List of Petrochemicals Commonly Used in Skin Care Products


Do you think that bleaching/processing petrochemicals make them safe to put on your skin? It is alarming to know that many major brands of skin care and personal care products contain many petrochemicals in them. Even brands that are advertised as “natural” may also contain some petrochemicals. Why? Because it is cheap, it is easy to use and it gives these mass produced products a very long shelf life.

“Many of these petrochemicals are known and scientifically proven to be toxic.” According to the campaign for safe cosmetics website. They can cause eye impairment, intestinal damage, kidney and liver problems, breathing problems, cysts, skin spots, rashes, premature aging and hair loss. Some are endocrine disruptors (that can cause hormonal disruptions and produce adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects), and some even carcinogenic (that can cause cancer, and in particular breast cancer).

Consumers should carefully read the ingredient labels on the products and be fully aware of what goes in it. Here is the list of most commonly used petrochemicals in skin care:

Propylene Glycol, Petrolatum, paraffin, Mineral oil, Anything with Methyl, Propyl, Butyl prefix. benzene, Toluene.
PolyEthylene Glycol or PEG family: PEG-100 Stearate, PEG-8, PEG-80, Cocoate, Peroleate andPEG 15 Soyamide/IPDI Copolymer.
Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA) family: Lauramide DEA, Cocamide DEA, Cocamide MEA, DEA- Cetyl Phosphate, DEA Oleth-3 Phosphate, Linoleamide MEA, Myristamide DEA, Stearamide MEA, and TEA-Lauryl Sulfate.
Paraben family: Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben and Butylparaben preservatives.
Carbomer & Carbopol – petroleum derived thickeners.
Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Lauryl Glucoside, Coco-Betaine, are all made using petrochemicals.

Keep this list of “ingredients to avoid” handy when shopping for skin care or personal care products. FDA does not regulate the industry but CONSUMERS CAN, with their pocketbook and becoming ingredient savvy consumers. The safest bet is to choose truly natural skin care products that contain full spectrum (whole), bio-active botanical ingredients.

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