Phthalates, a family of industrial chemicals used to soften PVC plastic and as solvents in cosmetics and other consumer products, can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system. –Healthcare Without Harm
The US government has actually banned the use of phthalates in children’s toys and other children’s products. Which is great, but phthalates can be found in many other places throughout our homes.
Where are Phthalates Used?
Probably the most notable is in your beauty routine. Phthalates are in perfumes, makeup, shampoo, soap, lotion, hair spray, nail polish… the list goes on and on.
The FDA does require beauty products to list their ingredients, but they do not require companies to break down the ingredients of the fragrances that they use. Therefore, when I see the word “fragrance” on something I’m purchasing, I run the other way. I always look for products that are “phthalate free”
But if I can buy something at my local drugstore, it can’t be that bad for me, right? I mean, they wouldn’t let us purchase it, would they?
I actually used to think the same thing… but check out this lovely little note, directly from the FDA’s website:
“Under the law, cosmetic products and ingredients, with the exception of color additives, are not subject to FDA approval before they go on the market.”
*Gasps in horror*
How to Avoid Phthalates
So, what’s a girl to do?
Read the labels.
If something has “fragrance” listed in the ingredients, don’t buy it! And, of course, don’t buy anything that lists phthalates as an ingredient either.
Make your own.
I’m no Martha Stewart, but I can follow a recipe, and I’ve actually made a few products on my own (namely lotion and a hair scrub, but I’ll make more!), and they were honestly quite easy and quick. This is probably the best option because you see the ingredients and you know exactly what you’re putting in/on your body.
What are your favorite phthalate-free beauty products? Have you ever made your own? I’d love to hear about them!