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The suprising things hiding in your skincare products

During the past 50 years more than 80,000 chemicals have been invented...most are not tested for toxicity.
— Philip Landrigan M.D., Professor and Chair of Preventitive Medicine and Dean of Global Health at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine

Go look at the ingredients list on your body wash.  Most likely it contains a list of really long scientific names, which are....chemicals. Chemicals that your science teacher told you to always wear gloves and goggles when handling. Chemicals that are bodies are not made to take in long term small daily doses. Chemicals that have a long rap-sheet of toxic effects on humans.

Why are they used then, you ask? Because they are cheap, because they are easier to obtain (in some cases), and because producing the chemicals themselves opens up another money making industry for the manufacturers. 

What happened to the natural ingredients our ancestors have been using for thousands of years? Is it really that the chemicals work better, is our hair really softer or clothing that much cleaner? In some instances maybe, but in most no. Even if they out perform their clean counterparts is it worth the trade for your long term health? Or is it that we are the victims of an intense marketing campaign?...yes. 

Clean our your beauty routine

The US beauty industry makes a whopping 55 billion dollars. Their budget for marketing must be astronomical, after all without marketing their would be no sales. From the print adds to TV commercials, right down to the product bottles it's all designed to make you think their product works the best.

We have become used to the lather of the sodium lauryl sulfate and the sweet aroma of artificial fragrance. However, these chemicals are not required to be studied for human safety, have no board of regulation, and often when the studies are done toxic side effects emerge. Lets learn to get back to our roots and use products with a clean list of ingredients...for simplicity and our health. 

Where to Start

I can attest from personal experience that making the switch to clean products is daunting and at times arduous. You won't know where to start and almost everything in your cabnent won't make the cut. Yes, you will have to read the back of all the bottles, jars, and containers you come across. Yes, a tear will roll down your cheek when you realize you cannot buy your beauty products at Sephora anymore. However, once you grasp a basic understanding of what ingredients are ok it becomes easy

A simple way to start is only buy things with bontanical names in the ingredients, avoid all chemistry class sounding names...those should stay in the lab.  

Here is the list of chemicals I choose to avoid in my beauty products. This goes for ANYTHING I put on my skin whether it be blush, hand cream, soap, etc. To start, change one or two items, recognize that they perform the same, and continue until your entire beauty regimine is clean. You won't regret it...I promise. 

The Nitty Gritty

People get acne, dermatitis, and rashes from the skin irritation these chemicals cause. Plus they are being absorbed through your skin directly into your blood stream, circulating your entire body and making a home there. Cancer, neurotoxicities, allergies, hormone disruption....on and on and on...they all have been linked to the various chemicals in our beauty products.

A few weeks back we learned that both parabens and artificial fragrance are harmful to our bodies. They disrupt our hormones, are found in cancer cells, and increase growth rate of cancerous cells. For a refresher read here.

We should be avoiding both of these things (and others), and let me warn you they are in almost every product on the shelves of Target, Walgreens, Walmart, etc.

You will have to start buying your products at health food stores or online. But let me also warn you that just because a product says “natural” doesn’t mean it is. There is no board of regulation for natural labeling standards...so it remains at the hands of the manufacturer...which I rarely trust. Learning to read the ingredients is the only way to really know if it is safe. 

Places to buy clean beauty products

  • Whole Foods Whole Body section, only buy from products that have the Premium Body Care logo on them. For more info of their standards click here.
  • Spirit Beauty Lounge: a great resource for clean beauty products
  • Mountain Rose Herbs: a great place to buy bulk herbs, oils, body care, spices, teas and more. 
  • Vitacost: where I buy most of my supplements and beauty products at deeply discounted prices. You will have to know what you are looking for before you go because many of their products are not clean. 

Website for more info

  • No More Dirty Looks: a clean beauty blog with great product reviews and clean beauty tips
  • Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep: a site to look up chemical names and/or products to give you a rating of 0-10 on safety 

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Standard Disclosure: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary or other types of compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I always give my honest opinion and findings of the products and would not recommend anything that I do not use for myself or family. All of the products recommended will adhere to the Standards of Clean, listed here.


References:

1. Sneha R.P., Ramtej J.V. Spermatotoxic effect of diethanolamine: An in vitro study. Asian Pacific Journal of Reproduction. 2013; 2 (3):196-200.

2. Bartnik FG, Gloxhuber C, Zimmermann V. Percutaneous absorption of formaldehyde in rats. Toxicol Lett. 1985 May;25(2):167-72. PubMed PMID: 3923659.

3. Luch A, Frey FC, Meier R, Fei J, Naegeli H. Low-dose formaldehyde delays DNA damage recognition and DNA excision repair in human cells. PLoS One. 2014 Apr 10;9(4):e94149. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094149. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 24722772; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3983121.


 
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