5 Dangerous Natural Cosmetic Ingredients

To the trustworthy, non-concerning consumer, “natural” has a direct association with safe.  Although ingredients may be natural, that does not mean they are safe.  In order to get to the bottom of this, and to find out which ingredients are safe, and which pose a certain health risk, I reviewed the book, “Volume 1 of Plants in Cosmetics: Plants and Plant Preparations Used as Ingredients for Cosmetic Products,” which summarizes a detailed study performed by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on Cosmetic Products.

The Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on Cosmetic Products for this specific study reviewed 71 plants and plant preparations which are used as ingredients for cosmetic products.  Out of the 71 ingredients studied, 54 are considered safe, 5 are not recommended for cosmetic use, and the remaining 12 require additional data to make an accurate assessment.

Below lists the 5 non-recommended natural cosmetic ingredients that pose serious health hazards:

  • Betula alba
  • Juniperus oxycedrus
  • Pinus sylvestrisr
  • Gaultheria procumbens
  • Cinnamomum zeylanicum

The study was conducted following the methodologies similar to that of safety-in-use of cosmetic products based on man-made ingredients, whereas this study was based on plant and plant preparations.  The guidelines set forth to determine if the ingredients were in fact hazardous and toxic were based on the analysis of two types of data and characteristics: Evaluation of human exposure, and evaluation of toxicity.

Evaluation of Human Exposure to Natural Cosmetic Ingredients

The Evaluation of human exposure was classified by measuring the specific toxicity of the ingredients, as well as estimating the extent the consumer is likely to be exposed, including: the type of cosmetic, quantity of the ingredient being used, the quantity of the ingredient contacting the consumer in each application, the frequency of application, the area of the body being exposed, and the foreseeable misuse of the product.

Once the of exposure is estimated, the likely amount to enter body is calculated.  That, coupled with the review of past studies of the same ingredient provide an educated estimate of the complete extent of exposure to potentially harmful ingredients.

Evaluation of Toxicity in Natural Cosmetic Ingredients

The evaluation of toxicity is based on exsting knowledge obtained through similar studies of topical effects data and systemic effects data that has been complied through skin and other relevant exposure routes, such as eye and ingestion.  However, if the natural cosmetic ingredient is new, topical and systemic effect data should be obtained using internationally acceptable guidelines such as the OECD guidelines for testing of cosmetics.

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Posted by on Dec 14th, 2009 and filed under FEATURED ARTICLES, TOXIC PRODUCTS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

2 Responses for “5 Dangerous Natural Cosmetic Ingredients”

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