Skin Care and Makeup Ingredients – Is there an Immune Response Problem?

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If you have an autoimmune disease or symptoms of poor immune health and you are using skin care and makeup products with chemical ingredients, your body may be reacting to these chemicals by absorbing into your system through the skin. After all, studies have confirmed that 64% of contaminants in water are absorbed through the skin as compared to drinking the water – which should make one wary of long baths in tubs filled with municipal water, as well as chlorine filled hot tubs and pools. Unfortunately, umbilical cords are the repository of these ingredients, studies show, so we know they are in the body.

Another pertinent fact to add is that women account for 75% of those in the US with an autoimmune disease. I am not saying those cosmetics are the reason why women are disproportionately affected by the disease, but ladies, the people the cosmetic companies hire to formulate your designer lipstick, blush and hair products are chemists, and if you have an immune response problem this could certainly be one of the culprits.

Chemicals in the body can be carcinogenic but can also create an immune response, though a number of factors decide whether a particular person is affected or not. Chemical exposure has been found to illicit autoimmunity, allergic reactions, chronic inflammation, and even the reverse in immunosuppression – when the immune system is suppressed. Pinpointing what one has been exposed to in many instances is difficult to assay because some may have no reaction, some immediate and some may not have reactions for several years after the first exposure.

The bottom line is that the body was not designed to process chemical molecules, and the chance of having future health repercussions increases with the more exposures one has as well as the older we become. Pregnant women are advised to be even more cautious. Reading labels for chemicals in cosmetics, skin care, soaps, and shampoo will help to make safer choices. There are now apps in which the bar-code is scanned and the low-down information is displayed for you, one is an award-winning app called Think Dirty.

 List of the more commonly used toxic ingredients

  • Parabens – These are preservatives needed for a long shelf-life, but they have been linked to many disorders, breast cancer, and are a known endocrine system disrupter.
  • Imidazolidinyl urea or Germall  – This is another preservative linked to cancer and skin disorders.
  • Propylene Glycol and PEG’s – This is associated with a known carcinogen called 1,4-dioxane that is not required to be on the ingredient list – and the 1,4-dioxane is found most often in baby shampoos and other baby products. The FDA is looking into banning 1,4-dioxane as of 2017.
  • Formaldehyde – This is a sneaky one too because it is named something else on the label, such as:

DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinyl urea, Quaternium 15, Imidazolidinyl urea, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol

  •  Phthalates – Here is the definition: a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break. They are often called plasticizers. Some phthalates are used as solvents (dissolving agents) for other materials. Used in personal care products, such as nail polish, hair sprays, aftershave lotions, soaps, shampoos, and perfumes.
  • Hydroquinone – Found in whitening creams and is linked to skin disease and cancer.
  • Sodium Lauryl and Laureth Sulfate –  This is a foaming agent linked to many disorders and has been found to pass through the eyes, brain, heart, and liver.
  • Triethanolamine (TEA) – This one is made by combining 2 toxic chemicals and is a foaming agent with fragrance, and a ph adjusting component. Wreaks havoc on the immune system and immune reponse.

There is an almost inexhaustible list of chemicals being added to personal care products, and the names get changed whenever there is a bit of press about it. The FDA does not regulate it and the mainstream media do not investigate it. If you can’t pronounce it, then stand clear – is a good motto.


Please leave a comment or feel free to contact me


SUPERFOOD: A Clinical Trial Normalizing Chronic Inflammation (and it modulates autoimmune response).

Take Back Your Health

Wow what a great topic! My wife is in the cosmetic business and she try’s to inform people of this stuff. A lot of people don’t realize who quickly the skin absorbs what is around it. I never thought of the bath tub and hot tub though. Do you recommend any good brands or things to look for to avoid the bad makeups?!

I have not investigated particular manufacturers, although I know there are all-natural makeup products out there, and there are recipes for all-natural personal care substitutes available.

The main thing, if one has an autoimmune, immune or inflammation issue, is to be aware that these chemicals could be contributing to your health problems – and could over time be the cause of future health concerns.

It is pretty scary what we put in our bodies with makeup or creams. I’ve read those ingredients on many products like that. There are chemicals in so many products. I wear makeup occasionally but not daily, I always thought it was harmful on the skin. It may not show now but it would show in years to come. With your studies did you find that one brand of makeup had a less amount of chemicals than the others?

Good for you for laying off the chemicals. I prefer a more natural look and less makeup on women.

I may have to look into that, but since I am a male I don’t know that my opinion about particular brands would be paid attention to.

I do know there are natural brands being marketed, but I am sure you will need to get feedback on their efficacy. You should start a blog about that 🙂

Thank you for your comment.

It is amazing what people will go through just to look their best, but the sad part is that with many of these make up comes side effects so while you may be looking good on the outside it may really be doing serious damage on the inside, Your post is and eye opener too, so many people I am sure will learn a lot from what you are saying.

I have quit using commercial deodorant, soap and shampoo since I researched this article and found that the ingredient Sodium Lauryl was in my shampoo; and coincidentally, I started using this shampoo at the same time I noticed a significant cognitive decline and thought I might have had brain cancer.

I use a lot of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar now, along with Norwex wash cloths to stay clean.

Thank you for your comment.


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