You want to look and feel your best for the long term…
But beware…hiding innocently in the bottles and jars of beauty products are some toxic chemicals that find their way into your skin and your body.
Lurking in the beauty and skincare aisles are: 1
- Over 10,500 chemicals used in personal care products.
- More than 100 toxic chemicals traditionally used in shampoo
- More than 4,000 toxic chemicals used in fragrances
What this means is that from the time you wake up, until you leave for work in the morning, you may be exposed to well over 100 toxic chemicals! 2
And if you thought the FDA was protecting you, the truth is, they don’t.
While they require personal care ingredients to be listed in the appropriate order on the label, it’s actually the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA) that calls the shots. 3
Hardly a system of checks and balances, the CTFA is the group that governs and ensures the safety of the personal care industry, including paying the scientists who determine ingredient safety (the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel or CIR).
An article in Natural News shows just how “active” the CIR has been in protecting your health:
“Of the 7,500 products tested by the EWG [Environmental Working Group], a mere 28 had been evaluated for safety by the CIR. The EWG found that one in every 120 products analyzed contained ingredients certified by the government as known or probable carcinogens and that nearly one-third of the products contained ingredients classified as possible carcinogens. Astoundingly, 54 products even violated recommendations for safe use that the CIR had put in place, yet these products are still available for sale today.”4
So who’s looking out for your best interests?
Well, you should be! And we are too, because at PureBalance Natural Health Center, we are committed to keeping you well informed about the best choices for your health.
The good news is, once you know about these poisons in your personal care products, you can choose pure, natural alternatives to keep you feeling (and looking!) your beautiful best.
The Care and Feeding of Your Skin
You care about the food and supplements you put into your mouth, choosing organic produce and natural, whole foods to stay energized, fit, healthy and youthful.
But what about the products you put on your skin?
Did you know that your skin “eats” the personal care products you use as well? It’s true. Your skin is your largest organ and once you apply a personal care product to your skin, it is absorbed and enters your bloodstream. Since most skincare products contain toxins these days, your immune system and liver go on alert to deal with them.
Over time, you may experience symptoms of toxic overload, such as:
- Dry skin
- Itchy scalp
- Sinus problems
But it doesn’t stop there.
Since we are exposed to toxins from the environment and food, eventually, you may experience more serious symptoms of toxicity.
We often see cases of this at Pure Balance Natural Health, which is why many of our services are dedicated to detoxification assessment and treatment.
Even more important than treatment, however, is prevention!
Since we can’t always control the toxins we take in from the air we breathe or the places we work, we CAN take control of the food we eat and the products we choose. Some simple steps to switch to pure, natural options can remove the toxic load and relieve your body.
Here are some articles to help you make pure, healthy choices:
- To learn more about a healthy, detoxification diet, read: Fall into Health: The 4 Steps to Great Health Through Detoxification.
- To learn how to detoxify your home, read: Detoxify Your Home to Boost Your Immunity
And if you want to truly pamper your body, there are also some changes you can make in your personal care and beauty products.
10 Chemicals to AVOID in Your Personal Care Products
Next time you pick up your beauty or personal care products, take a look at the label.
Here are the top 10 chemicals to avoid:
- Sodium Laurel Sulfate (SLS) — Here’s one chemical that the CTFA has suggested you avoid.5However, that hasn’t stopped this toxic chemical from finding its way into everything from shampoo to soap and toothpaste! SLS and it’s less toxic (but still offensive) cousin, sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) are detergents responsible for creating suds or foam.Both SLS And SLES are considered carcinogens and SLES is sometimes contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which is considered carcinogenic by the US Food and Drug Administration. 6
- Parabens (Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, p-Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, n-Butylparaben and Benzylparaben) — the most widely used preservatives in cosmetics, parabens are found in an estimated 13,200 personal care products ranging from makeup (like foundations and mascara), hair products, shaving cream, deodorants, sunscreens and moisturizers. 7Since 1998, studies have linked parabens (which have estrogen-like properties) to breast cancer. In 2004, a UK study found parabens in samples of breast tumors. 18 out of 20 of these were found to have come from products applied to the skin. 8While more conclusive studies need to be done, I agree with the many health experts who feel that parabens are best eliminated from your beauty regime, particularly the lotions and deodorants that stay on your skin all day.
- Diethanolamine DEA, Cocamide DEA, Lauramide DEA— a whetting agent that is responsible for lather in shampoos and consistency in lotions, DEA reacts with other ingredients in personal care products to become the extremely carcinogenic NDEA (nitrosodiethanolamine).The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has recommended that NDEA should be treated as a carcinogen in humans.9Beware of other ethanolamines like triethanolamine TEA and monoethamolamine MEA. These dangerous chemicals are also found in sunscreens and many other cosmetic products.
- Lanolin— found in cosmetics and lotions, lanolin is treated with toxic pesticides and can cause allergic reactions.
- Mineral oil— found in many moisturizers, mineral oil disrupts your normal skin respiration by blocking oxygen.
- Petrolatum— has the same adverse affects as mineral oil.
- Talc— belonging to the same family as asbestos, talc is dangerous to inhale and has been linked to ovarian cancer if used in the genital area.
- Triclosan — found in toothpaste, liquid soaps, dish soaps, antibacterial soaps and anti-bacterial products (toothbrushes, towels, cutting boards, etc.), triclosan is believed to disrupt thyroid function and contribute to liver and inhalation toxicity. 10Avoid triclosan, its chemical cousin, triclocarbon, which are often found in products that say they are “antibacterial.”
- Phthalates — found in nail polish, hairspray and shampoos, phthalates have been linked to endocrine system disruption (particularly causing low sperm count and testicular atrophy in males) and liver cancer.11
- Formaldehyde family(Diazolidinyl urea, 3-diol Imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM Hydantoin, Quaternium-15, Nitorpropane-1, Formalin, Methanal, Methyl aldehyde, Methylene oxide) – Found in most personal care products, formaldehyde can cause symptoms from allergic reactions to dermatitis, joint pains and headaches.Products with formaldehyde can cause cancer and immune dysfunction12 and have been banned in cosmetics in Sweden and Japan.13
The Best Beauty Products for Lasting Health
Now for the good news!
Here are some toxin-free products that are pure, natural and better bets for you and your family:
- Lotions, cleansers and shampoo — One of my favorite options is Dr. Hauschka products.
- Makeup — Larenim is a line of pure makeup products free of parabens, dyes, talc, DEA/TEA, phthalates, SLS, SLES and many other toxins. While makeup can tend to have higher toxicity ratings, Larenim is among the purest and best lines for keeping you beautiful AND healthy.
- Make your own personal care products with essential oils — pure, therapeutic grade essential oils are ideal for all natural replacements for perfume. Additionally, with recipes from books like The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health – Beauty – a Safe Home Environmentyou can make everything from all-natural shampoo to body lotion and even toothpaste!Some great essential oil options are lavender for scent and calming, carrot seed oil for anti-aging; and to treat cellulite, lemongrass and juniper berry. You can also make an all-natural deodorant by putting a couple drops of lavender and cypressessential oils on your hands, rubbing your palms together and rubbing them under your arms.Beware of your average health food store essential oils (which can contain toxic chemicals because labeling laws allow them to say 100% pure and still be up to 50% chemically extended). Instead, choose organic or wildcrafted therapeutic essential oils, like those at Mountain Rose Herbs.
- Soaps — Dr. Bronner’s is tops for liquid soap that is toxin free. They even have a mild formula for babies!
- Toothpaste — Jason brand Powersmile Whitening Toothpaste is an excellent option for all natural toothpaste that also keeps your teeth pearly white.
If you want long-term beauty and health, choose all-natural products and your body will reward you with lasting energy and youthful vitality!
1Hauser Holland, Suzanne, RN, MSN. Many Personal Care Products Contain Toxins.
2Stay, Flora, D.D.S. Are You Giving Your Child A Daily Dose of Toxins? August 2008.
3Connealy, Leigh Erin, M.D. Beauty to die for: health hazards of cosmetics and skin care products revealed. http://www.naturalnews.com/016898.html
5 Chemicals. CHEC’s Health House.
7 Arditti, Rita. Cosmetics, Parabens, and Breast Cancer. 2004. Organic Consumer’s Association.
9 Diethanolamine(DEA): A Carcinogenic Ingredient in Cosmetics & Personal Products Cancer Prevention Coalition. http://www.preventcancer.com/consumers/cosmetics/diethanolamine.htm
10 EWG’s Guide to Triclosan. Environmental Working Group.
12 Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Announces Nail Polishes to Become a Little Safer; OPI, Orly and Sally Hansen Brands to Remove Ingredient. Business Wire. August 2006. http://www.ewg.org/node/18792