By Dr. Ted J. Cibik
Recently I was looking for a good Aloe Vera product for my skin. As a person who has suffered with lifelong allergies, I am always concerned what I place on my skin as it can evoke a contact allergy or skin eruption much like poison ivy. I like Aloe Vera as it cools and allows a softening effect on my skin and it is a great way to mix with other moisturizers to add spreadability and adhesiveness.
I began to do a little research on the preservatives, stabilizers and antimicrobial chemicals that are commonly utilized in the cosmetic industry. Frequently, these ingredients are added to organic ingredients (such as Aloe Vera) in minute quantities (less than 1%) and they will still list the product as organic.
What I found amazed, shocked and disgusted me. Even though I believe that Aloe Vera in its raw organic form is one of the best overall skin tonics mankind has ever discovered, the ingredients that they add are sickening – literally.
Consider that when many people use these products is after showering, shaving and when the skin pores are most open and able to transport all manner of toxins into the capillary beds of us unsuspecting consumers – often times call transdermal ingestion.
Please check your ingredient list on all your skin care products, especially If you are having issues with allergies, autoimmune diseases, cancer, MS, hypersensitivity, MCS or any other known health issue you are combating. If you do not have any health issues, you still may want to consider rethinking what you ingest/rub into your body.
Below is a list of some very common ingredients and what I have found that they can do to you. The information that I gathered is from several sources including the cosmetic industry and WebMD – so it is known and studied.
Diazolidinyl Urea. – a preservative used in aqueous solutions. It decomposes to form formaldehyde and some unidentified products. The release of formaldehyde from Diazolidinyl urea is dependent on temperature, pH and storage period of the solution. So how often do ya think your skin care products are shipped and stored in a temperature controlled means of transportation and storage?
Potassium Sorbate a preservative – One or more in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results (cancer). One or more animal studies show brain and nervous system effects at high doses (i.e. Neurotoxicity).
Tetrasodium EDTA– used as a penetration enhancer for cosmetic products – alters skin structure, allows other chemicals to penetrate deeper into the skin. Suspected to be an environmental toxin and be persistent or bioaccumulative (tends to build up in the sytem). Persistent or bioaccumulative and moderate to high toxicity concern in humans.
DMDM Hydantoin A known human immune system toxicant. In Japan its use is restricted in cosmetics – prohibited for use in some types of cosmetics here in the U.S. 7 studies on toxicity in PubMed, often causing contact allergy.
Sensitizer – can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin – and they put this stuff in skin care products!
Better solutions Alginate – a seaweed used for thickening and Grapefruit seed extract as an antimicrobial.
I hope this helps raise some awareness and if anyone has a 100% Aloe Vera gel or skin care product without this junk in it, please let me know for myself and my patients!