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Potentially Harmful Ingredients Often Used in Commercial Facial Toners and Astringents:

  • Synthetic Fragrances - An unspecified mixture of chemicals that are known human immune system toxicants; Found in majority of toners; Moderate evidence of human neurotoxicity
  • Salicylic Acid - An anti-acne agent and exfoliant; Use is restricted in Canadian cosmetics; brain and nervous system effects at low doses; sense organ effects at very low doses; reproductive effects at moderate doses; skin irritant and penetration enhancer (allowing other chemicals to penetrate deeper into the skin); mutagenic
  • Glycolic Acid - An exfoliant and pH adjuster; eye irritant
  • Propylene Glycol - A fragrance ingredient, skin-conditioning agent and viscosity decreasing agent; Has been found to provoke skin irritation and sensitization in humans as low as 2% concentration, while the industry review panel recommends cosmetics can contain up to 50% of the substance; may provoke allergic reactions; reproductive effects at moderate doses; mutagenic; penetration enhancer which alters skin structure, allowing other chemicals to penetrate deeper into the skin
  • PEG 40 (Hydrogenated Castor Oil) - A fragrance ingredient, emulsifying agent and solubilizing agent; possible carcinogen; Broad systemic toxicity
  • FD&C Color Pigments - Synthetic colors derived from coal tar that are continously tested on animals due to their carcinogenic properties; Contain heavy metal salts that deposit toxins onto the skin, causing skin sensitivity and irritation; Animal studies have shown almost all of them to be carcinogenic
  • Paraben Preservatives - Used as inhibitors of microbial growth and to extend shelf life of products; Widely used even though they are known to be highly toxic; Skin sensitiser - Known to cause allergic reactions and skin rashes and can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin.
  • Diazolidinyl Urea - A preservative; Strong evidence as a human skin toxicant and can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin; Endocrine system disruptor; brain and nervous system toxicant; mutagenic
  • DMDM Hydantoin - A preservative; known human MULune system toxicant; skin sensitizer - can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives, and blistering of skin; can cause eye, skin and lung irritation

NOTE: This is a non-inclusive list of harmful ingredients found in many commercial products. There are numerous other toxic and potentially damaging ingredients, but were not listed as they are less frequently utilized.

How Safe Is Your Toner/Astringent?

**For more information or to find out what's lurking in your products, search the Cosmetics Database at Skin Deep by Environmental Working Group at http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/. You will be amazed and disgusted!

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