Did you know that in the good ole US of A most man-made chemicals are permitted as ingredients in our shampoos, sunscreens, cosmetics, and other personal products? And is a surprise to learn that in other countries around the world many of these chemicals are banned for such use? Next question: who cares? Well, you and I care because many of these chemicals are bad, really bad, for your health. Check out this abbreviated list of ingredients to avoid in your personal products.
- Fragrances Did you know that the same base product that’s used to fill the tank in your car is used to create artificial fragrances? Yikes! So it’s not a big surprise to learn that petroleum-based fragrances can trigger allergies, skin and eye irritations, and headaches. Many artificial fragrances have been linked to cancer, birth defects, migraines, allergies, and other ailments. If your conditioner or other personal product contains fake fragrances, it most likely contains phthalates.
- Phthalates Phthalates, which are plastics, are used as “fixatives” to hold color and scents. Studies reveal that phthalates interfere with your body’s endocrine system. Doesn’t sound good; does it? It’s not — it’s really bad. Your endocrine system impacts nearly every cell, organ, and process in your body. This vital system helps to regulate growth, development, mood, metabolism, sexual function, and reproduction. Studies have shown that phthalates can cause harm during your baby’s development in the womb. Exposure to some phthalates is associated with poor sperm quality and infertility. What does that mean for all those tweens, teens, and young adults spraying, spritzing, and slathering themselves?
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfates (SLSs) or Lauryl Sulfates SLS and Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES) are detergents commonly used in shampoos, toothpastes, lotions, and cosmetics. Like fragrances, these chemicals are often derived from petroleum. Symptoms that frequently occur with use of SLS and SLES-containing products are eye irritation, dry scalp, hair loss, skin rashes, and other allergic reactions. One of the most common side effects of SLS/SLES use is the stripping of our protective skin lipids, or fats. That means that products that are supposed to moisturize your skin actually do the opposite!
- Formaldehyde Formaldehyde is a preservative that is primarily in shampoos, body washes, mascara, and nail polish. Formaldehyde is “hidden” in ingredient names such as quaternium-15, diazolidinyl urea, and DMDM hydantoin. We know for sure that formaldehyde is a toxin that can damage the immune and nervous systems and it’s a carcinogen, AKA cancer-causing agent. You already knew that formaldehyde was bad, right?
- Mineral Oil Sounds okay, right? Wrong. Mineral oil, like fragrances, is manufactured from the same stuff that is makes your car run — petroleum. It clogs the pores of your skin, interfering with the skin’s ability to get rid toxins. Because the skin is one your primary organ involved in detoxification, any product that is pore-clogging can promote acne and other skin issues including premature aging. Mineral oil does not penetrate the skin, so it is the absolute wrong product to use for moisturizing. Like products that feature SLS and SLES, mineral oil-containing cosmetics can actually inhibit the skin’s natural moisturizing factor.
- Parabens Shampoos, moisturizers, makeup, and toothpaste often contain parabens, which can cause allergic reactions and skin rashes. Shockingly, parabens have been discovered in low concentrations in breast cancer tumors and have the ability to weakly mimic estrogen. That’s not good because certain types of estrogen increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
- Petroleum Jelly You know what it is. It’s in really large containers on stores shelves everywhere, in lip balms, in tons of cosmetics, and in moisturizers. petrolatum is used in cosmetics for its emollient properties. And again, it’s made from the same product that makes gasoline. Because petroleum blocks pores it disrupts the body’s natural ability to moisturize its own skin, thus causing dryness and chapping. So a product that’s advertised to prevent dryness actually does the opposite!
And this is an abbreviated list! Wondering what to do? What products to select? Contact me for more information about changing the personal products that you use to reduce your toxic load and improve your health.