Well this week I have decided to get a little on my high horse and have a little rant about the chemicals and nasties that many of us use quite blissfully unawarely on a day to day basis on our skin. As many of you know I am passionate about all things organic and particularly love skin care brands such as Aveda and Neals Yard for their organic properties and ethical processes.
I have uncovered some interesting research and information this week and thought I would share it with you.
As consumers we should be on the look out for chemicals and toxic ingredients that may cause harm to our skin and your body/inner well being. It’s true that we wouldn’t eat products which we knew contained chemicals or cancer causing agents, and so we shouldn’t in the same way let these toxins penetrate our skin through our beauty regime.
Currently there are insignificant amounts of research available to provide evidence of the safety or health risks of low dose repeated exposures to chemical combinations like those in personal care products… just think potentially now on a daily basis many women will put some or all of the following into their skin…
Shampoo and Conditioner,
Other hair products including hairspray,
Skin care, cleansers, toners, moisturisers, serums, scrubs and Make up,
plus others such as fake tan, and cosmetic injections etc
That is a whole host of potential nasties going into our systems – have you ever looked on the back of your shower gel at the ingredients, or your perfume, body lotion?
So although there is a lack of evidence on the potential effects of using some of these chemicals on a small every day but longer term basis it is important to remember that the absence of information should never be mistaken for the confirmation of safety. The more that we investigate low dose contact with these products, the more it is possible to understand that they can cause adverse effects ranging from the subtle and reversible to effects that are more critical and permanent.
Did you know for example that 450 ingredients that are used in the USA are banned for use in cosmetics in the European Union by the industry. The dictatorial vacuum in the United States gives cosmetic companies enormous leeway in selecting ingredients, while it shifts potentially considerable and unnecessary health risks to the users of the products.
Cosmetics and personal care products are promoted based on the quality and ingredients of their formulas. Numerous products allege to be filled with expensive vitamins, oils, and perfumes. Others profess to use an all-natural formula. How can you be certain that the products you purchase contain the ingredients they claim to have or that they are safe? Read the label? Guess again! Unless you happen to be a scientist or a chemist, the ingredient list on the majority of cosmetic and personal care products will look like a laundry list of monotonous, tongue twisting names that make no sense at all. If you want to educate yourself, there are several books that will really bring you up to speed on what is in your personal care products. One would be, Dangerous Beauty, by Mark Fearer; and the other is called, Drop Dead Gorgeous, by Kim Erickson. Additionally, there are many groups that are pushing for safe products such as WomenandEnvironment.org.
So…Why should we have reservations about the safety of ingredients in body care products that we spread over our body and hair? There are many reasons, yet here is the most compelling one:
Hongran Fan and her coworkers at the Veteran Affairs Palo Alto (Calif.) Health Care System and Stanford University School of Medicine planned to demonstrate the effectiveness of intramuscular gene injections by comparing them with simply dripping a DNA vaccine solution onto the skin of mice. Well, they discovered that it was possible to distribute the vaccine through the hair follicles on unbroken skin.
So, if you can absorb an effectual prescribed amount by simply having it come in contact with your skin, how much of the toxic ingredients that are in your personal care products are you absorbing through your skin? Think about it—you are literally bombarding your tissues, your organs and your brain with man-made chemicals and their processing residues!
Always question and investigate chemical ingredients that you cannot pronounce. Shun phony “organic” and “natural” body care products that are filled with, “derived from” synthetic chemicals. Support the companies that actually create non-chemical, true organic products that are considered safe and don’t need to be tested on animals (for obvious reasons). You really can make a difference for you, the environment and your loved ones.
Just a few of the chemicals most commonly used for you to mull over:
• Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)/Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
• Imidazolidinyl Urea And DMDM Hydantoin
• DEA (diethanolamine) MEA (monoethanolamine) TEA (triethanolamine)
• FD&C Color Pigments
• Propylene Glycol (PG)
• Mineral Oil
• Synthetic Fragrance
• Isopropyl Alcohol
For more information on theses products see the full article on the link below…
So what do we take from all of this information…..
For me it is important to feel that you look good (cosmetics and skin care play a huge part in this) and that in turn you feel great and of course enjoy your life, however I think on occassion we should be more aware and we should question the ingredients in the products we use especially if we use them on a daily basis, being curious allows us to make a more informed choice, unfortunately no one will ever tell us that we shouldn’t buy something just that we should!
Be happy, healthy and most of all be curious!!!