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Start living a smart & healthier life by making better choices!

by Dr. Dawn Scarzella

Did You Know?


  • That Europe bans 1,371 toxic chemicals from their personal care products and the US bans only 11?
  • That the FDA does not regulate the personal care products industry and hopes that cosmetic companies will do their due diligence and issue safe products?
  • That “safe”, “organic” and “natural” does not mean your products do not contain any toxic chemicals?
  • 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will get cancer in their lifetime, 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys are identified with autism spectrum disorder in the US, and that Alzheimer’s Disease is up 500% in the past 20 years?
  • That only 10% of cancer is genetic and 90% is caused by environmental factors?
  • That your personal and home care products (from shampoo to antibacterial wipes to makeup) contain carcinogenic ingredients, neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors and allergens that you breath, absorb or ingest all day, everyday?

Read your labels! Know Your Ingredients!

What ingredients should I avoid?

Avoid ingredients that HIDE chemicals:
FRAGRANCE can contain over 3,000 legally hidden chemicals not required to be labeled. The word “fragrance” or “parfum” is a “trade secret” in the industry. More than 75% of the time if you have fragrance, you have legally hidden phthalates (THAL ates), known endocrine disruptors, that are linked with birth defects, breast cancer, infertility, liver, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and now with autism and ADHD in pregnancy by Dr. Philip Landrigan, Mt Sinai, Children’s Environmental Health Center.

Avoid ingredients that are ENDOCRINE (HORMONE) DISRUPTORS.

PARABENS: Preservatives linked to breast cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, and developmental defects. California Study (10/11) of BPA and methylparaben combination turned healthy cells into cancer cells, and rendered tamoxifin ineffective.

TRICLOSAN: is the active ingredient in “anti-bacterial” products: and is in most hand-sanitizers. It is registered with the government as a pesticide, and is a known endocrine disruptor. Triclosan is believed to disrupt thyroid function and contribute to liver and inhalation toxicity.

OXYBENZONE and OCTINOXATE: (and other chemical sunscreen “active ingredients”) are UV ray filters that are also known endocrine disruptors.

PETROLATUM & TETROLEUM INGREDIENTS: endocrine disruptors and carcinogens.
IMPORTANT NOTE: ALL SIX OF THE ABOVE ARE “ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS” and are in many products that you use daily – and some will have multiples! They are important to avoid, because the endocrine system regulates ALL biological processes in the body: development of the brain and nervous system, growth and function of the reproduction system, metabolism and blood sugar levels, ovaries, testes, pituitary, thyroid and the adrenal glands. (Natural News)

The World Health Organization and the UN recently released a report that called endocrine disruptors a “Global Threat.” Small amounts matter, especially to the developing fetus.

Avoid ingredients that are CARCINOGENS:

1,4 DIOXANE is a known cancer causing agent that is create during the manufacturing process when the following chemical ingredients are used: PEG, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, ingredients ending in -eth.

NITROSODIETHANOLAMINE is a known Carcinogen that is created during the manufacturing process when th following chemiocals are used:
Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA) & Monoethamolamine (MEA)

FORMALDAHYDE is a known Carcinogen that is released when the following chemicals are used: Diazolidinyl Urea, DMDM Hydantanoin, and Quaternium. It is found in most personal care products.

GLYCOLS (such as PROPYLENE GLYCOL, BUTYLENE GLYCOL), are linked directly to cancer.

PEG’s (polyethylene glycol) are petroleum byproducts. During manufacturing process carcinogenic contamination is created: 1,4 dioxane, which is a known human carcinogen, with liver and kidney effects.

SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are considered carcinogens. SLES is something contaminated with 1,4 dioxane. You will never see 1,4 dioxane on a label, as companies are not required to list carcinogenic contaminants.

INGREDIENT THAT ENDS IN “-eth”: like ceteareth, triceteareth, etc. Also carry the contamination concern for 1,4 dioxane.

IMPORTANT NOTE: all THREE of the above ingredients carry carcinogenic contaminant concerns created during manufacturing of 1,4 dioxane. The government allows 10 ppm (parts per million) in any one products, but no one is testing. 1,4 dioxane can be stripped for pennies, and must be done for any product exported to EU.

RETINYL PALMITATE: in the presence of sunlight enhances skin cancer lesions by 21% (FDA, 2011 Report). It is in many sunscreens and moisturizers.

NANOPARTICLES: can cross the cell barrier and drive into organs, including the brain in humans. There is no way of knowing particle size, unless stated on the label. EU manufacturers must list any nanoparticles. Nanoparticles are present in almost every brand of sunscreen. This allows them to rub in clear.

ALUMINUM and metals: these are bio-accumulative, meaning they store in your fat cells and accumulate, and are very hard to get rid of. Aluminum is the active ingredient in many deodorants.

DEA reacts with other ingredients to become the extremely carcinogenic nitrosodiethanolamine. Beware of other ethanolamines like triethanolamine (TEA) and monoethanolamine (MEA). 

SYNTHETIC COLOR/DYES: made from coal tar, which is a mixture of many chemicals, derived from petroleum. These colors may be contaminated with low levels of heavy metals and some are combined with aluminum substrate. Aluminum compounds and many heavy metals are toxic to the brain. ie. FD&C Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5 & 6, Red 33.

GLYCOL (propylene, butylenes, etc): synthetic petrochemical mix known to cause allergic and toxic reactions. Has been linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive issues, neurotoxicity and endocrine disruption.

MINERAL OIL: a petroleum ingredient that coats the skin like plastic wrap, disrupting the natural immune barrier, inhibiting its ability to breathe and absorb natural moisture and nutrition, and its ability to release toxins, which can promote acne and other disorders. The process slows down skin function and normal cell development causing premature aging.

TALC: in the same family as asbestos, talc is dangerous to inhale and has been linked to ovarian cancer.

SILOXANES: cyclomethicone and ingredients ending in “siloxane” (e.g., cyclopentasiloxane) are toxic, persistent, and have the potential to bioaccumulate. The EU classifies some as endocrine disruptors and possible reproductive toxicant that may impair fertility. Research shows some to cause uterine tumors and harm to the reproductive and immune systems. Some siloxanes can also influence neurotransmitters in the nervous system. Cyclomethicone is a mixture of three siloxanes.

It’s all in the ingredients!

My mission as a doctor and mother has been to find safe, quality beauty products, cleaning products and foods to use for myself, my family and my patients.

It has not been easy.

Because of greenwashing and false marketing I was led to believe that several of the products I had chosen over others were “safer”. I was getting frustrated and angry. The more I investigated and learned I came to realize that many of the products that have health claims are false and are not any healthier than the ones I was already using! The words “natural” and “pure”, “safe”,  on the front meant nothing. The key has been to read the ingredients on the back of every bottle no matter what it claims on the front.

“Know your ingredients”

Be aware of what it is you are absorbing, eating and breathing. An average women uses 515 chemicals before she even leaves the house in the morning.

It is shocking how few products on our shelves do not contain a long list of ingredients of everything listed above. Even now that I want to do the right thing and choose wiser it has been so difficult to find products that are “really OK”.

But everything is tested by the government and the FDA so if it’s in a bottle it must be safe right???? 

I have come to the scary realization that it it is absolutely NOT!