Eczema skin symptoms can be caused by synthetic chemicals found in personal care products. Each day, an adult typically uses many types of personal care products, with an exposure of about 126 chemicals per day. Sadly, many of us continue to use these products because we are not previously aware about the harm that these chemicals can cause. Also, since most products on the shelves contain these chemicals in one form or another, we find it hard to avoid them totally. Products that contain natural and organic ingredients also tend to be more expensive.

Recently, there are various studies that show that we do suffer from ill effects such as eczema skin symptoms from the use of these chemicals. While you may think that these chemicals are only applied topically on our skin, they can still penetrate into our bloodstream and are absorbed by our bodies. Evidence of this can be found in the new contraceptive patch or even the nicotine patch.

Some of the ingredients in personal care products that can get into our bloodstream via our skin include:

1. Mineral oil. Mineral oil is oftentimes found in lipstick, lotions and makeup removers. This chemical can also clog up your pores because it does not allow your skin to breathe or release toxins. However, when this happens, you are inhibiting the normal functioning of your skin. This can also cause the premature aging of your skin.

2. Formaldehyde. This ingredient is commonly used in soaps, nail hardeners, lipsticks, body lotions and shampoos. It acts as a germicide, preservative and fungicide. However, it is also a a powerful carcinogenic and mutagenic, which can damage and inhibit your body's ability to repair its DNA. Formaldehyde has been banned in both Sweden and Japan.

3. Synthetic fragrances. If you have been spraying yourself with many doses of perfumes, you probably do not realize that perfume can contain hundreds of harmful chemicals. Perfumes can cause headaches, rashes, coughing, dizziness, vomiting and skin irritations. The hydrocarbons that are found in these fragrances usually contain formaldehyde, styrene, toluene and phenol. These are chemicals that can cause depression, exhaustion, anxiety, dizziness, diminished blood flow and brain damage.

4. Petrolatum. Petrolatum is commonly known as mineral oil jelly. It is a petroleum derivative that is commonly used in lip balms. This chemical clogs skin from taking in oxygen and releasing toxins, which can cause you to have acne. Some of the other things that can happen whenever you use petrolatum is sensitivity to the sun and chapping.

5. Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Parabens. These are used as preservatives to help extend the shelf lives of many personal care products. However, these preservatives can cause allergic reactions and rashes. They can also increase your risk to developing cancer because these chemicals also contain highly toxic formaldehyde-releasing ingredients that are carcinogenic.

6. Propylene Glycol. Propylene glycol is a petroleum derived chemical. It is used as a humectant, which is a chemical that will keep products moist. However, it also breaks down protein and cellular structure. Workers who make these products that contain propylene glycol are required to wear protective gloves, clothing and goggles. In the United States this chemical is listed as a skin and eye irritant. It is also considered to be a possible carcinogen because it is known to cause both liver and kidney damage. Yet, it is used in many types of antiperspirants, suntan lotions, lipsticks and hair care products.

7. Retinyl Palmitate. It is a topical form of Vitamin A. In Canada this product is listed as a toxin.

8. Sodium Lauryl (Laureth) Sulfate. This is often referred to as SLS or SLES. SLS was originally used as an industrial garage floor cleaner. However, it can now be found in several inexpensive shampoos, toothpastes, bubble baths and lotions. You may not be aware that SLS is irritating, causes skin irritations, itchiness, cracking, dandruff and infections in children who use bubble bath with this in it. Even animals have been damaged by SLS. Whenever this is mixed with other common chemicals that are found in cosmetics it will create nitrates in your body before it ultimately produces carcinogens.

9. Polyethylene Glycol. Polyethylene Glycol or PEG is used to dissolve oil and grease. While this chemical is normally found in spray-on oven cleaners, you should also know that it can also be found in many hair care and skin care products. In personal care products, it is also used as a thickener. However, it is known to strip the natural moisture from your skin, leaving it and your immune system vulnerable. PEG can also possibly cause cancer.

10. DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine) and TEA (Triethanolamine). You will find these chemicals in bubble baths, shampoos, soaps and facial cleansers. Unfortunately, your skin can easily absorb these chemicals. They are essentially hormone-disrupting chemicals that can also form cancer agents. You should know that research has been conducted that indicates that there is a strong link to both liver and kidney cancer.

11. Imidazolidinyl Urea ( IU) and Diazolidinyl Urea (DU). These are very common chemicals that are found in cosmetic preservatives. They are also found in baby shampoos, lotions and creams. These chemicals are known to cause eczema symptoms, dermatitis, joint pain, allergies, depression, headaches, chest pain, ear infections, chronic fatigue, dizziness, loss of sleep, weakening of the immune system and cancer.

12. Isopropyl Alcohol. Isopropyl alcohol is derived from petroleum. It is used in antifreeze and shellac. It is also used in hair color rinses, body rubs, hand lotion and aftershave lotions. There are many side effects from using these personal care products containing this chemical. They include headache, dizziness, depression, nausea, vomiting and in some cases, coma. When isopropyl alcohol penetrates your skin, it can destroy your intestinal flora, reducing your resistence to parasites and bad bacteria.

Manufacturers of personal care products argue that the synthetic ingredients are in safe proportions and therefore do not cause any harm or impact. They also say that it is hard to prove that eczema or other allergic symptoms stem from the absorption of these ingredients.

At the same time, there are other researchers who believe otherwise. They argue that low exposure over a period of time can cause a toxic build up in our bodies. This will eventually manifests in eczema skin symptoms, allergic reactions or in the most severe cases, cancer.

Of course, the above list does not cover every single chemical that can be potentially harmful. There may be other chemicals contained in personal care products that you may be sensitive to. To minimize eczema skin symptoms, you should use more organic products that contain natural ingredients. Doctors and researchers are only starting to realize what the long-term effects of these ingredients will be. We can also do our part by demanding for safer personal care products.

Author's Bio: 

Evelyn Lim is the publisher of a free newsletter on Eczema Natural Treatments. A sufferer herself, she writes about her quest to seek an eczema cure. Gain access to her story and research tips here at