The Dirty Dozen – Exposing the top 12 nasty cosmetic chemicals

The David Suzuki Foundation’s Dirty Dozen list has entered urban legend, as the first popular, scientifically backed and widely acknowledged exposure of nasty ingredients commonly used in cosmetics today.  Widespread use of these toxic ingredients means that many people are being affected by the makeup they wear, the toothpaste they use, the hair products and skincare they apply daily. An estimate widely repeated is that a modern woman applies 150 chemicals to her body by the time she is dressed for work each morning.

People are generally trusting that large companies would not knowingly use harmful chemicals in their cosmetics and skincare, so it can be a shock to realise that ‘organic’ can include coal tar – it’s a scientific term for mineral based organic material, not for sprayfree in this sense. And many ingredients that may or may not not be harmful in themselves are contaminated with known carcinogenic materials, pesticides and heavy metals.

In the Dirty Dozen report it is noted:

“U.S. researchers report that one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors. Many products include plasticizers (chemicals that keep concrete soft), degreasers (used to get grime off auto parts), and surfactants (they reduce surface tension in water, like in paint and inks). “

David Suzuki’s Dirty Dozen & more information on the Foundation website

  1. BHA and BHT
  2. Coal tar dyes: p-phenylenediamine and colours listed as “CI” followed by a five digit number
  3. DEA-related ingredients
  4. Dibutyl phthalate
  5. Formaldehyde-releasing preservatives
  6. Parabens
  7. Parfum (a.k.a. fragrance)
  8. PEG compounds
  9. Petrolatum
  10. Siloxanes
  11. Sodium laureth sulfate
  12. Triclosan

Once you know this stuff, you can’t un-know it! But tell your friends too – knowledge is power and creating an all natural, toxin free beauty bag is an essential step on the path to wellness and great health.

We wish you all the best on your journey to creating a safer, cleaner home and beauty routine.

2 thoughts on “The Dirty Dozen – Exposing the top 12 nasty cosmetic chemicals

  1. Jenna Mullinger says:

    Hi Marie, Excellent question! The CI ingredients in our natural foundations and powders are Micas and Iron Oxides. These are 100% natural, although as they are from the earth they can have small amounts of other naturally occuring substances in them – but these are the minerals as they are found in nature.
    If you would like a powder with NO minerals in, we recommend the 100% Pure Bamboo Blur Powder: https://ohnatural.co.nz/product/100-pure-bamboo-blur-powder/
    Thank you for asking!

  2. Marie says:

    HI their just reading your column on the dirty dozen in make up and it says that the ingredient CI followed by a 5 digit number is bad… but when looking for a natural Foundation or mineral powder on your website they all contain this ingredient? Is there a safe foundation/mineral powder out there?

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