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For me what you put on your skin is just as important as what you put in your mouth. How many times have you picked up a skin care product and have had no idea on what the ingredients are or what they do? This week I have spent some time doing some research on common brands of moisturisers within New Zealand, and have researched the ingredients within them. And to be honest I was disappointed with what I found.

Within the cosmetic industry the major ingredients within the product is always listed at the top of the ingredient list and within certain brands the following is what I have found.

Octyl Methoxy Cinnamate also known as Octionoxate or OMC – it is a UV filter that is added to personal care products to protect the skin from effects of UV radiation, and to prevent product degradation2. Within humans it absorbs rapidly through the skin and has been detected in urine, blood and breast milk, which indicates that it has a systemic effect on humans1. Recent research has found serious health concerns with its use. OMC has been found to disrupt the endocrine system, it mimics oestrogen within the body and has been found to disrupt thyroid function3. It alters the reproduction system by significantly reducing progesterone which has been associated with infertility and miscarriages1,3. This chemical can have adverse effects relating to growth and reproductive development, women that are pregnant and their foetuses, adolescent teenagers are particularly sensitive to permanent effects and should avoid using any product with Octyl Methoxy Cinnamate within it1, 3.

Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) Has been classed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a carcinogen5, its role within skin care products (moisturisers) is to provide whiteness, UV protection and to make the product more spreadable4,5. Recent research has likened its effect to that of Asbestos especially the nano form Ti02 with how it interacts with lung tissue4. Ti02 is a nanopartical form widely used in plastics, papers, inks, medicines, food products, cosmetics, toothpastes and skin care products4.

Cocamide DEA is a synthetic chemical made by a chemical reaction between coconut oils and diethanolamine. Cocamide DEA is commonly used in shampoos, soaps, bubble baths, shower gels as a foaming agent (to make bubbles) and as a thickener in creams. The National Toxicology Program (part of the U.S. Dept. Of Health and Human Services) identified cocamide DEA as a carcinogen (cancer-causing) chemical, In their studies, they found exposure to cocamide DEA caused liver and kidney cancer9. The Centre for Environmental Health (CEH) has reached the first-ever legal agreement with major companies, including Colgate and Palmolive to end their use of this chemical in shampoos and other personal care products8,9, however there is still over 100 companies that have yet to agree to discontinuing its use. Beware as it is often described as an organic ingredient within product.

My challenge to you is to have a read of the ingredients, that are within your products that you use everyday on your skin or within your hair. Get onto Dr Google and do some reading on what they are, why they are used, and if they are harmful. I ask you to do yourself a favour and know what you are putting on your skin as your skin is your body’s biggest organ, and is a big part of your health. At Vitalise we only use the finest natural ingredients within our product that are from sustainable plant based sources and carry the Ecocert or Biogrow organic certification.

Me xx


  3. Manová, Eva, Natalie von Goetz, and Konrad Hungerbuehler. ‘Aggregate Consumer Exposure To UV Filter Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate Via Personal Care Products’. Environment International 74 (2015): 249-257. Web. 8 Feb. 2015.
  4. Boas, Malene, Ulla Feldt-Rasmussen, and Katharina M. Main. ‘Thyroid Effects Of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals’. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology2 (2012): 240-248. Web.
  5. Medina-Reyes, Estefany I. et al. ‘Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles Induce An Adaptive Inflammatory Response And Invasion And Proliferation Of Lung Epithelial Cells In Chorioallantoic Membrane’. Environmental Research 136 (2015): 424-434. Web. 8 Feb. 2015.
  8. International Agency for Research on Cancer. 2012 Coconut oil diethanolamine condensate. IARC Monographs 101:141-148.
  10. S. Enviromental Protection Agency. Office of Pesticide Programs, 2013. Chemicals Evaluated for Carcinogenic Potential.

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