by Linda Lizotte, R.D.
As a nutritionist, I naturally have a dedication to education. The key to getting people healthy is empowering them with knowledge. Knowledge allows us to make better purchasing decisions. And as I always say, “your dollar is your vote”. I have been teaching people how to read food labels for the past 25 years. My goal with the AMG Naturally Newsletter is to teach you how to read and scrutinize cosmetic and beauty product labels to the same extent that you do food labels, for the safety of you and your family.
I continue to be baffled and disappointed by all the chemicals inside the beautiful jars of anti-aging products. Everything you put on your skin “does matter”, as it all gets absorbed. Unless you are using natural, chemical free products like those made by AMG Naturally, the more products you use daily to be beautiful, the greater at risk you are. Risk of what? Cancer, hormone problems, birth defects in offspring and much more.
Don’t we all desire medical grade results from over- the-counter products and expect them to be safe too? AMG Naturally endorses the philosophy that all the ingredients in our skin care products should be natural and safe to use on a regular basis - not to mention - effective. There is no need to use synthetic preservatives or synthetic fragrances, when nature provides so many. What is the point of mixing these toxic chemicals with healthy ones? So, which ingredients are toxic?
For this newsletter, I chose to review the ingredient list of an actual product, as always, called Advanced Face Firming Activator, with known toxins highlighted in red:
Aqua (Water), Glycolic Acid, L-Tyrosine, Thioctic Acid (Alpha Lipoic Acid), Dimethyl MEA (DMAE), Isopropyl Palmitate, Triethanolamine (TEA), Hydroxylated Lecithin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Urea, Glycosaminoglycans, Ceteareth-20, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polysorbate 60, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Bisabolol, Zinc Sulfate, Parfum (Fragrance),Dimethicone, Allantoin, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Pyridoxine HCl, Citric Acid, Pantethine, Magnesium Aspartate, Zinc Gluconate, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, BHT, Tocotrienols, Sorbic Acid, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tocopherol, Copper Gluconate.
Just like food labels, cosmetic ingredients are listed from ascending to descending order from highest content to least amount contained within.
The maker of this product promises to rejuvenate wrinkling or sagging skin in aging women.
A Skin Deep report by the Environmental Working Group, says at least 7 of 26 of the products by this company, with a well-known founder, were found to contain nanoparticles, while a total of 25 contain a wide range of other toxic ingredients. These include carcinogens such as acrylamide, and carcinogenic contaminants such as ethylene oxide, dioxane, nitrosamines and acrylamide, and formaldehyde. They also include allergens, and toxic hormonal ingredients. Accordingly, the Environmental Working Group rated 25 of their products as posing "moderate to high hazards”.
Let’s take a look at research on the first 3 highlighted ingredients above.
1. DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol). While it is supposed to firm up the skin to prevent lines and wrinkles, it comes with a host of alarming side effects. While DMAE may improve the look and feel of your skin, it’s safety is debatable. DMAE is also used industrially as a curing agent for polyurethanes and epoxy resins. That does not sound like something you would want on your skin RIGHT?
Below are common warnings about DMAE oral supplementation…
Taking more than the recommended amount can cause DMAE side effects like:
· Muscle tension
People with schizophrenia, epilepsy, and manic depression should not take DMAE supplements.
As the well-known nutritionist and speaker, Robert Crayhon used to say, “Just because something works, doesn't mean it’s the best way to do it.”
After a quick check of the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), it becomes apparent that DMAE is not something you want to be rubbing on your face. Below is an excerpt from the MSDS on DMAE:
Potential health effects:
Eyes: Corrosive to eyes. Contact with eyes may cause blindness.
Skin: Harmful if absorbed through the skin; corrosive to skin.
Ingestion: Harmful if swallowed.
Inhalation: Harmful if inhaled; corrosive to mucous membrane. Inhalation causes severe damage to the upper respiratory tract.
Chronic Exposure: This chemical may stimulate the central nervous system, possibly resulting in restlessness, coordination, tremors and convulsions.
Warning! Harmful if absorbed through the skin…I thought this was supposed to be good for your skin. This is another prime example of the FDA’s failing to regulate the cosmetic industry to keep the public safe. This seems to be the “ignored and forgotten” industry.
Click here for MSDS on DMAE:
2. Ceteareth-20 is another toxin commonly included in cosmetic products that we encourage people to avoid. Ceteareth-20 is a penetration enhancer, it alters the structure of your skin to allow substances to penetrate deeper into your skin. Definitely not something you want in a product already filled with toxins. Although this isn’t the only reason we recommend avoiding it. It is made from cetearyl alcohol which is a mixture of cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol and ethylene oxide (a carcinogen). There is a good possibility if your product contains Ceteareth-20 it is contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,2-dioxane (another carcinogen). Even at low doses, it causes skin irritation, predominantly around the eyes, mouth, and lips.
The combination of potential carcinogen contamination and penetration enhancement, place Ceteareth-20 on the top of our list of chemicals to KEEP OFF your skin, especially if it is irritated or damaged already.
3. Phenoxyethanol is a glycol ether, commonly used in cosmetics and other personal care products as a preservative. Studies have shown that Phenoxyethanol can be an extreme irritant to the eyes and skin, and can even cause blistering; it is hazardous in the case of ingestion and inhalation as well. The Cosmetic Database rates it as a moderate hazard and notes cancer, allergic reactions, skin, eye and lung irritation, organ and neurotoxicity as possible effects of using products containing Phenoxyethanol. It has shown effects on sensory organs even at low doses, and brain and nervous systems at moderate doses in animals, and causes cell mutation. Moderate hazard? Hmm. THE CIR expert panel says it is safe if diluted properly. I say, why use it at all if you can do the same thing in a natural way?
According to research, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) data sheets show “chromosomal changes and genetic mutation effects in testing as well as testicular atrophy and reproductive damage in mice.” I would bet most men would say NO THANK YOU to this.
4. Once again, we see synthetic fragrance in a product. Out of all the toxins we research “fragrance” shows up the most in personal care products. It also is one of the most hazardous ingredients you can put on your skin. Quite simply, this is because we do not know what is in it. It is a “mysterious concoction” of chemicals some toxic, some safe, but we can never be sure which. With side effects ranging from skin irritation to cancer, synthetic fragrances are TO BE AVOIDED FOR SAFETY REASONS. For more information on this, CLICK HERE, to go to our previous blog that does an in depth explanation of the dangers of synthetic fragrances.
Get to the cause of sagging/wrinkling skin by providing nutrients that increase the production of collagen and elastin naturally. Collagen and elastin are key to keeping the skin firm and tight. Production of these proteins decline as we AGE. Sulfur is needed to make collagen. Sulfur is often lacking in our diets.
A common cause of wrinkles is oxidation by free radicals which can be easily quenched by antioxidants. The 4 top nutrients used in AMG products that do this naturally are MSM (methylsulfonyl methane), Lipoic Acid, Retinol and Fulvic Acid. Radiation from the sun causes free radicals AND destroys collagen….it contributes to BOTH of the top reasons for making the skin look older.
Benefits of each:
- MSM – increases production of collagen and elastin, provides sulfur. MSM has been shown in research to improve ROSACEA
- Lipoic acid – this is a sulfur containing antioxidant so it has a dual role in improving the health of the skin
- Retinol – a form of vitamin A that has proven benefits for improving/reducing wrinkles and fine lines
- Fulvic acid – considered a plant, comes from the soil, loaded with minerals and increases the production of collagen. It is considered to be the highest containing mineral source of all plants
MSM is a key ingredient in AMG Naturally’s Daily Moisturizer, Night Moisturizerand Eye Serum. Not only does MSM make the skin tighter and younger, yielding a younger appearance, it also helps drive antioxidants, also in these creams, deep into the skin. Antioxidants attack free radicals which are known to cause wrinkles and sagging skin. MSM has been studied for rosacea, and the results concluded that when used topically, it greatly improves this tough skin condition.
As a practicing nutritionist for over 15 years, I have successfully treated thousands of clients with a wide range of health issues. I am the founder of the #1 nutraceutical company in the country. Realizing that what we rub on our skin DOES matter, because we are what we absorb, I saw the need for anti-aging skin products that don't just say they are natural, but actually ARE natural. I now have developed a line of personal care products. My products contain no synthetic chemicals and are derived from all-natural plant sources making them unique to the beautyceutical industry. We at AMG Naturally Inc. believe “We are what we absorb.” Why not get healthy, stay healthy, and age more gracefully?
Linda Lizotte, R.D.
Want to know how? See what others are saying by clicking here.