Are your beauty products poisoning you? If you buy the most popular brands, the answer is most likely “yes!” If you are like me, you think that if something is for sale, it’s been proven safe. Not so. The government doesn’t routinely test for ingredients used in beauty products unless they are classified as “drugs.” (If the manufacturer makes health claims for a product, it is classified as a drug. For example, a product designed to clean your face called “soap” is not subject to safety testing, however if the same product is said to be good for acne or is an anti-aging bar, it is now a drug).
So, what toxins are routinely found in bath, body, and makeup products? How about lead and arsenic! Yes, while they aren’t on lipstick and eye liner labels, they are commonly found in these products. Cadmium and nickel (heavy metals) are often found in blush, foundation, and eye shadow. Parabens are preservatives. They have been found to disrupt hormones. They are also linked to obesity and diabetes. Formaldehyde is a toxic preservative that is found in 20% of all personal care and cosmetics in the USA. I could go on, but you get the idea. Toxins are everywhere- nail polish, shampoo, sunscreen, deodorant, tooth paste, hair coloring, perfume, blush, and more.
So what’s a girl to do to stay beautiful in a toxic world? If you want specific information about a product or ingredient, you can check it out here at SkinDeep. If you just want to be safer, here are some tips.
Avoid all sunscreen. Yes, you heard me right. Wear a hat. Stay out of the sun. Before the invention of sun tan lotion and sunscreen, the incidence of skin cancer was minimal. Since then, it’s gotten higher and higher every year. It truly appears that sunscreen doesn’t prevent sun cancer at all. We do know that the ingredients used to manufacture it are toxic, however. Since the skin acts as a superhighway to the interior, what you put on it, goes directly to your system. Don’t be fooled into thinking that microscopic amounts of toxins don’t matter. Ebola and typhoid are microscopic.
Avoid all antiperspirants. Use a natural, aluminum-free deodorant. Beware. Some crystal deodorants have aluminum in them.
Avoid all fragrances. This doesn’t mean you can’t have scent. “Fragrance” is a term used to describe chemically derived scents. They almost always contain parabens. Use something made with essential oils instead. These won’t have the staying power or strength as chemical scents, but they will be safer.
Wash your face every morning and every night. Even if you use no toxic products, pollutants from the air can enter through the skin. It’s best to wash them off.
Treat with suspicion any product labeled natural or organic. They call this “green screening.” It’s a tactic used to lull you into a false sense of safety. Neither term is synonymous with safety. Botulism is natural, after all. Some toxic ingredients are organic.
Go ‘poo-less! Baking soda is an inexpensive, effective way to gain peace of mind. There is a learning curve for you and your hair. Your hair won’t smell like a field of lavender, but you will be healthier.
Make your own products. I got into making my own soap, face cream, lotion, lip balm, shampoo and more because I couldn’t find products that met my standard for being toxin-free. Even brands that looked okay on the surface turned out to be less safe than I wanted after doing a bit of research. You will always have peace of mind if you do it yourself.