Since the beginning of petroleum ingredients in the mid 1900s, chemicals found in personal care products have multiplied. The practice of using these substances with the assumption that it was safe became routine. Today, many of us are too complacent with what we put on our skin because we aren’t aware that absorbing harsh toxins through our skin actually does more damage as it is absorbed straight into the blood stream and into our cells. The skin is the body’s largest organ and the biggest gateway for toxins to get inside, so it’s not only what you eat, but what you put on your body that is vital to your health.
More than 10,000 various ingredients are permitted for use in our personal care products, many are hazardous to our health, but still they are allowed in our everyday products. What chemicals should you look out for in your beauty products?Parabens
: heavily used synthetics in the personal care industry. Parabens have been linked to the interruption of normal endocrine system functioning and severe allergies. Parabens are used in an estimated 25000 personal care products.Toluene
: Made from petroleum and coal tar found in nail polish and other cosmetic products. Chronic exposure can affect brain function and the central nervous system, is linked to anaemia, lowered blood cell count and liver or kidney damage. It may also interfere with a developing fetus.Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
: found in over 90% of personal care products! This industrial chemical is designed to clean and create foam however it may break down your skin’s moisture barrier, potentially leading to dry skin and can allow other chemicals easy access. Combined with other products, sodium lauryl sulfate may become a carcinogenic by-product that supresses the immune system. Synthetic Fragranc
e: made with petrochemical-based oils, namely phthalates, found in soap, lotions, shampoo, deodorant, conditioner, and perfume. Phthalates have been linked to hormone disruption.DEA-related ingredients:
used to make cosmetics creamy or sudsy. DEA is mainly found in moisturizers and sunscreens, while cocamide and lauramide DEA are found in soaps, cleansers, and shampoos. DEA and its compounds can cause mild to moderate skin and eye irritations. Propylene Glycol
: common cosmetic moisturizer and carrier for fragrance oils. May cause dermatitis, skin irritation and May inhibit skin cell growth. BHA and BHT: synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives mainly in lipsticks and moisturisers, among other beauty products. They are also widely used as food preservatives. They can induce allergic reactions in the skin.Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum
: these petroleum products coat the skin like plastic – clogging pores and creating a build-up of toxins. They can slow cellular development, creating earlier signs of aging. Plus, they can disrupt hormonal activity.
You can however, have naturally healthy looking skin without using a cocktail of chemical-laden cosmetics and personal care products. Bath, beauty, and skincare products should be made with pure, organic pigments, oils, fragrances, and butters. The products should be certified organic with extracts from jojoba seed, shea butter, and organic safflower oil. Be sure to break away from products that contain toxins, synthetic preservatives, artificial fragrance, colour, and mineral oils. Drinking plenty of filtered water, eating a balance of rich and fresh, certified organic fruit and vegetables, sleeping well, avoiding over exposure to strong sunlight, avoiding caffeine, smoking, excessive alcohol, and refined sugar will contribute to your skin looing and feeling healthy.