A program of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners

Body products

Body

Body sprays, moisturizers, bath, and body products may contain any number harmful chemicals of concern, including those linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies, and sensitivities. To protect yourself, choose brands that are fully transparent about what’s in their product, especially in the fragrance, or choose products without “fragrance” on the ingredient label. Check out the Chemicals of Concern in cosmetics so you know what to look for on labels.

Science

BCPP (CSC’s parent organization), 2018 report Right to Know: Exposing Toxic Fragrance Chemicals in Beauty, Personal Care and Cleaning Products found that fragrance chemicals made up the vast majority of the chemicals linked to harmful chronic health effects in the beauty and personal care products we tested, which included body lotions and body sprays.

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In the 2011 report Baby’s Tub is Still Toxic, BCPP’s Campaign for Safe Cosmetics reviewed the labels of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo sold in 13 countries for quaternium-15, a chemical preservative that kills bacteria by releasing formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Formaldehyde and quaternium-15 are also strong allergens that can trigger rashes and other skin problems. More than two years after leading health and parents’ groups asked Johnson & Johnson to reformulate its flagship baby shampoo to remove the cancer-causing chemical, the company was still putting the formaldehyde releasing preservative quaternium-15 into baby shampoo sold in the United States, Canada, China, Indonesia and Australia. However, Johnson’s Baby Shampoo formulas sold in Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and the U.K. were found to contain non-formaldehyde preservatives.

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Campaign

The Toxic Free Beauty Act of 2021, part of our Safer Beauty Bill Package in U.S. Congress, would ban two harmful parabens, along with the other worst-of-the-worst chemicals found in body care products. Take action to make beauty and personal care products safer for all!

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Products of Concern

  • Moisturizers
  • Lotions
  • Body wash
  • Body spray
  • Soaps
  • Shaving cream
  • Douches

Chemicals of Concern

Tips

  1. Read Labels: Check ingredient labels to avoid the above chemicals of concern found in body care products.
  2. Simplify: Choose products with simpler ingredient lists and fewer synthetic chemicals. Select products that fully disclose their fragrance ingredients by skipping products with “fragrance” on the label.
  3. Minimalist: Using fewer products is the easiest and cheapest way to reduce your risk by minimizing your exposure to harmful chemicals in cosmetics.
  4. Use an App: Get Clearya or Think Dirty to find out whether products are toxic as you shop.
  5. Look Beyond: Since the beauty industry is largely unregulated, there are no legal standards for personal care products that are labeled “clean,” “pure,” “natural,” or “organic.” Look beyond false marketing claims by reading ingredient labels.
  6. DIY: Many products are easy and fun to make yourself. Plus, you can customize your recipes to match your specific beauty concerns and favorites. Make your own moisturizer, sugar or salt scrub, body oil, and more using simple, organic ingredients.

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Looking for a Safer Alternative?​

Use Clearya’s app to find non-toxic products! Clearya alerts you to toxics and helps you find safe products.

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