Photo: Avoid petrolatum in personal care products

Petrolatum is also known as mineral oil jelly.(Credit: Horia Varlan via Flickr)

The David Suzuki Foundation compiled the results of our survey of the toxic ingredients found in the cosmetics of Canadians. We asked people to pull back the shower curtain and look for the "Dirty Dozen" lurking in their soaps and shampoos.

Although were unable to recommend brands, always check the ingredients list of any store-bought product. Chances are it contains petrolatum, one of our "Dirty Dozen."

Petrolatum is found in many hair care products, lip balms, soaps and skin care products. It's also known as mineral oil jelly, and it's used as a barrier to lock moisture in the skin and to make hair shine.

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But this petrochemical can be contaminated with cancer-causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The European Union considers it a carcinogen and restricts its use in cosmetics. Download our wallet-sized Sustainable Shopper's Guide so you can avoid petrolatum and the other eleven toxic ingredients commonly found in your soap, shampoo, and deodorant.

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