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MSG in Your Personal Care Products
by Christine H. Farlow, D.C.


Important! Read this before you buy any cosmetics or personal care products that contain protein or amino acids!

MSG may be hidden in your cosmetics and personal care products. If you know you’re sensitive to MSG, you may be avoiding it in your food but still noticing MSG-type reactions and not know where they’re coming from.

Do you ever get a headache or notice other unpleasant symptoms when you put on your makeup, shampoo your hair or wash your face? Have you ever wondered why? Or do you just shrug it off and pop a pill to mask the symptoms? Maybe you just grin and bear it and don’t give any thought to the fact that there might be a relationship between the product you’re using and the symptoms you’re feeling.

If you try to avoid MSG in your food, just because you believe it’s harmful, you may be surprised to know that MSG is found in more than food. It can be found in your cosmetics and personal care products, like makeup, soap, shampoo and conditioner. You may also be getting a dose of MSG in your daily vitamin supplements. Over-the-counter and prescription medications may also contain it, as well as vaccines that are given to your children.

MSG sensitivity is commonly referred to as Chinese Restaurant Syndrome because it's frequently used in Chinese foods and many people experience symptoms like headaches, dizziness and sweating after eating Chinese food.

MSG is short for monosodium glutamate. It also applies to processed free glutamic acid, which is glutamic acid that has been freed from protein through a manufacturing process or fermentation. MSG is a neurotoxin. It crosses the blood-brain barrier and the placental barrier and excites nerve cells to death. If you’re pregnant, it may even affect your unborn baby.

Even if you’re not sensitive to MSG, these are good reasons to avoid it.

How do you know if MSG is in the products you use?

First of all, you have to read the label. Not just the front of the label that tells you what the manufacturer wants you to believe about the product, but the ingredients list on the back of the label. You know, that tiny print that’s often so small and in a color that blends in with the label that it’s almost impossible to read. The more difficult it is to read, the more important it is for you to read it. Carry a magnifying glass with you and make sure you read every label of every product ... BEFORE you buy. Dying To Look Good is a book that will help you read labels and choose healthy products.

Look out for these ingredients that are hidden sources of MSG:

  • hydrolyzed proteins
  • amino acids
  • yeast extract
  • nayad (potent yeast extract)
  • glutamic acid
  • glutamates

MSG may also be in or be the result of:

  • processed proteins
  • enzymes
  • carrageenan

These are the hidden sources of MSG that are most likely to be found in cosmetics and personal care products. There are many more ingredients that are hidden sources or potential hidden sources of MSG. You can find more information on MSG at truthinlabeling.org.

MSG is not the only ingredient that you need to watch out for in your skin care products. There are many harmful ingredients in the cosmetics and personal care products on the market today. Some are even known to cause cancer. Make sure that the products you use on your skin contain safe and healthy ingredients because what you put on your skin can be absorbed directly into your bloodstream and affect your health.





© 2007 Christine H. Farlow, D.C., "The Ingredients Investigator" and author of DYING TO LOOK GOOD. Dr. Farlow has been researching ingredient safety since 1991. Learn more about the safety of ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products and find healthy products at DyingToLookGood.com