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Ingredients to Avoid when Selecting Cosmetic and Personal Care Products

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There are hundreds of ingredients that sunscreen manufactures utilize for inactive ingredients. How do most companies pick inactive ingredients? Product by committee. What is product by committee? It sounds like a really attractive proposition — let’s all get together and decide, as a team, what ingredients we want the in the product!

While many organizations are very open about their committee-driven approach to product management, others try to hide the fact behind a disguise of traditional product approaches. They’re making the same mistakes behind closed doors.

Let’s add this ingredient or that ingredient. Why? Because it creates the perception that the product has something new, special or an ingredient that may resonate with consumers.

Dianne Feinstein, a senator from California, introduced the Personal Care Products Safety Act, a bill to strengthen regulation of ingredients in personal care products. “Our skin is our largest organ, and many ingredients contained in these products–whether it be lotion, shampoo, or deodorant–are quickly absorbed by the skin,” Feinstein said in her testimony to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “There is increasing evidence that certain ingredients in personal care products are linked to a range of health concerns, ranging from reproductive issues, such as fertility problems and miscarriage, to cancer.”

Here are the most common ingredients to avoid when selecting cosmetic and personal care products:

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), Diethanolamine (DEA), Phthalates dibutyl phthalate (DBP), dimethyl phthalate (DMP), and diethyl phthalate (DEP), Formaldehyde (formaldehyde releasers: bronopol, DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, and quaternium-15), Chemical Fragrance (perfume, parfum, essential oil blend, and aroma), PEGs (polyethylene glycol or ceteareth), Parabens (specifically propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl-, and isobutyl- parabens), Sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate, Synthetic colors, Siloxane (ingredients ending in -siloxane or -methicone), Triclosan and Contaminants.

The following ingredients have contamination concerns:

Coal tar, diethanolamine (DEA), 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, butane and isobutane, petroleum distillates, polyethylene glycol/ceteareth, talcum and nitrosamines.

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