Men - Do you Know which Toxins are in your Personal Care Products?

From aftershave and shaving cream to deodorant and body wash, some chemicals used in men's body-care products are linked to cancer, congenital disabilities, learning disabilities and other chronic health problems. Did you know that a common chemical that is found in most fragrance used in personal care products could be particularly harmful to a man's reproductive health? The average male uses three-to-six cosmetic products every day. Many of these personal care items contain more than 80 unique chemicals. Many of these chemicals are absorbed into the skin, inhaled or ingested, and the vast majority of those cosmetic chemicals have not been assessed for your safety. What most men don't realize is that many of the toxic chemicals described below are sometimes left off of product labels. This is due to loopholes in the labeling of fragrances. Companies are allowed to keep trade secrets such as fragrance formulas a secret and not disclose the ingredients. One of these chemicals that may not be shown is DEP. Hazardous impurities (such as formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane) that are commonly found in men's care products.Toxins in Men's Skincare Products, Shaving Cream

What's in a man's medicine cabinet and what are the problematic chemicals?

Here are the top 5 toxic chemicals to watch out for and why:

1) Diethyl phthalate (DEP): commonly found in personal care products with fragrances such as cologne, deodorant, shaving products like aftershave and creams, plus shampoo. 

  • Studies have shown that DEP can cause its use to low sperm count in men. In children, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and in babies, DEP can impair reproductive development. 
  • Just one use shows that even just using fragrance or cologne one time can increase the levels of DEP. 
  • Many popular, mainstream products from manufacturers contain DEP. Quicksilver, Calvin Klein Eternity for Men, Old Spice After Hours Body Spray and Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce just to name a few.

2) Lead acetate: can be found in hair color.

  • Banned from cosmetics in the European Union (EU) because of its toxic effects on the human reproductive system. 
  • Brands include Men’s Grecian and Youthair.

3) Coal tar:  like Neutrogena T-Gel Shampoo and other dandruff shampoos.

  • Already banned in the European Union (EU). Coal tar is a known human carcinogen found in personal products and cosmetics.

4) Triclosan: Most often found in antibacterial soaps, but can also be seen in deodorants. Deodorant brands include Old Spice Wide Stick, Speed Stick, and Edge Advance. Antibacterial Handsoap from Dial.

  • Hormone disruptor and can cause antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 
  • The Canadian Medical Association has asked their government to ban any use of triclosan in household products. 
  • Triclosan-containing soaps have been taken off many store shelves as there is no evidence that they perform better than just plain ole' soap and water. 

5) Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane: Body wash and shampoos are the most frequent offenders. 

  • Known carcinogen to animals and possibly humans. 
  • Formaldehyde can cause allergic reactions and rashes. 
  • 1,4-dioxane is known to contaminate groundwater. 

Are there any Safer Alternatives?

Yes, there are. There are companies are already making men’s products that don’t contain harmful chemicals such as the ones listed above.

What Can You Do To Change Things?

EWG has begun the Safe Cosmetics and Personal Care Products Act of 2013 to tackle the issues that will require cosmetic companies to acknowledge all ingredients on product labels. They would like to set up a system that lets all customers know that the personal care products they are buying list all ingredients and are free of harmful ingredients. EWG would like all personal care products to be safety tested. 

Article Contributed by DanielleWinters
Organic Natural Beauty Directory Founder
Thank you to Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.org for this information.