I really appreciate how many people these days are becoming so conscience of what they put in their bodies. We are becoming much more aware of what we fuel our bodies with and how tainted our food is, and can be. It’s definitely refreshing when I see more and more people willing to drop a bit of that ignorance they have been sporting and open up to the realization that things aren’t always what them seem. For example, that big red tomato in the grocery store that you think looks good because it is big, round and red, and is there for you to eat right in the middle of January…And you live in Ontario! It’s not so much a miracle as it is the fruit of modern day science, a little genetic modification if you will.
But what I really want to draw attention to is not what we put in our bodies but rather what we put on them. What we wash them with, moisturize them with, shave, decorate ourselves with. I am talking about everything that falls under the umbrella of “cosmetics”.
Have you ever taken the time to read the label of your shampoo or the soap that you are using? Perhaps noticed any of the ingredients in your body wash? And for you ladies, your makeup! And perhaps make up is the best example to illustrate my point; is that things aren’t always what they seem. Make-up is something that we put on to make ourselves look better. But, really, we are putting onto our skin toxins that seep into our pores, cause premature aging, and hormonal disturbances.
Ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate, methylparabens, proparabens, formaldehyde, imidazolidinyl urea, isopropyl alcohol, and parabens just to list a few, can all cause hormonal disturbances and many other problems. There is a great book called “There’s Lead in Your Lipstick” written by Gillian Deacon where she points out that the average women uses about a dozen personal care products each day which exposes her to 126 different chemicals. That is a large number, 126 different chemicals…all before she has even left the house.
I cannot take credit for the facts that are to follow but I will use this blogs a means to share some info that I have come across and feel is important. Three quarters of brand name cosmetics use phthalates as an ingredient; this ingredient has been linked to hormones disruption. Phthalates are also found in plastics as they help to increase flexibility, but they also act as an emulsifying agent which means it helps other ingredients mix together hence their use in cosmetics.
Gillian Deacon points out that although many of these chemicals have managed to attain an “approval” rating little to no research has been done on the combined effects of using all these chemicals at once. Food for thought much??... we use a soap or body wash, a shampoo, then conditioner. Then a face wash, toner and serum, follow by a moisturizer, a body lotion follow by some perfume then make up! Oh and don’t forget the deodorant. In the summer we use sunscreens, an added layer of chemical exposure to our skin. As some point we have to think that all this will add up, layer upon layer of these toxic substances.
I am not saying not to use soap, or shampoo or any personal care products but there are alternatives. You also have the option of making your own products. Lip balms, deodorants, exfoliates and cleansers are all easy to make and can be quite cost effective using simple household items and some essential oils. It’s important to read labels and educate yourself. A simple deodorant contains ingredients that have be known to cause issues such as eczema, allergies and hormone disruptions. Nail polish has been commonly found to contain a compound called toluene, which Gillian Deacon points out can cause “headache, fatigue, and irritated eyes, nose and throat. Toluene has also been found to be toxic to the kidneys and liver and possibly a reproductive disruptor”. It is what make the nail polish dry smooth and in a timely manner.