Parabens are synthetic chemical preservatives, commonly used in beauty products like shampoo, lotion, and deodorants. Parabens can accumulate in your body, and have been linked to hormonal disruption and reproductive problems. In studies of breast cancer patients, parabens have been found in the tissue of cancerous tumors–yikes! If you want to avoid Parabens in your beauty products, keep an eye out for methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, and ethylparaben in the ingredients list.
Phthalates are found in toys, electronics, personal care products, plastic wraps, containers, and more. These petroleum based chemicals help soften plastics, and bind fragrances to perfumes, deodorants, creams, and other personal care products. Phthalates are are not chemically bound, meaning they can easily get released into the air, water, or your body, just by using the products as intended. Phthalates have been found to disrupt the endocrine system, which can cause reproductive damage, hormonal imbalances, infertility, mood changes, metabolism changes, and more.
Sulfates are synthetic chemical ingredients commonly used in beauty products and household cleaners, like shampoos and dish soaps. You can usually identify sulfates in an ingredients list by looking out for the most common types: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLC) and Sodium Laureth Sulfates (SLES). These chemicals, often derived from petroleum, are used to help form the “lather” we’re used to seeing in our beauty and cleaning products. When used in the shower or sink, these chemicals can flow through the pipes and into our waterways. Synthetic sulfates have been linked to allergic reactions, eye and skin irritation, and hair loss, and some studies suggest they contain carcinogenic ingredients.
Cruelty Free International certifies that cosmetic and household products are not tested on animals. These companies are audited to ensure that the ingredients and finished products are not causing harm to animals.
The B Lab is a third-party, non-profit organization that certifies companies as socially and environmentally responsible. B Corps are businesses that go above and beyond traditional business models and aim to create positive change in the world through their practices. These companies must meet rigorous transparency and accountablity standards, while doing what is best for people and the environment.
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