Every day we’re inundated with chemicals. We eat them. We breathe them in. We absorb them into our bloodstream. There’s a lot of buzz around eating organic food now but what about all the stuff we’re rubbing into our skin?
A few months ago I started doing some research on the personal-care products I was using, and the chemicals they contained. What I learned shocked me.
The average woman uses about 12 products a day, and each of those products contains chemicals that are not natural to the human body or the environment. We lather ourselves with soap, shampoo, moisturizer, deodorant, makeup, and more. We paint our nails and dye our hair. We’re told to use sunscreen because the sun causes cancer. There are ingredients in sunscreen that cause cancer.
Given the fact that just about everything we put on our skin gets absorbed into the bloodstream, it’s quite shocking to see a complete lack of regulation of chemicals and harmful ingredients in skin care products. There are over 150 toxic cancer-causing ingredients currently used in cosmetic products alone, and the makers of these products don’t even have to label them!
I could be arrested for dumping the same chemicals into a stream, yet we put them into our bodies every single day. That’s not only legal, it’s actually encouraged by advertisements and retailers.
When I started to dig a bit deeper I learned that a lot of these chemicals are known carcinogens (cancer causing chemicals), mutagens (causing cell mutations – cancer), teratogens (causing birth defects), reproductive toxins (male & female infertility), developmental toxins (hazardous to an unborn child) and/or skin/sense organ toxicants.
We are putting deodorant in our armpits. It contains aluminum which promotes dementia, breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. We lather our hair with shampoos that are loaded with all sorts of toxic chemicals including Sodium Laureth Sulfate. We use cleaning products that contain solvents, known to promote cancer as well as birth defects. And if that’s not enough toxicity, we can buy air fresheners that allow us to inhale carcinogenic chemicals directly into our lungs.
Each of these products on it’s own, doesn’t give a person a high enough dose of toxic chemicals to be dangerous to our health. That’s how they remain legal, and on shelves. By using them in multiples (like the majority of us) and on a daily basis, we are giving ourselves a chemical bath of which the consequences are currently unknown.
Finding products that are chemical-free is getting easier. After doing a bit of sleuthing on the Cosmetics Database I found a number of products that don’t use harsh chemicals, and I have managed to replace almost everything.
I now use:
shampoo and conditioner – Aubrey Organics
lip balm – Burts Bees
mascara – Lavera
blush and eyeliner – Zuii Organics
toothpaste – Green Beaver
shaving cream – Alba Organics
bar soap – Soapworks
deodorant – Lafe’s Natural and Organic
I have not found a moisturizer that I like yet.
Surprisingly, these products fall into the same price-range as their chemical-loaded cousins. While you might have to go out of your way to find them (I found most at Planet Organic) there’s really no excuse to support companies that are knowingly harming us, such as Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Cover Girl etc. Companies like Maybelline, Visine, Vichy, Dove and Neutrogena still even test on animals!!
Ironically, when it came time to get rid of all the toxic products I had, I didn’t want to throw them into the garbage or pour them down the drain, since that would just cause environmental damage. I ended up giving them all away.
Switching to organic products is easy, and it’s not only good for you, it’s good for the environment too.
A book I’ve been meaning to get my hands on is Gill Deacon’s There’s Lead in Your Lipstick.