The Power of No: Saying “NO” to Harmful Chemicals in Our Cosmetic Products

Did you know that some of the ingredients in your cosmetics are used in the embalming process to preserve dead bodies or make car tires? Woah. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that may be found in nail polish, nail glue, eyelash glue, hair gel, hair-smoothing products, baby shampoo, body soap, body wash, and color cosmetics. It is important to say NO to putting chemicals like this one onto our bodies, which would eventually absorb into the skin and into the bloodstream.

Carbon black is another possible carcinogen found in eyeliner, mascara, blushes, brush-on-brow, lipstick, and foundation. Alternative names to this chemical in the ingredients list of your cosmetic products could be D & C Black No. 2, acetylene black, channel black, furnace black, lamp black, and thermal black. Carbon black is also often used in the making of tire treads and abrasion resistant rubber products.

In our perfumes, colognes, lotions, sprays and hundreds of other products are Synthetic Musks (commonly labeled at “fragrance” or “parfum”) that cause hormone disruption and toxicity to the body’s organ and reproductive systems. When looking for cosmetic and personal care products, say NO to putting synthetic musks on your body, avoid alternate names such as musk ketone, musk xylene, galaxolide, and tonalide and choose “fragrance-free” products instead..

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Protect Our Breasts wants you to say “NO” to chemicals such as formaldehyde, carbon black, and synthetic musks. For help avoiding these chemicals, download the “Healthy Living” app or check out “SkinDeep” by the Environmental Working Group. These quick and easy databases tell you instantly how safe your product is just by scanning its barcode.

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