possible carcinogen


Preservatives, banned in sections of the EU, are the second most common ingredient in skin care products … water is first. They are widely used in skin and hair products, including soap, shampoo, deodorant and baby lotion.

Parabens have been found in breast cancer tumours. Capable of stopping bacterial growth, parabens are also thought to mimic the effects of the female sex hormone oestrogen, which is known to help tumours grow.

Placental Extract is derived from human or animal placentas and is used in hair conditioners, shampoos and other grooming aids. Progesterone, the major hormonal contaminant in placental extracts, has been identified as a reasonably anticipated carcinogen.


Lead may be a contaminant in over 650 cosmetic products, including sunscreens, foundation, nail colours, lipsticks and whitening toothpaste.

Testing in 2008 by Health Canada found that 21 of 26 lipsticks contained lead. Lead is extremely toxic to the nervous system and can cause developmental problems for children.

It has also been linked to miscarriage, reduced fertility in men and women, and delays in puberty onset in girls.

Tests conducted by Canada’s Environmental Defence in 2011 found traces of lead, arsenic, cadmium and other heavy metals in lip tints and glosses.


Aluminum compounds are the active ingredients in antiperspirants. By temporarily plugging the sweat ducts, they stop sweat coming to the skin’s surface.

A 2005 British study, published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, found that aluminum-based compounds may be absorbed by the skin and cause estrogen-like effects. Because estrogen has the ability to promote breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer.

A 2003 study in the European Journal of Cancer found that women who used antiperspirants or deodorants and who shaved their underarms at an earlier age were at greater risk for breast cancer than women who started later.

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), the ingredient which provides that shiny, smooth, varnish look.

Banned in Europe, this dangerous toxin can pose a threat to the nervous system, even by simply inhaling the fumes. Pregnant women especially beware. The long term effects include impaired fetal development and deformed male reproductive organs.

DEA (diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine) & TEA  (triethanolamine) are ingredients in shampoos, bubble baths, and shaving creams. They are hormone-disrupting chemicals that can form cancer-causing nitrates and nitrosamines. These chemicals are already restricted in Europe due to known carcinogenic effects.

Alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids are acid “skin peels” marketed as a way to remove wrinkles, blemishes, blotches and acne scars. They can be found in skin care products ranging from moisturizers and cleansers to eye creams and sunscreen. They contribute to UV skin damage and may raise the risk of skin cancer.

Fragrances: mostly synthetic ingredients can indicate the presence of up to four thousand separate ingredients, many toxic or carcinogenic. Symptoms reported include headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing and vomiting, and skin irritation. Clinical observation proves fragrances can affect the central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity, irritability, inability to cope, and other behavioral changes.

Mineral Oil: petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic, clogging the pores. Interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging. Used in many products such as baby oil which is 100% mineral oil!

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral which is carcinogenic when inhaled. In addition, women who regularly use talc in the genital area are at increased risk for ovarian cancer. Airborne talc in body powders and antiperspirant sprays can irritate the lungs. Talcum powder is reported to cause coughing, vomiting, and even pneumonia. Talc is found in blushes, face powders, eye shadows, foundation and skin fresheners.

Coal Tar Dyes

They are made from coal tar, a petroleum product. Many people experience allergic reactions like skin irritation and contact dermatitis. Some evidence suggests that certain coal tar colours cause cancer. Coal tar itself is a recognized human carcinogen and is banned from use in cosmetics. However, each coal tar dye has different properties and different potential health concerns.


DIY Natural Cosmetic Products Alternatives

Who doesn’t want a glowing, radiant complexion? While most people think gorgeous skin is the result of a special skin care routine, the truth is our dietary habits can have even more of an effect.

Coconut Honey Face Scrub & Mask 

  • 1 tbsp organic raw honey (or organic manuka honey)
  • 1⁄2 tsp organic shredded coconut flakes

Pour honey into a small bowl, add coconut flakes and stir. Gently apply to clean dry skin in circular motions as a scrub and then rinse.

As a mask, leave on clean dry skin for 10-15 minutes and then rinse.

Organic Citrus Body Scrub

  • 1/3 cup pure fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄2 organic lemon
  • 1⁄2 organic lime
  • 1⁄4 organic orange

Start by placing sea salt in a small glass bowl or wide mouth jar. Add coconut oil and olive oil and mix together until smooth.

Add a few squeezes of fresh fruit for desired amount and stir. You can always swap a couple of drops of organic essential oils in place of the fresh fruit juice for larger batches to keep longer.

Oatmeal and Honey Mask

  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 2 tsp. honey

Mix oatmeal with water and cook according to package directions. Allow to cool and mix with honey. Leave on face for 30 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Herbal Toner for Dry Skin

  • 1/4 cup aloe vera gel 1/4 cup rose hydrosol (rose water)

  • 6 drops rose geranium essential oil
  • 1 drop chamomile essential oil
  • 1 drop jasmine essential oil

Mix aloe vera and essential oils in a glass bottle. Then add hydrosol.

Watermelon Toner for Oily Skin

  • 2 Tbsp distilled water
  • 2 Tbsp witch hazel
  • liquid from 1 cup of watermelon chunks pureed in a blender

Blend water and witch hazel together with the liquid red juice from the watermelon, stirring thoroughly. Pour mixture into a clean glass jar.


Use Meditree Pure Australian Botanicalsas great way to maintain healthy glowing skin.

Who doesn’t want a glowing, radiant complexion? While most people think gorgeous skin is the result of a special skin care routine, the truth is our dietary habits can have even more of an effect.

Healthy skin comes from within. Give your body a break from the toxic excesses and nourish it with the Emed Detox Programs.

Make sure you have the Emed’s Hair Mineral Analysis done to ensure that your body is not loaded with heavy metals due to daily application of cosmetic products.


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