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Cosmetics, risk substances

For decades, cosmetic products promise us beauty, eternal youth, firmness of the skin, etc. for a long time convinced of the harmfulness of certain substances in conventional cosmetics, penn'ty bio helps you to understand why we should all use organic labeled cosmetics.

Cosmétiques, substances à risques

The paraben

Being a very widespread substance in cosmetics, we wanted to devote a full paragraph to it.

A natural state, parabens exist in some fruits or vegetables. When we talk about parabens in cosmetics or medicines, they are rarely of natural origin but rather of synthesis. the most common are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben.

Parabens are controversial Conservatives. However, at the beginning, they appeared to replace other preservatives, formaldheids, considered dangerous, and whose use is now limited to nail polish.

Esters of para-hydroxybenzoic acid (methyl esters, ethyl, propyle, butyl or benzyl) or parabens are used as preservatives in foods, cosmetics and 1096 pharmaceutical specialties.

Parabens have very low overall toxicity and are well tolerated (allergies can still occur: urticaria, dermatitis). but the parabens are metabolized (you can find them in the body), which can be considered disturbing.

Several studies conducted in vitro and in vivo showed that parabens carried out a low estrogennic activity. a study suggests the accumulation of parabens in cancerous breast tissue.

The author emits the hypothesis of a relationship between the presence of parabens in breast tissue, their estrogennic activity and the induction of breast cancer.

Potential accumulation of parabens in mammary tissue, related to the use of container products, and possible involvement of parabens in the occurrence of breast cancer should not be neglected.

This is why the afssaps (now yearsm) continues a scientific and technical watch in the context of its health security missions and sets up a working group on this subject.

Afssaps balance 2004:
"in vitro studies on cellular models have highlighted the estrogenic properties of parabens that could explain the increase in the incidence of cancerous breast tumours.
"After the publication of the tree study of the presence of parabens in man's breast tumor biopsies, afssaps made a new assessment of the risk associated with the presence of these preservatives in cosmetic products. ".
Conclusion: "the cosmetology commission has favoured the continued use of the conditions prescribed by regulation of 2 of the 5 most commonly used parabens: methyl and ethyl-paraben. for propyl-paraben, the cosmetology commission has shown itself to be in favour of the continued use of this preservative, provided that further studies are carried out to confirm the absence of risk to condititions of use in cosmetic products. ".
Follow-up to this report: "for other longer-chain parabens, in the absence of an industrial interest in the use of these substances and the lack of toxicological data to deviate any reprotoxic risk, the cosmetology commission has shown itself in favor of asking the european commission to delete it from the list of preservatives that can be used in cosmetic products. ".

Afssaps vigilance" n°27, June 2005 :
"it appears that the parabens are not toxic and well-tolerated, although allergic reactions may occur in some people."" Recent studies have found, however, that these preservatives could be at the origin of a low disturbance of the endocrine system.".

Afssaps, vigilance" no 30, December 2005:
"parabens have a wide spectrum of activity on bacteria, yeasts, molds, and mushrooms. they are effective at low concentrations and paraben mixtures have a synergistic effect. ".
" studies have highlighted the degradation of parabens after skin application, which explains a low systemic exposure of the consumer"
"It has been shown that parabens may, under certain conditions, cross the skin barrier in the animal, but the adverse effects of a possible transcutaneous passage of parabens in humans are not yet demonstrated. Most of the general toxicity studies (acute, subacute or chronic toxicity) carried out on different animal species showed the absence of toxic, genotoxic, carcinogenic, and teratogenic effects of these compounds. Furthermore, due to their hydrolysis in the body, they are not likely to accumulate in tissues. ".
"the cosmetology commission of september 29, 2005 favoured the continued use of 4 of the 5 most commonly used parabens (methyl, ethyl, propyl and butyl parabens) under the current regulations"

Afssaps vigilance n°44, March 2009 :
Following the 2008 study (hoberman A.M., schreur D.K., leazer t et al. lack of effect of butylparaben and methylparaben on the reproductive system in male rats).
This study on butylparaben does not make it possible to definitively determine the toxic potential of propylparaben, particularly in terms of toxic dose levels. additional experimental data are considered necessary.
In conclusion, these studies were analyzed by several European groups in the areas of food, cosmetics and medicine. They concluded that it is necessary to carry out complementary experimental studies, with the aim of clarifying the risk of fertility for humans, exposed during their childhood, in terms of the threshold of toxicity, duration of exposure and reversibility of the achievement after stopping the exposure.

We will not comment on the various publications issued by the Afssaps. has each one to make his opinion, but one thing is sure, parabens can be replaced by other substances.

Afssaps, March 2009:
A market surveillance survey, bio-labelled cosmetics and claiming either the absence of preservatives or some of them such as parabens (parahydroxybenzoic acid esters) or phenoxyethanol, was initiated in 2008.
At the time of the 2008 investigation, the laboratory of afssaps conducted the analysis of 28 "bio" cosmetic products collected by afssaps (8) inspection services and dgccrf (20)
Among the 28 controlled organic products: 22 claim certification: 16xEcocert, 3xvisagro, 2xICEA-AIAB, 1xbdih, and 6 bear a mention "natural product/bio"
Conclusion of the investigation: in terms of microbiological quality, the results of the investigation are satisfactory.

European Regulation No. 358/2014 of the Commission of 9 April 2014 amended the regulation on cosmetics by prohibiting five parabens: isopropylparabene; isobutylparabene; phenylparabene; benzylparabene and pentylparabene.

These are not among the most used parabens in the cosmetic industry, medicines or food.

Commission Regulation No. 1004/2014 of September 18, 2014 lowered the concentration thresholds of propylparabene butyl
in cosmetics. Now, the sum of the butylparabene, propylparabene and their salts will not exceed 0.14%.

Parabens still allowed to be used by the European Union are currently being evaluated by the European Union to identify them as “substances of great concern” and add them to the list of substances subject to “provisional and restrictive authorization” pending substitution products.
On April 29, 2014, as part of the announcement of the plan to combat endocrine disruptors in the National Assembly, in accordance with the national strategy, the royal segolene, Minister of Ecology and Sustainable Development and Energy, instructed the NSERC to evaluate the parabens in terms of health effects.

Paraben is not the only "at-risk" ingredient found in market cosmetics. many products are now "WITHOUT PARABEN" but don't be mistaken: removing this ingredient does not make the product more acceptable.
Many other ingredients, also used in traditional cosmetics, may be more dangerous (see risk substances or guide to greenpeace in our special file cosmetox).
To learn more about organic or natural cosmetics you can also consult our special case in this regard.

Is petrochemical essential ?

Cosmétiques, substances à risques

Yes and no. If there are sectors where currently it is very difficult to pass (such as plastics) it should not be forgotten that in 1950, the consumables (excluding plastic) products from petrochemicals reached only 1.5 million tons worldwide, whereas in 2000, 52 million tons were produced. That means that before 1950, we had no cosmetics, no maintenance products, no perfumes. ? if, but they were made with raw materials of natural origin.

One must not veil the face, natural products are more expensive than those of oil origin, and it is not always obvious to accept to spend more. has each of us to see where his interest is and the environment.

For those who decide to try, you must not be mistaken about the products. many brands claim, with great reinforcement of advertisements, the natural of their products, but only logos Nature and progress (NOMINATED), Cosmebio for france and BDIH for the Allemagne, you guarantee the absence of oil by-products in your cosmetics. for maintenance products in addition to nature & progress, you have the logo Ecocert detergent control.

A. The question Is petrochemical essential in cosmetics? we answer: NO ! !
We now know how to make excellent products exclusively from plants but that's right, it costs more. It is therefore much less profitable for the manufacturer.
On our site we only offer 100% natural products and when we say natural it means from plants and not oil.

In order to go further in the quality of the products we offer, we now have shower gels and shampoo with tensioactive based on sugar and therefore without ammonium lauryl sulfate (mold base authorized by ecocert but prohibited by nature).

Discover on our website all our shampoings, shower gels, bodily milk, products for men, baby products but also our household products,... guaranteed of course without paraben but also without any raw material from petrochemicals and of which'effectiveness is at least equivalent or better!

Substances at risk

Cosmétiques, substances à risques

For years, many cosmetic components have been under the fire of criticism. the quality, even the effectiveness of a cosmetic product, does not in any case require the use of problematic components. doubtful substances could, if really wanted, be replaced for a long time by less harmful raw materials for the environment and health. Below you will find information on the most commonly used cosmetic components in conventional cosmetic products.

1- Mineral oils

Oil-derived paraffins are very advantageous for the cosmetic industry they are both simple to work and very cheap. However, these artificial oils prevent the skin from breathing. these mineral oils such as paraffinum liquidum are composed of hydrocarbon chains that cannot be metabolized by the body.

The dr allan h. conney (researcher at the rutger university in the new jerseya) by conducting tests on creams containing sodium lauryl sulfate and mineral oil, found that the mice on which this cream was applied, developed cancers, unlike others. Good hearer !

2- silicone oils and waxes

These fully synthetic substances, derived from silicon and containing oxygen atoms, are used in a multitude of products. dimethicone is one of the most used raw materials for skin protection formulas, hair care and lipsticks.
There is also the ceyl dimethicone copolyol, phenyl trimethicone, stearyl dimethicone. silicone oils are soft and spread well on the skin (although they are of good quality!).
They are far preferable to mineral oils, but they have a serious disadvantage: they are very little biodegradable and harmful to the environment and therefore indirectly to our health.
Also, in shampoos, they tend to stifle the scalp.

3- the sls

For example, Sodium-laureth-sulfate or aggressive sodium-lauryl-sulfate for mucous membranes. they are responsible skin irritation and allergicskin, eyes and mucous membranes.

4- polyethylenglycols (peg) and polypropylene glycol (ppg)

Their obtaining is made from gases and extremely dangerous manipulations. They are mainly used as emulsifiers, but also as a gel base, binding substances or emollients. Even if we work today with modern purification processes to obtain them, ethoxylation remains a hard chemical process, with a high risk of explosion, which imposes very strict security measures. on the other hand, pegs and ppg can make the skin more permeable, which has the disadvantage of opening the way to harmful substances. they would increase the phenomenon of buttons and black stitches.

5- monoethanolamine (mea) , dithanolamine (dea) and triethanolamine (tea )

They can trigger itappearance of nitrosamines (cancerogens).

Cosmétiques, substances à risques

The national toxicology program (ntp) recently found that the repeated application of diéthanolamine (dea,) or its derivative of cocamide-DEA fatty acid on mice skin has caused liver and kidney cancers.
The ntp also emphasized that Dea is easily absorbed by the skin and accumulates in organs, such as the brain, where it induces chronic toxic effects.
High concentrations of dea-based foaming agent are commonly used in a wide range of cosmetics and toiletries, shampoos, hair dyes, lotions, creams, dish liquids, etc. regularly used, these products expose consumers, especially infants and young children, to potential cancer risks.
The dea can also react with other ingredients in the cosmetic formula to form a very powerful carcinogen called nitrosodiéthanolamine (aedn).
Aedn is easily absorbed by the skin and could cause stomach, esophagus, liver and bladder cancers.
Cradle (International Agency for Cancer Research) and the national toxicology program recommend that aedn be treated as a carcinogenic agent in humans.
To be sure that your cosmetic doesn't contain aedn, avoid those who contain dea.

6- butylhydroxytoluene (bht) and butylhydroxyanisole (bha)

Bht and bha are still and always used as antioxidants in some lipidic raw materials (grasses) to prevent them from recurring. a high dose, they have effects carcinogens on the stomach (thus their ban on food products). these two substances accumulate in the fatty tissues and arrive to the fetus. They are known to trigger allergies.

7- organo-halogen compounds

The process of halogenation consists in the molecules of chlorine, bromine or iodine. these compounds have one high potential allergen.if they settle in the tissues, they can decompose and damage them.

8- formaldehyde: carcinogenic substance / Formaldehydes liberators

Cosmétiques, substances à risques

It is a conservative who has now been replaced in many formulations.
At room temperature, formaldehyde is a gas. in cosmetics, it is used in aqueous solution.
It is known in various appellations: formol, formalin, formic aldehyde, paraform, methanal, methyl aldehyde, methylene oxide, oxymethylene, oxomethane.
It is indeed a strong allergen (class according to the dimdi). However, other Conservatives may release formaldehyde.
According to the cosmetic directive: "all finished products containing formaldehyde or substances (...) releasing formaldehyde, must return to labelling the mention "contains formaldehyde", to the extent that the concentration in formaldehyde in the finished product exceeds 0.05%."
As a preservative, formaldehyde is prohibited in aerosols, and its concentration shall not exceed 0.2%, except for oral hygiene products (0.1%). However, in products to harden nails, its concentration is allowed up to 5.%.

A formaldehyde liberator is able to issue formaldehyde in certain conditions. In short, a real troie horse. formaldehydes liberators are even more antimicrobial than formaldehyde itself. This is probably due to the fact that they introduce the aldehyde into the cells (as would a Trojan horse) while, on the other hand, formaldehyde in the free state, it is destroyed in various ways before reaching the cells.

In conclusion, two different substances, but two substances at risk !

9- nitrosamines

They penetrate through unclean raw materials. natural cosmetic products certified by ecocert, bdih and nature and progress are all based on the same basic principles. one of them is to refuse anything that can lead to harmful chemical reactions to health. where substances react to each other and form nitrosamines, a dangerous and potentially dangerous chaining carcinogens is formed (for example, when the fat of the meat falls on the fire of the barbecue). these why cosmetics should be free from substances that might cause nitrosamine formation. For this reason, renouncing halogenated substances as preservatives is already increasing consumer safety.

10- ethylene-diamino-tetra-acetic acid (edta) and etidronic acid

They have the property to settle and are therefore toxicological criticism. The edta was and is still very appreciated for its qualities as a chelator agent. it is mainly used in soaps. but the edta and its ersatz (etidronic acid) have a major disadvantage: on the one hand, they are fixed to form stable compounds and are therefore difficult to biodegrade. phytic acid obtained from rice sound is a natural alternative to edta.

11- Musk compounds

These highly stable artificial odorants are fixed in the tissues. They are are carcinogenic.

12- substances obtained from peg and ppg

They have the consistency of a liquid or wax. obtained from combat gas, extremely reactive and particularly toxic.

13- aluminum salts

Employed in deodorants, they can cause inflammatory reactions. The sudoriparous glands can be damaged by repeated use. ongoing research makes it a polemic ingredient as it could be fixed in some organs, including the brain.

But be careful, this sentence: "Aluminum in deodorants is dangerous" is an information that has been retained by most. but aluminum oxides or hydroxides used in different natural cosmetology significantly from synthetic substances such as aluminum chloride or aluminum hydrochloride. by cutting pores, aluminum-chlorine complexes and sulfates prevent the removal of sweat. This very aggressive phenomenon can then cause inflammation and damage the southern glands.

14- the triclosan

It is a highly reactive chlorinated product. bactericidal, it can prevent the good liver operation.It is often defiled by dioxin, very dangerous, even in small quantities.

15- cosmetic dyes and hair dyes

American researchers found that the use of hair colorants multiplyed by five the risk of breast cancer.

16-Aromatic amines

Basic substances of oxidation dyes. Toxic substanceswhich can be absorbed by the skin.

17- Azo dyes

Synthetic tar dyes with amino groups, especially toxicological criticism.

18- Quats and polyquats (inci: quaternium plus one digit)

Used as antistatic. commonly used quats: CTAC ( thisyl trimethyl ammonium chloride ) and DSDMAC (quaternium 5). light irritating effect on the skin. All simple quats are not biodegradable. This is also true for polyquats (polyquaternium + 1 digit). These are complex compounds having as the central molecule of quaterary ammonium salts. polyquats are used for their polycations (cationic polymers), which hang better on the surface of the hair than simple cations. They often contain natural compounds: polyquaternium-4 or -10, for example, are 2 complex compounds, one of which is cellulose. natural parts generally deteriorate easily, unlike the central molecule.

Sodium benzoate (sodium benzoate)

Chemical formula (na+ + C6H5COO-), sodium benzoate is the sodium salt of benzoic acid.
Benzoate sodium is found in a natural state in some fruits such as cranberries, areas or certain plums, plums, cinnamon and cloves.
It is frequently used as a preservative (additive against bacterial proliferation) in the agri-food industry (sweet drinks, lightened jams, gum, cooked shrimps, wines). under the code e211.
Benzoate sodium is also found in many medicines due to its properties (antiseptic, antifungal, expectorant) but also in organic cosmetics since it is one of the few authorized preservatives, with vitamin e, alcohols and some essential oils.
Benzoate sodium can be of vegetable origin or synthesized from benzic acid.

Natural Substances

Preferably use cosmetics based on natural products such as:

  1. Oils, butter, fats and vegetable waxes,
  2. Floral, hydrolat, floral infusions,
  3. Essential oils,
  4. Clays,
  5. Algae,
  6. Alcohols and fatty acids: thisyl alcohol , behenyl alcohol , stearyl alcohol or myristil alcohol , lauric acid , stearic acid , myristic acid , palmitic acid,
  7. Guar flour, carob kernel flour, arabic gum, agar-agar, algina and starch of potatoes, rice or wheat,
  8. Natural surfactants: laurylsulfate and disodium-laureth-sulfate from coconut or palm oil, betain (containing coconut butter).

Extract from "chemical world" (the guardian)

It mainly contains water, as well as binders, thickening and emulsifiers, acidity controllers, texture modifiers, chemicals that prevent drying, and preservatives, such as parabens. In 1998, researchers at the University of Brunel published a document showing that parabens embody estrogen and quote "Because of their use in a wide range of preparations available on the market, we suggest that the safety of these chemicals should be reassessed. but the European association of cosmetics and perfumery indicates that it has data proving that parabens do not enter the bloodstream.
Lip balm:
Perfume is quoted by womens environmental network (wen) among the 10 ingredients found in the lip balm. perfume ... it seems harmless. It is in fact a term behind what can hide hundreds of chemicals, of which 24 were identified as a common cause of allergies by the scientific committee of the European Union on cosmetics and non-food products. Despite this, the chemicals contained in the "fragrant" indication do not have to be labelled. So there is no way to know the complete composition of your makeup. "It's the fog," says matthew wilkinson, a health activist for wwf.
Toy stuff:
"Toy stuffing is one of the safest cosmetics. for the moment, there is very little evidence that it is really dangerous", tenits the dr stephen antczak, co-author of cosmetics unmasked. But a lot of people have allergies and some alarm bells are starting to sound. play stuffing, for example, usually contains propylene glycol, which although considered safe for cosmetic use, is a cousin of antifreeze.
Shaving cream:
In addition to parabens and alcohol, the shaving cream can contain a substance called diethylhexyl adipate (deha). the DEHA can irritate the skin and the eyes and ingestion it can cause much more serious problems. trials have shown that, when ingested, deha can cause cancerous tumours in mice and abnormal embryos in rats. the U.S. National Institute for Safety and Health estimates that 11,000 workers in the country inadvertently ingest the deha every year (cosmetics or food contaminated by deha in its packaging).
Fluorine makes teeth more resistant to dental caries, but it can be harmful to high doses. babies and young children are the most exposed in case they are worth the toothpaste most of them rarely ingested more than 2 mg a day. However, studies in african, inde and china (where there is a lot of fluorine naturally in water) show that more than 6 mg of fluorine per day can lead to a disease making bones more fragile. infants fed to breast milk made with fluorinated water receive 50 to 100 times more fluorine than breastfed babies.
Shower gel:
The Sodium laureth sulfate is added to the shower gel as a washing base but it can irritate the skin and eyes even at low concentrations. linalol, a fragrance added to the shower gel, is also an irritant to the skin. another perfume, the coumarin, is quickly absorbed by the skin and in the body. Some people who ingested coumarin suffered liver damage.
The masker is often made up of a multitude of ingredients. the womens environmental network (wen) found three parabens and propylene glycol in a brand of towels, "fragrant" in a eye masker and methyldibromo glutaronitrile in a brand of facial cleansing.
Female towels:
They usually contain a conservation agent called bnpd (2-bromo-2-nitro-propane-1,3-diol). when the bnpd is mixed with compounds, such as amines and amides, it can be decomposed, thus producing N-nitrosamines. These molecules are highly carcinogenic. For this reason, the US and European regulatory bodies have recently called for a tightening of the control of cosmetic formulations to ensure that these compounds are never mixed.
Eye shadow:
It looks like an agatha christie plot: "arsenic in the eye shadow "... indeed, the Finnish consumer agency has detected very small quantities in 49 samples. In 2001, a dartmouth medical school team in the United States showed that chronic exposure to very low levels of arsenic could cause hormonal problems. further research is underway.
Anti-pellicular shampoo :
Pellicules are a sign of a mycose in the scalp to fight the fungus, various antifungal chemicals are added to anti-pellicular shampoos: the zinc pyrithion is one of the most common. in contact with the skin, it causes only few problems, but it should not be ingested.
This cosmetic is very popular in most countries. According to womens environmental network (wen,) it would be absorbed during the day, about 90% of the applied lipstick. assuming you put daily lipstick, and you buy five lipsticks per year between 16 and 60 years, you will swallow 0.9 kg during your life. lipstick usually contains lanoline, propylene glycol, butylparaben and other preservatives to remove any risk of infection.
The propylene glycol is one of its major components. it acts as a solvent for all other ingredients. it is slightly irritating and easily absorbed by the skin. if large amounts of propylene glycol are constantly applied to the skin or ingested, they can act on the nervous system (at the brain and spinal cord level).
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