Petrolatum – Mineral Oil – Causes many problems for photosensitive skin (that is to say it augments damage from the sun). It also tends to interfere with the body’s natural moisturizing mechanism leading to dry skin. Any product sold that contains this chemical creates the very conditions that it claims to relieve. Many manufacturers use petrolatum because it is incredibly cheap. Highly comedogenic. Petrolatum is listed as a probable human carcinogen in the European Union’s Dangerous Substances Directive (UNECE 2004), and its use in cosmetics will be banned by September 2004 with the following caveat: “The classification as a carcinogen need not apply if the full refining history is known and it can be shown that the substance from which it is produced is not a carcinogen.”
Parabens – (methyl-, ethyl-, -propyl- , isopropyl, -butyl, benzylparaben, etc) are the most commonly used synthetic preservatives in many cosmetics. Parabens are used in skin care products because they ensure a long shelf life by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria, yeasts and moulds. But they are suspected of posing grave health risks with long term exposure. It is a fact that up to 60 percent of whatever we place on our skin goes into our blood stream. This is where the danger starts. Parabens pose a potential health danger because they are endocrine disruptors ”they interfere with the proper functioning of the endocrine system, which controls the production and release of hormones.” Parabens mimic oestrogen, and scientists are concerned that this may increase the risk for breast cancer.
Propylene Glycol and Butylene Glycol – Petroleum plastics act as surfactants (wetting agents, solvents). EPA considers Propylene Glycol so toxic it requires protective gloves, clothing, goggles and disposal by burying. Because Propylene Glycol penetrates skin so quickly, EPA warns against skin contact to prevent brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities. There is NO warning label on products where concentration is greater than in most industrial applications. Used as a solvent, propylene glycol is probably THE most common ingredient found in personal-care items, such as make-up, hair products, lotions, after-shave, deodorants, mouthwashes, and toothpaste. It is also the active component in antifreeze; and there is no difference between what is used in industry and what you apply to your skin! Industry uses it to break down protein and cellular structure (what the skin is made of); it’s so strong that it can take barnacles off the bottom of boats. But because it is so inexpensive, it is widely used in very high concentrations in most personal care formulations ”even ones from “natural food” stores