L'Oreal and its offspring Garnier. I was doing some research about parabens, what they are, what they're in, what might be wrong with them. And, using SkinDeep, I discovered that all parabens are not created equal. There are some completely benign parabens that could be in your cosmetics, hair care and shower/bath products. BUT, there is also a really nasty, you-should-stay-away-from-it, paraben. It's name is SODIUM METHYLPARABEN. On the SkinDeep database there's a list of 163 products containing sodium methylparaben. The way the list works, the higher the number, the more toxic the product. In the #153 position is L'Oreal "Kids 2 in 1 shampoo, extra gentle, burst of fruity apricot." Not only does this shampoo contain sodium methylparaben, it also contains two other toxic chemicals -- one of them a known immune system toxicant. THIS IS A SHAMPOO FOR CHILDREN!

Here's the key thing: you must read labels, especially if you're the one buying products for babies and children. The companies that have not signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics do NOT CARE about your children. They do NOT CARE that they are risking your children's future health. They do NOT CARE that they are risking the health of future generations.

Note: Just because a label doesn't say "sodium methylparaben" on it, doesn't mean it's not in there. This chemical goes by a dozen other names. I have adopted a simple rule since I cannot memorize all the possible names. If I need a degree in chemistry to read the label, I don't buy the product. Now, it may be that the things I cannot pronounce and have never heard of, are non-toxic, possibly even beneficial. But, at the moment I'm considering that product, I will put it back if it sounds like something made in a laboratory instead of something I could grow. I know that's too simplistic. Perhaps the thing to do is carry around A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients by Ruth Winter. I noticed that used copies are going for $.36 on Amazon.com.

There really is a lot to know about the stuff you put on your skin and in your hair and on your children's skin and hair. A lot. Too much actually. We shouldn't have to know all this chemistry. At least that's my feeling about it.

L'Oreal is a huge multi-national corporation. They do not care about you or your children. I wish I could write to and convince the beautiful actresses that do L'Oreal and Garnier commercials to stop promoting those products. Pretty unrealistic, huh? I love Penelope Cruz and Sarah Jessica Parker -- they're both wonderful. And it seems to me that neither of them NEEDS to do commercials. Why do they?


Kathy said...

Ugh. My biggest peeve about all of it is that these cosmetic companies are not required to do any kind of testing. Only AFTER a product is on the market and it is discovered to be a "threat" does any kind of testing or regulation checking happen. Meaning the danger will happen after the fact.

As a mom, I worry about this with many things related to my child's skin care as well as what I put on myself.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this important "heads up."

self-righteous said...

I cannot stress enough the value of sites like Guide to Less Toxic Products. Taking the time to read up on sunscreen for your children, for example, is so important.

Anonymous said...

I represent a company that sells Pharmaceutical-grade FDA approved skin care, called Kara Vita. Would like to see this product on this site.


self-righteous said...


I wasn't able to find out what ingredients Kara Vita DOES use. They have not signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, which all of the others that are listed (on the side) have. Also, I'm not a big fan of the FDA's, so telling me they use FDA approved ingredients isn't exactly a high recommendation. One more thing, I don't think it would be a good idea to list a multi-level marketing company, just because, in my opinion, shoppers don't want to deal with that.
But thanks for stopping by, maybe you will expand your education to include taking a hard look at the toxic ingredients in our personal care and household products.

Anonymous said...

i have to take action immediately to throw my Loreal Shampoo & Conditioner Volume Extreme into the bin!!!!!!

How about using natural instinct product? I am now doing some "research shopping."

Here is the link im now at:



Wonder if theres any hidden chemicals that are not mentioned in the label.