Are Your Skin Care Products Fair Or Foul?
Skin care products have the potential to enhance and improve your appearance. They also have the potential to damage your health as a result of the ingredients used. Laura DeMatteis, author of The Beast behind the Beauty, lays bare her concerns regarding the dangers of toxic chemicals used in the multi billion dollar skin care industry.
Laura suggests that there is a definite connection between the use of skin care and cosmetic products and cancer. I cannot substantiate this particular claim, but it is fair to say that known carcinogenic compounds are being used as ingredients in these products.
One of the main problems with the skin care industry is that there is virtually no pre-market toxicity testing in terms of long term usage. Carcinogenic compounds may be used as a very small percentage in the overall product. I have known companies to say that because the percentage is so small, any risk is to health is tiny. The skin absorbs 60% of whatever is applied to it, and this is absorbed directly into bloodstream. So if you are using several products that contain a toxic substance every single day, your exposure to those toxins or possible carcinogens increases significantly.
It is estimated that the average female uses up to 12 products daily. Shampoos and hair conditioners, deodorants, moisturisers, cleansers and soaps are the sort of products we all use every day. Most of us use at least one cosmetic each day whether it be lipstick, mascara or foundation. Do you look at the ingredients of each of these before you buy? Can you find a list of ingredients on your mascara or lipstick? Watch the video to hear what Laura has to say about hair dyes.
The suggestion that 85 to 90% of cancers are caused by environmental toxicity is frightening. Environmental toxicity is not just about the air we breathe, it also includes what we eat and drink and what we put on our skin.
Three of the most dangerous compounds are sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens (which may appear as methlyparaben, butylparaben etc) and propylene glycol. They are mutagenic (change DNA structure), cause hormone disruption and are potentially carcinogenic either on their own or when they interact with other chemicals. My advice? Steer clear of these particular ingredients especially if you have children, or are pregnant.
Perfumes are another beauty product that causes concern. The synthetic ingredients used in most perfumes are derived from the petro chemical industry, and can cause a variety of health issues ranging from allergies to respiratory problems to birth defects. One of the most worrying aspects is that not all the ingredients have to be listed – so who knows what is in that synthetic cocktail?
The joint report from EWG and Campaign for Safe Cosmetics called “Not So Sexy: The Health Risks of Secret Chemicals in Fragrances.” is well worth reading.
If you’re concerned about what you put on your skin, it’s quite simple. Read the ingredient list. Chemical sounding ingredients are exactly that – chemicals.
There are now plenty of ethical skin care providers who produce beauty and cosmetic products from natural and organic ingredients. Ingredients that are plant derived are, in the main, much safer than synthetic chemicals. (I would still recommend reading the ingredient list, just to make sure you’re happy with it.
It’s worth remembering that even natural plant extracts can cause allergic reactions in some people.) Lovely organic oils such as jojoba, coconut, and flax often provide the main constituent. Other (essential) oils and plant extracts are used where needed. See if you can feel and smell the difference between a synthetic product and a safe, organic one. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
You can live the organic lifestyle and still look as good as anyone buying the chemical alternatives, the difference is you’ll be healthier too!
Filed under: Organic Cosmetics
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