I have lots of health conscious friends who eat only organic food, but who are totally oblivious to the toxic cosmetic ingredients lurking in their skin care products.
Some grow their own food, raising it organically, and take supplements to fill any gaps in their nutritional program. Everything they do is green, natural and organic….except…
Visit their bathroom and if you’re nosy, you might end up getting sick reading the list of toxic cosmetic ingredients in their personal care products.
Toxic cosmetic ingredients such as sodium laurel sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, phthalates, parabens, dyes, lead, formaldehyde and petroleum are common in personal care products of all kinds. If you haven’t read the labels on your products lately, take another look. Then do some research on what you’re using. Unless you are using very pure products you will be horrified when you see what you’re putting on your skin, and into your bloodstream.
Believe me, I know…I used to be very casual about what I used…until I started doing some serious research.
So you might ask, “What’s the big deal. I’m just putting them on my skin, it’s not like I’m eating them, right?”
The answer is, any toxic cosmetic ingredients that goes on your skin goes right into your bloodstream.
In contrast food goes into your digestive tract where enzymes help filter it out before it goes to your liver for more detoxification, not so great for your liver but nevertheless marginally better for the rest of you than putting chemicals directly on your skin. If that isn’t bad enough, the Environmental Working Group (which maintains a huge data base of information about personal care products and toxic cosmetic ingredients) reports that 56% of products in their data base contain penetration enhancers which assist the ingredients in their products to more effectively get through your skin.
Use of these toxic products can cause damage to your immune system, your eyes (think about the mascara and eye shadow you use on the skin around your eyes which is especially sensitive) and your hair. Since some of the chemicals are endocrine disruptors they can contribute to weight gain and negatively impact a developing fetus in women who are in their child bearing years. Some of the ingredients are also carcinogenic, building up in your system over time putting you at risk for cancer.
Cosmetic companies argue that the ingredients aren’t harmful in the quantities used in a particular product. That may or may not be true, but most people don’t use just one product….they use several. Think about your morning routine…you use toothpaste, contact lens solution, soaps, gels, shampoos, conditioners, foundation, mascara, eye shadow, moisturizers, shaving creams and lotions….the list goes on.
Are you at risk of exposure to toxic cosmetic ingredients?
A 2004 study by the Environmental Working Group found that “one of every five adults is potentially exposed every day to all of the top seven carcinogenic impurities common to personal care product ingredients — hydroquinone, ethylene dioxide, 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, nitrosamines, PAHs, and acrylamide. ”
But aren’t personal care products regulated? Doesn’t some agency like the FDA make sure only safe chemicals are used? The answer is no. Cosmetic companies are pretty much on their own when it comes to what they put in their products and what they tell you about them. The FDA can’t require that products be tested for safety prior to use. Nor does it have any systematic program for assessing cosmetic product safety, but rather relies on the industry to police itself.
To live younger longer, it is essential to read labels and only use very pure cosmetics and skin care
products. If you buy your products at big box stores or at your local pharmacy, chances are they are toxic. And don’t assume that they are safe if they say natural or organic. Carcinogens are common in products with these kinds of labels which may actually have only a very few ingredients that are genuinely natural or organic.
How careful are you about the skin care products you use? Do you have toxic cosmetic ingredients hiding in your bathroom?
Please share this info and leave a comment. Thanks.
PS…the EWG publishes a list a cosmetics and lets you know how safe they are. CLICK HERE for information about a very safe alternative to conventional skin care.