What Is It? Wednesday (resorcinol)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A somewhat weekly/bi-weekly (whatever my insane schedule will allow) series about ingredients found in beauty products, cosmetics, and household products.

Today I'm looking at Resorcinol.

What Is It: A crystalline compound originally obtained from galbanum resin, used in the production of dyes, resins, and cosmetics.

Where Is It Found: Most often used in the rubber industry, primarily for tires. But also common in:

  • hair dye
  • shampoos/conditioners
  • facial peels
  • acne/eczema treatments
  • topical medications for itching
Why Do We Want to be Careful: The Enviromental Working Group gives Resorcinol a safety rating of 8 out of 10 (10 being very unsafe). It is linked to endocrine disruption (hormone disruption) and can disrupt thyroid hormone synthesis. It is know to irritate skin, eyes, and lungs. Resorcinol is also linked to organ system toxicity.

In My Words: We should all avoid resorcinol as much as possible. If you can't give up your hair dye (like me) then stretch out appointments to lower exposure. And make sure that you're using safe products elsewhere. If you dye from home chose a safe dye (there are options). Also, be sure to avoid resorcinol if you have hormone problems and/or infertility. Also, avoid while pregnant.

A Few Interesting Facts: Japan has restricted the sue of resorcinol in all cosmetics. The EU limits concentrations of resorcinol and requires warning labels. In the USA the federal government limits exposure in the workplace but there is no regulation of resorcinol in personal care products.

What You Should Do: Limit hair dye and facial bleaching/peels. Use safe acne/eczema fighting products.

I must admit I am not yet ready to give up my hair dye so I've found some alternative products to recommend...

  • ATTITUDE, Beautycounter and Soap for Goodness Sake are all companies that have safe shampoo and conditioner options

  • Beautycounter's Baby Balm is great for eczema on kids and adults. As well as having a variety of great products for acne depending on your skin type.

(*Along with more than 1500 other harmful and potentially harmful ingredients resorcinol is on Beautycounter's Never List.)

*Also, I do not have personal experience with all the different products/brands I recommend. Many of them I stumble upon during my research. Please feel free to share your experiences if you have first-hand knowledge.)

Sources: Environmental Working Group, Wikipedia, Safecosmetics.org

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