When limiting your exposure to phthalates you’ll want to find phthalate free shampoos, lotions, skin care and other hair care.
Here’s how to find these products so you can choose alternatives:
1. Read your labels.
Under the authority of the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act(FPLA), FDA requires an ingredient declaration on cosmetic products. Phthalates can appear in an ingredients list as the following names and acronyms.
• DBP (dibutyl phthalate)
• DNOP (di-n-octyl phthalate)
• DiNP (diisononyl phthalate)
• DEP (diethyl phthalate)
• BBzP (benzyl butyl phthalate)
• DEHP (di 2-ethylhexl phthalate)
• DiDP (diisodecyl phthalate)
• DnHP (di-n-hexyl phthalate)
• DMP (dimethyl phthalate)
• DnOP (di-n-octylphthalate)
2. Avoid hidden phthalates
However, the ingredient list won’t tell you everything. It’s not a requirement for ‘fragrance’ to be broken down into components in the ingredients, so phthalates will often be present here but not listed in the ingredients. Avoiding products which list ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ will ensure you’re choosing a phthalate free product.
3. Choose products labelled ‘phthalate free’ or ‘no synthetic fragrance’.
Products fragranced using only essential oils or natural fragrances won’t have the phthalates hiding in the ‘fragrance’ item in the ingredients.
4. Be careful with packaging.
As well as in the products themselves, phthalates are used in soft plastics as a plasticizer. Glass or metal containers won’t leach phthalates into the product, so choose these where you can. In terms of plastic, avoid those marked with recycling codes 3 or 7 as they are more likely to contain phthalates. 1,2 or 5 are better to choose.
5. Refer to EWG’s Skin Deep Database
It lists thousands of products (skin, haircare, fragrance and cosmetics) with an analysis of their ingredients.
6. Use the FDA info on phthalate content.
The survey carried out contains info on some products and their phthalate status.