top of page
  • Writer's pictureTeresa Bowen

Know Your Products.

As a licensed cosmetologist for 34 years, I am aware of the toxicity levels of beauty and self care products. I don’t consider myself an expert on the subject of how all these toxins effect our bodies. However I do know a few things and am very aware that change must take place and with this in mind I will do my part. My part as a woman, mother and grandmother first is what products I choose to use and refer to my family. Second, as a salon owner using products that are better for my clients and my environment. As a retailer of beauty products on my e-commerce site I am a responsible retailer. I prefer and choose hair care products that are toxic free. Non-toxic Living is a responsible way of living your life for your self care, family care and earth care. I also have the honor to Co-host a radio show on UpHere Radio, titled “Talks With Tia” where we talk about holistic living using herbs and essential oils in our everyday routines. The ingredients in hair color is important as well, while purist would never color their hair many women and some men will always do so. I love the creative process of color and cut or retexturing hair. I always want to offer my clients the best service with the least toxic products available. I have used many products touted for their naturalness and in doing so have found that many aren’t up to the job. The beauty industry is in a renaissance in that people are discovering the long term effects of toxic ingredients in what is supposed to make them look and feel better. Most are carcinogenic (cancer causing), hormone disrupting, and estrogen mimicking to their systems. With auto immune disease on the rise and finding that many of the ingredients in our self care products are the culprits and triggers. We must take action we must take responsibility for our own lives and families and for our planet. With the average daily use of personal product by one person being between 4-15 depending on gender and age. And according to statistics this totals 261 chemicals used daily with one application. Now add multiple applications daily or even over time and this is likened to the frog in the pot of water, where the heat is continually increased unbeknownst to the frog until it’s too late. Our skin is our largest organ and is very porous drawing into our body what ever we apply topically to it. This delivers whatever the skin care product, shampoo, soaps etc have in them. Toxins are absorbed into our skin and find their way into our blood stream to circulate throughout the body and into the vital organs. The liver and kidneys are our biggest cleansers and are designed to remove toxins from the body. When the toxins begin to build up in our organs by daily use of dangerous personal care products we find disease sets in. The beautiful side of this is that our bodies are designed to heal themselves given the right environments, foods and toxic free products for personal care and cleaning products. I have access to many products what I offer on this website is just a beginning. If you have a personal concern about any product please reach out to me and I will send you a list of toxic free products for you to choose from.
So what are some of the toxic ingredients that are in our personal care products?
Parabens are preservatives used in a wide variety of personal care products and foods to prevent the growth of microbes. These endocrine-disrupting chemicals can be absorbed through skin, blood and the digestive system. 
FOUND IN: Shampoos, conditioners, lotions, facial and shower cleansers and scrubs
WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON THE LABEL:  Ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, other ingredients ending in –paraben BUTYLATED COMPOUNDS Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are used as preservatives in a variety of personal care products. Both of these chemicals are also used as preservatives in foods. These chemicals are linked to several health concerns including endocrine disruption and organ-system toxicity.
FOUND IN: Lip products, hair products, makeup, sunscreen, antiperspirant/deodorant, fragrance, creams
WHAT ARE BUTYLATED COMPOUNDS? BHA is primarily used as an antioxidant and preservative in food, cosmetics, food packaging and animal feed.HEALTH
CONCERNS: Endocrine disruption, organ-system toxicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, cancer, irritation.  CARCINOGENS IN COSMETICS The laws governing cosmetics and personal care products are so limited that known cancer-causing chemicals, or carcinogens, are legally allowed in personal care products. Some carcinogens, such as formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, are common in personal care products, while others are less common, but still occasionally present.
FOUND IN: A wide variety of products, depending upon the ingredient
HOW CAN YOU AVOID CARCINOGENS IN COSMETICS?Read labels and avoid cosmetics and personal care products containing formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (quaternium-15, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3 diol), phenacetin, coal tar, benzene, untreated or mildly treated mineral oils, ethylene oxide, chromium, cadmium and its compounds, arsenic and crystalline silica (or quartz).
HEALTH CONCERNS: Cancer, endocrine disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity, bioaccumulation, ecotoxicity.
Heavy metals like hexavalent chromium, and cadmium serve as colorants in eye shadow and lip gloss. [76],[77],[78] Other metals such as arsenic are impurities in cosmetic ingredients including facial lotion, shampoo, and foundation[79], [80] as a result of arsenic contamination in ingredients  such as D&C Red 6, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, hydeogenated cottonseed oil, and polyvinyl acetate.[81],[82].IARC, the National Toxicology Program and California’s Prop 65 identify cadmium and its compounds, arsenic, and chromium as human carcinogens;[83], [84], [85] in addition, chromium can also lead to developmental problems in both females and males.[86] ETHOXYLATED INGREDIENTS Ethoxylation is the process of reacting ethylene oxide with other chemicals to make them less harsh. Ethoxylation can create small amounts of 1,4-dioxane and leave residual ethylene oxide in the product.
FOUND IN: shampoo, liquid soap, bubble bath, hair relaxers.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON THE LABEL: PPG, PEG, polysorbate and ingredients that end in –eth such as laureth, steareth, ceteareth.
WHAT ARE ETHOXYLATED INGREDIENTS? Ethoxylated ingredients on their own are of low concern, however, the process of ethoxylation, may leave behind trace amounts of carcinogens.
HEALTH CONCERNS: This manufacturing process can result in two toxic contaminants linked to breast cancer and other cancers: ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane.In our 2016 report focusing on kids’ makeup products we found 28% of products listed ethoxylated ingredients on their labels.[3] Ethoxylated ingredients are generally of low concern on their own. However, they can be contaminated with ethylene oxide, a known carcinogen,[4] and 1,4- dioxane, reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.
ETHANOLAMINE COMPOUNDS (MEA, DEA, TEA AND OTHERS) Ethanolamines are present in many consumer products ranging from cosmetics, personal care products and household cleaning products. Both have been linked to liver tumors. The European Commission prohibits diethanolamine (DEA) in cosmetics, to reduce contamination from carcinogenic nitrosamines [1].
FOUND IN: Soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners and dyes, lotions, shaving creams, paraffin and waxes, household cleaning products, pharmaceutical ointments, eyeliners, mascara, eye shadows, blush, make-up bases, foundations, fragrances, sunscreens
WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON THE LABEL:  Triethanolamine, diethanolamine, DEA, TEA, cocamide DEA, cocamide MEA, DEA-cetyl phosphate, DEA oleth-3 phosphate, lauramide DEA, linoleamide MEA, myristamide DEA, oleamide DEA, stearamide MEA, TEA-lauryl sulfate [2]
FORMALDEHYDE AND FORMALDEHYDE-RELEASING PRESERVATIVES Formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (FRPs) are used in many personal care products,[1] particularly in shampoos and liquid baby soaps. These chemicals, which help prevent microbes from growing in water-based products, can be absorbed through the skin and have been linked to cancer and allergic skin reactions.
FOUND IN: Nail polish, nail glue, eyelash glue, hair gel, hair-smoothing products, baby shampoo, body soap, body wash, color cosmetics.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON THE LABEL: Formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol) and glyoxal.
WHAT IS FORMALDEHYDE? Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas used in a wide range of industries and products including building materials, walls, cabinets furniture and personal care products.[2]
WHAT ARE FORMALDEHYDE-RELEASING PRESERVATIVES AND WHERE ARE THEY FOUND? In personal care products, formaldehyde can be added directly, or more often, it can be released from preservatives[3] [4] such as quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, bromopol and glyoxal.
Coal Tar Coal tar is a known carcinogen derived from burning coal. It is a complex mixture of hundreds of compounds, many of which are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) [1,2]. Coal tar is used in food, textiles, cosmetics and personal care products. Experimental studies have found that application of and exposure to coal tar produce skin tumors and neurological damage.
FOUND IN: Shampoos and scalp treatments, soaps, hair dyes, and lotions
WHAT IS COAL TAR? Coal tar is a brown-black material and thick liquid generated during the incomplete combustion (burning) of coal [3,6]. 
WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON THE LABEL: Coal tar solution, tar, coal, carbo-cort, coal tar solution, coal tar solution USP, crude coal tar, estar, impervotar, KC 261, lavatar, picis carbonis, naphtha, high solvent naphtha, naphtha distillate, benzin B70, petroleum benzin [3,4]
HEALTH CONCERNS: Cancer, organ system toxicity WHAT TO LOOK FOR ON THE LABEL: Sodium laureth sulfate, PEG compounds, chemicals that include the clauses xynol, ceteareth and oleth 1,4-DIOXANE 1,4-dioxane, a carcinogen linked to organ toxicity, may be found in as many as 22 percent of the more than 25,000 cosmetics products in the Skin Deep database [1], but you won’t find it on ingredient labels. That’s because 1,4-dioxane is a contaminant created when common ingredients react to form the compound when mixed together.
FOUND IN: Products that create suds (such as shampoo, liquid soap, bubble bath), hair relaxers, others
WHAT IS 1,4 DIOXANE?1,4-dioxane is generated through a process called ethoxylation, in which ethylene oxide, a known breast carcinogen, is added to other chemicals to make them less harsh.
Personal products for BABIES From learning how to smile to taking their first steps, babies grow on a daily basis, and the first three years of life are the most critical for development[1]. During this vulnerable time, it is important to limit babies’ exposure to chemicals linked to adverse health effects so that every baby has the chance to develop into a healthy adult. Babies, just like grown-ups, are exposed to many toxic chemicals via personal care products throughout the day including sunscreens, ointments, oils, shampoos and soaps.  Many of these products are easily absorbed through the skin into the blood stream, and babies are at least ten times more vulnerable to the chemicals in these products than adults.[2]Products of Concern– Shampoo, soap, conditioner, body wash, wipes, lotion, bubble bath, baby oil and sunscreen. Chemicals of Concern– 1, 4-Dioxane, formaldehyde, formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, fragrance, phthalates, parabens, octinoxate, benzophenones, ethanolamines and nitrosamines.
Top 4 Tips for Babies
1. Avoid sunscreens with octinoxate, oxybenzone, benzone and homosalate. While it’s important to make sure that babies are protected against UVA/UVB rays,it’s equally important to make sure that these sunscreens do not contain toxic chemicals.
2. Avoid mineral oil in baby oil. Try coconut oil or olive oil instead!
3. Reduce the amount of baby products with added fragrance.
4. Read labels closely and find safer alternatives using tools like the Think Dirty app and GoodGuide.
Teresa Bowen, Founder of Mahanaim Supply
23 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page