As a part of my quest for greater health, I have taken a journey to find personal care products that are safe for human use. Now, let me clarify that statement. When I say “safe”, I mean cosmetics and skin care that does not cause bodily harm through toxic chemicals and by-products. I think we all need a quick lesson in what I’m talking about, so please read on.
Toxic Ingredients 101
I hate it when the list of ingredients on the bottle is so long and so hard to read that you either have to seek out translation from a chemist or, more likely, give up trying to understand it. Let me tell you; I’m done with that. Allow me to share some startling info with you.
Are ingredients in personal care products actually harmful?
“While some companies make products that are safe to eat, other companies choose to use known human carcinogens or developmental toxins. Nearly all these chemicals can penetrate the skin, and some we ingest directly from our lips or hands. More than one-third of all personal care products contain at least one ingredient linked to cancer. When risky and unstudied chemicals are used in cosmetics, the stakes can be high — unlike trace contaminants in food or tap water, chemicals in cosmetics are base ingredients,” as stated on cosmeticsdatabase.com.
What’s the Big Deal…or the Big Word?
Propylene Glycol – Propyl-what? You should actually know this one because it’s in almost every personal care product you use; including, shampoos, shave gel, KY personal lubricant, and even some baby wipes. Though it’s one of the better ones (a lessor of many evils), it still has been linked to some scary conditions…like cancer, organ toxicity, and skin irritations.
DEA (Diethanolamine), MEA (Monoethanolamine), TEA (Triethanolamine) – That’s a mouth full. The three chemical musketeers (or three homicidal overachievers) are hormone disruptors and make cancer-causing agents. What’s bad is these are found in bubble bath. Yes, that stuff that you and your kids soak in for a long time. And get this; it is easily absorbed by our skin. Another common place you will find them is in your facial cleanser.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate – Another common one that some companies claim is safe for humans. Well, it might be if you only came in contact with it a couple of times; unfortunately, if it’s in your shampoo and cleansers, you’ll experience the hazardous effects over and over. Some concerns include, cancer, skin irritations, and organ toxicity.
Parabens – One of the easy ones to pronounce, this common preservative and fragrance additive is considered highly toxic. In addition to being linked to cancer, it has implications in reproductive/developmental problems that include infertility, birth defects, organ cancers, and developmental delays in children. Scary…
FD&C Color Pigments – Don’t let them fool you by listing these at the bottom; they are killers. “For example FD&C Red #4 is no longer used in foods because of the known threat to the adrenals and bladder.” (Quoted from Suisskin.com.) But they still use it non-food items. You’d think they would just ban it altogether.
Alright, I think that’s enough scary stuff for now. The point is you NEED to read every line of the labels before you buy! Ask questions; do research; be proactive in learning about what your skin comes in contact with on a daily basis. You may not be able to avoid every chemical, but you can make better choices for yourself and your family. For more information on this topic, see Dangerous Beauty at Womenslifelink.com.
Photo by Shadow Stealer